Reviews, December 2011

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FORMULA ONE AT WATKINS GLEN
20 YEARS OF THE UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX 1961-1980
Michael Argetsinger

Editor-in-chief Nigel Roebuck has always had a soft spot for Watkins Glen. “For me,” he wrote in the December 2010 issue of Motor Sport “it had a magical quality, and if ever Formula 1 had a spiritual home in the USA, this was surely it.” was

Nigel also talked a few months earlier about how Fl had always struggled in the USA, apart from when it was hosted by Watkins Glen. Scanning the pages of Argetsinger’s work, it’s not hard to see why this circuit gained such a reputation with drivers, teams and fans from all over the world.

Thanks to a successful few years of Formule Libre between 1958-60, Watkins Glen opened its gates to F1 for the first time in ’61. lnnes Ireland won that race, and not only was it the first victory for Team Lotus, it was the first of many Grands Prix at the demanding circuit in upstate New York.

Among others Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Sir Jackie Stewart, Ronnie Peterson, Niki Lauda and Gilles Villeneuve all won at the Glen, and this book takes you through all the races between 1961 and ’80. This isn’t by any means a reference book and is filled with more images and lengthy captions than text. However as an overview of this great track, and indeed a great era in F1, you won’t find better. EF.

Published by David Bull publishing, ISBN 978 1 935007 142, £29.99

ALES FROM THE TOOLBOX
A COLLECTION OF BEHIND-THE-SCENES TALES FROM GRAND PRIX MECHANICS
by Michael Oliver

What a little gem of a book. Mechanics are often described as ‘unsung heroes’. Now, thanks to Michael Oliver, some of the balance has been redressed.

Oliver has tracked down dozens of spannermen who worked for the dominant British Formula 1 teams through the 1960s and ’70s. The 11 chapters, with titles such as ‘Anything to declare? Customs capers’ and ‘The all-nighter: par for the course’, offer a stream of great anecdotes.

The hardships and mischief of life on the road, the adventures and mishaps, the devilish practical jokes.., and the best and worst of Colin Chapman: if you want the truth, listen to the men who saw it all from the front line. Also includes personal photos from the mechanics’ own scrapbooks. DS.

Published by Veloce Publishing Ltd., ISBN 978 1 84584 1997, £12.99

PORSCHE BY MAILANDER
MAGNIFICENT EXPANSION FROM STUTTGART SHEDS TO INTERNATIONAL GIANT KILLERS
by Karl Ludvigsen

Before a career in the motor industry which saw him become the assistant to Giovanni Agnelli at Fiat, Rudy Mailander used his multi-lingual skills to report on and photograph racing and rallying through the early 1950s. His time behind the camera may have been short but the quality of his images is impressive which is why Ludvigsen purchased them as the core of his eponymous archive.

This is a hearty selection tracing Porsche’s early years, and Ludvigsen annotates each photo with great knowledge. Mailander had an eye for the quirky witness a large Alfred Neubauer climbing into a small 356 as well as the broad view, as dramatic Nürburgring and snow-clad rally shots attest If you love 356s, it’s a feast. GC.

Published by Dalton Watson Fine Books, ISBN 978 1 85443 244 5, $150

DRIVEN BY DESIRE
THE DESIRE WILSON STORY
by Alan Wilson in association with Andrew Marriott

The ‘Lioness from Africa’ (as John Webb once famously dubbed her), started winning races when she was only five years old and has been beating the boys ever since.

Written from the perspective of her husband, this tells a personal story that spans a career of over 50 years.

All the traditional elements of any racing driver’s story are here: money problems, indifferent team managers, awkward team-mates, buffer rivalries and even corrupt officials. It all helps to make this an entertaining read, if understandably a little onesided at times. DC.

Published by Veloce Publishing Ltd., ISBN 978 1 845843 89 2, £24.99

SILVER ARROWS IN CAMERA 1951-55 Anthony Pritchard

Not to be confused with Paul Parker’s ‘In Camera’ series. Combines detailed text with a wonderful section of colour images. Not cheap at £60, though.

Published by Haynes Publishing, ISBN 978 1 84425 943 4, 940

THE BRITISH ARE COMING Mike Varndell

A great collection of photos form the basis of this book, supported by first-hand accounts from Britain’s record-breakers. Some poor editing aside, it will appeal to LSR fans.

Published by Transport Bookman Publications Ltd, ISBN 978 85184 076 5, £49.99

TT: CLOSER TO THE EDGE Directed by Richard de Aragues

DVD release of the fabulous documentary on the 2010 Isle of Man 7 that had limited cinema distribution earlier this year. Guy Martin is our new hero. Highly recommended.

Available from www.hmv.com, £10.99

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