Ferrari 70 Years
Few words excite the imagination quite like ‘Ferrari’. Undoubtedly the world’s most iconic car manufacturer, Ferrari has transcended itself to become a symbol of desirability and excellence. Its seven-decade evolution has been so widely told that the challenge of producing yet another book worthy of a place on an enthusiast’s bookshelf is daunting. But Ferrari 70 years has achieved that.
In a fascinating insight into an intriguing history, Dennis Adler stylishly presents the full history of Ferrari, from the infamous partnership between Enzo and Luigi Chinetti, to the tragic back story of the Dino and the fascinating origins of the iconic prancing horse. Stunning modern photography and historic imagery encapsulates the full evolution of Ferrari styling, from the minimal AAC 815 to the grandeur of the Enzo.
Ferrari 70 years is a celebration of a motoring legend, well worth the time and money of any Ferrari enthusiast. And most of us are one of those, aren’t we? MT
Published by Motorbooks
ISBN: 978-0-76035189-5, £24.99
Whatever Happened to the Gold Cup?
I’m not sure there’s such a thing as stealth publishing, but this could be the domain’s foundation stone. Many people will associate ‘Gold Cup’ with singular horsepower and Cheltenham, but the trophy in question here is the one handed out at Oulton Park to such as Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, Jack Brabham, John Surtees and Jackie Stewart. It’s just that the cover doesn’t mention as much…
Self-published by Mike Allen, this focuses on a very specific period in Gold Cup history – 1957-1974, when the event was organised by the Mid-Cheshire Motor Racing Club. This encompasses the greatest phase in the event’s history, when it was usually a non-championship F1 race contested by many of the world’s best.
When early retirement was forced upon him, Allen used the time at his disposal to research the history of a race he’d attended many times as a lad. The results are thorough, with an appraisal of the main event plus details of the support races and fragments of contemporary context thrown in from time to time. Consider this from the programme in 1965, when Formula 2 was the star attraction: “Cars must be equipped with fastening points for a safety harness, though the harness itself is optional”. No mention there of cockpit halos…
It is well illustrated, with black-and-white images from mainstream suppliers such as Getty and LAT, but also a wealth of material from gifted local photographers who deserve to be better known than perhaps they are. The only downside is that the pictures are generally too small – there are some wonderfully candid shots, but self-publishing can impose limitations on both design and pagination.
It matters not.
This might have limited appeal, but it is a charming snapshot borne of genuine passion. SA
Published by the author, available via Facebook
ISBN: 978-1-5136-1779-4, £30 +p&p
BMC Competitions Department Secrets
Marcus Chambers, Stuart Turner,
A reprint, perhaps, but this softback contains lots of material for those interested in what rallying (and some racing) was like in the 1950s and ’60s. Laid out around official BMC documents, letters and telegrams, it tells the inside story of BMC’s initially scattergun efforts to get publicity for Riley, Austin, Morris and MG, and how the big prizes came with Healey and Mini once the competitions department was allowed to focus its efforts. There’s relatively little text slotted in between the documents and photos, but the co-authors have all been BMC’s competition managers so it’s cogent stuff.
Hardly a handsome production, with black and white reproduction of variable quality, yet photos of A40s in the Alps, bleary drivers at night controls on the gruelling Liège-Sofia-Liège rally and Morris 1800 Landcrabs on the East African Safari add huge atmosphere. GC
Published by Veloce
ISBN: 978-1-845849-94-8, £24.99
Caithness to the Côte d’Azur
It must have been dispiriting for a 1930s Monte Carlo Rally entrant who lived in Kent to know he had to drive to John O’Groats even to start the event. Yet as this little work describes, between 1926 and 1939 some 200 crews made that northward slog before heading out for Monte Carlo, because every mile counted for points.
Whyte outlines the trials faced in early days over those tough Caithness roads, sometimes worse than anything in the Alps. He begins in 1926, when Victor Bruce became the first British winner, and includes chapters on lady entrants, racing drivers, toffs and amateurs, and the concours de confort that once mattered so much, especially if you didn’t have much hope of overall victory.
Maybe because I know those roads well the many adventures in this one absorbed me, but I accept it’s the epitome of niche… Mind you, the feat that impressed me most was the lorry driver who in 1934 carried UK competitors’ luggage single-handed from London to Monaco in a Thorneycroft lorry, barely stopping for 48 hours – average speed 18mph. GC
Available from www.srbooks.com, £12 inc P&P
Hannes M. Schalle/Moonlake Entertainment
In its 90th year, the Nürburgring’s story is comprehensively told in Moonlake Entertainment’s Green Hell by means of some of Germany’s and the sport’s biggest names. Jochen Mass and Hans Herrmann are just two wheeled out inside the first five minutes, with Murray Walker sharing commentary duty with David Croft. Despite the incredible subject matter it’s a slow burner at first, but spiked with genuinely remarkable period footage showing thousands lining the roadside in the track’s 1930s pomp.
Given the span of time things will inevitably be missed: passing references only to Fangio’s ’57 win, say, and in fairness you wonder how much footage remains usable 60 years on. Jackie Stewart appears frequently, leading to a slightly unnecessary and uncomfortable featurette on the venue’s deadly side. It’s questionable whether extended clips of Le Mans ’55 or Wolfgang von Trips’ death at Monza bring anything to the documentary.
It’s made by the team behind Lauda: The untold story, so they know their Nürburgring, but Green Hell fails to fully convey the ‘Ring’s majesty and ferocity, and isn’t as dynamic as it might have been. At its close it fades into infomercial territory by focusing on the thing keeping the ’Ring open: trackdays. And when JYS reappears to conclude things you’re reminded of the real story that was being told 15 minutes before. If that first hour or so is certainly a worthwhile watch for the stories and period footage, few would blame you for switching off before the end. JP
DVD release date TBA