Tough choice for RAC book judges

RAC Book award

Peter Lyons scooped the RAC Specialist Book award for Shadow

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This year’s RAC Motoring Book of the Year Awards gave the judges – which included Motor Sport’s own Gordon Cruickshank – a harder task than ever, and meant hearty debate. For the RAC Book of the Year, an exceptional work costing up to £75, they liked Oliver Heal’s offering on Louis Coatalen and Niki Lauda: His Competition History by Jon Saltinstall, and applauded Richard Williams’ fine Dick Seaman biography. It’s not all racing: James Taylor’s Complete Catalogue of the Land Rover impressed with both presentation and thoroughness while several championed Patrick le Quément’s Design Between the Lines. But it was a first-time author who triumphed, with Richie Ginther: Motor Racing’s Free Thinker. Richard Jenkins’ biography gives a fresh picture of the racer.

For the Specialist Book of the year, for impeccable research and writing with no cost limit, they shortlisted Serge Vanbockryck’s Works Porsche 956, McKlein’s comprehensive Sharknose, and Rinsey Mills’ autobiography of a Cobra Daytona coupé. Maserati in the WSC 1953-66 focused stylishly on the Trident’s efforts, while Graeme Cocks researched an influential figure in Australian motoring, Claude Deane. But they all agreed that Shadow: The Magnificent Machines of a Man of Mystery by Pete Lyons deserved this award. With first-hand recollections and photos from Don Nichols himself and Lyons’ own memories, this was a revealing portrait of a fascinating life.

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