by Ronnie Spain (Osprey, 12-14 Long Acre, London. £19.95)
Ten years work went into this mammoth and definitive volume, and as a reference work it surely could not be surpassed. More than half of this 326-page book is taken up by race records, from Le Mans to the Brighton Speed Trials, and individual chassis histories of every one of the 134 GT40s and variants built.
Only one car has defeated Ronnie Spain’s indefatigable researches, and that one is rumoured to have been donated to the collection of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev by the American government.
That section is good browsing, but the reader looking for an exciting story will turn to the first half of this volume, where the whole GT40 story is told—not for the first time, but simply and in detail. Far from being a professional writer or historian, Spain is in fact a lorry driver, but the result of his decade dedication is most impressive.
It might be that the inclusion of some line drawings of chassis and other details would have rounded out the veritable barrage of mainly monochrome photographs, but there are so many detailed pictures that it seems unfair to quibble. The sportscar enthusiast will find this £20 well spent. GC