Book reviews, February 1988, February 1988

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Stirling Moss— My Cars, My Career by Stirling Moss, with Doug Nye. 304pp. 91/2″ x 5″. (Patrick Stephens Ltd, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. £19.95).

Having to review a book from unbound page-proofs , sans covers or pictures, is not an enviable task, and that is how this book came to me! But I feel the attempt has to be made, for this is undoubtedly one of the best motor racing books of 1987. From the pages of Stirling Moss’ own diaries, distilled by Doug Nye, it imparts this great driver’s impressions of all the 81 cars he raced, their characteristics, their peculiarities, and how the events in which he drove them worked out.

When it is realised that, in a career lasting from 1947 (with a 328 BMW) to 1962 (when he crashed the Lotus-Climax at Goodwood), Moss drove in 501 events, the scope of the book becomes apparent! Yet not only are all the cars (except for those used more recently in Historic fun events) detailed , but there are additional chapters covering his young days as an enthusiast, the development of his driving technique (in three stages; first learning, then following the master — Fangio, then maturity), and Moss’ racewear.

The cars covered, in the most fascinating detail along with brief accounts of their races, run from the Cooper 500s to the Aston Martin DB3S, Maserati 250F, 300S and 350S, and Cooper T39 Mk II which came at the end of Moss’ remarkable career. I should really give you the full list, to show you what you could let yourselves in for, but space forbids! Suffice it to say that alongside BRM V16 you get Sunbeam-Talbot 90; beside Mercedes-Benz W196 and 300SLR, you find Humber Super Snipe . . .

A comprehensive results list helps make this is a fascinating and valuable record of the racing life of a man who, with 173 victories and 382 finishes from 501 races (one win per 2.9 events contested, or one per 2.2 races finished), must be, as Nye says, the all-time “Mr Motor Racing.” In fact, Moss’ accounts say it all, very much as Stirling would speak it, and one feels there is little need for Nye’s long introduction eulogising his subject. Indeed, an American writer’s description therein of Moss’ attitude as “either victory or mechanical destruction” conflicts curiously with Nye’s own view that Stirling was not a car-breaker. . .

Judge for yourselves from this remarkable book, in which even Moss’ great drive with DSJ in the 1955 Mille Miglia gets a fresh slant, and for which the only racing driver who may have been faster than Moss, Juan Manuel Fangio, contributes a generous foreword.

I understand that the publication also contains 166 photographs, although I have yet to see them! WB