With Jim Clark and other stories
Cedric Selzer is one of the guys we go to when we want to confirm tales about Lotus, Jim Clark or the racing Sixties, so his memoir has to be an important arrival. Somehow Inserting himself into Team Lotus straight from South Africa, Selzer soon became mechanic to the Scottish ace. His memories of seeing the ’62 title lost (he explains that Clark’s engine failure in South Africa was not for the reason normally given) and the ’63 championship triumphantly won give another side of the picture – how it was in the pits.
The long hours, the travel, the euphoria of victory and the frequent blame for failures – Selzer was twice sacked by an irate Chapman – were just part of the deal. Stories of carrying suitcases full of cash through Customs and Innes Ireland crushing a hire car roof by jumping on it are fun, but there are insights too – who knew Jimmy needed two alarm clocks in order to make an early start.
More surprisingly, contrary to the standard picture of Clark and Chapman having only unvarying respect and affection for each other, Cedric describes wincing as the Lotus boss gave Jim a very public and embarrassing dressing-down after a signals mix-up lost them a race. And yet he gave the mechanics a Cortina GT each for winning the 1963 title… GC
selzer.uk.com or motoring bookshops, £10