"When the Flag Drops"
By Jack Brabham, 240 pp. 8 3/8 in. x 5 3/8 in. (William Kimber & Co. Ltd., 22a Queen Anne’s Gate, London, SW1. £2.50)
Autobiographies and biographies form a very important part of any motor racing enthusiast’s library and this book is very much the definitive story about the Australian and his amazing 23-year career. In fact the book was written by journalist Priscilla Phipps, who writes under the name of Elizabeth Hayward, from tapes made by Brabham.
No one could ever describe Brabham as extroverted, yet, for the book he has revealed things that at the time he kept very tight-lipped about and this is perhaps the main fascination of the work.
Brabham is a straight-forward sort of man with no great hang-ups and this is the way he emerges from the book. At heart he is a racer and one feels that he retired with very mixed feelings. There is a lot of ground to cover with a career starting in the dirt ovals of Australia and concluding in the sophisticated world of Grand Prix racing and the story is told without too much of the “from Silverstone we went to Monza” kind of thing. Brabham’s other great love is flying and the chapter on his experiences in the air is one of the best and certainly most exciting in the book. Illustrated with all the right photographs the book is worth its £2.50 cover price, so have your book tokens ready.—A.R.M.