An action-packed 6-book series chronicling the adventures of young Woody Hartford and his race car, The Black Tiger.

Writing under the pen name, Patrick O’Connor, Leonard Wibberley transports the reader back to a golden age of both racing and American life to tell timeless stories of courage and self-respect in the face of fear and failure.

“The eccentricities and valor of the individual drivers, the lure of the machine and the details of racing, both mechanical and emotional, are well depicted in this action packed story which, for the aficionado, makes vivid the world of the grand prix course.”—Kirkus Reviews

The complete action/adventure series now available on eBooks.

Book 1: The Black Tiger

Book 2: Mexican Road Race

Book 3: Black Tiger at Le Mans

Book 4: Black Tiger at Bonneville
Book 5: Black Tiger at Indianapolis

Book 6: A Car Called Camellia

Also available in a 6-book BOXED SET.


Leonard Wibberley

The first of six sports-car racing stories about Woody Hartford, a young racing enthusiast, and his car—the Black Tiger.

From the moment 17-year-old Woody Hartford laid eyes on the Black Tiger, he knew the car was special.

But when her owner dies in a horrible racing accident, the Black Tiger is branded a "killer car."

Then, through a twist of fate, Woody is given the chance to race the Black Tiger in a big race, and suddenly Woody finds himself faced with a dilemma that will define him for the rest of his life: race the killer car or run from it.

The Black Tiger is a timeless story of courage and self-respect in the face of fear and failure written by Leonard Wibberley (author of The Mouse that Roared) under the pen name Patrick O'Connor.


“Crackles with the thrill of racing.”—The New York Times

“A bang-up yarn about auto racing that any young car enthusiast will enjoy.”—Los Angeles Times, The Reader, Literature for Teens

★★★★★ “There are a few treasures we grow up with and hope to pass on to our own kids. This book, this series, is such a treasure. A timeless story of courage and friendship uniquely set in the golden era of car-racing is truly a must-read.”—Amazon Review

★★★★★ “I have to say, I am not its target audience. I couldn't tell you a carburetor from a radiator. His young adult books are not solely for young adults, his children's books not solely for children. He talks about cars the way Aaron Sorkin talks politics; fast, and if you don't get the specifics, you at last get the gist and you can move on. Wibberley never talks down to his readers, and he never moralizes. This whole series should be catnip for Nascar fans. I went through them all in a matter of weeks.”—Amazon Review

Leonard Wibberley

After Woody totals the Black Tiger, the only chance to save the car’s company from bankruptcy is to race the brand new Black Tiger—the Mark II—the Mexican Road Race, a grueling 2,000-mile race from southern Mexico to Ciudad Juarez on the Mexican/US border.


Woody and his eclectic and international team of mechanics (including Worm McNess) will have to learn to work together—putting the Black Tiger first and their egos second—if they are going to win.


This exciting story of one of the most famous sports car races is based on the author’s firsthand experience of car racing and his understanding of the qualities required of the successful driver: courage, caution, sportsmanship, and intimate knowledge of his machine.

“Woody Hartford and friends need a victory in a grueling two-thousand-mile sports car run to prove a new model Black Tiger. Crashes and twisting turns make it an authentic, high-horse-powered story.”—The New York Times

★★★★★ “Another Great Auto Racing Story.”—Amazon Review

“This story of a boy, two girls and a racing car has sure appeal for the motor-minded teenager.”—Kirkus Review

“The fast-paced adventure, the drama and tension of the races, and the mechanical detail will have sure-fire appeal to the young car enthusiast.”—Saturday Review

★★★★★ “A lot of vintage racing excitement. O'Connor manages to make every racing scene unique--no repetitive descriptions, plenty of action and inside racing detail. If only sports journalists wrote like this.”—Goodreads Review


Woody Hartford, already winner of the Mexican Road Race with his Black Tiger, doesn’t want to race any more. It’s too dangerous. He’s got a wife now and a baby on the way. But when the Black Tiger’s fate lies in winning Le Mans—the most prestigious and grueling race of all—Woody realizes he’s been making excuses. He’s just afraid and once again has to overcome his fears.

“O’Connor knows sports car racing to the smallest detail and is a master craftsman in achieving and maintaining high interest.”—Library Journal

“The story of the trials and tribulations of a young driver in probably the toughest race in the world.”—Recommended by the New York Herald Tribune’s Sports Fans’ Bookshelf


★★★★★ “Loved this book! I think it should be required reading for new drivers. Or any of O'Connor's other Black Tiger books. I couldn't put it down.”—Amazon Review



Having won the Mexican Road Race and Le Mans, Woody Hartford becomes obsessed with breaking the land-speed record. To be the fastest car in the world—to go over 400mph—Woody, with the help of his mechanic, Worm McNess, will need to build a special Black Tiger that uses four engines. And to race it, Woody will need four times the amount of courage.

★★★★★ “The Black Tiger Auto Racing Books are Hard To find But Worth it.”—Amazon Review


“Leonard Wibberley talks about cars the way Aaron Sorkin talks politics; fast, and if you don't get the specifics, you at least get the gist and you can move on.”—Goodreads Review

"This series is aimed at the younger reader, of course, but ... we know adults will probably end up reading them!”—Sports Car Magazine


“Engaging characters, lively humor and sufficient mechanical detail to satisfy teenage sports car enthusiasts.”—The Booklist

Black Tiger at Indianapolis Cover.jpg


When Indy 500 champion Pete Elsworth wins a road race and declares that road race drivers are inferior to Indy drivers, Woody Hartford is forced to step up and defend his colleagues. But in order to compete, Woody needs to learn how to drive all over again—Indy style. It's Rocky on the racetrack.

“If your young reading addict loves fast cars, then they'll be intrigued by the tale of Woody Hartford and his adventures in the famed Indianapolis 500. Good inside stuff!”—New York Herald Tribune, Books for Boys and Girls


★★★★★ “I so wish that we could get these books on Kindle so every one could have a chance to read these stories before the automobile as it was is a total thing of the past. I grew up back then and they were so real life and great to read and dream about as a kid and even later as an adult, or am I still a kid at heart?”—Amazon Review

“A long-standing feud between road race and Indianapolis drivers culminates in Woody taking his Black Tiger to Indianapolis and challenging Pete in a thrilling race.“—Kirkus Reviews



Camellia's steam-powered turbine engine--noiseless, oil-less, and practically gasless—would seem to be the cure for pollution, but like all revolutions it doesn't happen overnight.


Worm McNess (the implacable Scotsman employed by Black Tiger as genius mechanic/designer) invents it. Black Tiger won't have it. Ace-driver Woody Hartford won't believe it. The Indy 500 committee almost bars it. And the competing entries will try anything to stop it.

You'll hold your breath as you read about this water-powered car--named after a flower—that has to go up against the gas-guzzlers.

★★★★★ “As the last book in the series, this one provides a satisfying conclusion and a surprise for long-time readers of the series. I was delighted to finally complete my collection of the six Black Tiger stories with this book.”—Amazon Review

“O'Connor gets a lot of mileage out of this jewel of a machine and he pumps it full of tension and cool humor; you have to know the game to keep up with it—and then it's a long smooth flower-powered ride.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Packed with the excitement unique to the major automobile race in the country, The Indianapolis 500. A Car Called Camellia is compelling reading. I couldn't put it down. Automotive-minded adolescents will be delighted with this new edition to The Black Tiger series—a great series of books about cars.”—The English Journal, National Council of Teachers of English