The Speed Merchants
By Michael Keyser
ISBN 8376 0232 7
Published by Bentley, £39.95
The first of two Michael Keyser books this month is, in fact, a radically revised, rewritten and expanded version of a book that first appeared on the shelves back in 1973. From this distance it now comes across as a curious book, part autobiography, part photographic record of the author’s journeys to races in Europe and the US from 1969 to 1972. Though predominately concerned with sportscars it also touches down in the worlds of both Formula One and Can-Am
Thank heaven, then, that the period concerned was about as thrilling has motor racing has ever been and it is not at all difficult to become enthused about the battles of the Porsche 917 and Ferrari 512S even if it is by now a rather familiar subject. It is a largely well written book and, rather better still, the photography is on the whole first rate, occasionally quirky and not at all familiar.
If I have a problem with it, it is simply that £40 is a great deal of money to ask for a book with such vague theme. Even the book’s title The Speed Merchants needs to come complete with the accompanying line “A journey through the world of Motor Racing 1969-1972” and, knowing what else was on offer for less money, even if you restrict your search only to those on these pages, I know there are more than a few other places I’d choose to blow the money rather than here. AF