book review




Grand Prix racing is recognised as the highest form of motor-racing, and Grand Prix racing as practised by the present day German teams is—immense. In his new book, “Motor Racing with Mercedes-Benz,” George Monkhouse presents a full and enthralling study of the fortunes of the Mercedes-Benz team for the season 1987. He has written his account for the enthusiast as well as for the casual library reader, and this book certainly ranks with the other accepted motor-racing classics, such as Segrave’s story of the Sunbeam team and Birkin’s history of the best years of the Bentley marque. But Monkhouse writes of racing in its highest conception, and on opening his book the feeling is that no matter what other works one has borrowed and returned, this is a book which must be carefully preserved. Maybe the remarkable photographs set seal to this resol ution. The illustrations are stills from the author’s film “Motoring with Metcedes” and they form the finest published collection of racing pictures we have ever seen. When you reflect that we, in this office, sell heaps of photographs to enthusiasts at 7/6 each, it will be appreciated that George Newnes have done a remarkable job in publishing this volume at 8/6. The quality of the reproduction is very high. Monkhouse last year undertook a 3,000 mile tour as a guest of the Daimler-Benz racing organ By GEORGE MONKHOUSE (GEORGE NEWNES Ltd., 8 6) isat ion, visiting the German Grand Prix, Freiburg Hill Climb, Monaco Grand Prix, Coppa Acerbo and Swiss G.P. He was also allowed to visit the Mercedes-Benz racing department. On this tour he bases his book. Each race in which the Mercedes team took part is described, commencing with Tripoli and concluding with our own great Grand Prix at Donington

last October. More than that, Monkhouse describes in some detail the design and construction of the G.P. MercedesBenz, the racing works at Stuttgart and the procedure during “the training.” That he includes in this section technical information that, to our knowledge, have never before been exposed, must dispel any suggestion that this is a “popular” work on motor-racing. As one instance, the various types of Continental tyres used for different circuits are listed. Returning to the photographs, which are such a feature of this certainly remarkable work, there are lots of shots which Monkhouse has shown on the screen, notably to the Harrow C.C. and E.R.A.

Club and which he will probably be showing later this month to a gathering of the Ford Enthusiasts’ Club. Anyone who enjoyed this film and the accompanying talk given in Monkhouse’s: inimitable, blase style will find the book irresistible. The author’s style is. continually evident in the text. Thereare many entirely fresh pictures as well,. including unique shots of the famous. inand out of racing garb, technical photo

graphs, and action pictures. There is. one particularly remarkable photograph of Seaman, in hospital following a crash_ Three weeks later he was driving at Pescara . . .

There are chapters on early racing,. motor-racing photography, and motorracing ethics, and the foreword is by Lord Howe. All the photographs were taken by the author, using Kodak Speed Graphic,. Graflex, Cine-Kodak, and Type II Retina cameras and Kodak SS Pan Film Pack and Panchromatic film–excepting a few photographs by Fumagalli of Milan. The book concludes with a table of the 1937 G.P. contests.

Not only has Monkhousz.-. done a remarkable and valuable piece of work in writing “Motor Racing with MercedesBenz “—the fact that it can be published at 8/6 is a reflection on the abilities of modern book publishers. Never before have we enjoyed a motor-racing book as. much.