by Denis Jenkinson. 143 pp. 9-1/2 in. x 7-3/4 in. (Michael Joseph Ltd., 52 Bedford Square, London, WC1. £3.00)
This is a pictorial, landscape-shaped complete record of the career of Fangio, from his childhood and early races in the Argentine with Buick Special, Overland Special (using, I think, 1/4 or 1/2 elliptics in place of the transverse front spring!), and Ford Special, right through his great road racing days with Chevrolet, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, BMW and Mercedes-Benz cars, to the making of the Hugh Hudson/Giovanni Volpi film of his life. The pictures are mostly from the film “stills”, punctuated by those of other drivers whom Fangio admired and raced against, and what text there is comes from extracts from the film-script, with erudite asides by D. S. Jenkinson.
The result is a most effective book, ending with pictures of Fangio as he is today and during the making of “his” film. We see Fangio winning (frequently), Fangio losing (sometimes), Fangio crashing and in hospital, Fangio anxious, earnest, concentrating and thoughtful. It is better than reading thousands of words about one driver—and Fangio books have been published, anyway. It is mostly action, all the way through, with Fangio’s sage commentary and excellent depiction of the racing of his time. Would that we could witness such motor-racing today!
The book contains a number of ‘colour plates and a full list of races in which this greatest of recent-time drivers took part— a great many, and on how few occasions the maestro retired!
This is a treatment which might very profitably be adopted in recording the histories of other top racing drivers, but then not all of them merit a full-length film! Incidentally, “Fangio” had as its overall technical adviser “D.S.J.”, Motor Sport‘s. Continental Correspondent. Let’s hope the local cinemas soon release it!—W. B.