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The book thread: In memory of Pete Fenelon


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#701 Don Capps

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 03:41

The Yates book: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down:

Please, don't bother to even pick it up and skim it! Had I not had a coupon for a nice discount for the book, I would not have bothered. However, with Yates you never quite know......

It is as if Truman Capote decided to write about the 1955 racing season rather then devote his time to In Cold Blood. The same idea Capote used, mixing fiction with fact, Yates does with a vengeance. Only Capote had the talent and ability to pull it off....

Besides, wasn't Yates working on a book about Porsche?

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#702 ensign14

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 16:02

One that is not really for the Nostalgia Forum, but could be interesting - or a total disaster - is "The Pits: The Real World of Formula One", by Beverley Turner (former ITV pit reporter and Mrs James 'Gold Medallist In The Coxless 4s' Cracknell).

Extracts in the Sunday Times today make it look somewhat sensationalist...but compelling...

Any idea to whom she could be referring in these bits?

Another former employee described working “for two weeks, seven until midnight, living on Red Bull”. She saw one male colleague “reduced to tears” several times because of the “hostility within the team. Senior employees would talk to us like dirt. They would try to make us fail so that they would look good”.



I noticed that one of the waitresses looked especially tired and on the verge of tears. I asked if she was okay, only to be told that she’d had a miscarriage at the previous race.

“But I told her,” said the team boss when the waitress had returned to the kitchen, “there’s a reason for these things. I believe it’s the body’s mechanism of getting rid of a child that’s not right.”

It didn’t look as though his words of consolation had hit quite the right note as she lay our desserts before us with tears in her eyes.



I was with a group of men who hold significant positions in F1. The Foster’s Girls were in attendance, a troupe of young women who appear at grands prix wearing blue micro-minis and tight Lycra tops. They are led around the circuit in line, stopping from time to time to have their picture taken. On this night, they were handing out bottles of Foster’s to men who were groping their bottoms.

“I can’t believe that a global sport still has women like this on display,” I said to my dinner companion. “I know,” he replied. “They’re pigs . . . You’d think they could find some attractive ones.”



At least she names Eddie Irvine in one of the extracts, although I could probably have guessed from the context who it was:

"Oh, Eddie,” I said, “do you know that Nova won’t be at any more races this year?” “Oh, that’s a shame,” he replied. “It was good watching her ass walk down the paddock.”

“Hmm . . .” I said, assuming he was being sarcastic. “I’ll miss her conversation too.”

“No, I won’t miss that,” he said quite seriously. “She just looked good. That’s all any of you are here for, just to be looked at.”



#703 fines

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 22:52

Originally posted by ensign14
I was with a group of men who hold significant positions in F1. The Foster’s Girls were in attendance, a troupe of young women who appear at grands prix wearing blue micro-minis and tight Lycra tops. They are led around the circuit in line, stopping from time to time to have their picture taken. On this night, they were handing out bottles of Foster’s to men who were groping their bottoms.

“I can’t believe that a global sport still has women like this on display,” I said to my dinner companion. “I know,” he replied. “They’re pigs . . . You’d think they could find some attractive ones.”

:lol: I really loved that one!

#704 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 10:08

A book that is now available, but not through many of the normal outlets, is Wolfgang Klopfer's FORMULA 5000 IN EUROPE - RACE BY RACE. Self-published in Germany but written in English, approx 230 pages, softback with a lot of black and white photos. Price £16.95.
We have this book in stock and for anyone who fondly recalls the 'big banger's it's a nice nostalgea trip. It also reinforces how amazingly unreliable those big pushrod V8s were, especially in the early days. Causes of retirement and non starting could fill a book on their own!

The format (like the same author's previous book FORMULA A AND 5000 IN AMERICA) is one page per event with results , fastest lap etc. Photos are varying in quality , many are amateur but then you do have the benefit of them being 'unseen' and including the real oddball entries such as re-engined ex F1 cars like the Lotus 43 , McLaren M19 and Ex Hesketh March 731 along with cars like the Begg, Crossle, Trojan, Lotus 70, and naturally a lot of Lola, McRae, McLaren and Chevron.

A second edition of the FORMULA A AND 5000 IN AMERICA is also due out, next month, with a lot of photos that were not in the first edition. Same price.

Simon Lewis
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#705 Mallory Dan

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 13:55

I've just ordered the F5000 book via Simon. As and when it arrives I'll advise how good it is.

#706 Vitesse2

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 21:12

Just finished reading Richard Williams' "Last Road Race". Wonderful stuff, with great personal testimony from Brooks and Salvadori especially. A great evocation of racing in the 50s IMHO (I was only two at the time :rolleyes: ) A couple of minor quibbles though: I was rather surprised to find that the Mellaha circuit was still in operation in 1958 (and had mysteriously moved from Tripoli to Casablanca) and that there was a Formula 2 race in Birmingham in the 1980s. But like I said, minor quibbles ....

#707 Mallory Dan

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 14:04

Originally posted by Mallory Dan
I've just ordered the F5000 book via Simon. As and when it arrives I'll advise how good it is.


Not started reading it properly yet, but it seems as Simon describes. Pictures aren't of great quality, but some of their content is very interesting, eg the Brian Robinson M19 with a couple of very strange noses !

#708 Geza Sury

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 15:29

My copy of The Complete Book of The World Rally Championship: 1973-2003 has just arrived to my doorstep. Well, it's a little bit of a disappointment. It's everything, but not complete.

The first chapter "The History" is very sketchy, with only a limited amount of historic pictures. The second one, "The Drivers" is somewhat better. You can find short(!) biographies of the greatest rally drivers with their complete results in WRC events. It's similar to Steve Small's Grand Prix Who's Who, but nowhere near that good. The third section "The Cars" is a list of all machines of each manufacturer, which competed in the WRC, the most important technical data included. The fourth chapter is about the rallies, country by country, but it's a mere list of winners of each event illustrated with only one(!) picture per rally. The last fourty pages contain the top ten finishers of every World Championship event from 1973 to 2003. (With a small picture of the winner's car.)

The pictures are beautiful, but the text is too short and there are too big gaps between the rows. Somehow it reminds me of Brian Laban's Le Mans book. All in all it's not a bad book, but doesn't live up to my expectations.

#709 petefenelon

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 15:33

Originally posted by Geza Sury
My copy of The Complete Book of The World Rally Championship: 1973-2003 has just arrived to my doorstep. Well, it's a little bit of a disappointment. It's everything, but not complete.

[...]

The pictures are beautiful, but the text is too short and there are too big gaps between the rows. Somehow it reminds me of Brian Laban's Le Mans book. All in all it's not a bad book, but doesn't live up to my expectations.


The cornerstones of my rallying shelf are the two gorgeous Reinhard Klein photo books - Rally and Rally Cars. I understand that these are quite scarce now - but they are well worth getting hold of if you ever see a copy.

Add Stuart Turner's Twice Lucky for loads of great stories about how BMC and Ford went rallying and you've got some excellent history there ;)

#710 Geza Sury

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 06:39

Originally posted by petefenelon
The cornerstones of my rallying shelf are the two gorgeous Reinhard Klein photo books - Rally and Rally Cars. I understand that these are quite scarce now - but they are well worth getting hold of if you ever see a copy.

Fortunately I have both and I also rate them very highly. Rally is currently available from Amazon for cover price, (it is subject to an additional handling charge of £1.99 only), but it's quite difficult to acquire Rally Cars. TNF member Fred Gallagher was so kind to ask Reinhard Klein himself about the book's availability and he suggested to purchase it form the Australian Pitstop bookshop. If anyone's interested, they still have this title in stock. IIRC it cost me around £25-30 incl. shipping, which is not bad if you consider that Chater's recently sold this book for £40.

#711 Mark Godfrey

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 18:53

The SAH Lit Faire is this Sunday. (I would think this is the largest automotive literature event in the USA). Only automotive literature is sold. The events seems heaviest on books, but magazines, programs, posters, brochures and artwork are also offered. Authors are often on hand to sign their work.

June 27, 2004 - 22nd Annual Literature Faire & Exchange held by the Southern California Chapter of the Society of Automotive Historians at the Irwindale Speedway. Free admission. Gates open at 6:00 AM show closes at noon. A map can be seen at http://www.autohisto...g/calendar.html

I will be at booth # 17 (Brown Fox Books) under the stands with a number of titles by different publishers, including the Ken Miles book by Art Evans and Mark Dees’ “Miller Dynasty”. Our own “Red Wheels and White Sidewalls” title by Bill Pollack was slightly delayed and will not be available until late July.

#712 Bernard

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 11:55

I like Christopher Hiltons book on Mike Hailwood " A man called Mike" Excellent book about my all time hero in motorsport. Met him once also in the IOM, lovely bloke. Very sad death.

#713 VWV

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 15:12

I just saw this on another web site: http://www.milleroff...om/For Sale.htm

"The Marvelous Mechanical Designs of Harry A. Miller" by Gordon White. Gordon's newest book, shipping in mid-August, available directly from Gordon at: http://www.crosslink.net/~gewhite/
PO Box 129
Hardyville, VA 23070
$32.95 + $4.95 S&H

#714 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 30 June 2004 - 00:45

Originally posted by VWV
"The Marvelous Mechanical Designs of Harry A. Miller" by Gordon White. Gordon's newest book, shipping in mid-August

Thanks for posting this VWV, as I had not heard of this one.

In looking at the details on Amazon, this is a 128 page paperback, but I am still looking forward to this new book. It is also much less expensive on Amazon. Thanks again.

#715 petefenelon

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Posted 01 July 2004 - 11:00

I treated myself to "Time and Two Seats" last week. It arrived at work this morning....

To quote Captain Oates.... "I may be gone some time".

Wow!

#716 Geza Sury

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Posted 02 July 2004 - 07:04

Did anyone notice this book on Ebay? Does that mean Unique Motor Books would reprint the Autocourse yearbooks form 1960 onwards? That would be great news! I have their FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 1951-54 book, which does contain reprints from old Autocourse magazines.

#717 JohnS

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Posted 04 July 2004 - 07:12

Recently purchased two books which should appeal to sportscar racing enthusiasts, "Scarlet Passion" and "Matra au Mans".

"Scarlet Passion" is by Anthony Pritchard, and is subtitled "Ferrari's famed sports prototype and competition sports cars 1962-73", which sums it up nicely. It's a superb production. Pritchard obviously knows his subject inside-out, and the photographs are terrific. Also features long interviews with John Surtees, Mauro Forghieri and Brian Redman. Published by Haynes, and definitely recommended.

"Matra au Mans" by Francois Hurel, published by Editions du Palmier, covers in great detail Matra's years at Le Mans, 1966 to 1974. It's also a high quality production, superbly illustrated. Text is in French.

John

#718 duby

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 19:16

i think that i asked that allready but got no reply , so i am asking again ,
is there any one here that read Peter Stevenson's - "DRIVING FORCES" ...?

thanks
duby

#719 Don Capps

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 19:45

Originally posted by duby
i think that i asked that allready but got no reply , so i am asking again ,
is there any one here that read Peter Stevenson's - "DRIVING FORCES" ...?

thanks
duby


Yes.

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#720 Doug Nye

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 21:16

Dem Silber auf der Spur - the Nikolai Alexandrow/Peter Kirchberg Auto Union (the postwar mystery resolved) book - published in German by Motor Buch Verlag - ISBN 3 613 02402 0 - is brilliant value for money - see 'Auto Union Mystery' thread elsewhere in TNF.

Today I also picked up 'The Fast Set' by Charles Jennings - Little, Brown - ISBN 0 316 86190 1 - a 'reading' book with small inserted black and white photo section - covering the activities of Henry Segrave, Malcolm Campbell and John Cobb. Only scanned so far (obviously) but it certainly includes some interesting perspectives and is a useful addition to the literature available on these two great men and one other (guess my prejudices???).

I'm also impressed - which might upset some people - by the perspectives offered in Joe Scalzo's book 'Indianapolis Roadsters 1952-1964' - MBI Publishing Co - ISBN 0 7603 0634 6 - which is very nicely printed like all this MBI landscape series and which relies heavily on the great Bob Tronolone's photography. I haven't worked out the structure of this book - it seems to be very confusingly arranged unless it's just me being a simple country boy from the 'ampshire border - but initial reaction is otherwise v. positive.

DCN

#721 Magee

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 02:50

BOOK REVIEW

KEN MILES by Art Evans
ISBN 0-9705073-3-X, pp. 124, Published by Photo Data Research

Post-war California was one of the most active areas in the world when it came to motor sports. Many WW II veterans made their way to California because of its attractions. Ken Miles was one of them. Some ended up in motorcycle gangs and others like Miles in groups of racing drivers on dirt ovals and sports car circuits.

Ken Miles made his way to California to fill a job offer in 1951 with his wife Mollie and infant son Peter. Ken's motor sport activities started in 1946 in England; however, his motor sport objectives and fate were fulfilled in California. There he had the right job, valuable assistance and a growing motor sport environment.

Art Evans, the author of this book, which he calls a "scrapbook", has done an excellent job in connecting Miles' family recollections, to the testimonials from his son Peter, Bernard Cahier, Augie Pabst, and Carroll Shelby among many others, and over 130 photographs of Miles at work beginning with MG's and ending in Cobra's, Porsche's, and Ford GT-40's. Everything's there for the curious.

Miles' track work in California, in the early 50's involved racing stock MG's and then MG Specials. He was the guru of MG Specials since his mechanical skills in pushing the MG-TD to amazing results attracted attention from racers outside California. Along the Pacific Coast there were drivers working with the MG as the workhorse of racetracks, mostly airfields. Most of the amateur grids were comprised of these cars.

As period reports suggest, many of these drivers started to receive news of Miles' work. Up the coast from California were racers in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia in Canada, for example. Many of these drivers, working on their own MG's, tried to squeeze out more power. At times they drove down to California to see the maestro at work. Miles was the best at this, undoubtedly, and California was an attractive location to relax and to visit racetracks.

Life was not entirely easy for Miles as he had not impressed everyone. But, he was a determined soul who knew what was needed in his racing environment, and battled for it.

It is said that veterans who had experienced warfare were not easily stopped. They saw everything in a unique way and nothing could push them off their goal.

Art Evans presents all of this struggle very competently. He provides both sides of the argument so that the reader of his book can see opposing points and understand more about Miles and his opponents off the track. In contrast, the majority of drivers respected him as indicated by the testimonials.
Period news reports are shown as they appeared giving Evans' book the look of scrapbook authenticity. Also, Evans provides details of the struggle of the amateur and professional drivers and the race promoters' point of view by laying out pages of Miles' correspondence.

I remember 1966 (the middle of my racing experience) when I started seriously to consider the risks of racing. Too many excellent drivers were lost. In March, Bob McLean, Canadian champion lost his life at Sebring in a Ford GT-40. In April, Walt Hansgen died followed by Dave Ridenour, an occasional visitor to the Westwood track near Vancouver, B.C. Then in August, Ken died. The motor sport community was very stunned by the toll. All of these mentioned drivers were at their peak, and it was all such a waste. Around the world there were even more casualities.

Overall, Art Evans provides an excellent collection of material providing the reader with a clear understanding of Ken Miles' life, as clear as one can. One mystery remains in my mind of what pushes drivers like Ken Miles. It's never easy to continue to push the boundaries of speed. What gave him the power to do so well in such a short time? He was indeed a very unique and strong individual.

This book is an excellent read and a valuable addition to one's personal
motor sport book collection and more importantly, to the understanding of some of the myriads of motor sport history during the 50s and 60s. It is, most importantly, a sincere tribute to a great driver who was a close friend of Art Evans' family.


By Michael Gee

Posted Image

Ken Miles and Stirling Moss at Westwood Circuit, May 17, 1966
Photo courtesy Sports Car Club of BC Archives

#722 Doug Nye

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 19:20

Another new acquisition to be highly recommended - Des Hammill's 'Coventry Climax Racing Engines - The Definitive Development History' - Veloce Publishing - ISBN1 903706 83 1 - small but well-produced volume, 192 pages - good photographs and a mass of (to me) new insight, information and detail. Unfortunately there is no individual engine listing of what went where and did what with whom in which car, but this apart I'm very taken with this volume and Des Hammill has done a good job, using great personal reminscence from Climax staff and benefiting from access to the late Walter Hassan's personal papers. There are one or two factual race history gaffes, but I'll forgive Mr Hammill them for his confirmation of what seems to be the REAL story behind the engine failures which deprived Jim Clark and Team Lotus of two World Championship titles - in South Africa 1962 and Mexico 1964. I had heard these stories alluded to before but had never been able to pin them down. Des Hammill fixes them pretty well and passes them on to us.

Overall - remembering that I have only scan-read the piece so far - I recommend this piece of work very highly indeed! And only £16.99 UK or S32.95 USA - great value by Veloce standards....

And yes - this was not a review freebie, my books never are - <www.veloce.co.uk> - <www.velocebooks.com> - deserve the publicity with this one.
DCN

#723 Doug Nye

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 19:30

Originally posted by Ian Stewart
I believe another history of Ecurie Ecosse has been considered, but as far as I know it has been shelved because there would be a very small market for it. Graham got there first, and despite all the work he put into it the book simply didn't sell.... Failing that, opinions on the wisdom of publishing a second effort would be very interesting.


Ian - don't let your potential author be misled by the apparent failure of Graham's book, since in essence it failed because a) it was a pretty poorly produced paperback offered for the price of a decent-quality hardback and b) because it wasnae really good enough...

It grieves me to say this because Graham's a good bloke for whom I have great respect and affection, but this is - in my opinion - the truth of the matter.

In considering whether to try again or not - that book should not really be considered as a serious factor, just think of the long gap since Murray's own book was published...and then get your author to lean on the team's double Le Mans wins and the Jaguar connections AND THE REAL STORY IN BOTH PERSONAL AND TECHNICAL DETAIL and you should have a truly viable sales platform... Go for it. :up:

DCN

#724 Ron Scoma

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 20:46

Originally posted by Doug Nye

Ian - don't let your potential author be misled by the apparent failure of Graham's book, since in essence it failed because a) it was a pretty poorly produced paperback offered for the price of a decent-quality hardback and b) because it wasnae really good enough...

It grieves me to say this because Graham's a good bloke for whom I have great respect and affection, but this is - in my opinion - the truth of the matter.

In considering whether to try again or not - that book should not really be considered as a serious factor, just think of the long gap since Murray's own book was published...and then get your author to lean on the team's double Le Mans wins and the Jaguar connections AND THE REAL STORY IN BOTH PERSONAL AND TECHNICAL DETAIL and you should have a truly viable sales platform... Go for it. :up: DCN


Doug/Ian:
I like Graham's book, can't really say anything bad about it as it has provided many hours of good reading from a first hand source.
I even travelled from Chicago to E'burgh to get a copy directly from him (thereby avoiding the high cost of international postage...) but he was in Hong Kong at the time. OK, so the trip wasn't as well thought out as it could have been but you get the point. When I went back a few months later, after making sure he actually was in Scotland, we met at The George and he was kind enough to take me to the Jim Clark Room, Jim's final resting place, and a few other places of great interest including the Scottish motor racing banquet where David Coulthard was speaking. David made a call to McLaren and I got to drive the F1 road car when I returned to London. A memorable experience to say the least and something for which I truly cannot thank Graham or David enough.
I do hope that if a new book comes out personalities like Major Thompson and Ninian Sanderson are given their due. Major Thompson, to me, epitomizes what a true gentleman should be - an example to all school children, and most adults, throughout the world. I suspect that, like Louis Stanley perhaps, that he had some detractors and I'll let others speak on that, but on the whole the world in general and motor racing in particular are far better off for their lives.
I think a book on Sanderson is a tome waiting to happen. Perhaps it should be listed in the Psychological Studies category though... As I recall Blackie Sanderson is still alive so perhaps this should be a "sooner rather than later" project. I hope and pray I am not mistaken about her.

Anyway, I use to own the EE Sprite that raced at both Sebring and LeMans. I subsequently sold it to Dick Skipworth who had Lynx do a superb restoration, as one would expect when someone who has the dedication of Skipworth combines with the skill of the Lynx people. Witness the EE Transporter. Nuff said.

I have some information on the Sprite and although doubtful that I could add anything to the "story" that is not already known, I would be happy to help in anyway I could.
Besides, I am due for a trip to Scotland, too bad Mount Stuart is not being held this year.
Kind Regards,

Ron Scoma
TNF Badge number 41

#725 duby

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 08:33

Originally posted by Don Capps


Yes.


and...?
is it a good book about the "golden era"...?

#726 Don Capps

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 13:06

No.

#727 petefenelon

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 15:12

LJK Setright's opinionated, idiosyncratic and occasionally downright cranky "Drive On!" for a tenner --

http://www.psbooks.c.....Easp#Nav29905

N.B. this isn't the Palawan edition - it loses the lovely typography and most of the illustrations, so maybe more for the hardcore LJKS fan -- but it's still a nice (and occasionally infuriating) book for a tenner.#

#728 Vitesse2

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 20:44

Originally posted by Don Capps
No.

Could you perhaps expand on that, Don? That might be a contender for the shortest review ever ....

#729 duby

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Posted 10 July 2004 - 07:18

Originally posted by Vitesse2

Could you perhaps expand on that, Don? That might be a contender for the shortest review ever ....


in my opinion , after reading most of the book , its not a "real" motor-sport history book , may be more a book that tells a story , but it gives the main picture about the era , specially for me as a beginner in this era...

#730 Dave Wright

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Posted 10 July 2004 - 18:37

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Another new acquisition to be highly recommended - Des Hammill's 'Coventry Climax Racing Engines - The Definitive Development History' - Veloce Publishing - ISBN1 903706 83 1 - small but well-produced volume, 192 pages - good photographs and a mass of (to me) new insight, information and detail. Unfortunately there is no individual engine listing of what went where and did what with whom in which car, but this apart I'm very taken with this volume and Des Hammill has done a good job, using great personal reminscence from Climax staff and benefiting from access to the late Walter Hassan's personal papers.


I'd echo much of this. It was a book I had been looking forward to for ages and it is well worth getting. I agree with Doug an individual engine listing would have been nice. I was also hoping for more detail on the 4v per cylinder FWMV in service - such as why was the MkVII used by Brabham so unreliable and why did Chapman feel the MkVI produced only 2-3 bhp more than the MkV when Climax claimed 10 bhp? But there was quite a bit of detail I wasn't expecting and for the price it is a bargain.

#731 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 23:10

Duby, I have read 'Driving Forces' as well. Sorry that I did not see your original post on this or I would have gladly responded.

I think I will echo the sentiments of most here regarding this book in that Stevenson seems to try a bit hard to prove a well accepted fact. That the Nazis used German motorsport to advance their political agenda is well known. Accordingly, the government provided funding to Mercedes and Auto-Union, and each company spent far more than they received by way of governmental subsidies to create marvelously advanced (for their day) GP cars. These machines were, in my very humble opinion, huge advancements from the GP cars that preceded them. It is also well known that these fantastic cars were driven mainly by German drivers who generally had no real political agenda and who played the game with the token political acquiescence necessary to compete within the political agenda as administered by the NSKK.

Stevenson takes these basic themes and writes a complete book that brings precious few new facts to light, if any.

While all of Stevenson's assertions are generally true, he only tells part of the full story. The basic premise of the book is that Grand Prix supremacy by the Germans in the 1930's is only the result of the Nazi propaganda effort.

I think I understand correctly that your specific interest is in regard to the Nazi involvement during this period. To view the Age of the Titans solely through this prism is misleading in my view, as the tracks of the era, the epic races, and the supreme personal struggles and often tragic lives of the many personalities who drove and created these wonderful cars is the larger story to be appreciated. Yes the backdrop is highly interesting and an essential part of the complete story.

As the world was to find out on a vastly larger scale from the global conflict which soon followed, the cost in personal terms to achieve German superiority in Grand Prix racing was in the end result, a price far too expensive.

I noticed that you have read Chris Nixon's superb "Racing the Silver Arrows" to provide you with a balanced introductory overview of this incredible time in GP racing.

I would also suggest a search on TNF for relevant threads, particularly the 1939 European Championship pioneered by Hans Etzrodt and many others as required reading on the subject.

I trust that you will find this period as intriguing as do many here on TNF.

#732 duby

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 18:30

Dennis
thanks for your reply .
you have to understand that GP racing for me was , till not long time ago , from 1980's .
i first notice the 34-39 era when visiting the Leif Snellman great web-site and then i started to look for more info .
as a motor-sport fun and also jewish , it was really interesting for me to search this era , that was a very bad one for the jewish people , and to combine the two of them together .
it is now for a few monthes that i am into this research , trying to read every thing (as i can).
the main aim is to write a book on this subject in hebrew , as there is no one for now , but before i will be ready to do this , i want to be sure that i can make it right and to put the history correct .

TNF is sure one of the best sources that i have to make my knoledge better , as many members here are great help .

thanks again
duby

#733 Vitesse2

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 21:37

Duby: although it might not seem directly relevant to your research, I'd recommend you read Anthony Blight's "The French Sportscar Revolution", which covers the same period, but from the French point of view (even though it was written by an Englishman). Meticulously researched and very well written, it is not only a tour de force but also serves as a great model of how to relate racing history to the rest of the world and what was happening in politics and everyday life. I'm part-way through it at the moment and relishing every word!

It's not cheap, even though it has been reduced to clear the last few copies, but it's worth every penny!

#734 Doug Nye

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 21:54

I would whole-heartedly second this recommendation....a brilliant piece of work....

DCN

#735 john medley

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 06:54

I'll third that -- havent enjoyed a book as much for years. The perspective , the depth, and the detail are very impressive

#736 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 12:58

Thanks Vitesse, Doug, and John for the recommendation on "The French Sportscar Revolution" which I have ordered last evening. I am looking forward to reading this one based upon your comments.

To be candid, this book would have never appeared on my radar screen had it not been for your tip.

Thanks.

#737 ensign14

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 13:45

Anthony Blight's other book about Georges Roesch's Talbots, a sort of prequel to French Sportscar Revolution - called I think "The Invincible Talbot" - is also well worth reading if you can find a copy. Only quibble is with the title - he demonstrates in the book that the Talbots were very much 'vincible'...he also tells a strange story about spare inner tubes being used in the 500 mile races at Brooklands in the 30s as a porta-potty, which apparently was told to him tongue-in-cheek and reported deadpan...

#738 Don Capps

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 13:58

RE: Driving Forces.

I think that I simply expected better. The subject matter is one that the bookshelves are not exactly bulging with a surplus of books which better reflect what we now know about this topic and the era. I read the book with the idea gnawing at me that Peter Stevenson could have actually produced a much better book than what ended up in my hands. I kept wanting to strangle the editor at Bentley. A more focused book and one not using invented dialogue -- as one would expect of Truman Capote or Robert Daley -- would have been a very welcome addition to the reference shelf. I am convinced that Stevenson was fully capable of producing that book.

It did not help that I then read Anthony Blight's The French Sportscar Revolution.

Game, Set, Match to Blight.

Driving Forces can serve as an introduction of sorts into this era, simply because there is really little else available at anything that can remotely be considered a reasonable cost. The Nixon and Blight books were not cheap to begin with and only get more expensive as time goes on.

So, while Driving Forces is not exactly a "bad" book, it is falls far short of what Stevenson could have done. Once again, I think that he could have given us a better book than we got since it seems obvious -- to me at least -- that Stevenson has a "feel" for the subject and shows flashes of the book that lurks within the book.

Not every book on this era -- or any other for that matter -- has to be a doctoral thesis or a master's dissertation, but neither can most of them be "entertainments" on the "young adult" level -- great to read, but shallow on the depth of the analysis and almost devoid of the "hard stuff" which only comes from really digging beneath the surface.

#739 Vitesse2

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 22:34

Thank you, Don. I've just ordered a second-hand copy of "Driving Forces" from the US - for half the UK new price - and despite adding a copy of the University of Georgia Savannah races book to the order, the price including postage still works out cheaper than getting it here! Long live the cheap dollar!

I shall read it with your and Dennis' comments in mind ....

Ensign: I got a copy of the other Blight book a few weeks back on eBay. It's in my "to read" pile, but the previous owner appears to have been a heavy pipe smoker, since it carries a distinct tang of Condor Ready Rubbed and is very brown! So I've left it open in a spare room to try to defumigate it ....

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#740 green-blood

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Posted 15 July 2004 - 13:57

I was at a classic car meeting here in Dublin at teh weekend, showing off our 1966 mini, anyway I bought both "Against the odds" - James Hunt (with Eoin Young) and "To Hell and Back" - Niki Lauda's 1986 biog.... it will eb interesting to sit down and read them together to see how the viewed the events of 76 differently - total cost €15 or about 10 sterling - well chuffed

#741 Geza Sury

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 07:49

I visited a Ferrari test session at Monza on Wednesday and happy to report that the Monza bookshop is still open. They virtually have every important motor racing book there, even very rare ones. If you happened to be near Milan, you should visit this, no question. The prices are a bit high, though. Eventually I only bought one book, "It Beats Working" by Eoin Young, which is very hard to find these days.

#742 Vitesse2

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 22:23

Originally posted by Don Capps
RE: Driving Forces.

I think that I simply expected better. The subject matter is one that the bookshelves are not exactly bulging with a surplus of books which better reflect what we now know about this topic and the era. I read the book with the idea gnawing at me that Peter Stevenson could have actually produced a much better book than what ended up in my hands. I kept wanting to strangle the editor at Bentley. A more focused book and one not using invented dialogue -- as one would expect of Truman Capote or Robert Daley -- would have been a very welcome addition to the reference shelf. I am convinced that Stevenson was fully capable of producing that book.

It did not help that I then read Anthony Blight's The French Sportscar Revolution.

Game, Set, Match to Blight.

Driving Forces can serve as an introduction of sorts into this era, simply because there is really little else available at anything that can remotely be considered a reasonable cost. The Nixon and Blight books were not cheap to begin with and only get more expensive as time goes on.

So, while Driving Forces is not exactly a "bad" book, it is falls far short of what Stevenson could have done. Once again, I think that he could have given us a better book than we got since it seems obvious -- to me at least -- that Stevenson has a "feel" for the subject and shows flashes of the book that lurks within the book.

Not every book on this era -- or any other for that matter -- has to be a doctoral thesis or a master's dissertation, but neither can most of them be "entertainments" on the "young adult" level -- great to read, but shallow on the depth of the analysis and almost devoid of the "hard stuff" which only comes from really digging beneath the surface.


Having now read about half of "Driving Forces", I must say I agree, but I think you've almost been too generous, Don. I found the narrative confusing, jumping as it does from 1923 to 1933, then back to 1924 and so on with no indication of the relative timescales. I know the story quite well, but to the uninitiated reader it would make no sense. I'm finding errors of fact on virtually every page that isn't based on Caracciola's autobiography or "Mein Mann der Rennfahrer" (i.e. every second chapter), typos (Delayhaye anybody?), distortions ("Williams" was French apparently), half-truths (Delahaye were allegedly running GP cars in 1933 and Nuvolari beat the German teams in the 1936 Vanderbilt) and perpetuated myths (the paint-scratching, of course :rolleyes: )

I think I see where he's heading, but I'm not sure that his basic premise for the book is correct and I think he's trying to read far too much into (for example) the early rivalry between Caratsch and Bernd. He has also relied far too much on Don Alfredo ....

#743 Magee

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 22:56

I'm very curious to learn about the merits of a book, fiction or non-fiction, that appeal to our forum members especially those on this thread.
What are the ingredients of a good read? Of course, there could not be a consensus as we all know. However, there should be agreement on a list of about a dozen of basic elements as it applies to motor sport history if that subject of study is any different than other fields of study.
eg. "Track" history of author; subject; spelling errors; inaccurate information; not enough photos; too many photos; time period; etc.
Any ideas?

#744 Frank S

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 01:32

Originally posted by Magee
I'm very curious to learn about the merits of a book, fiction or non-fiction, that appeal to our forum members especially those on this thread.
What are the ingredients of a good read? Of course, there could not be a consensus as we all know. However, there should be agreement on a list of about a dozen of basic elements as it applies to motor sport history if that subject of study is any different than other fields of study.
eg. "Track" history of author; subject; spelling errors; inaccurate information; not enough photos; too many photos; time period; etc.
Any ideas?


(I had a "vanished text" incident. Sometimes a motive to concision.)

Industrial Psychology taught about "Critical Incidents", a digest of which can describe a job, or appropriate worker reaction in important circumstances. I suppose a similar approach could be applied to your quest. If you intend a Master's Thesis on the subject, prepare your academic arsenal; if you want to accumulate a fund of imaginings to knead into a book outline, consider these:

Category A - Lead a reader on in spite of him/herself

· Absolute need for the information overrides any friction
· Material resonates with known or unknown proclivities
· Author's voice renders even useless material worthy
· Author's background guarantees poignant information
· Overall tone shows the author enjoys
his/her portion of the interaction


Category S - Create a morass and eventually a barrier
to continuing (not necessarily in order of onerosity)

· Gray pages (tiny text, long lines, too many lines)
· Gray language (flowers where none should grow)
· White pages (is this person stretching what
s/he has to say, or just artistic...?)
· Copy edit errors
· Consistent errors of fact and/or logic
· Religiosity (not necessarily about religion)
· Failure to adhere to an established pattern,
temporal or otherwise
· Blatant self-promotion
· Smugness of voice and posture

As you may infer, there is a predominance of partially-read books in my library...

#745 petefenelon

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 09:50

Originally posted by Magee
I'm very curious to learn about the merits of a book, fiction or non-fiction, that appeal to our forum members especially those on this thread.
What are the ingredients of a good read? Of course, there could not be a consensus as we all know. However, there should be agreement on a list of about a dozen of basic elements as it applies to motor sport history if that subject of study is any different than other fields of study.
eg. "Track" history of author; subject; spelling errors; inaccurate information; not enough photos; too many photos; time period; etc.
Any ideas?


(1) It must be right. A book that contains too high a proportion of factual errors loses credibility, and makes me think I could've written it myself - every significant mistake (about the book's subject matter; I care somewhat less if irrelevant background is wrong) puts a dent in the research...

(2) It must be well researched - it has to tell me more than I could get reading back issues of the comics or browsing Forix. It must go beyond the easily-available primary sources - ideally, including "eyewitness" material, first-hand stories, or source documents that were not previously available.

(3) It must be well-written - which applies just as much to reference works as narrative - the facts and stories must be well-organised, there must be a logical flow through the book, and there must be a consistent tone and writing style.

(4) The author(s) must care - a book that's merely written because the market says there's room for one almost invariably feels hollow and pointless.

I've got books about every period of racing from the turn of the 20th century to the turn of the 21st; so really the period doesn't bother me too much - I will read about almost anything if it's a good book. Similarly it doesn't bother me whether it's about Grands Prix, sports or touring car racing, lesser single seaters, rallies, drag racing, hillclimbs, NASCAR whatever. Motorsport is motorsport, and a good writer can make any aspect of it fascinating.

I'm not particularly impressed by glossy books - but if a book is well-illustrated with a good selection of pictures so much the better.

#746 Magee

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 17:45

Pete, I agree with the ingredient of primary resources rather than secondary. Is your preference, then, autobiographies over biographies? Do you have any copies of autobiographies that you wish you had never bought?

Your four principles are a good start. :up:

#747 duby

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 18:27

is there any possibility that Mr. Stevenson will write here some thing in "defence" of his writing...??

#748 petefenelon

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 22:57

Originally posted by Magee
Pete, I agree with the ingredient of primary resources rather than secondary. Is your preference, then, autobiographies over biographies? Do you have any copies of autobiographies that you wish you had never bought?

Your four principles are a good start. :up:


I don't mind biographies that are written either after close contact with the subject or with those who knew him well. I don't like biographies that are rehashes of race reports and press releases, when something "first hand" could've been written (Hilton's efforts on contemporary drivers come to mind).

Many "autobiographies" are ghosted (some openly, some less so) anyway - the few that clearly aren't and appear to be in the subject's own words are much more fun. Tony Rudd, Innes Ireland, Mark Donohue, Peter Revson, Graham Hill - all superb. (actually, one of the best unghosted "sporting" ;) autobiographies ever is wrestler Mick Foley's Have A Nice Day - a book he wrote in longhand!) I would be fasincated to read a "gloves off" Surtees autobiography - the Surtees/Henry one seems to pull quite a lot of punches and doesn't really cover the Team Surtees years at all well....

Oh and then there's Smokey Yunick. His epic autobiography is crude, totally unpolished, semi-literate, obscene, egotistical, sensational...... and utterly bloody brilliant, every one of the 1100+ pages of it! - quite the most remarkable life I've ever read about, and you really do need it!

As for biographies - to name but a few, Edwards' books on Moss and Scott-Brown, David Gordon's The Derek Bennett Story, Mo Hamilton on Ken Tyrrell, Eoin Young on Chris Amon (though it could've had a bit more about Amon the man), Adam Cooper's superb book on Piers Courage, Donaldson's works on Villeneuve and Hunt, Chula's little book on Dick Seaman, and Chris Nixnon's monumental Mon Ami Mate and moving Rosemeyer! - all excellent examples of the biographer's art. Pruller's biography of Rindt suffers from a stilted translation, I'd love to be able to read it in German.

The last racing book I regretted buying was Vol. 2 of Leo Levine's "The Dust and the Glory". Volume 1 is downright excellent, but Volume 2 is a badly-edited, badly-written, factually incorrect (ask Karl Ludvigsen about the C100 chapter!) and almost unreadably bitty book that can't decide which aspects of Ford's competition history it wants to talk about. There was a fair amount of raw information in there, but far too much waffle. Fortunately I got it cheaply through the SAE.... before that, I think the last major disappointment I had was "The Piranha Club" which promised much, but told me nothing I didn't already know apart from more details of the Schumacher transfer to Benetton.

#749 ensign14

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 06:02

Originally posted by petefenelon
Many "autobiographies" are ghosted (some openly, some less so) anyway - the few that clearly aren't and appear to be in the subject's own words are much more fun.

One - or rather 2 - exception(s): "Challenge Me The Race" and "Champion Year" by Mike Hawthorn. The latter cost me 20 pesetas from a bookshop in Fuengirola when I was about 13...best value ever?

#750 petefenelon

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 09:18

Originally posted by ensign14
One - or rather 2 - exception(s): "Challenge Me The Race" and "Champion Year" by Mike Hawthorn. The latter cost me 20 pesetas from a bookshop in Fuengirola when I was about 13...best value ever?


I've read both of these a few times, I wasn't sure whether these were ghosted or not, Champion Year I thought might've been - it is much less idiosyncratic and full of interesting asides than Challenge Me The Race........