Reviews, March 2016

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The Argentine Temporada Motor Races 1950-1960

Hernan Lopez Laiseca

“A photographic journey through the golden age of motor sport in Argentina…” Not the most obvious sales pitch for a new book, perhaps, but to my mind a flying start as the latest in a series of recent releases that tackles topics far removed from the mainstream.

The subject might be relatively limited, but its riches are boundless. Such was the Temporada’s period appeal that it didn’t need world championship status to attract the very best as a counterpoint to local assets Fangio, Galvez and Marimón. The pictures – there are more than 200, many likely to be unfamiliar to European audiences – blend typical race action with some pleasing candids featuring the likes of Ascari, Moss, Behra and Castellotti. Argentina’s inclusion in the world championship GP calendar from 1953 seems to have made not one iota of difference to the sport’s popularity: you’ll struggle to spot an empty seat in any of the crowd scenes here.

The text is succinct, but that’s fine. This is a pictorial celebration of times past and any form of exhaustive analysis would be superfluous. SA

Published by Veloce

ISBN: 978-1-845848-28-6, £35

Ford GT

Preston Lerner

As Ford returns to Le Mans, 50 years after first it won the race outright, it seems appropriate that there should be a definitive tome about the back story to the 1966 event, when the Blue Oval scored a 1-2-3 to vanquish Ferrari.

Respected author Lerner has teamed up with equally prolific photographer Dave Friedman – Shelby’s official photographer during the 1960s – to create a book that is as comprehensive visually as it is textually.

Many elements of the tale are familiar – Ferrari’s abrupt withdrawal from potential sales talks with Ford, the latter’s adoption of a sports car with Lola roots – but there’s no harm in their being retold in a focused thesis such as this.

One nice touch is an epilogue that show’s this year’s GT taking shape during early testing in 2015. Ford might not be gunning for outright victory this time around, but the class opposition – including Ferrari, Aston Martin and Corvette – is strong enough to ensure the bar will be set every bit as high as it was half a century beforehand. SA

Published by Motorbooks

ISBN: 978-0-7603-4787-4, £45

Squire The man, the cars, the heritage

Jonathan Wood

Why my childhood local library contained those lovely illustrated Profile car booklets I don’t know, but I reborrowed the one on Squire more often even than Biggles. It was and remains for me an acme of automobile form, and Wood’s book, first on the marque, is a worthy telling of a romantic but short-lived tale. I drew these in my school jotter; so did Adrian Squire – but he went on to build them.

He only made seven, but each is here lovingly described, along with their creator’s short life. Letters, adverts, family snaps, telegrams, data and the only period test – by us, of course! – augment many unseen photos, telling the story of Squire’s struggle to get his cars made. Beautifully built, they were fatally costly and Wood eloquently explains the initial dream and its painful demise in full, before giving the continuing histories. Such is his astonishing research in this handsome work that any more Squire books seem to be redundant. GC

Published by Classic Motor Cars

From www.squirebook.co.uk, £100

 

Jaguar Design A Story of Style

Nick Hull

What a tome! This 510-page exploration of Jaguar’s design roots and practices goes from the Swallow Sidecars days to recent times, but it’s a lot more than simple history. As a designer in the Jaguar studios Hull is well qualified to detail the emerging story from pencils and notebooks to multi-million-pound CAD rendering systems, but is also able to place each marque product in the stylistic context of its time. Thus he illustrates the XK120 evolution with a Pininfarina Alfa as well as the well-known BMW Mille Miglia 328 which presaged its eventual form. Staff, offices and corporate upheavals get their mention in this high-quality volume, but it’s the wild sketches and styling mis-steps that captivate. Fascinating to see tape drawings and foamblock mock-ups of interiors – and heartening to learn the guys had fun shaping
a mid-engined V12 Minivan!  GC

Published by Porter Press ISBN: 978-1-907085-29-1, £90

James Bond Cars

Frédéric Brun

Who doesn’t get a little bit excited about James Bond’s cars, that ever-changing big-screen roster embracing everything from Aston Martin, BMW 7-series and Lotus Esprit to the Citroën 2CV?

Bond has always been scripted as a lover of fast cars. He used a 4.5-litre supercharged Bentley in Casino Royale, Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel, and was subsequently handed the keys to such as the iconic Aston DB5 (complete with integral machine guns), the invisible Aston Vanquish, the subaquatic Lotus Esprit and, most recently in Spectre, the astonishing Aston DB10. 

All the classic Bond cars are gathered here along with those of villains, accomplices and hangers-on, plus miscellaneous motorbikes, moon buggies and tanks.

If you’re a hardcore fan of the franchise, you’ll probably be in your element.

While the text is informative, however, it is a little too fact-driven and merely states how the car was used in each film and adds unrelated trivia. And the images are mainly press hand-outs, which means it lacks the quality feel you might expect from a James Bond book. DC

Published by Aurum Press

ISBN: 978-1-78131-538-5, £25

Red Bull Racing F1 Car Owners’ Workshop Manual 2010-2014

Steve Rendle

Officially, Haynes no longer publishes motor sport books – having left the field open to such as Evro and Veloce – but its traditional workshop manuals continue for lovers of the Triumph Herald, Hillman Imp and suchlike.
The range has several subjects that deviate from the self-maintenance automotive
norm, such as the Avro Shackleton and 

Fender Telecaster, and this is another pleasingly quirky alternative.

It’s an updated version of an existing work, with the RB10 added to complement the four title-winning chassis it succeeded. It won’t teach you how to create a car with Adrian Newey levels of downforce, but there are some interesting details that underline the extremes – often taken for granted – to which modern F1 cars are subjected.

The layout is horribly formulaic – it seems to follow a template crafted when the Lotus 49 was still current – but the content is appreciably better than the design. SA

Published by Haynes

ISBN: 978-0-857338-01-3, £22.99

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