A Grand Prix driver’s logbook by Andre Etancelin, Connoisseur Carbooks, 650FF, ISBN: 2-9508990-0-5
A curiosity, this; some years ago the grandson of Philippe Etancelin bought the personal archives of the great driver, and has made this three volume ‘logbook’ compilation. Volume One is full of fascinating glimpses into the everyday details of a pre-war racing career: driving licences, press cuttings, personal notes, correspondence between ‘Phi-Phi’ and Ettore Bugatti, contemporary interviews, lap-charts and photos public and private, some occupying the entire 17x12in page. All this is linked by small amounts of text in French; non-speakers get a 12page ‘digest’, translated by David Waldron.
The result is a rich picture of the man who raced at the top level as a true amateur, paying his own way right into the Fifties, and, as the press extracts show, impressing his contemporaries. He famously retained the Edwardian habit of reversing his cap, of course, and the trademark headgear gets a lot of attention to itself, including a Brockbank drawing. Not cheap, but a limited edition of 1000, so it may appreciate… GC