Jump to content


Photo

The book thread: In memory of Pete Fenelon


  • Please log in to reply
7722 replies to this topic

#1 Davis

Davis
  • New Member

  • 3 posts
  • Joined: January 00

Posted 17 January 2000 - 15:05

I saw this book in the bookshop today. It looks like an interesting read, chronicling the Donington Park 1937 and 1938 races and the role they played in the build up to war. I think it is a new publication but has anyone read this book and can recommend it. Books are a bit of an expensive luxury for me and I don't like to buy a book without some recommendations.
The author is Christopher Hilton.

Thankyou
Simon Davis

Advertisement

#2 Davis

Davis
  • New Member

  • 3 posts
  • Joined: January 00

Posted 17 January 2000 - 16:18

I just found Mark Glendenning's review for this book through a search. It has given me the required info about this book.

Simon Davis

#3 Dennis David

Dennis David
  • Member

  • 2,447 posts
  • Joined: March 99

Posted 17 January 2000 - 23:01

I held my nose and bought the book since that period of history is a speciality of mine, I thought that I could use a couple of photographs. The title and author should have told you everything that you needed to know. How could it have been Hitler's Grand Prix? Last time I looked Donington was in England.

The majority of the book is crap. The Nazi salute has a number of variations none of them denoting level of enthusiasm. Most of the top drivers were already established by then and were not impressed by Hitler beyond the money and prestige that he could bring to their racing efforts. Stuck suffered some harrasment due to his wife's rumoured Jewish heritage and Caracciola though so much of the Nazis that he became a Swiss citizen and sat out the war.

Yellow shirt billowing in the wind? Was he there? All of the pictures I see of Nuvolari show him wearing form fitting clothes and during this time he can be seen wearing a leather jerkin.

BTW For a better read but unfortunatly a short one read: http://www.ddavid.co...1/donig1937.htm

------------------
Regards,

Dennis David
Yahoo = dennis_a_david

Life is racing, the rest is waiting

Grand Prix History
www.ddavid.com/formula1/



#4 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,748 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 18 January 2000 - 05:10

What, with the information from the 'Motor Sport from Jan 2000' thread and this, isn't it clear we should get together and force a more authoritative recording of history.
Surely we all get more than a little perturbed when we see this sort of thing - and when well-researched stuff gets overlooked by those who get fed the shallow stuff and won't believe anything else?
Nobody picked up on a comment I posted earlier, but Chiron lost his family when he drove for the Mercedes. His nephew lives near me and knows nothing about him!

#5 Dennis David

Dennis David
  • Member

  • 2,447 posts
  • Joined: March 99

Posted 18 January 2000 - 05:24

Ray, I was going to ask about that. I know the Dreyfus would not drive for a German team. What happend between Chiron and his family? Did this also have some baring on his lack of success driving for Mercedes and his "temporary retirement".

------------------
Regards,

Dennis David
Yahoo = dennis_a_david

Life is racing, the rest is waiting

Grand Prix History
www.ddavid.com/formula1/



#6 Davis

Davis
  • New Member

  • 3 posts
  • Joined: January 00

Posted 18 January 2000 - 10:52

Thankyou Dennis.
I have read the story on your site alone with all the other excellent articles many times. I thought the book might expand the story further but obviously it doesn't do too good a job.

Simon Davis

#7 Ivan

Ivan
  • Member

  • 6,646 posts
  • Joined: March 99

Posted 10 December 2001 - 22:51

I just bought - The Racing Driver by Denis Jenkinson.
Its the 1962 printing. It's in great condition.
I have not read it yet but, couldn't believe my luck at a second hand book store.
Have any of you read this book?

#8 Bernd

Bernd
  • Member

  • 3,307 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 11 December 2001 - 01:12

Yes! It is a truly superb book. Jenks inciteful observation into the psyche of the Racing Driver is just as relevant now as when published.

#9 Gary Davies

Gary Davies
  • Member

  • 1,903 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 11 December 2001 - 03:31

Originally posted by Ivan

Have any of you read this book?


Only about 20 times :lol: :lol: :lol:

I fancy you were indeed lucky to find it; I simply can't recall ever seeing it in a secondhand store here in Oz. Now look for another book in the same Batsford series - The Racing Car by Clutton, Posthumous and Jenkinson.

Vanwall.

#10 MattFoster

MattFoster
  • Member

  • 4,771 posts
  • Joined: May 00

Posted 11 December 2001 - 04:07

Congratulations on your lucky purchase and happy reading

#11 oldtimer

oldtimer
  • Member

  • 1,291 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 11 December 2001 - 04:27

If I was allowed only one motor racing book on the proverbial desert island, that would be it. Ivan, I guess you've read it by now, so you'll know why. :)

#12 Williams

Williams
  • Member

  • 6,829 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 21 December 2001 - 03:37

I just finished "The Pirhana Club" by Timothy Collings, for those thinking about putting it on their Christmas list, here's my two cent's worth on it.

While most F1 books are about F1 drivers, this one is about the team owners and the men who own and run the sport. It covers the era from beginnings of F1 up to about July of 2001, with remarks about the Newey/Jaguar fiasco and a bitter interview with Paul Stoddard, wounded by the bitter loss of Gustav Brunner to the new Toyota team. The book is 328 pages longs and includes an index, an indispensible item often omitted from Formula One books.

The book opens with Michael Schumacher's move from the Jordan to Benetton, facilitated by Eddie Jordan's fumble of new star's signature, and engineered by Walkinshaw, Briatore and Ecclestone. The author pinpoints this deal as the end of the era of a gentleman's handshake, and the beginning of the era of the moneymen and lawyers who run the sport today. It was also the deal that prompted Ron Dennis's "Welcome to the pirhana club" remark to Eddie Jordan.

The book then delves into beginnings of ownership in Formula One, providing a very nice overview of the sport centered about the biographies of the such F1 luminaries as Enzo Ferrari and Rob Walker, through the beginning of John Cooper's brilliant contributions to chassis technology, the rise of Colin Chapman's elegant innovations, the machinations of Bernie Ecclestone, and on into the controversies of the Schumacher era.

Enzo Ferrari, deservedly, gets a full 46-page chapter. This man built a legend which is still the central influence in Formula One racing, and which probably transcends Formula One itself. Ferrari was probably one of the most tortured and complex individuals to ever walk the face of the planet, a man of contradiction who had immeasurable influence both within and outside the sport of motor-racing. He was considered autocratic but fair to his employees, and suffered grievously from the death of his son Dino, but hired and fired drivers, who risked their very lives for him, like the commodities they are today. And yet many drivers who drove, and survived, the Enzo era at the Scuderia look back on their time there without regrets and without wishing to have changed a moment of that experience. The Enzo Ferrari chapter beautifully illuminates the character and the workings of the man who created motorsport's most enduring legacy.

The book then moves on to another early influence in the sport, "gentleman racer" Rob Walker. Walker was Formula One's most successful privateer and team manager for Stirling Moss for five years (the contract for each of those years was a handshake). His reminiscences are suffused with a warm nostalgia for a bygone era, punctuated by the occasional horrors that were part of the early days of motorsport. Relating one of his experiences at LeMans, Walker recalls that "... a Cooper lost a back wheel. It came off and killed a person six (garages) away in the pit. We never knew about it at all. It was a bit like a war, really". A war indeed.

Walker was one of the lucky individuals who could well afford to be in the sport, which, along with his character, earned him the sobriquet of "gentleman racer". In fact Walker is presented in such glowing terms in the book that you begin to wonder why the book is titled as it is. The book makes up for this later on, however, as we shall see.

The chapter on Rob Walker introduces another giant of motorsport, John Cooper, who introduced rear engines to Formula One in 1955, and whose story, along with that of Colin Chapman, is told in the next chapter. Cooper's early cars, initially constructed for Formula 500, were lighter and easier to handle than the front-engined cars, but were also cheaper to construct, opening up the sport of motor-racing to a whole new generation of drivers who before could not afford it. The first win for the F1 version of the Coopers came with Stirling Moss's famous win at Argentina in 1958, beating the Ferraris by fooling them into thinking there would be a pitstop, then driving the car home with the tyres worn to the canvas. This spelled the beginning of the end for cars that put the horse before the cart.

Cooper's cars were wildly successful for the first couple of years, but costs of development were a problem for Cooper, and his cars were soon overtaken by other rear-engine designs, most notably those of Colin Chapman. Colin's Lotuses, in contrast to the solidly built Coopers, were elegant and minimalist to the point of fragility, but were more scientifically designed than those of "terribly talented blacksmith" John Cooper.

The story of Colin Chapman is nearly as intriguing and complex as that of Enzo Ferrari. He is described in the book as "an intense blinding light that shone bright to show the way to lesser men, and then simply burned itself out". In addition to his undeniable genius in motorsports innovation, Colin also had the practical ability to do the three most important things in motorsports, as expressed by Lotus driver and latter-day founder of Arrows, Jackie Oliver: "He could find the money. He could design the cars. And he could run the team." It is a rare thing to find all of these traits in an F1 team owner in any era. He was also no mean driver, once beating Innes Ireland's time in the same car after three laps during a test.

The section on Colin Chapman gives a well-detailed account of the the meteoric career of Chapman, including his development of the Lotus cars, his partnership with Jim Clark, the great driver's death, as well as the death of Jochen Rindt, Colin's part in the FISA-FOCA war, his latter-day involvment in the DeLoren fiasco, and his untimely death just as Lotus was testing his last great innovation, active suspension.

The chapter on Cooper and Chapman finishes with an interesting comment by Cooper on the state of Grand Prix racing at the end of the Chapman era: "It isn't quite what it was, is it ? Take Fangio. That was driving. Tyre-smoke. Opposite lock on the corners and all that. Driving on the seat of his pants. But now Jim Clark, he lies in the car and he looks like he's going at half-speed, it's so smooth. It's more like driving a plane. ... Scientific driving. It's brilliant all right, but it doesn't look like anything. And racing is suffering because it doesn't."

The next chapter is simply titled "Bernie", and it is a good summary of the career of the great man himself, with a few of his blunt views and quotes mixed in. The following chapter covers the rise of Max Mosely, including his toppling of the imperious and somewhat bizarre Jean Balestre, as well as the career of two other central characters of the "Pirhana Club", Ron Dennis and Frank Williams.

Mosely doesn't get a lot of the limelight that Bernie gets, but he was responsible for putting the FIA on a much more professional footing. Mosely promised a revolution when he was elected, and he put his money where his mouth was by immediately upon entering office submitting his resignation, effective one year hence. A year later Mosely stood for office again and won a four year term. Politically Mosely has been every bit as effective as Ecclestone, easily swatting aside several attempts be various team-owner coalitions to bring him down. Perhaps this can be considered a sort of arrogance, where Mosely has dealt with such matters and let them drop, instead of trying to determine what might be at their root. One interesting quote from a letter he wrote to Frank Williams may yet return to haunt him: "As you and Ron know well, it is open to anyone to start their own motor sports series..."

The section on Ron Dennis and Frank Williams draws some interesting comparisons between the two men and their respective organizations, as it gives a good summary of the careers of both men from their start in F1 to the present day. Strangely, it seems that road accidents contributed to major changes in the lives of both men. The effect of Frank's accident is obvious and well-known. In Ron Dennis's case, it seems to have led to some deep thinking and consequently to a more ambitious approach to his career, as he moved from running his own Formula Two racing team, using purchased or loaned vehicles, into commissioning his own designs. Dennis was soon considering Formula One and his orderly approach and attention to detail attracted sponsors, contacts and support. By 1980 Ron Dennis was ready to move his successful Project Four racing team into Formula One, merging with the McLaren racing organization as a talented designer named John Barnard also came on board. The rest is well-known history.

The story of Frank Williams is introduced with the aftermath of his own accident, as his wife Virginia is led in tears to his bedside for the first time after hearing the news of his expected paralysis. She recalls that as she fought to control her tears, Frank seemed to have accepted his situation and was already looking ahead, sayin "Ginny, as I see it I have had forty fantastic years of one sort of life, now I shall forty years of another sort of life". "Another Sort of Life" became the title of Virginia Williams' own book of the story of their life after the accident. The book then goes on to detail Frank's career from his start as a hand-to-mouth race driver, mechanic and spare parts dealer to the owner of seven Formula One constructor's titles.

The book draws a comparison between the Williams and McLaren race teams by noting that while McLaren has achieved a high corporate profile by investing heavily in it's image and marketing, thus garnering high levels of sponsorship, Williams has invested in it's racing technology and technical staff, emphasizing stability and close-knit cooperation within the team. While Ron Dennis has chosen the high-flying corporate path to F1 success, Frank Williams has taken a low-key tweed-jacket approach, and remains the "quintessential English racer".

In the next chapter we come to the heart of the book. After introducing a few more members of the Pirhana Club, (Mentezemolo, Briatore, Walkinshaw, and Tyrell) the narrative moves into the maelstrom surrounding the 1997 renegotiation of the Concorde agreement. Teams Tyrell, Williams and McLaren were refusing to sign the agreement, objecting to changes in the weekend racing format and the new financial package. Williams, Dennis and Tryrell were starting to question the Ecclestone's claim to such a large share of the television revenue, which Mosely defended by citing Ecclestone's personal gamble on digital television, which was supposedly benefitting the teams without a penny of their own investment (Ecclestone keeps all of the profits from it). Mosely, without consulting the Formula One Commission which represents the teams, rammed the new Concorde agreement through the FIA World Council. For the first time in F1 history, major leading teams in the series were left out in the cold, without income they were entitled to under the original Concorde agreement. During the ensuing fracas, Ecclestone managed to have himself installed as a vice president of the FIA. Commercial influence had now reached the heart of the governing body itself.

In addition to the half of the TV revenues going to Bernie under the new Concorde agreement, by 1997 he was also receiving all of the fees from Grand Prix promoters and organizers, while all of the income from trackside advertising and hospitality were being turned over to Paddy McNally, a friend of Bernie's who ran The Paddock Club. None of the income from The Paddock Club reached the teams. After the rebel teams put their foot down and complained to the European Commission, the matter was brought to a head in May of 1998, where protracted negotiations and 35 drafts of the agreement resulted in final signatures in Monaco. The new agreement expires in 2008. Jockeying for positions in those negotiations has already begun, as the teams are making motions towards starting a new series of their own in 2008.

The book then moves into the controversies of the Schumcher era. These are covered in three parts. First, 1994 is covered, and we start with the dark hint that Senna's state of mind on May 1 1994 might have been related to the possibility of certain teams cheating on the new technical regs in force at the start of 1994. The book quickly relates Ferrari's brush with accusations of using traction-control, the San Marino disaster and other serious accidents of that year, Schumacher's black flag controversy, the furor surrounding software at McLaren and Benneton, the Benneton pit fire and fuel filter removal and finally the Adelaide collision.

In the second part the events of "Jerezgate" in 1997 are covered in fine detail, with an emphasis not on the infamous collision at the Dry Sack, but rather the "race fixing" scandal surrounding Mika Hakkinen's first win. There is an excellent extended interview with Jock Clear, which, predictably seems a bit at odds with released transcripts of the Williams radio communications during that race. That transcript in itself caused a major furor as Ferrari was roasted for eavesdropping while the other teams assiduously denied similar practices in their own pits. In his interview Clear hints of some other possible sharp practices among teams without naming names.

The third part covers the Malaysia 1999 barge-board tempest.

After covering the fates of the Pacific Grand Prix, Simtek and Lola teams, and the more successful saga of Jackie Stewart's team, the book closes out with the entry and experience of Paul Stoddard in Formula One. Paul Stoddard comes across as typical of a successful CEO: upbeat, adventurous, optimistic and always ready to see the good and the potential in people. And at first this attitude was reflected in his F1 experience, as he purchased the flagging Minardi F1 team and brought it back to viability and effectiveness. Gutav Brunner had designed a potentially fine chassis and the team were looking forward to the new season. Then came the news of Brunner's abrupt departure, delivered by fax.

Pretty standard fare for people accustomed to the ways of the Pirhana Club. But to Stoddard, a man used to dealing in the world outside of F1, where a handshake still meant something and a contract was a contract, it was a serious blow, both to his team and to him personally. The remainder of the book deals with Stoddard's views on his entry to F1, how the Brunner abandonment affected him and the team, and also his concerns for the future of Formula One, given the current Concord agreement, the Kirch takeover and the possible F1 split. It makes for fascinating reading and one can only hope that Stoddard's outrage will wake up a few members of the Pirhana club to the fact that the backroom deals between old friends and disregard for the letter and spirit of contracts is not longer acceptable in the new corporate era.

While I usually turn off at the words, "… so-and so was born in such-and-such a year …", I found this book a well- paced, enjoyable and informative read with a great overview of the history of the sport and a fine record of it's links to the F1 politics of the new millenium. "The Pirhana Club" initially provides a well-paced overview of the history and roots of Formula One from the standpoint of it's establishment, hitting the highlights and the background of the main characters in the drama that is F1, then peers into the dark side of the sport. The book is important and well-timed, at a time when many decisions are being made about the future direction of F1, and provides a good base of knowledge upon which an F1 fan can judge the coming events which will shape the sport we follow so avidly.

#13 cabianca

cabianca
  • Member

  • 641 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 21 December 2001 - 04:48

Sounds like a hell of a read to me.

#14 rmhorton

rmhorton
  • Member

  • 320 posts
  • Joined: November 98

Posted 21 December 2001 - 05:43

For subscribers the first chapter can be read in two parts.

http://www.atlasf1.c...4/collings.html

and: http://www.atlasf1.c...1/collings.html

It is indeed a good book.

Roger Horton

#15 Gary Davies

Gary Davies
  • Member

  • 1,903 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 21 December 2001 - 08:18

Thanks for going to the trouble of posting that review, Williams. I've been eying the book off in The Motoring Bookshop ... it's a bit pricey here in Oz, but I think you've just pushed me over the edge! Heck, it's important history!

Vanwall.

PS. I know it's not nice to focus on typos but when I saw "... title of Virgina Williams' own book ... ", I thought - "phew" - that was a close escape from disaster :lol: :lol: :lol:

#16 karlth

karlth
  • Member

  • 16,238 posts
  • Joined: August 99

Posted 21 December 2001 - 11:07

The chapter on Cooper and Chapman finishes with an interesting comment by Cooper on the state of Grand Prix racing at the end of the Chapman era: "It isn't quite what it was, is it ? Take Fangio. That was driving. Tyre-smoke. Opposite lock on the corners and all that. Driving on the seat of his pants. But now Jim Clark, he lies in the car and he looks like he's going at half-speed, it's so smooth. It's more like driving a plane. ... Scientific driving. It's brilliant all right, but it doesn't look like anything. And racing is suffering because it doesn't."



Nothing changes. :)

#17 AdrianM

AdrianM
  • Member

  • 4,854 posts
  • Joined: September 01

Posted 21 December 2001 - 11:57

I am halfway through it and it is a great read so far.

PS: Vanwall are you talking about The Motoring Bookshop in Adelaide, SA? I am in that shop every week :up:

#18 Gary Davies

Gary Davies
  • Member

  • 1,903 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 21 December 2001 - 12:04

AdrianM indeed indeed! And thanks to Williams, I think Burke B's going to sell me The Pirhana Club tomorrow. :lol: :lol:

V

#19 AdrianM

AdrianM
  • Member

  • 4,854 posts
  • Joined: September 01

Posted 21 December 2001 - 12:24

Vanwall, we probably have seen each other in there before :up: . I always go on Fridays so I can pick up the Autosport. It is a great little shop isnt it. :up:

Advertisement

#20 Gary Davies

Gary Davies
  • Member

  • 1,903 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 21 December 2001 - 12:41

And I bet he pours you a glass of riesling most Fridays :drunk:

#21 scheivlak

scheivlak
  • Member

  • 11,197 posts
  • Joined: August 01

Posted 21 December 2001 - 13:05

Originally posted by rmhorton
For subscribers the first chapter can be read in two parts.

http://www.atlasf1.c...4/collings.html

and: http://www.atlasf1.c...1/collings.html

It is indeed a good book.

Roger Horton


Yes I read these chapters, and to me they were simply the worst stuff ever written for Atlas F1. I like Atlas for its matter-of-factness and some lighthearted use of irony now and then. But this Piranha story offers far too much haevy, pretentious hullaballoo.
Quote: "It was the end of the last vestiges of the golden age, of gladiators in cockpits, of mortality, parties and fun, and the start of a new era of money, politics and intrigue."
Another quote: "It was a night that left many unwritten codes trampled in the dust and dew of a magnificent September morning and a night that confirmed that Formula One's future was in the hands of ruthless businessmen and ambitious competitors."
And: "But, by power of attrition, the weight of pressure and the lure of money, Moreno was weakened and overcome and Jordan's scrap for Schumacher was defeated."

And it goes on and on and on and on like this, like a sermon.
But pleazzz...... this didn't start somewhere in 1991... It's just shrewd people doing their jobs like they used to do it for ages. I still refuse to believe that Eddie Jordan is the Virgin Mary.

It's a pity that mr. Collings didn't let the facts and the quotes from his interviews speak for themselves! The story is interesting enough by itself.

scheivlak

#22 AdrianM

AdrianM
  • Member

  • 4,854 posts
  • Joined: September 01

Posted 22 December 2001 - 05:06

And I bet he pours you a glass of riesling most Fridays



:lol: :lol:
I go in the afternoon so I miss out.

#23 Dennis David

Dennis David
  • Member

  • 2,447 posts
  • Joined: March 99

Posted 22 December 2001 - 15:21

Scheivlak, based upon the quotes that you supplied I will reserce judgement until I have had a chance to peek at it myself. I was put-off by the title and will take a wait and see attitude.

#24 Williams

Williams
  • Member

  • 6,829 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 22 December 2001 - 16:26

Dennis it's too bad that people who look at this thread will now judge this book based on some fragments, judged by the poster to be the worst couple of fragments he could find, torn from the first couple of chapters of the book and pasted here, which are not at all typical of the quality I found when I read this book. I was interested and excited enough by what I read to take the time to present my opinion and some information here, and hopefully that opinion and information will be weighed as well. I too was a bit leery of the title of the book, but made the effort to find it at my local motorsports book store (a great little store called Autophile in Toronto) and flip through it myself before deciding whether to buy it. Which I did without regrets. I hope you will make the same effort before deciding, and not just "wait and see".

#25 Dennis David

Dennis David
  • Member

  • 2,447 posts
  • Joined: March 99

Posted 22 December 2001 - 17:03

Absolutely! I rarely buy a book sight unseen and will definitely look at a copy as soon as I can.

Don’t misunderstand me I do appreciate the time that you have taken to give your review. If you know anything about me I care a great deal about books and have bought a few in my time.

BTW, I think that I have been to the bookstore in Toronto when I was there on a business trip. A woman has taken it over from her deceased husband is it? Do you know the story? She was very helpful when I was there.

#26 Williams

Williams
  • Member

  • 6,829 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 22 December 2001 - 17:20

Dennis I think you are right about the store changing management and the circumstances of the previous owner. I don't know the entire story, but a very nice young lady (perhaps the owner's daughter) has been running the store recently, but the last time I was in she was not there and a number of new faces were behind the counter, so I don't know what to conclude there. In any case the people at the store have been very good about helping to locate and order books, they have a good up-to-date stock, and the new people seem to be equally helpful and hopefully they will carry on the tradition. I wish the people at this store the best of luck. So far, they seem to have been the best and most knowledgeable motorsports book shop in the city.

If you do have a chance to even flip through a copy of the book, I'll be interested in your impressions. I quite enjoyed it.

#27 scheivlak

scheivlak
  • Member

  • 11,197 posts
  • Joined: August 01

Posted 22 December 2001 - 18:25

Originally posted by Williams
Dennis it's too bad that people who look at this thread will now judge this book based on some fragments, judged by the poster to be the worst couple of fragments he could find, torn from the first couple of chapters of the book and pasted here, which are not at all typical of the quality I found when I read this book. I was interested and excited enough by what I read to take the time to present my opinion and some information here, and hopefully that opinion and information will be weighed as well. I too was a bit leery of the title of the book, but made the effort to find it at my local motorsports book store (a great little store called Autophile in Toronto) and flip through it myself before deciding whether to buy it. Which I did without regrets. I hope you will make the same effort before deciding, and not just "wait and see".


"judged by the poster to be the worst couple of fragments he could find". I advise everyone to look and judge for themselves!

http://www.atlasf1.c...4/collings.html
and: http://www.atlasf1.c...1/collings.html

I just quoted a few phrases that I found illustrative. The first article starts with six alineas full of brouhaha. And let's face it: a sentence like "It was the end of the last vestiges of the golden age, of gladiators in cockpits, of mortality, parties and fun, and the start of a new era of money, politics and intrigue" is meant to be the central thesis of these articles, not just a slip of the pen.
Perhaps the rest of the book is much more readable, a book dealing with characters like Enzo Ferrari, Rob Walker and John Cooper - to name a few - can't help but being interesting in some sort of way. ;)
I can only judge what I can read, the two Atlas articles - and I still find them pretty awful. Partly because of their style of writing, partly because his way of showing real people as caricatures (ironically enough, as a result from trying to reach the opposite effect just too hard...), partly because his '1991: the lost Golden Era' thesis does not convince me.

scheivlak

#28 Dennis David

Dennis David
  • Member

  • 2,447 posts
  • Joined: March 99

Posted 22 December 2001 - 22:19

Duck :stoned:

#29 dretceterini

dretceterini
  • Member

  • 2,991 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 11 April 2003 - 14:35

Here is a lsiting of some of the recent new books availble...the list is from Libreria d'Automobile...
Thought some of you might be interested...

CARS BY MAKE


Italians
LE FUORISTRADA FIAT € 49,00
THE COMPLETE FERRARI € 25,00
BUGATTI: LUCIEN WURMSER, MECANICIEN DE GRAND PRIX € 170,00
MASERATI COUPE’ LA STORIA € 35,00
MASERATI COUPE’ THE HISTORY € 35,00
ANNUARIO FERRARI 2002 € 80,00
ALFA ROMEO TZ THE CARS, THE RACE RESULTS € 99,00
MINI € 20,20
FERRARISSIMA N. 13 NEW SERIES € 44,00
LANCIA LE AMMIRAGLIE DALL’AURELIA ALLA THESIS € 7,50
CAVALLINO: THE JOURNAL OF FERRARI HISTORY N° 132 – DECEMBER 2002/JANUARY 2003 € 10,33
FERRARI - SERGIO CASTELLITTO IN UN FILM DI CARLO CARLEI € 25,00
FERRARI F355 BERLINETTA GTS SPIDER € 42,00
ALFA ROMEO: LE SPORTIVE DALLA 1900 ALLA 147 GTA Serie Quattroruote “Passione Auto” N° 2 € 7,50
FERRARI CATALOGUE RAISONNE 1946/2002 OPERA OMNIA € 248,00
TUTTI I MOTORI FERRARI/ALL FERRARI ENGINES € 44,90
FIAT 500 GUIDA AL RESTAURO € 25,00
ALFA ROMEO AR 51 - AR 52 ALFA MATTA € 25,00
FIAT 124 SPIDER COUPE' ABARTH € 22,00
French
CITROEN ZX DIESEL 1991 TO 1998 (J to S registration) - OWNERS WORKSHOP MANUALS N. 1922 € 32,02
RENAULT DES AUTOMOBILES DE PRESTIGE € 63,00
TALBOT “SOLARA” et “1510” SERIE "REVUE TECHNIQUE AUTOMOBILE" N. 4042 € 27,40
CITROEN SAXO 1996 TO 2001 (N TO X REGISTRATION) PETROL & DIESEL SERVICE & REPAIR MANUAL N. 3506 € 32,02
CITROEN XSARA PICASSO 2000 TO 2002 (W REGISTRATION ONWARDS) PETROL & DIESEL SERVICE & REPAIR MANUAL N. 3944 € 24,80
RENAULT CLIO THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO MODIFYING € 38,00
CITROEN PICASSO MOTORI 1.6 E 1.8 BENZINA (2° parte) SERIE "RIVISTA TECNICA DELL’AUTOMOBILE" N. 150 € 25,00


CARS


Automobile History
CARS IN FILMS € 38,00
BRITISH SPORTS CAR MAGAZINE MEMORIES € 34,00
HOT RODS THE 500 SERIES € 20,00
MUSCLE CARS THE 500 SERIES € 20,00
ROUTE 66 LIVES ON THE ROAD € 32,50
THE GREAT BOOK OF AMERICAN AUTOMOBILES € 39,00
PIONEERS OF THE US AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY € 180,00
FROM PASSION TO PERFECTION. THE STORY OF FRENCH STREAMLINED STYLING, 1930 – 1939 € 115,00
Racing / Rallies
CHALLENGE 2002 € 40,00
EMERSON FITTIPALDI HEART OF A RACER € 48,00
GRAND PRIX YEAR 2002/2003 € 25,00
RALLY YEARBOOK WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2002 € 29,00
FORMULA 1 YEARBOOK 2002-03 € 25,00
WORLD RALLYING PIRELLI N. 25 2002/2003 € 49,00
TWIN CAM ITALIA: FIAT – LANCIA – ALFA ROMEO € 48,00
TOURING CAR WORLD 2003 € 25,00
UN RALLY LUNGO QUATTRO REGIONI € 25,00
FRAMMENTI DI STORIA - 20 ANNI DI RALLY IN OLTREPO € 25,00
RALLYE PASSION € 52,00
TAZIO NUVOLARI ANTOLOGIA € 34,00
GOING FASTER! MASTERING THE ART OF RACE DRIVING € 42,30
NASCAR RACERS TODAY’S TOP DRIVERS € 24,00
MICHELE ALBORETO UN CAMPIONE PER AMICO/A CHAMPION AS A FRIEND € 19,80
AUTOCOURSE CART OFFICIAL YEARBOOK 2002/2003 € 72,30
RALLYCOURSE 2002-2003 € 57,00
FORMULA 1 THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY € 66,50
AYRTON SENNA AU-DELA’ DE L’EXIGENCE € 30,00
AUTOCOURSE 2002/2003: THE WORLD’S LEADING GRAND PRIX ANNUAL € 72,30
JUAN MANUEL FANGIO: LA COURSE FAITE HOMME € 30,00
TRINTIGNANT-WIMILLE: UN CHAMPION ET SON MAITRE € 99,00
TOURING CAR WORLD 2003 € 25,00


MISCELLANEOUS


Coachbuilding - Styling & Design
HENRI CHAPRON CARROSSERIE FRANCAISE € 52,00
CAR STYLING N. 150 € 49,06
MICHAEL MAUER SAAB DESIGNER CENTRE, CAR-MEN N. 12 € 24,00
CAR STYLING N. 152 € 49,06
THE ITALIAN AVANTGARDE IN CAR DESIGN € 30,00
CAR STYLING N. 151 € 49,06

#30 petefenelon

petefenelon
  • Member

  • 4,815 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 11 April 2003 - 17:33

Not exactly "new" but Mill House Books' current bargains are pretty good - my last parcel from them included Chris Nixon's "Rivals" (Lancia D50 vs Mercedes W196) and "Shooting Star" (Seaman biography) at half price (20 quid each) - real masterpieces of handsome production and elegant design, with some stunning photography and words that seem every bit as good as "Mon Ami Mate". I also got a 2001 facsimilie edition of Karl Ludvigsen's "Gurney's Eagles" for an eminently reasonable tenner (needs a sequel, Karl - we need to see the rest of AAR's long history covered as elegantly!)

#31 theunions

theunions
  • Member

  • 638 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 11 April 2003 - 18:50

Originally posted by petefenelon
I also got a 2001 facsimilie edition of Karl Ludvigsen's "Gurney's Eagles" for an eminently reasonable tenner (needs a sequel, Karl - we need to see the rest of AAR's long history covered as elegantly!)


It probably won't come from Karl after the disagreement he had with Dan over the last Gurney book he did.

Meanwhile, I wonder when Dan's own (competing) title is finally coming out?

#32 Dennis Hockenbury

Dennis Hockenbury
  • Member

  • 656 posts
  • Joined: April 03

Posted 11 April 2003 - 20:09

Originally posted by theunions


It probably won't come from Karl after the disagreement he had with Dan over the last Gurney book he did.



????? I thought Karl's book on Dan was first rate. What was the aggro?

Originally posted by theunions

Meanwhile, I wonder when Dan's own (competing) title is finally coming out?


Is this true? Is DG writing an autobio?

#33 theunions

theunions
  • Member

  • 638 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 11 April 2003 - 20:31

Originally posted by Dennis Hockenbury
????? I thought Karl's book on Dan was first rate. What was the aggro?

Is this true? Is DG writing an autobio?


Just to be clear - this is regarding the 2001 title Dan Gurney - the Ultimate Racer , not Gurney's Eagles.

According to his assistant at AAR, Dan was working on his own book of similar scope (not necessarily an autobiography) and had asked Karl to hold off on releasing his own title until the former was released. Not only did Karl not do that, Dan found the results highly unsatisfactory (assorted errors and such). That explains why Dan and AAR did not actively contribute to the book - all the quotes were taken from interviews and publications done in the '60's and '70's, and the only post-driving career item in the entire book is a photo of Dan and Evi in the AAR shop at the book's very end.

I learned of this while standing in line to see Dan at Fontana in Nov. 2001 - he was refusing to sign any copies of Karl's offending book (fortunately that's not what I had with me). I have not heard anything about the status of his own book since. I do not know if this constitutes a "simple professional disagreement" or if it has had a negative impact on the long-term friendship between the two.

#34 m.tanney

m.tanney
  • Member

  • 341 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 11 April 2003 - 21:32

  Dan Gurney is working with Gordon Kirby on a biography which will be similar to his Mario Andretti: A Driving Passion. Like the Andretti book, it will be published by David Bull. The publisher expects to have it out sometime in 2004. It's a shame that it's taking so long, but if the Andretti book is any indication, it will be worth the wait. Given the Kirby book's ETA, I don't really see how Karl could have been expected to wait for its release before publishing his own book.

  Mike

#35 Dennis Hockenbury

Dennis Hockenbury
  • Member

  • 656 posts
  • Joined: April 03

Posted 11 April 2003 - 22:17

Originally posted by theunions

Just to be clear - this is regarding the 2001 title Dan Gurney - the Ultimate Racer , not Gurney's Eagles

Thanks for the clarification to each of you. I have both of the aforementioned books by Ludvigsen and I rather enjoyed both.

And I look forward to seeing the Gurney/Kirby work as well. If there is new information to add to the record in the new work, I will make it a must read.

I finished the Andretti/Kirby book with a lukewarm opinion to be honest. Perhaps I need to give it another chance.

Thanks for the info.

#36 theunions

theunions
  • Member

  • 638 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 11 April 2003 - 23:17

Originally posted by m.tanney
Given the Kirby book's ETA, I don't really see how Karl could have been expected to wait for its release before publishing his own book.


IIRC, the initial intent as expressed to me was to release the book around early 2002.

I don't recall if Gordon's name came up in that conversation, but I'll be sure to ask him how things are going with it if I see him next month at Indy.

#37 Ralliart

Ralliart
  • Member

  • 669 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 12 April 2003 - 13:00

Just finished watching a program where Bobby Unser was interviewed. He's co-written a motivational book wrapped around his racing experiences. Wonder if there will be a chapter entitled "What To Do When You've Been Had By Your Employer?" BRM did jack him around in '68.

#38 theunions

theunions
  • Member

  • 638 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 12 April 2003 - 16:34

Originally posted by Ralliart
Just finished watching a program where Bobby Unser was interviewed. He's co-written a motivational book wrapped around his racing experiences. Wonder if there will be a chapter entitled "What To Do When You've Been Had By Your Employer?" BRM did jack him around in '68.


F1 is mentioned on a grand total of one page ("I raced Formula 1 for a while in Europe"). BRM, Monza and the Glen are not specifically mentioned.

He also does not mention a lot I would've expected him to address. Namely Sam Posey. And THE snowmobiling incident. ;)

#39 Ron Scoma

Ron Scoma
  • Member

  • 244 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 13 April 2003 - 03:48

Originally posted by dretceterini
Here is a lsiting of some of the recent new books availble...the list is from Libreria d'Automobile...
BUGATTI: LUCIEN WURMSER, MECANICIEN DE GRAND PRIX € 170,00


Not wanting to take anything away from George Nada's excellent store in Milan, perhaps the BEST automotive book store on the continent, but you can get Wurmser's book direct from him for 95 Euros (the regular edition). Complete with personal inscription most likely.
He was kind enough to write something in my copy at Retromobile, not sure what it says, probably something like "I hope the check clears."
Anyway, here's the contact information. It's a great book with many many previously unpublished photo's.

Alfred Wurnser
1 Rue de la Source
67120 Molsheim
France

+33 3 88 38 18 00 tel
+33 3 88 49 39 28 fax

http://home.uni-one....gatti/book2.htm Web Site

wurmser.bruxer@wanadoo.fr Email address

Kind Regards,

Ron Scoma

Advertisement

#40 theunions

theunions
  • Member

  • 638 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 13 April 2003 - 05:38

Will the Alboreto book be distributed in North America?

#41 Geza Sury

Geza Sury
  • Member

  • 936 posts
  • Joined: March 01

Posted 14 April 2003 - 12:09

Originally posted by petefenelon
Not exactly "new" but Mill House Books' current bargains are pretty good - my last parcel from them included Chris Nixon's "Rivals" (Lancia D50 vs Mercedes W196) and "Shooting Star" (Seaman biography) at half price (20 quid each) - real masterpieces of handsome production and elegant design, with some stunning photography and words that seem every bit as good as "Mon Ami Mate". I also got a 2001 facsimilie edition of Karl Ludvigsen's "Gurney's Eagles" for an eminently reasonable tenner (needs a sequel, Karl - we need to see the rest of AAR's long history covered as elegantly!)

I also bought the Seaman book from Mill House together with the new Eddie Jordan bio and Alan Henry's 'Four Season at Ferrari - The Lauda Years.' I only can second Peter's words, the Nixon book is a real masterpiece :up: My next order will include the new paperback version of Gerald Donaldson's James Hunt bio, Karl's Eagle book and Alan Henry's 'Ferrari - The Battle for Revival', which is more or less the continuation of his previous book about the team.

BTW, has anyone bought the new Williams book by Alan Henry? I'm seriously considering the purchase of it since I don't have anything about this team. Can anyone recommend a good Williams book?

#42 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 36,870 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 14 April 2003 - 13:08

Originally posted by Geza Sury
BTW, has anyone bought the new Williams book by Alan Henry? I'm seriously considering the purchase of it since I don't have anything about this team. Can anyone recommend a good Williams book?

The 2 best Williams books are probably "Racers" by Doug Nye - frighteningly expensive and now about 20 years out of date - and "A Different Kind Of Life" by Virginia Williams - a mere 10 years out of date and somewhat cheaply produced, but very good on the human side.

The new one does not seem to cover anything before 1978, a common fault with books about Williams, and is mainly a 'coffee table' book - if you want Williams pics you could do a lot worse than find an issue of Grand Prix International from 1984 (I think covering the Detroit GP) which has mugshots of almost all Williams drivers to then (even Zapico and Kuwashima; the only ones missing IIRC are Pretorius and Magee) and some pics of cars (very few, but mostly rarities like Cogan and Vonlanthen).

#43 petefenelon

petefenelon
  • Member

  • 4,815 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 14 April 2003 - 17:54

Originally posted by ensign14
The 2 best Williams books are probably "Racers" by Doug Nye - frighteningly expensive and now about 20 years out of date - and "A Different Kind Of Life" by Virginia Williams - a mere 10 years out of date and somewhat cheaply produced, but very good on the human side.

The new one does not seem to cover anything before 1978, a common fault with books about Williams, and is mainly a 'coffee table' book - if you want Williams pics you could do a lot worse than find an issue of Grand Prix International from 1984 (I think covering the Detroit GP) which has mugshots of almost all Williams drivers to then (even Zapico and Kuwashima; the only ones missing IIRC are Pretorius and Magee) and some pics of cars (very few, but mostly rarities like Cogan and Vonlanthen).


When Alan Henry's good, he's very very good - but when he's bad he produces hackwork on a par with the Christopher Hiltons of this world and I'm afraid this one's hackwork. Some nice pictures, most of which are fairly familiar, but not much text and not terribly much insight in what there is. It looks more like a PR brochure than a "real" book.

DCN's "Racers", Maurice Hamilton's unauthorised biography of Sir Frank, Ginny Williams' "A Different Kind Of Life" and even Bruce Grant-Braham's history of Williams are all much better than this.

I'm not sure about Racers being horribly expensive - my copy was less than a tenner not too long ago. Then again it was an ex-library one and is really a "reading copy" rather than a collectors' item...

Without wishing to be unnecessarily rude to the Alan Henry book, I sense it being destined for the remaindered outlets pretty soon. For 6.99 it might be worth it - it's nowhere near worth the cover price to me.

#44 Geza Sury

Geza Sury
  • Member

  • 936 posts
  • Joined: March 01

Posted 15 April 2003 - 06:31

Thank you Ensign14 and Peter! :up: I think I would drop the new Williams book from my 'Wanted' list :(

#45 Dennis Hockenbury

Dennis Hockenbury
  • Member

  • 656 posts
  • Joined: April 03

Posted 15 April 2003 - 14:08

Originally posted by petefenelon
......Mill House Books' current bargains are pretty good - .......and "Shooting Star" (Seaman biography) at half price (20 quid each) - real masterpieces of handsome production and elegant design, with some stunning photography and words that seem every bit as good as "Mon Ami Mate".


Thanks for the post Pete, I ordered the Seaman book yesterday. I already have Rivals and I agree that Chris Nixon keeps turning out wonderful work.

I'm also interested in any opinions of Doug's book, "Dick & George. The Seaman-Monkhouse Letters 1936-1939" which I am interested in acquiring. I like Doug's work very much and already have a spot reserved for his forthcoming Vol. 2 of the BRM saga.

Based upon the recommendations in this thread, I have also ordered Colin Chapman, and Ken Tyrrell/Hamiliton.

I'm also looking forward to Michael Oliver's new work on the Lotus 72.

Between all of these, I will have a great summer with these works.

#46 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 5,999 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 10 May 2003 - 08:24

It's arrived! And a quick glance through promises many hours of happy reading. Will the author be at Silverstone next week?

#47 Ted Walker

Ted Walker
  • Member

  • 1,432 posts
  • Joined: November 01

Posted 10 May 2003 - 13:54

I think there may be a book signing at the Collectors CarBooks mobile shop,get there early to avoid dissapointment.

#48 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 10 May 2003 - 17:23

You're one up on me then Roger
I haven't seen it yet :mad:

#49 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,314 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 10 May 2003 - 17:30

Dave - join the club...the same thing has happened to me a couple of times and it really is extraordinarily ANNOYING, isn't it. Glad to hear it's out. I hope it's as you hoped it would be. Congratulations :up:

DCN

#50 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 10 May 2003 - 21:41

Well done, David! :clap: Can't wait to order a copy :)