“Automobile Year No. 11.” 231 pp., 12 3/5 in. x 9 3/5 in. (Edita S.A., Geneva. English agent: (G T. Foulis & Co. Ltd., 1-5, Portpool Lane, London, E.C.1. 52s. 6d.)
The beautifully-produced annual from Geneva, Ami Guichard’s brain-child, is always an eagerly-awaited publication, being both beautiful to look at and to handle and an invaluable reference to the motoring affairs of the World for the preceding year.
In my opinion, No. 11 of this annual series puts “Automobile Year” back on its original high pedestal. This is a big volume of beautiful illustrations, many of them in full colour. Of the text, commencing with a table of speed records established in 1963, there are erudite expositions by writers of repute—Lowrey on brake development, Korp on Porsche’s first fifteen years, M. May on petrol injection, Douglas Armstrong reviewing the new cars of 1963 including prototypes, dream cars and those with specialist bodywork, Nielssen on Indianapolis, Poe on stock-car racing in the States, Berchet reviewing the European Hill-Climb Championship.
In addition to the full-length Porsche history, Armstrong deals with the Mercedes-Benz 230SL. The annual review of the Sports-Car Championship, 1963 Formula One races and the G.P. season is by D. S. Jenkinson, Motor Sport’s Continental Correspondent, which is sufficient evidence of its accuracy.
Rallies are capably reviewed and the photographic/tabular section on the competition cars of 1963 covers the Brabham, Type 61 B.R.M., BRP I, Cooper Type 66, Lotus 25, Ferrari V6 interim, Ferrari Monocoque, and ATS, with a cutaway drawing of the Lotus. Last year’s racing season is covered very fully, with masses of good photographs, several of them action crash pictures, while detailed results and retirements tables vie with full-page colour pictures in this useful reference section.
Part of the allure behind this luxury publication lies in the beautiful advertisements for cosmopolitan top-class companies like Schuler, Longrines, Martini & Rossi, Volvo, Swiss Federal Railways, Pininfarina, the Owen Organisation, Deinhard, Renault, Vacheron et Constantin, Lancia, Karlsruhe, Chrysler International, Koch, Avon, Fiat, Triplex, Ferodo, Shell, Lucas, Mercedes-Benz, Bosch, Solex, Jaguar and Heuer.
This is a luxury publication indispensable in the best bookcases. It is significant to learn that only very small stocks remain of back issues of the English edition, Nos. 2, 3 and 5 being out of print.—W. B.
“16 On the Grid,” by Peter Garnier. 139 pp., 10 in. x 7½ in. (Cassell & Co. Ltd., 35, Red Lion Square, London, W.C.1 30s.)
Popular Peter Garnier, Sports Editor of Autocar, hit on a new theme in writing this book. It is a complete study of one motor race, the 1963 Monaco G.P., and he calls it “The Anatomy of a Grand Prix.”
On the face of it, this might seem unnecessary and unsuccessful, amongst books about famous cars, well-known drivers, given periods of motoring and motor racing history and so on. In fact, this is a truly enjoyable work, as acceptable to knowledgeable enthusiasts as to those people, such as doting girl-friends, who want to discover wherein lies the fascination of motor racing.
Garnier is helped by a splendid selection of pictures, well presented on high-quality art paper, which illustrate all the divers aspects of this most exciting and picturesque race with which his well-written text deals.
We see personalities, cars, parts of cars and parts of personalities. There are illustrations of the mechanics, corners, posters, Monaco’s motor-racing stamps, spectators, pit-signals, indeed, of every conceivable aspect of this fascinating race at which cameras have been aimed, even to a couple of girls in (fairly) respectable swim-suits, sun-bathing on the harbour front— no strip-teasers for this author.
The story unfolds the history of the race, its setting, the teams and their cars, the organisation, the business aspect, the technicalities of the racing cars (with six very clear cockpit views), the circuit, the Drivers’ Meeting, the race itself, and its aftermath. Extra flavour is added by reproduction of Peter’s actual lap chart and appendices dealing with race rules, past winners, etc.
This is a light-hearted but enthralling book, which makes the reader (or it did to this reader) want to set off at once for the next Continental Grand Prix. Garnier does not over-dramatise or write down to the public—he just sets out to capture the atmosphere of Monaco—and succeeds, admirably.
Ideally, you should read his book en route for the Monaco G.P. or while waiting for practice to start. But it is too good to postpone until 1965, so I suggest you procure a copy and start reading right away.
The fine jacket is based on a Motor Sport colour photograph.—W. B.