Book reviews, April 2004, April 2004

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Triumph and Tragedy

By Yves Kaltenbach, ISBN 095467670X Published by Automobiles Historiques limited, £50

This was the season when sportscar racing really came alive: by 1955 Jaguar had launched its D-type, Ferrari had a new six cylinder, Maserati was joining in with its 300S and Mercedes started an endurance programme after moving into Formula One in ’54.

So the stage was set, and what Yves Kaltenbach brings us is a beautifully written and extremely well illustrated account of this memorable season.

The book includes an analysis of the cars, short profiles of the leading protagonists, full reports of the races — including the historic Mille Miglia win by Moss and Jenks — and a results section.

The book is worth the £50 cover price merely for the in-depth chapter chronicling the events at Le Mans when the Mercedes driven by ‘Pierre Levegh’ flew into the crowd with such terrible consequences. BSJ

The Last Road Race

By Richard Williams, ISBN 02 97645587 Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £9.99

Famed sports writer, Richard Williams’ latest work isn’t just the story of the 1957 Pescara Grand Prix despite its title. The tale of Stirling Moss’s victory on the 16-mile Italian road course is the backdrop against which the author provides a series of snapshots of a halcyon period in motorsport history.

As one would expect from Williams, the research is exhaustive — he has sought out the surviving drivers in action that day and even tells the reader how much Moss earned for his three hours of toil — and the writing is fluid. You’ll whizz through its 130 or so pages in a matter of hours. Two collections of pictures by veteran Bernard Cahier set off the work perfectly.

An eminently readable and very enjoyable book. GW

Birdcage to supercage

By Willem Oosthoek, ISBN 1854432052 Published by Dalton Watson Fine Books, £80

Proving that there can never be too many good books on sportscar racing, Willem Oosthoek has just published this cracker on one of the most charismatic cars of the 1960s: the Maserati Birdcage.

This well illustrated and beautifully designed large-format book is not about the first Birdcages, even though they provided the warm-up. Instead, it is focussed on the rear-engined Birdcages from Tipo 63 to 65.

Dutch-born banker Oosthoek spent 15 years researching the 338-page whopper of a book and it shows. He traces every twist and turn of the passage from the earlier front-engined cars through to the Tipo 64 and 65, cars that were known as the Supercage.

It is only when one looks under the skin of the Tipo 64 or 65 that you realise why they were dubbed such — their aluminium-clad chassis were made from even smaller gauge tubing than their predecessors. BSJ

Motor Racing: The Golden Age

By John Tennant ISBN 1844032035 Published by Cassell Illustrated, £30

This 300-page hardback is a photographic celebration of “when the cars were fast, the drivers were furious and the photographers the bravest men on the track”. It is packed with some tremendously evocative shots of all that was best in racing from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Published by Cassell Illustrated, this book follows on from the massively successful Football: The Golden Age and Cricket: The Golden Age and celebrates every aspect of motor racing from Formula One to sportscars and even covers the Land Speed Record assaults of the period.

There are more than 275 photographs, many of which capture the glamour of the tracks, as well as the speed of the cars and the sheer effort expended by the teams.

The foreword for Motor Racing: The Golden Age is written by someone who understands all of these ingredients implicitly: three-time world champion Sir Jackie Stewart. BSJ

The Chariot Makers

By Steve Matchett ISBN 0752856499 Published by Orion, £16.99

The subtitle for this book — Assembling the Perfect Formula One Car— gives the author’s game away. And Matchett should know better than most because he was a mechanic with the Benetton grand prix team before starting out on a successful career in technical journalism.

It is the way that this book was conceived that explains its intention. A delayed flight at a fogbound airport in New York left Steve Matchett with 12 hours on his hands and, for company, a trio of grand prix enthusiasts passing the time by trying to piece together the perfect Fl car.

With the idea in place, Matchett starts off by looking at what makes a good chassis and builds out wards from there, taking time to explain each component in detail. It’s a good idea, done well. BSJ

The Rough Guide to Formula 1, 2004 Season

By Bruce Smith ISBN 1843532468 Published by Rough Guides, £6.99 This annual guide to the forthcoming season is the latest from the Rough Guide publishing house. Its beauty lies in the fact that it is pocket-sized and crammed with facts and figures about the teams, drivers, circuits and, of course, historical statistics.

Author Bruce Smith has also included a useful section looking at the equipment, the rules and the procedures. In short, he’s covered all that a fan should need for the season ahead.

The reader is left without any colour photos and most of the pictures used are only small. Yet with a cover price of just £6.99 you couldn’t expect more.

The book’s other shortcoming can hardly be blamed on the publisher or the author: it had to go to press before F1 minnows Jordan and Minardi confirmed their drivers. BSJ

Related articles

Related products