A Gentleman’s Motor Racing Diary. World Action Sports Productions (Tel: 01606 49723), £295
Compiled from the private films of Johnny Tate and with a narration derived from his notes, this 10 volume video set has an engaging informal quality which offsets the amateur camerawork. Tate was present at many events across Europe from the Fifties to the Seventies, and turned his camera on the teams at play and in the pits: capturing moments otherwise lost. Some scenes from the two sample volumes we have seen: the Aston team painting the numbers onto the DB3S team-cars; shaky but gripping in-car footage of Brooks around the ‘Ring; a pass-less Salvadori in his Moggie convertible is rebuffed by a Monza gateman; Moss tries a Ferrari for size at Monaco; Klemantaski perilously perched on a wall; ‘Go Home Yank’ chalked across Gurney’s pit at Monza.
F1, sportscars and vintage clubbies all feature, though the actual races are often less interesting than the scene-setting; I could have watched Clark at Charade for hours, but handicaps at Silverstone do pall. As contemporary reportage it would have fallen short, as nostalgia it succeeds cheerfully. But you can only have the complete set of 10 in fake-book boxes in a mahogany case, so it’s no stocking filler. G C