Book & DVD Reviews, May 2013

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Maserati AGG 2000 Zagato
By Walter Balmer

With the trident badge announcing the engineering and the Z flash denoting the coachbuilder, this was a car with pedigree when Ferrari was still a new badge in the showroom. So many were used in competition that it’s easy to forget they were sold as road cars, but this large, lavish production gives all the histories, all the owners, and all the races of every chassis, backed by beautiful paper, high quality photos, plus sketches, drawings and posters. There isn’t a great deal of scene-setting text, but car-by-car detail is comprehensive, matching photographer and historian Baumer’s previous 3005 volume. GC
Published by Dalton Watson Fine Books, ISBN 9781 85443 249 0, 195

Formula 1 All the races. The World Championship story race-by-race 1950-2012
By Roger Smith

This is the second edition of Smith’s reference book, and is published just a year after the first. So if you bought this handy volume 12 months ago, there’s little new for you here — except, of course, the reports and results of 2012!

But if you did miss this first time around, it could be a worthy addition to your shelves. The first edition quickly found a home on ours.

Race results only stretch to the top six (although this has been expanded to the top 10 for 2012), so it’s not totally comprehensive. But there’s a lot of detail and useful tit-bits of information, all in a pleasingly compact format. DS
Published by Haynes Publishing, ISBN 978 85733 3506, 135

And the revs keep rising. Great drives in fast cars
By Mel Nichols

As editor of CAR during the 1970s, Mel Nichols perfected a style of road-test story-telling developed back home in his native Australia that became a standard by which future journalists would be judged.

This collection of his best driving stories spans 1970 to 2001 and includes most of the greatest supercars of the past 40 years. Among the highlights is his account of leading a convoy of three Lamborghinis across Europe, an article that left a lasting impression on a young Jeremy Clarkson among many others.

The descriptive prose bounds along, although today it’s perhaps best described as ‘of its time’. That’s inevitable given how much the publishing world has changed, and the collection offers a fascinating timewarp. In the context of when they were written, the articles shine a light on Nichols’ influence within ‘our’ world. DS
Published by Haynes Publishing, ISBN 978 85733 270 7119.99

Motorfilms Quarterly. Volume Twenty Eight
Compiled and introduced by Doug Nye and David Weguelin

The 1958 Surtees-dominated Isle of Man TT, striking colour footage of the 1964 Indy 500, some 1970s rally competition via John Buffum and the second part of MFQ’s interview with ex-BMC competitions manager Marcus Chambers are all included in this DVD, volume 28 of the Motorfilms Quarterly series.

There’s also a Bonhams-backed film of the ‘Tim’ Birkin Brooklands Bentley single-seater. The auction house sold the car for £5.5m, but the most surprising part is how lethal the banking at the Weybridge track looked. I knew it was an oval for real men, but the sight of Birkin launching into the air over the bumps is enough to make you wonder about his sanity. EF
www.motorfilms.com, 119.99

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