Book reviews, April 1986, April 1986

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Last year Australia ran its first ever World Championship race (although there had been an Australian GP on 50 occasions) and earned the highest praise for the way it was organised. Now there has to be praise for another piece of Australian motor racing organisation — I refer to a book of vivid colour and black-and-white pictures, reports and supporting tables of the complete 1985 F1 race scene, published just over three months after the Australian Grand Prix so ably closed the 1985 season. Not only that, but compared with the many other volumes that will follow on the same theme, the price of this one — £12.95 — for a profusely illustrated book of 160 12 in 8 in pages with articles on Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, the retired Niki Lauda, the Adelaide track, the teams, from McLaren to Beatrice Lola (with more good pictures of the cars and Personnel) as well as the reports and other materials, is very good going. The only thing is that (these days ills nice to have speeds in kph as well as in mph) This “Grand Prix ’85 — The Formula One World Championship” is by Nigel Roebuck and John Townsend, and it is edited by Barry Naismith. Although published in Australia, it is available here from Kimberley’s, 4 Church Close, Whetstone, London. N20 OJU it is intended to make it an annual, and very welcome it will be. W.B.

“Ferrari At Le Mans” by Dominique Pascal. 171 pp. 11 1/4 in x 8 1/2 in (Haynes Publishing Group, Sparkford, Yeovil. Somerset. BA22 7JJ £19.95). It has been said that every picture is worth at least 1.000 words, a thought which writers may well wish to forget, but this is the theme of Dominique Pascal’s coverage of the Le Mans race from the Ferrari angle. His interest in motor racing, we are told, arose on his 13th birthday, when he was given a pen, a camera, and a ticket to the 1960 Le Mans 24-hour race. The book under discussion is a remarkably complete collection of beautifully presented photographs of every Ferrari that has run in the great French long-distance race. Whether entered by the factory or by private entrants, every one of these cars is depicted, and that means more than (250) of them. The span runs from 1949 to 1984, when the book was first published, long captions for each picture telling the story, supplemented by tables giving technical details of those Ferraris that have run at Le Mans.

It is a formidable work, made even more attractive by 46 fine colour prints, and variety has been achieved by showing Ferraris in full cry, others at the pits, even those that crashed, and we note that LAT supplied the photograph of the Ferrari and Lucas Type 166M Ferrari In the 1949 race. Ferrari fanatics have a very wide choice of books to sustain and enhance their beliefs but this one must surely be on every one of their library lists — W.B.

“Peugeot 205 — The Story Of A Challenge”, by Jean Todt & Jean-Louis Moncet. 127 pp. 10 1/2 in x 7 1/2 In (Haynes Publishing Group, Sparkford. Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 7JJ £14.95)

The title of this book is misleading, inasmuch as this is the story not of the production Peugeot 205, which especially in GTi form, has made such an impression on the market, but of the development and activities of the Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 in rallying.

That explained, what excellent coverage of the subject the book provides! Almost all the many pictures are in colour, with some fine action shots, and who better to fill us in on this particular bit of motoring history than the man who directs Peugeot-Talbot Sport, and the journalist from Auto.Journal. Even the book’s endpapers are made good use of, to show the Competition Department and to list the architects of the 205 Turbo 16’s triumphs. Incidentally, I was interested to see that Enzo Ferrari, no less, in the Foreword, translated Into English beside the original, recalls, as a teenager, being impressed with a picture of Goux’s winning Indianapolis Peugeot in 1913 and of watching Boillot triumph for Peugeot in the 1919 Targa Florio, and of his surprise, in 1923, while dining at the Brasserie Universe in Paris, to read the name “Peugeot” on the pepper-pot. Ferrati also discloses that he negotiated with the Peugeot engineer Giorgio Boschetti and bought several Peugeot cars, and that he supplied Roland Peugeot with a Ferrari.

But I must not quote to the extent of detracting from the value of the book itself to all Peugeot followers and rally fans. — W.B.

Among many titles devoted entirely to Ferrari in its road test reports productions. Brooklands Books has now added one devoted to the Dino from 1965 to 1974. It contains 27 copies of such road reports, from various journals, including Denis Jenkinson’s view of the Dino 246GT as published in MOTOR SPORT in 1971. This 100 page soft cover book costs £5.95 from the specialist booksellers, or £6.50 post free from the publishers, at Bookstop, “Holmerise”, Seven Hills Road, Cobham. Surrey. W.B.

“World Encyclopaedia of Aero Engines” by Bill Gunston 185 pp 9 1/2 in x 7 1/2 in (Patrick Stephens Ltd.. Denington Estate. Welhngborough, Northants, NN8 2QD £12. 95).

There has long been a need for a good book on aero engines. Apart from G.A Burls’ “Aero Engines” published in 1914 by Charles Griffin & Co which went into a tenth edition in 1918, and a rather patchy work on the same subject in much more recent times by Leonard Setright, the subiect has been sadly neglected, which may be why, during the years of the First World War, C.G. Grey of The Aeroplane got Geoffrey de Holden-Stone to write a rather poetic series of articles for him about the qualities of the various aero-engines then available.

So Bill Gunston’s new book fills a long fell want. It deals with all manner of aviation power-plants including gas-turbines, alphabetically, from ABC to Wright, going from the pioneer days to the present, with photographs of many, of these vastly complex and skilfully-engineered productions. As there were many aeroplane engines put into cars, for racing at Brooklands and elsewhere, for breaking the Land Speed Record, even for fun on the road, this book has some relevance to motoring history, but in the main it must stand as a very useful reference work on aeroplane power units, which all important libraries will need to stock.

I think there is still scope for more intimate writing, but this is a very good start indeed: some of the entries seem on the brief side and some of the facts we have heard before, but I found the book extremely interesting. Perhaps it will encourage others to follow Gunston’s type-writing fingers and produce even more, on a neglected subject. Meanwhile, here is a most valuable reference work on the subject and one that aviation historians will no doubt refer to frequently and with much interest. Hitherto virtually unknown facts about Russian and American engines appear therein and rare and previously unpublished photographs enhance the book’s appeal. W.B.

“The Day Of The Typhoon — Flying with the RAF tank’ busters In Normany” by John Golley 215pp 8 3/4 in x 5 1/4 in (Patrick Stephens Ltd.. Denington Estate. Wellingborough. Northants, NN8 2QD £9.95).

I have been told I must no longer write about aeroplanes in MOTOR SPORT but I cannot resist recommending this racy book about a very specialised but important and exciting part of the WW2 air war. The author is well qualified to write of flying that remarkable aeroplane, the Hawker Typhoon, which could literally lift a lank off the ground, because he flew 73 missions with 245 Squadron in 1944-5. The book brings into perspective what those young ground-attack pilots went through, serving a Squadron that lost several of its COs and had an abnormally high casualty rate. The margin between adrenalin-pumping fear and blind-panic comes over well. This book is a mixture of drama interspersed with humour that raised a spark of hope in the men who flew the tank-busting rocket-Typhoons.

The Foreword is by Typhoon test pilot Wing-Comdr Roland Beaumont. CBE, DSO, DFC, DL. FRAeS, and it’s not all aeroplanes — one of the photographs is of a pilot with his Guzzi motorcycle. W.B.