‘If It Hadn’t Been For Whiskey, NASCAR Wouldn’t Have Been Formed’: Idris Elba Becomes The King Of Speed

In 2018 actor Idris Elba was named Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine, but before that he was self-dubbed The King of Speed.

From an early age, Idris loved all things cars, sitting in the backseat watching his dad driving around he’d mimic turning the steering wheel.

Since buying his first car at age 14, Idris went on to follow in his dad’s footsteps and worked at a Ford factory for two years before his break into Hollywood.

“My dad didn’t want me to be a broke actor,” he told The Hollywood Reporter late last year. “My dad loved his job, he brought it home with him; it was our community.

“We drove Fords and it wasn’t just a job to him or me, it was part of our lives. I always — and still do — feel connected to the Ford family.”

In King of Speed, Idris takes his love of fast cars to a whole new level as he travels the globe learning about the history of cars, from underground racing, rally driving to NASCAR.

Idris even gets treated to a very special mobile sauna with Finnish rally legend Ari Vatanen.

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Idris pushes himself — and some cars — to the limit in his pursuit for speed, but to become a master of speed, he first takes a look back at the history of cars, racing and how it all came to be.

With Ford in his blood, Idris takes a look at the development of the V8 engine which debuted in 1933 and became a fast favourite for bootleggers like Junior Johnson who would transport illegal shipments of moonshine during the Prohibition era.

Finessing his skills on the road while outrunning law enforcement, Junior went on to race in NASCAR and became a legend in the sport, winning 50 races in his career.

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“If it hadn’t been for whiskey,” Junior tells Idris, “NASCAR wouldn’t have been formed.”

That’s just one of the many fascinating stories Idris uncovers throughout his adventures, which also includes one very close call he’d prefer not to mention.

Watch Idris Elba: King Of Speed on 10 play.

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