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While the Carroll Smith collection may sound like a range of crockery from Sears, it’s actually a series of five books which are the testaments of race preparation. Smith was a racing legend who passed away in 2003 after working with everything from an MGTF to a Formula 5000 car, and was the team leader for Ford’s all-conquering GT40 program. A part of the vast knowledge he accumulated in his years is presented in Engineer to Win, Tune to Win, Prepare to Win, Drive to Win, and the Nuts, Bolts, Fasteners, and Plumbing Handbook.

The books are cheap — Carroll’s website retails all five for just under $100, and as usual, Amazon undercuts that by a few dollars a piece. While most technical manuals are written in a dense, scientist-y prose which is as difficult to understand as the appeal of celebrity tabloids, Carroll’s books are like a conversation at lunch hour. He sticks to simple statements, doesn’t worry too much about the underlying mathematics in what he’s learned, and isn’t afraid to drop the occasional swear word. Every one of the books is an entertaining and very useful read. Engineer to Win, for example, contains one of the best introductions to metallurgy and materials science I’ve ever read.

The Carroll Smith Library Via Amazon [What’s This?]
Books [Carroll Smith Website]

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2 Responses to A Good Read: The Carroll Smith Collection

  1. Ted says:

    Carroll Smith’s books should be in every engineer or car-geek’s library, he takes complex subjects such as metallurgy, fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, suspension design, damper design/adjustment and breaks them down into bite sized chunks anyone can understand and apply. Some of the materials are a tiny bit dated with the new alloys and composites available today but these are GREAT books.


  2. KMR says:

    This is one of the best technical automotive books ever printed. I bought this book early in my high school career many years ago and it solidified my choice to enter a mechanical engineering program vs computer engineering.

    Don’t bother with Carroll’s “Engineer in your pocket” it is an utterly useless piece of printed junk. If you buy all of his regular books, and then buy a 3×5 notepad at Staples, you can simply take notes as you read and write your own version of engineer in your pocket.

    Prior to Carroll’s passing, he was one of the tech judges at FSAE events… good guy!

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