“The British Grand Prix-1926-1976” by Doug Nye. 144 pp, 10 in. x 7 1/2 in. (B.T. Batsford Ltd., 4 Fitzhardinge Street, London, W1H OAH. £4.95.)
Doug Nye is making a name tor himself as a painstaking and accurate writer of motor racing history and this survey of all the British Grands Prix, including those races of 1935-1938 called the Donington Grands Prix, is up to the expected standard. The book commences with the two rather odd races which the RAC promoted at Brooklands, using artificial road-courses, in 1926 and 1927 and both won by the then-champion Delage cars, and runs from there to last year’s dramatic race at Brands Hatch. Nye follows the now familiar pattern of providing a starting-grid with practice lap-times for most of these races, a circuit map and tabulated results of finishing positions and causes of retirement. The result is a very acceptable study of this most important of National races, written factually rather than over-dramatised, although presumably based on contemporary Press reports of the earlier contests in the series. This was inevitable, in the case of a young author who discovered that the RAC had kept no complete record of its own premier motor race! Had he seen the German teams dominating Donington in 1937 and 1938 he might have put even more into his reports of those years, as W.B. has done in the Grenville book about Donington, although Nye does have the silver cars flashing, drumming, flying, shivering; juddering, bulleting and charging round the course. (Still available from Grenville for £1.00.)
But this is a very good coverage of these British GP races, which were held at Silverstone and Aintree as well as at the circuits named above. The illustrations, even where these have been published before, are well picked and reproduced and the only drawback is that the story cannot be complete. because the race has by no means ended and, indeed, will be contested this year at Silverstone on July 16th. I particularly liked the attention Nye has given to the general development of the race, in his introduction, with good pictures of some of the awards, and a chapter devoted to the rewards thus won. The book has a general and a drivers’ index and is a most readable record of a great race, although, of course, Richard Hough did much the same thing, in less detail, back in 1958.—W.B.