by Paul Parker
The ‘In Camera’ series has covered various types and ages of motor spot, and this book on Formula 1 in the 1950s will surely be among the most anticipated. It doesn’t disappoint.
Some of the biggest changes in Grand Prix cars took place in the ’50s, which started with front-engined, wire-wheeled racers that slowly morphed into rear-engined machines. It was also a period when many of the world’s most famous manufacturers went head to head. The initial dominance of Alfa Romeo and Ferrari, the supreme ability of Mercedes-Benz during 1954-55, the re-emergence of Ferrari and Maserati, all presaged the arrival of Britain on the international stage. Vanwall succeeded where BRM and HWM had failed, and then a man called John Cooper re-wrote the book of F1 car design. Exciting times.
Parker has done a superb job of sourcing a wide variety of images from the first decade of the World Championship. From a young Stirling Moss in his first-ever Grand Prix at Bern to wonderful colour images from 1959, the 240-page book is crammed with stunning photos from one of the sports golden eras.
This is by no means just a collection of images, though. Each picture is accompanied by a detailed explanation of its subject. Parker elaborates on each shot to give readers knowledgeable insight into various drivers and how their careers progressed. Not to be missed. EF
Published by Haynes Publishing, ISBN 978 1 84425 553 5, £35