Reviews, May 2012

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Jenks & The Bod
The Odd Couple of Motor Sport

The odd couple of motor sport this DVD is headed, and it couldn’t be more true. The interlinked lives of The Bod and Jenks — Bill Boddy and Denis Jenkinson — were central to this magazine and to the sport for years and years, and these nostalgic films bring their different characters to life. A relaxed face-to-face with WB from 2005 (seen on a previous MFQ release) is full of reminiscences about his career and exploits, filmed in his early 90s when he was still as sharp as ever. It took me back, hearing the tales tumbling over one another his delight over Vernon Balls’ surname, recalling the Teesdale offices and WJT’s appalling driving… Then comes a rare ‘to camera’ piece with DSJ at Brooklands recalling his times and how he got involved with WB and the magazine, followed by an assemblage of footage featuring our diminutive Continental Correspondent: sprinting his Triumph ‘bike up Prescott, crossing the Arctic Circle in a Mercedes 300SL with ‘Taffy’ von Trips, explaining how a ‘Nash’s chains work. Finally, Doug Nye takes us for a wander around the shambolic cabin in the woods where Jenks lurked off-duty, surrounded by rotting vehicles including a 1924 Sunbeam Grand Prix car. I’d forgotten how tiny the cabin was, and how many packing cases he used to shore it up.

If you’ve been reading the words of this peculiar pair for years and never heard them talk, this is your chance to meet them. GC

Produced by Motorfilms, www.motorfilms.com, £12.99

***

Doctor on the Grid
by Tony Goodwin

With a race career of over 60 years, Tony Goodwin has a varied history. This work talks us right through from as a child watching Seaman and Bira race, to F3 and sports cars and on into historics. It’s been a career of, in his words, “flimsy resources of time, money and mechanical aptitude”, and hardly packed with glamour but on the way Goodwin has been able to mix with great drivers and tackle famous tracks alongside mighty factory teams. It’s a rich picture of privateer life around Europe and the Far East, with amusing tales of earning a bonus for crossing the finish line backwards, or driving his F3 car into town when the van broke down. At times he was reporting and photographing events he was also racing in, and helping with research into stress, but it’s clear here that fun outweighed stress by a big margin. GC

Published by Motor Racing Publications Ltd, ISBN 978 1 899870 844, £35

***

Gulf-Mirage
1967-1982
by Ed McDonough

This is the latest in the WSC Giants series from Veloce, and lists all the races, chassis, drivers and developments of every Mirage sports car.

It also documents the origins of the Mirage name and how John Wyer, with Gulf Oil backing, created a successful outfit from the humble beginnings of a re-engineered GT40. The 1967-1975 period was its most successful, when Wyer secured an array of top-line drivers such as Derek Bell, Jacky Ickx, Howden Ganley, and even James Hunt for a one-off race!

Sadly McDonough only dedicates a couple of pages to his experience of actually driving a Mirage in anger. Much like the rest of the book, the documents rather than offering much opinion — which is a shame since the Mirage name deserves a bit more applause than it gets here. DC

Published by Veloce Publishing, ISBN 978 1 84584251 2, £15.99

***

Joey Dunlop
No Ordinary Joe

Quietly spoken Joey Dunlop made winning the Isle of Man 7 races look easy. Even in 2000, at the age of 48, he won three out of five races in TT week. A month later he died in Estonia in a 125cc race. His memory lives on, though, with fans around the world celebrating Dunlop’s life, especially in Joey’s bar in Ballymoney, which is filled with bikers every time the road-racing circus visits for the Northwest 200.

Much of this DVD is based in Joey’s bar, but don’t expect too much from it. The film jumps all over Joey’s career and it becomes increasingly hard to follow. This isn’t a run through of his illustrious career, it’s more a collection of memories about the man. Worth a watch, but only if you’ve seen the other DVDs on Joey. EF

Production by Waldovision, www.dukevideo.com, £16.99

***

Kyalami: A Reflection on the History of the Original Circuit 1961-1987
André Loubser

This comprehensive 410-page work on the South African circuit is exhaustive in its detail, but is let down by some poor images.

Aquarius Publishing CC, ISBN 978 620 48826 6, £67

***

Le Mans: Panoramic
Gavin Ireland

This photo book includes some stunning images of the Le Mans 24 Hours. It doesn’t just cover the action, but also the weeks leading up to it and the unique atmosphere up around the circuit.

Veloce Publishing, ISBN 978 1 845842 43 7, £35

***

Automobile Year: Industry — Sport — Culture 2011/12

Another great edition of Automobile Year. It doesn’t cover anything in huge detail but it does look at everything from the design of road cars to the IndyCar Series.

E-T-A-I, ISBN 978 2 7268 9581 8, £47

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