Books: October 2017

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FORD GT
Then and Now

Adrian Streather

Ford GT, Then and Now comes across a little awkwardly as the car’s third iteration is midway through its sophomore racing season and isn’t mentioned in this reprint. It would have been an ideal time to update, but this is more ‘Ford GT, Then and Then’.

As for the book itself, the Ford GT40’s origins need no introduction, but this Adrian Streather offering brings together early and rare Ford archive shots and race photos to build a timeline (and many of the photos are excellent). The text is broken up with subheads that seems to encourage flicking through, rather than sitting down to take it all in.

The back of the book feels more like a brochure for what the then-new GT, crossed with a holiday photo album. But the featurettes on replicas hold more weight than ever with so many now gracing historic meetings. JP

Published by Veloce
ISBN: 978-1-787111-26-4, £45

FORMULA 1
The Real Score?

Brian Harvey

The world is awash with statistical compendia framed by the Formula 1 world championship from the moment of its launch in 1950. This, though, breaks new ground by merging those facts and figures with the results of the many non-championship Grands Prix (and similarly high-profile races) that formed part of motor racing’s tapestry through the 1950s and early 1960s. They might not have counted for points, but entries were frequently just as strong as they were for grandes épreuves. In 1961, for instance, there were 41 races Harvey considered worthy of parallel status to the world championship, which contained only eight scoring rounds, and Stirling Moss won 31.7 per cent of them.

The book covers the post-war rebirth of top-level motor racing and focuses in detail from 1947 through to 1972, after which non-championship races became ever scarcer: Harvey covers 1973-1983 in a single, short chapter.

One can argue endlessly about races that had greater gravitas than others, but this isn’t an attempt to rewrite history. It’s more a matter of infusing it with a little contextual balance. SA

Published by Veloce
ISBN: 978-1-787110-27-4, £45

 

JAGUAR C-TYPE
The Autobiography of XKC 051

Philip Porter & Chas Parker

Sticking to the pattern of the Great Cars series, Porter’s offering on the famous C-type Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt drove to victory in the 1953 Le Mans 24 Hours is another staggeringly thorough volume, generously illustrated, comprehensively researched and pleasingly decorated with race programmes, letters and receipts. The family connection – Duncan’s son Adrian owned the car for many years and used it extensively – gives a nice flavour, especially his arch comments about maintenance costs, while Parker adds a bit of bite. His criticism of Top Gear’s damagingly wheel-spinning film session runs to two fierce pages. GC

Published by Porter Press
ISBN: 978-1-907085-46-8, £60

 

ALFA ROMEO TIPO 33

Peter Collins & Ed McDonough

Veloce’s decision to reprint Peter Donohue and Ed McDonough’s meticulous trip through the Alfa Romeo T33’s history is a good one. It’s a story of intrigue, confusion and a world title. As with the Ford GT book (see left), this is a straight reprint. It has not been altered, so feels dated even though it’s barely 12 years old.

Nevertheless, the pair make good headway into the T33’s mazy history. They skip the politics of Alfa where possible, instead unpicking the confusion. It’s also honest in its admission that this confusion might lead to inaccuracies, but the book succeeds in telling the car’s core story.

The writers might have been better served removing themselves from the story, but the right voices appear: Vaccarella, Galli and co all ‘told the authors’ (as they repeatedly write) of their memories and experiences.

Their enthusiasm shines through, though, and fine photos complete a worthwhile reissue. JP

Published by Veloce
ISBN: 978-1-787111-31-8, £45

 

A CHAMPION’S PATH
Race Team Tactics for Business

Derek Daly

At a time when many new motor sport books are the approximate size and weight of Belgium, here is something very different. It is tiny, fast-paced, costs about the same as a couple of overpriced coffees… and isn’t really about racing at all.

Rather, former Grand Prix and Indycar driver Daly explains how the philosophy and quick response times of successful motor sport teams can – and should – be applied with equal effect in other business domains.

Different, then, and fresh from the mind of a man who has traditionally had a knack of getting things done. In his formative years, Daly and fellow racer David Kennedy flew from Ireland to Australia to work 16-hour days down an iron-ore mine – the kind of thing you do when a little lateral thought is required to finance your next Formula Ford car… SA

Published by Octane Press
ISBN: 978-1-937747-82-4, £6.99

 

BERLINETTA ‘50S – RARE ITALIAN COUPÉS

Xavier de Nombel & Christian Descombes

For anyone excited by automotive styling this is a treat – a foray through what Italian artisanship and aesthetics could do for sporting chassis through a decade of recovery.

And the subtitle – Rare Italian Coupés – doesn’t undersell it: many of these seductive shapes were unknown to me, slinky forms from Vignale and Boano and all the famous houses on rare Siata and Moretti underpinnings as well as glamorous Ferrari and 8V Fiat running gear. It’s no mere listing; after assessing the blossoming Italian industry post-war, the cars are grouped into the lavish, American-inspired, or competition-bred lightweights, with knowledgeable background and stylistic commentary. Enjoyable. GC

Published by Dalton Watson
ISBN:979-1-090267-28-2, $89

 

FOR THE LATEST MOTORING BOOKS GO TO: WWW.HORTONSBOOKS.CO.UK

 

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