Brooklands Giants

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Brooklands Giants, by Bill Boddy. Haynes, £19.99.

And “giant” is the right word — WB rules out anything of less than 10 litres for this second work on Brooklands monsters, following the one on aero-engined cars which seems to have accompanied a resurgence of such machines. Many of these machines crop up in MOTOR SRORT’s pages regularly, but here for the first time in one collection are the individual life histories of the 10-litre V12 Delage, the first Bluebird, “Mephistopheles” and a dozen others up to the staggering 22.5-litre capacity of the V8 Darracq. With a general format of a chapter per car, there is plenty of detail on each machine (many of which WB saw in person at the Track), although there remain some mysteries even he has been unable to sort out over the years, such as the identities of various Mercedes. Illustrated with many fascinating period shots tracing each car from first appearance onwards, it’s a uniquely thorough record.

Several associated matters, such as the origin of the S61 FIAT, are discussed in five Appendices, which include the complete regulations on racing at the Track, filling in another few corners of Brooklands lore by the acknowledged guru of the place. G C