BOOK REVIEWS, September 1951, September 1951

Author

admin

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

by Rdyniond M«ys. (Pozdis and Co., 7, Milfbrd Lane, W.C.2, ‘300 pp., 213.)

Raymond Mays, and Dennis i!.iay who has edited it, have made a capital job of this long-awaited volume. It traces Mays’ racing career from his early sprints in a hotted-up Hillman to his present brave venture of launching the B.R.M.

Obviously such -subject matter was bound to form an absorbing story, especially as it is exceedingly well writtenup, but what makes “Split Seconds” a classic is the detail in which Maya’ early ventures are described, the many new technical facts which emerge and the neat marshalling of specifications. h.p. figures, etc., of all Mays’ racing ears.

We never thought Ray would have had time to be so painstaking. but he has been so, and in consequence his book will live with other classics like “Motor Racing ” and “The Lure of Speed” and is, indeed, if anything more readable than these, decidedly more ‘technical and of greater interest to contemporary and present-day racing men..

Bits of typical Dennis May English creep in, Mays frequently jars us by ” sweating blood ” (horrid expression !) He colours the story by references to stage stars, etc., but this only adds to the fun and detracts not at all from the serious side of an enthralling -account. ” Split Seconds ” is a book to read carefully. Doing so we found a sparsity of points worth querying. We did wonder it’ the Shelsley crowds really loudly cheered a new record in the early days, because we have heard mostly only handclaps, as the author himself says of later days. We are still wondering just how the valves in the fixed-head engine of Mays’ ” Brescia ” Bugatti were held up while valve springs were changed outside his hotel before a climb—bat it could be done, of course. lint everything else is carefully explained and Mays’ many grim and courageous battles against adversity ably described. We read of his

Hillman; Bugatti, A.C., Vauxhall-Villiers, Invieta, Mercedils, Riley and E.R.A. ears in splendid detail. We learn of hitherto unknown laatters, such is his visit to Molsheim at. Ettore Bugatti’s request, Continental tours in Humphrey Cook’s ” :10/9s,” parties, road-testing, legal or otherwise of racing ears, ineladoig the 2-litre E.R.A.C), his road cars, and so on. NOT is Mays at all reticent in telling hfia, he seenreit financial Ina-king from many and varied sources. Indeed, he is, if anything, too frank about starting a project first and finding means of meeting the bills after they arrive.

We admire the industry which has gone into this, a very great book. The illustrations add greatly to its charm, although none of the A.C.s or MereNks appear. Nor. and this is a chronic modern short-coming, is there an index.

V. 13.