Colin Chapman - The Man and His Cars

Colin Chapman The Man and His Cars, By Gerard Crombac. PSL, £19.99.

This new edition has recollections by his son and two daughters of what living with Colin was like, endorsed by an understanding and sympathetic foreword by the late Enzo Ferrari.

So here you have an action-packed account of one of racing’s leading characters, from his emergence as an Austin 7 special builder to conducting Team Lotus at World Championship level.

My personal recognition of how Chapman advanced his career involves two memories. Firstly, going to Hornsey to collect a roadtest Lotus for MOTOR SPORT, when one would be advised not to ask whether it was taxed and insured, and how at lunch he would give the youngest employee £1 and send him to buy fish-and-chips, which we would eat out of the wrapping paper while continuing to talk about the cars.

An amusing contrast with later being ushered into the Hethel directors’ dining-room on a personal press visit, and awaiting the arrival of Colin Chapman before taking our places… This is his complete story. WB