Williams Savage Books


San Diego Motorsports 

100 Racing Years 

A Johnny McDonald Collection


“San Diego Motorsports 100 Racing Years — A Johnny McDonald Collection” was originally published in 2008. Today, it is back in print, complete with the original front and back cover art by the late Bob McCoy.

The book begins in 1907, with the antics of Barnstormin’ Barney Oldfield, and continues through the years, with coverage of racing exploits in San Diego, Balboa Park (including a race in conjunction with the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, now celebrating its centennial), Barona, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, La Jolla, Lakeside, Miramar, Mission Bay, Mission Beach, National City, Pacific Beach, Point Loma, Otay Mesa, Ramona, Torrey Pines, Riverside, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Long Beach, Maywood, Hollywood, Baja California and beyond.

McDonald focuses on such well-known personalities as Jerry Baltes, “Wild” Bob Burman, “Bad Bill” Carlson, Earl Cooper, Raffaele “Ralph” DePalma, “Rajo” Jack DeSoto, Chet Gardner, Al Gordon, Dan Gurney, Jimmie Johnson, Parnelli Jones, Earl Mansell, Rex Mays, Curly Mills, Roger Penske, Don Prudhomme, Eddie Rickenbacker, Ivan “Ironman” Stewart, Mickey Thompson and many others, along with future actress Raquel Welch, the San Diego beauty queen who awarded trophies to race winners.

In addition, the author puts the spotlight on every type of racing you can imagine, including auto, hot rod, midget, jalopy, sports car, modified and drag, along with motocross, supercross, dune buggies, stock cars, hydroplanes and monster trucks.

“San Diego Motorsports 100 Racing Years” is filled with hundreds of historic photos of major people and events from McDonald’s own collection, which includes more than 800 auto and motorcycle racing images and countless programs, press kits and other memorabilia, all made possible by the author’s vast and varied career.

Williams Savage Books is proud to reprint “San Diego Motorsports 100 Racing Years — A Johnny McDonald Collection.”


Johnny McDonald  Website


About the Author

Johnny McDonald — Racing Historian

Johnny McDonald, a San Diego County-based writer, has a passion for automobiles and racing that hasn’t diminished in his 60-plus-year writing career.

His articles and stories have appeared in both national and regional publications, prompting “Car and Driver” magazine to describe him as one of the nation’s most influential motorsports writers.

Through the years, McDonald has covered 10 Indianapolis 500s, five Daytona 500s and more than 100 motorsports events in the West. He served three years as president of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association and founded the All-American driver team, now in its 43rd year as of 2015.

“Thinking about that laundry list of my life, you can divide it into six parts,” McDonald said in July 2015. “That would be five years in the Navy, 39 years at the San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 years with fairs (doing promotions and publicity), 15 years with the March of Dimes, 10 years with museums and 18 years with community newspapers. The first book’s (‘Under the Green: A Guide to Auto Racing,’ published in 1977) publishing house was out of New York and London, so it received broad attention. It was a primer and introduction to the sport. I just fell into it.”

McDonald is an award-winning writer for Ramona Home Journal, which features his column “Behind the Wheel;” has worked on the public relations staffs at Del Mar and Qualcomm Stadium; is a former marketing director at the San Diego Automotive Museum; and has served as a consultant for the Hall of Champions, where he established a permanent display on motorsports. In addition, he has publicized and promoted motorsports events at six Southern California fairs.

“I look back and wonder how I did so many things!” he said.

In addition to “Under the Green: A Guide to Auto Racing,” for which he was honored in 1977, he was co-author of “Green Dragons of World War II.” He is also a winner of numerous awards in San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism competitions.

McDonald lives in San Diego, Calif., and has been married 59 years to his wife, Maxine. They are the parents of two sons and two daughters, and have eight grandchildren.

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