Journalist, author, publisher, safety advocate
Mandel’s Speed with Style, co-written with its subject, 1996 inductee Peter Revson, is considered by many the finest racing biography. For over 40 years, Mandel was one of the sport’s most important voices, from books to columns to race reports. He became involved while selling sports cars for Kjell Qvale. He piloted a Jaguar C-Type at Torrey Pines, became a track announcer and covered races for San Francisco-based Competition Press (now Autoweek). He followed Autoweek to Reno and befriended casino operator William Harrah, which led to two books, Harrah’s biography and American Cars, a history based on Harrah’s collection. Friendships with Danny Sullivan, Al Holbert and Revson inspired Fast Lane Summer, about Sullivan’s Can-Am season with Garvin Brown, and Speed with Style. After Revson’s death — the day their book was printed — Mandel campaigned for driver safety through his well-loved column, The Jaundiced Eye, and supported the Championship Auto Racing Auxiliary (CARA). His magazine career included stints as senior editor at Motor Trend, managing editor at Car and Driver and Autoweek’s publisher.