Book Reviews, January 1954, January 1954

Author

W.B.

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“Grand Prix Driver,” by Hermann Lang, (143 pages, 5 1/2 in. by 6 3/4 in., 15s. G. T. Foulis & Co., Ltd., 7, Milford Lane, W.C.2.)
This is a book every motor-racing enthusiast will wish to read and at the price they should be able to. It is the English translation of the famous German driver’s own account of his rise from amateur to professional racing motor-cyclist and from racing mechanic at Daimler-Benz to one of Mercédès-Benz’ most famous racing drivers. The translation is very “English” in places, the pictures are mostly stale and as with many present-day motoring books a good deal of the “inside story” is lacking.

George Monkhouse’s great work “Motor Racing with Mercédès-Benz” tells the reader far more about this most enthralling aspect of recent motor racing, yet some fresh facts emerge from Lang’s story which, too, carries on up to the present day with accounts of Le ‘Mans, Mexico and Brescia, etc. This is racing as the Grand Prix driver sees it and must not be missed. — W. B.

“Speed Six!” by Bruce Carter. (John Lane, The Bodley Head, 28, Little Russell Street, W.C.1, 173 pp., 5in, by 7 1/2in., 8s. 6d.)

This novel is intended to appeal to boys of “16 to 60.” There are numerous school-boys who may like it, but the author seems to have overlooked the fact that many of these young gentlemen are very knowledgeable and may object that the book’s hero, a Speed Six Bentley called “Diane,” shouldn’t really have a supercharger! Even the setting of Le Mans may not offset in their minds this odd technicality and so this book will perhaps be better liked by the boys of 60, as a change from murder-on-the-common type of thrillers, than by boys of 16 who know their motor-cars, including vintage ones. But we are possibly biased, for at an age a good deal younger than 16 we preferred to spend our pocket-money on the current Light Car and Cyclecar instead of on chocolates and sweets — no doubt its photographic cover appealed to us and anyway it cost a whole penny less than the Autocar and Motor! — and we wouldn’t have given a thank you for “Speed Six!” Let us hope, for the sake of the author’s royalties, that boys, like cars, have changed. The publishers get out of it rather neatly by stating “the mechanical has at times been sacrificed for the dramatic. In short, we should not wish the Motor Trade to take it too seriously!” — W. B.