This blog contains my thoughts and feelings only. It IS titled, "The Daily Life of Carol: My Thoughts, Rants & Raves." They do not represent those of anyone else. While I still can't imagine how my little blog is making the rounds locally, it is mine and mine only. If you are going to be offended or feel it necessary to whine or complain to those completely unassociated to me and my blog, stop reading and find something else to do with your time.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Book Review: The Man in the White Suit by Ben Collins

To enjoy this book you need to be a fan of Top Gear U.K.  You need to understand the epic global phenomenon of "The Stig."  And, that most importantly, the Stig's identity is never revealed. No one knew his name, saw his face or heard his voice. After Season 2, the black-suited Stig chatted about who he was, so he was fired. Ben Collins remained in secrecy as the white-suited Stig for eight seasons. By then, the press started questioning that Ben Collins was the mysterious Stig, although Collins repeatedly denied it. Collins was not officially fired from Top Gear U.K. until his autobiography - The Man in the White Suit: The Stig, Le Mans, the Fast Lane, and Me - was published. So that brings us to the book review.

This was a long read for me - I do not know British expressions or internationally acclaimed racing car drivers. Nevertheless, the book was enjoyable. Collins has lead a very interesting life. At the age of four his sole ambition was to be a fighter pilot...His father instilled in him the love of speed. Ben took the eye examination for a fighter pilot and failed. He was crushed, but he never lost his passion to excel. For his 18th birthday, his father's gift was a trial in a single-seat racing car at the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit. The racing car driver was born.

The book basically has three components - Ben Collins the racing car driver (including movie stunt driver), the Stig, and a member of the British Army. His recollections of his army training were quite amusing. As the Stig, Ben coached hundreds of celebrities from Tom Cruise to Lionel Ritchie around Top Gear's Dunsfold racetrack, each person vying to be the fastest celebrity in "a reasonably priced" car. The competition is fierce. Ben has also tested hundreds of exotic supercars and family cars around that track too. Manufacturers (owners, designers, engineers) even listed to the Stig's comments and suggestions for improving or tweaking their cars. Amazing.

With rumors of Top Gear U.K. considering another Stig, a terrible racing accident in Romania, and the birth of his baby girl, Collins decided to give up the Stig and just be Ben Collins. Certainly he needed a less-franatic, less-traveled life. Even though the producers were looking for another racing car driver(s), the parting was not amicable when Collins published his book. That's silly. "You told everybody that you were the Stig before we could fire you." Ridiculous.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Ben Collins's autobiography. Of course, I am a rabid Top Gear U.K. lunatic. It was good to finally know the man behind the mask. Two thumbs' up!

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About Me

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Winter Springs, Florida, United States
I am a stay-at-home mom to three boys (18, 16, 14), three Mini-Dachsunds, and a wife to an incredible husband {think MacGyver}. I am Catholic. I am passionate about making a difference in my world while still making a great life for my children and family. Besides being a mom, I am also a blogger for and I hope to make my voice heard and make a difference in my own way.