My copy of Michael Oliver's "Lotus 72 - Formula One Icon" arrived today. Those who read my ramble on some recent Lotus books and earlier musings re: books on Colin Chapman may have surmised correctly that (a) I am a pain in the a** Lotus devotee and (b) if anything was published anywhere in the 1970s about Lotus F1 cars I think I've seen it and will bitch incessantly if it is simply regurgitated.
But I also liked what I'd seen here about Michael Oliver's concern for his books and understated pride and I'd decided even if I didn't like what I saw I'd keep mum.
No Fricking way do I keep quiet. I've spent the last five hours nose deep in this book and it is fricking marvellous. It is simply superb. It is f***ing brilliant.
I'd never seen the Giugiaro sketch for the Lotus 76 airbox - and yes the second gen 77 airbox does look a lot like it. I'd never seen JYS's humorous retort to the invoice for dry-cleaning Emmo's clothes after the '73 Monaco slowing down collision - things were more fun back then! There was a recent thread here about the accident en route to the '72 Italian GP, well Michael gives the full story on page 107. We recently debated Henton - and whether he fulfilled his potential. Well Michael catches the why Lotus hired him (god JPTL were in the wilderness in '75) - the "biggest bag of s***" quote and also the "silly buggar" reaction of the Team before Henton's career with JPTL ended at the same time the 72's did. For heavens sake there is even a picture of page 1 of the Worldwide Racing Limited letter agreement with Alex Soler-Roig - he was to do 10 races!!! (I'm a lawyer - humor me, I may have died and gone to heaven here - but I'm happy - I love insights into the business side of F1 in the 70s). Photos of examples of Teams notes and notebooks - cor! There is a lot of other fresh stuff and I ain't even really started reading this yet.
I LOVE the production values - there are a lot of pictures that are fresh to me (as Pete mentions the book is really strong on SA) and I'm pleased to see more shots of the Rob Walker 72 but the Thomas Rohracher shot of the wingless 72 as Jochen braked for Parabolica on his last lap choked me up. Fantastic.
And the size works for me - I also liked William Turner's two Lotus books - all the more space for pictures and text. You just need to have a bidet next to your loo to rest the darn thing on
I didn't buy the expensive one - blame Karl for that ;) (my Excellence has yet to arrive
)- but Michael, if you can get someone to publish your book on the Lotus wing-cars (my favorites)- I will be first in line to buy the limited edition version.
All I can say is if you like 1970s Motor Racing - this is a total must have.
Michael, Thank You.