” BIRA’S” BIOGRAPHY-1936
“Road-Racing-1936.” by Prince Chula of Siam. (Printed for Private Circulation by the Sun Engraving Co. Ltd.) 8/6d. ” Road-Racing-1936,” as all our readers should know, is Prince Chula’s story of ” Bira’s” 1936 season with the E.R.A., M.G., Austin and Frazer-NashB.M.W. cars. He tells his story in a most fascinating way, with plenty of hitherto unpublished detail concerning the cars and equipe. He even tells us about the hotels at which ” Bira ” stayed, the exact times he visited his garage, who attended his eye after the Donington crash, and so on. While one feels that Chula is, perhaps, not the 100 per cent. motorracing enthusiast from the purely “mechanical ” aspect, he is very obviously an ardent follower of the game, viewed as a sport and played in the Grand Manner, and all who are really anxious to see the glory of motor-racing upheld
must rejoice that lie has written this excellent sequel to ” Wheels at Speed.” We thoroughly enjoyed the book and, rather than criticise, we would merely pick out the bits that seem needful of comment. For instance, ” Sammy ” Davis and F. J. Findon, invited to ” Bira’s ” cocktail party, are described as “two delightful journalists,” though we wonder if S. C. H. D. does not prefer, and deserve, to be called a racing motorist. Of Freddie Dixon it is said, rather delightfully, that ” Further tinkling with the magic hands had done wonders before and might do so again.” There are one or two places in which the proof-readers have been careless, though we appreciate that “people in glasshouses, etc. . ! This has resulted in the astonishing statement by the author that . . , “I have no doubt whatever . . . that any driver or car other than the actual winner could have won that race.” This applies to the Isle of Man race, and other sentences fortunately make it clear that Prince Chula did not really believe that Seaman’s fine nonstop victory with the old Delage was just a mere matter of chance. Incidentally, from this account one realises what immense mileages at high average speed are expected annually from the cars of a rachig driver and his equity-in” Bira’s” case Rolls-Royce Mid Bentley cars and a Ford lorry, the former frequently used also for practice circuits of various circuits. This charmingly written and very reasonable book is also a valuable reference for students of motor-racing history, while it shows yet another aspect of the game, distinct from those presented by ” The Lure of Speed,” ” Ten Years,” “Pull Throttle,” “Motor Racing,” and
the other classics. The printing and illustrations are truly excellent.