By Heinz Pruller. 207 pp. 8 3/4 in. x 5 5/8 in. (William Kimber & Co. Ltd., 22a, Queen Anne’s Gate, London, SW1. £2.25.)
Racing driver biographies form a staple part of almost any motor sporting enthusiast’s reading diet and therefore this new book by Pruller will no doubt be in considerable demand and a must for Rindt fans.
Heinz Pruller was probably closer to Rindt than any other journalist, having met him in his very early racing days. In 1966 Pruller wrote Rindt’s biography and when Rindt died he was in the process of ghosting an autobiography as well as working regularly with Rindt on the Austrian’s weekly television programme. Pruller has therefore turned the autobiography into a posthumous biography with excellent results.
All too often books of this kind become a race-by-race account of the driver’s career which one could find just as easily by turning up back copies of Motor Sport. This book steers clear of that format and its easily read style tells the stories behind the stories, which is undoubtedly its great attraction. Particularly fascinating was the chapter regarding Rindt’s teenage pranks on wheels, many of them with present Martini Porsche 917 driver Helmut Marko. Pruller does tend to bring himself into the book a little too frequently, sometimes giving his own personal opinions on a subject or person rather than Rindt’s. This at times was rather annoying and was our only concrete criticism of the book.
Pruller has painted a true picture of Rindt and his contribution to motor racing and for this he is to be congratulated. The translation was by Peter Easton and we understand that William Kimber decided to leave out some passages of the book, particularly those relating to the tragic accident in which Rindt lost his life. Therefore any German speaking readers may prefer to obtain a copy of the book on the Continent which also contains the text of several letters Rindt received and wrote, and which are significant to the story.—A. R. M.