By The British Racing Drivers Club
Motor Racing Publications Ltd, £175.00. ISBN 1 899870 37 7
Now this is a work to be cherished, every bit as much for its presentation as its content. Half-leather bound and presented in a cloth-case, the superior design values of the book reflect perfectly the traditions of the British Racing Drivers Club which commissioned it. In addition, just 1500 have been produced, each one numbered and offered for sale at £175.00.
We are becoming increasingly familiar with books offered at such a price and while many do not remotely make sense for most motor racing fans, this is one I would be delighted to have on my bookshelves and pass on to the next generation to be joined by the centenary book to be published in 2048.
The tale it tells is a simple one, taking a year by year view of how an unremarkable track marked out by straw bales became the country’s premier motor racing facility and one of the most famous and admired in the world. With a variety of well-known and reliable authors the words were never going to be a problem and the way they have been presented, with many panels, boxes, separate stories and features within the chronological history of the circuit, provides an interesting and often fascinating insight into the circuit’s life to date, with extensive references to and quotes from those who knew it best.
The crowning achievement of the book, however, is the photography and its presentation. And I challenge all of you who think I’d say that anyway as most were sourced from our own archive, to say otherwise after an hour or two in its company. Besides, it is the presentation of the photographic material as much as the shots themselves that make this book so special.
Frankly, I could bang on about this book for hours but space dictates I stop here. All I would say is that if you like books and motor racing and have a nostalgic bone in your body, I can’t imagine a better way of spending £175.00.