Film review: The Shell Motor-Racing History—Part 2

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The greatest praise is due to Bentley-driver Bill Mason and his team in respect of the second part of the historical Shell motor-racing film called “The Golden Age,” which has now been released and is available to the Clubs from the Shell Film Library.

Although there is not quite the same appeal about the cars of the 1920-1930 era as that which surrounds the giants that contested the early races, Mason provides a tremendously valuable selection of races of the vintage era, of the greatest interest to students of history. The great French Grands Prix, especially that won by Fiat at Strasbourg in 1922, are splendidly shown, there are glimpses of American board racing, and Le Mans in the ‘twenties, of drivers like Antonio Ascari off-duty, of cars like Thomas’ Lanchester Forty and Miller’s huge Wolseley Viper on Brooklands, and of racing cyclecars and voiturettes in spirited action. Light relief is provided by a 10-c.v. Citroën able to park on a dime by swivelling its front wheels through 90°, and only one error has crept in, a later straight-eight Talbot which deputises momentarily for a 1925 4-cylinder Talbot. Thomas and Campbell are seen attacking the Land Speed Record and Segrave appears in the 4-litre V12 Sunbeam at Southport and at Brooklands. This Shell film is a monumental achievement.—W. B.