Daytona Cobra Coupes, by Peter Brock and George Stauffer. Stauffer, £69.99.
There could scarcely be a better crew to write about Daytona Cobras: Stauffer owns a garageful, Brock was central to the whole project, and the pictures are Dave Friedman’s contemporary record. The result is a great read — thorough, lively, amusing and honest. It’s also lavish and expensive — about the only page without pictures is the title page; but the layout is good, with lengthy quotations from absolutely everybody concerned in the wide margins. Brickbats are quoted as well as bouquets; the rival AC and Willment coupes get their share, and Brock is wryly amusing about the AC/Shelby/Ford wrangle over who deserved most credit. The book’s tendency to completely discount the prototypes they were racing with means that history sometimes seems to have been revised — they “won” Sebring and Le Mans, they “beat” the works Ferrari team, when in fact they beat, soundly and deservedly, the often works-backed privateers to the 1965 GT Championship — not quite the same thing. But then Brock might expect me to say that, as he takes the contemporary European press to task, in his amiable way, for implying that prototypes counted more than GTs.
But differing viewpoints don’t alter the fact that this is an excellent record of an outstanding achievement by a tiny team who, with skill and passion instead of cash, turned a dated tourer into a winner — and yes, once or twice they did nearly beat the prototypes! G C