Reviews, December 2016

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Formula 1 & Monza

Enrico Mapelli

The title is slightly misleading, in that this stretches back to a time before anybody had coined the term ‘Formula 1’ and Grand Prix racing needed no other label.

The chapter on Monza’s early days is brief, however, and for the most part this focuses on the world championship years at a circuit that has since 1950 appeared on the schedule in every season bar one.

It is largely photographic, with short Anglo-Italian texts to add context to time’s passage (plus extended captions in both languages), and the images are largely wonderful. It is ripe with famous names
that have graced Monza’s royal park, but there are also many atmospheric shots that tell a fuller story in the way that a close crop
never can.

The crowd has always played an important role at Monza – and the same applies within this ample tome’s 360 pages. SA

Published by Giorgio Nada

ISBN: 978-88-7911-655-8, £60

Sports Car Racing 

In Camera 1960-69, volume two

Paul Parker

Change was relentless in the Sixties, especially in the realm of sports cars. Road-going racers gave way to prototypes, innumerable drivers came and too frequently went. Paul Parker’s second volume of sports car photos from that era (the author unashamedly recommends the first in the opening lines) captures the decade with images from all over the world, and is chronicled rigorously.

The Targa Florio, as it so often does with its idyllic backdrop, steals much of the limelight. But there are other gems to be found like Mike Parkes changing his own tyres while Jack Sears peers through the viewfinder of a film camera. 

While it’s enjoyable to dip in and out of
this as a photo journal, it can be laboursome for anything more thanks to some cold captioning. JP

Published by Behemoth

ISBN: 978-0-9928769-4-4, £45

Britain’s Toy Car Wars

Dinky vs Corgi vs Matchbox

Giles Chapman

We defy anyone with a soul not to love this, from the lavish illustrations to its appropriately period typefaces. Model car collecting is today highly specialised, with prices that reflect the subjects’ pinpoint accuracy. It can be easy to forget that there was once a wide choice – aimed at kids rather than collectors – that were accessible to those whose income didn’t extend beyond pocket money.

The A-pillars and wheel arches might not have been quite to scale, nor even close, but all were equally lovable.

Author Chapman’s affection for the species comes across in his prose, as he relates the histories of the industry’s three most prominent manufacturers with passing references to such as Spot-On and Hot Wheels.

Grand Theft Auto might be infinitely more sophisticated, but that’s not necessarily the same thing as ‘better’. SA

Published by The History Press

ISBN: 978-0-7509-6594-1, £20

Formula 1

The Pursuit of Speed

Maurice Hamilton, Bernard &
Paul-Henri Cahier

A combination of the Cahiers and Maurice Hamilton, this book has 272 pages worthy of any coffee table. Jackie Stewart rightfully introduces Bernard Cahier, father to Paul-Henri, as a pioneer of photography, and that talent has been passed down to his son. He’s so good, in fact, that he achieves the unlikely feat of making the current crop of machines look appealing.

Tracing Grand Prix racing via its rivalries, teams and circuits, rather than a simple chronology, it is the images of the people of Formula 1 that are most arresting. Each is captivating and poignant. A sweat-soaked Moss and Fangio, a pensive Clark moments after a rare mistake, Phil Hill laughing as Enzo Ferrari strongly makes his point… such are some of the highlight shots.

Unlike 1960-69 Sports Car Racing in Camera, the captions are subtly informative. It’s not groundbreaking, but that is the idea. It’s a book that can be enjoyed by whoever and whenever. JP

Published by Aurum

ISBN: 978-1-78131-583-5, £30

Works Cortina, Corsair
& Capri in Detail

Graham Robson

‘Detail’ is prolific automotive writer Robson’s watchword – and this drips with his trademark authority. Cortinas and Capris have been chronicled aplenty, but here it’s the shortest chapter – on the competition Corsair – that catches the eye, simply because they didn’t often have numbers attached to their flanks.

As well as a general overview of each model, Robson provides potted histories of every factory car – including the Corsair that set a number of long-distance speed records during a seven-day run at Monza in 1964, an achievement all too often overlooked. SA

Published by Herridge & Sons

ISBN: 978-1-906133-71-9, £40

Ferrari 512 S/M 

Owners’ Workshop Manual

Glen Smale

If you spent the weekend in your garage with your Ferrari 512M trying to get all 12 cylinders to run evenly, you can stop worrying – Haynes is here to help with a ‘workshop manual’. It was a bright idea for the firm to spin its famous manuals up from Mondeos to Wellington bombers and Sherman tanks, giving inside details of rarified machinery, and this one shows the 1970s sports-racer in intimate detail, augmented by comments from drivers, owners and fixers and full chassis histories of the 17 or so built. While the text is somewhat pedestrian, generous photos of 512s both undressed and in action tell the overall story adequately. But frankly there’s little feeling of the old manuals left, barring a cutaway drawing or two. The idea was a good joke, but someone forgot to include it here. The result is a very conventional car book, from a firm that declared it was giving up car books. Still, I now can tell an S from an M. GC

Published by Haynes

ISBN: 978-0-85733-787-0, £22.99

Formula 1 Circuits
From Above

Bruce Jones

The second edition of a book first published two years ago, this has a few updated images – and the Nordschleife has been dropped to make way for the Red Bull Ring, recently restored to the Grand Prix schedule – but the alterations are few and far between.

It’s a nice idea – using Google Earth to pinpoint the nuances of some of the world’s best racing circuits, not all of them contemporary – but there’s little here for those who bought the original.

If you didn’t, however, the content might well appeal. SA

Published by Carlton

ISBN: 978-1-78097-839-0, £25