“California Gold The Legendary Life of Troy Ruttman” by Bob Gates

As was his modus operandi with his award winning book, “Vukovich,”
author Bob Gates worked with the subject’s family for his latest book,
“California Gold – The Legendary Life of Troy Ruttman.” Mr. Gates
digs deep into Ruttman’s life and spices the book with numerous photos
from the Ruttman family photo albums. This book peers into his
childhood and tough decisions the family made by moving west during
the depression

“California Gold” looks at a very young Ruttman who started racing at
a young age of fifteen in post-war California. Not unusual today,
however, racing was very different from the clean antiseptic scene at
karting parks and successful paved short tracks that are so common
across America today. Racing in post-war America saw many
war-hardened veterans running at dusty tracks where it wasn’t uncommon
to have two or three fatalities a year.

Ruttman sometimes gets overlooked in a decade which saw Bill Vukovich,
Tony Bettenhausen and Jimmy Bryan dominate the decade. Reaching the
big leagues at age 19 thanks to a altered birth certificate , Ruttman
was a natural-talented fearless driver. He reached his pinnacle three
years later when he won the Indianapolis 500 at the age of 22 in 1952.
However, 60 years later, he’s still the youngest winner at the

“California Gold” examines his post-Indy Cedar Rapids accident which
changed his life. Out of racing for 18 months we peer into a life that
spiraled out of control. We also dive into a career that bounced
around AAA, later USAC and even Europe. We see a resilient man who
was able to bounce back in life, overcoming obstacles in life. It’s an
inspirational story which makes the book an off-season must read.

Size: 6″ x 9″ 248 pages and over 150 photos, some never before
published. Hardbound – $40.00

Available through Pit Stop Books –

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