David Murray and the legendary Scottish motor racing team
It’s a little poignant to be reviewing this after hearing that one of EE’s characters, Jimmy Stewart, had died, but this absorbing account of the blue cars gives his abilities full credit.
Dymock is ideally placed, because he knew most of the players and edited the team magazine. When he says “Ian Stewart was every bit Stirling Moss’s match” that’s first-hand testimony, as are many of his interviews with the talented amateurs who helped start the team by supplying their own cars. He gives us a sense of the man behind it, David Murray, the charming accountant, wine merchant and amateur racer who kept the enterprise balanced on its financial knife-edge – for a while. Dymock makes the point that the outfit’s Scottishness, with its St Andrews cross badge, was as much a marketing decision as a patriotic one. Instead of being a minor British stable, Murray sold it as a national team, with intense attention to presentation – cars and team were always immaculate, and the unique transporter was pure theatre.
It has to be said that, on top of skills, talent and effort, Murray was lucky, especially in his secretive sponsor Major Thomson. He was less lucky in his own affairs, and Dymock details the financial crisis which made him flee, and the rumours surrounding his personal life. Documents and other graphics round out a comprehensive history in which the author’s loyalites don’t deflect him from relating the sad decline in the same detail as the glorious years. GC
Published by PJ Publishing, ISBN 978 0 9550102 2 4, £60