by William Boddy. A Montagu Motor Book. Preface by Capt GET Eyston, OBE MC. 170 pp. 83/4 in x 51//2 in (Cassell & Company, 35, Red Lion Square, London, WC1. 25s.)
This history f Montlhery Track, outside Paris, by the author of the standard history of Brooklands Motor Course, contains fascinating technical details of those special “outer circuit” cars that raced and broke records at this autodrome in the nineteen twenties. The slim, single-seater, sleeve-valve Panhard-Levassor, driven in England by Capt George Eyston, OBE, MC, who contributes an interesting Preface to this important book, the Renault 45s, V12 Voisin, straight-eight Delage, the Bentleys, the big Napier-Railton that Freddie Dixon “lost” with spectacular results, all are there, together with some fresh facts about Gwenda Hawkes and the astonishing 2-litre front-drive Derby Special, evolved from an American straight-eight centrifugally-blown Miller, that lapped the banked section of this famous track at nearly 149 mph.
But this well-illustrated book goes far beyond the recordbreaking exploits, that in later years brought Citroen, Yacco, Jaguar, BMC and others to Montlhery. All the important long-distance races run at Montlhery, including curious Touring Car Races for which special Peugeot, Mathis and other rare cars were built, and the classic French Grands Prix, are described and the names of Chiron, Varzi, Nuvolari and Caraceiola join those of Segrave, Wagner, Antonio Ascari and Louis Wagner, cars like Auto-Union, Mercedes-Benz, Cooper, Kieft and Lotus jostle those of Bugatti, Delage, Thomas Special, Salmson, Amilear and Voran in pages crowded with incident, packed with detail, and nostalgic with history.
Cars rare and well-known, personalities famous and obscure, go to fill this valuable history of Montlhery. The book contains some splendid pictures, many of them new to the world of motoring books, lists lap records and the race winners, has a detailed map of the track and its adjacent road circuits and is properly indexed.
Students of motor-racing history and all who love the French motoring scene will want this latest scholarly work by “WB.”