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Fuel & Oil Company “Achievement” Booklets


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#1 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 08:52

During the 1950s and 1960s, a series of advertising booklets was produced by the likes of Shell, Ferodo and Castrol, which as well as being quite successful commercially also contributed in no small way many a schoolboy dream. The longest-running and most successful of these was produced by CC Wakefield Ltd and although its title varied from year to year, is known generally as the “Castrol Achievements Book”.

The Achievements book was produced as an annual and was first published in 1912 to publicise the racing and record-breaking activities on land, sea and air – all those depicted having been attained using Castrol lubricants, of course, as these were after all, advertising booklets. Wakefield had of course been one of the sport’s first commercial benefactors and one of the first to understand the value of endorsement of his products by household names.

Although other companies would produce similar “Achievements” books, only those produced by Shell (1950-1964?), BP (1955?-1964?) and also brake company Ferodo (??) are of similar note to the Castrol publications. The BP effort was similarly orientated across a range of disciplines as the Castrol booklets, while those by Shell and Ferodo were primarily orientated towards Grand Prix racing, which was hardly surprising as both companies were heavily involved in this category.

Looking back at these little (22cm x 13 cm, c. 46-48 pages) booklets, what strikes the reader about the Castrol Achievements Books in particular (and probably what endeared them to motoring enthusiasts) is that they are filled with excellent photographs, often unavailable elsewhere. The fact that they was available free on request from local Castrol companies was no doubt a big point in their favour, especially when – in a particularly clever piece of marketing – for a time one would also receive a free lubrication chart for the car or motorcycle of choice.

The Castrol Achievements Book also benefitted from superb cover artwork (including paintings by including Michael Turner and Gordon Horner amongst others). I understand it was still being published in the new millennium (though I haven’t seen recent copies myself) so its longevity was way beyond anything achieved by its rivals.

A little-mentioned artefact these days, but possibly an introduction to the sport for a number of TNFers?

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#2 Sterzo

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 09:47

A little-mentioned artefact these days, but possibly an introduction to the sport for a number of TNFers?

Defintely a part of that introduction, along with The Boy's Book of Motor Racing (who else knows Lithuania's racing colours?), and a trip to Oulton Park. But where are they now? Might there be one in my loft? I may be some time...



#3 Tim Murray

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 10:23

Castrol contributed significantly to my early ‘education’:

522-A50-DA-635-D-405-E-823-C-092-D787-E5

F2899-D15-9-A5-F-4-D83-821-D-4-FF2-B8-B1

The ‘Achievements’ booklets were excellent, but by definition covered only Castrol users, so were a bit lacking in their overall coverage.

#4 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 10:58

I love the cover art of those early 1960s Castrol booklets - it reminds me of "Eagle", "Trigan Empire", "Look & Learn" and other similarly important elements of my early "education".

 

1960.jpg

 

1960

 

1961.jpg

 

1961

 

1963N.jpg

 

1963

 

 

Never had these two, though  :|

 

1938.jpg

 

1955.jpg

 

1955


Edited by Jon Saltinstall, 06 January 2020 - 11:25.


#5 D-Type

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 12:16

They were part of my growing up into a petrolhead.  My grandad used to post Castrol Achievements to me in Kenya.  In 1960 or so they also produced a "Castrol - the First 50 years" book in similar format.



#6 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 12:35

They were part of my growing up into a petrolhead.  My grandad used to post Castrol Achievements to me in Kenya.  In 1960 or so they also produced a "Castrol - the First 50 years" book in similar format.

 

That's be this one, then - covered the period 1909-1959  :wave:

 

1909-59.jpg


Edited by Jon Saltinstall, 06 January 2020 - 12:36.


#7 BRG

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 15:05

 

1963N.jpg

 

1963

What the hell was this about?  It must have happened as it is a Michael Turner painting, but I never knew of any such achievement by a Corsair.  i did read once that Ford built a couple of twin-cam powered Corsairs as a trial effort but I thought it came to nothing.   :confused:



#8 Geoff E

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 15:22

What the hell was this about?  It must have happened as it is a Michael Turner painting, but I never knew of any such achievement by a Corsair.  i did read once that Ford built a couple of twin-cam powered Corsairs as a trial effort but I thought it came to nothing.   :confused:

 

It might have been what is referred to in this post https://forums.autos...o/#entry3400199



#9 10kDA

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 15:30

Excellent illustrations!



#10 BRG

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 15:30

It might have been what is referred to in this post https://forums.autos...o/#entry3400199

Ah yes, thanks!  We live and learn, thanks to TNF.



#11 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 15:36

What the hell was this about?  It must have happened as it is a Michael Turner painting, but I never knew of any such achievement by a Corsair.  i did read once that Ford built a couple of twin-cam powered Corsairs as a trial effort but I thought it came to nothing.   :confused:

 

The story goes that Ford was basking in the success of the London to Cape Town record set by Eric Jackson and Ken Chambers and the publicity it had generated for the Cortina. Walter Hayes of Ford wasn’t one to rest on his laurels however and not long after the London to Cape Town trip he approached Jackson to see how long he thought it would take you to drive round the world. Ken Chambers was once again recruited as co-driver and a Corsair was prepared at Ford. Visas were ‘procured’, routes established and just a few months after their return from the gruelling London to Cape Town trip, the intrepid duo set off from America for what was to be referred to as ‘the big drive’. The story of the trip is accounted in Eric Jackson's book "Petrol Is In My Blood" and shortly after the trip was completed, there was an Autosport article (Dated 23.10.1963).about the marathon drive.  

 

The Corsair is pictured below just outside Tehran. Presumably looking for a Castrol stop....

 

rpad.jpg


Edited by Jon Saltinstall, 06 January 2020 - 15:42.


#12 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 15:41

Excellent illustrations!

 

Here's a few more   ;)

 

1950.jpg

 

1951.jpg

 

1952.jpg

 

1953.jpg

 

1954.jpg

 

1954

 

1956.jpg

 

1956

 

1957.jpg

 

1957

 

1959.jpg

 

1959



#13 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 15:43

Contrasting with BP's contemporary offerings.....

 

1957-BP.jpg

 

1958-BP.jpg



#14 barrykm

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 15:54

The excellent Castrol Achievements booklets were the absolute foundation of my love of motorsport. All of those cover images posted above are so familiar.

 

I started poring repeatedly over these booklets, given to me by my Dad, at the age of five or six (therefore 1958 and 1959) and it carried on from there - all that was needed to cement this growing fascination were early visits to race meetings at the Westmead and Roy Hesketh circuits in Natal, South Africa...the excitement, lovely sounds, and regular whiffs of Castrol R. That was it...done!  :love:  :stoned:


Edited by barrykm, 06 January 2020 - 16:02.


#15 BRG

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 16:02

 

The Corsair is pictured below just outside Tehran. Presumably looking for a Castrol stop....

 

rpad.jpg

 

Not somewhere you would want to be today, sadly  The car looks a lot less...dashing, let's say, than in Turner's painting.  No sign writing, no loaded luggage rack, but still with its hub caps, amazingly.   You'd think they would have been discarded form the outset.



#16 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 16:16

The excellent Castrol Achievements booklets were the absolute foundation of my love of motorsport. All of those cover images posted above are so familiar.

 

I started poring repeatedly over these booklets, given to me by my Dad, at the age of five or six (therefore 1958 and 1959) and it carried on from there - all that was needed to cement this growing fascination were early visits to race meetings at the Westmead and Roy Hesketh circuits in Natal, South Africa...the excitement, lovely sounds, and regular whiffs of Castrol R. That was it...done!  :love:  :stoned:

 

Cheers Barry. A couple more from the sixties then, to evoke a little nostalgia....

 

1964.jpg

 

1965.jpg

 

1966.jpg

 

1967.jpg

 

1968.jpg

 

1969.jpg

 

1969



#17 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 16:18

And then came the 1970s - and another marked change in style.....

 

1970.jpg


Edited by Jon Saltinstall, 06 January 2020 - 16:18.


#18 Paul Parker

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 16:20

During the 1950s and 1960s, a series of advertising booklets was produced by the likes of Shell, Ferodo and Castrol, which as well as being quite successful commercially also contributed in no small way many a schoolboy dream. The longest-running and most successful of these was produced by CC Wakefield Ltd and although its title varied from year to year, is known generally as the “Castrol Achievements Book”.

The Achievements book was produced as an annual and was first published in 1912 to publicise the racing and record-breaking activities on land, sea and air – all those depicted having been attained using Castrol lubricants, of course, as these were after all, advertising booklets. Wakefield had of course been one of the sport’s first commercial benefactors and one of the first to understand the value of endorsement of his products by household names.

Although other companies would produce similar “Achievements” books, only those produced by Shell (1950-1964?), BP (1955?-1964?) and also brake company Ferodo (??) are of similar note to the Castrol publications. The BP effort was similarly orientated across a range of disciplines as the Castrol booklets, while those by Shell and Ferodo were primarily orientated towards Grand Prix racing, which was hardly surprising as both companies were heavily involved in this category.

Looking back at these little (22cm x 13 cm, c. 46-48 pages) booklets, what strikes the reader about the Castrol Achievements Books in particular (and probably what endeared them to motoring enthusiasts) is that they are filled with excellent photographs, often unavailable elsewhere. The fact that they was available free on request from local Castrol companies was no doubt a big point in their favour, especially when – in a particularly clever piece of marketing – for a time one would also receive a free lubrication chart for the car or motorcycle of choice.

The Castrol Achievements Book also benefitted from superb cover artwork (including paintings by including Michael Turner and Gordon Horner amongst others). I understand it was still being published in the new millennium (though I haven’t seen recent copies myself) so its longevity was way beyond anything achieved by its rivals.

A little-mentioned artefact these days, but possibly an introduction to the sport for a number of TNFers?

 

 I had several of these in the early 60s which are still lingering somewhere but I cannot recall now where they came from in period, I suppose I must have filled in a card perhaps from Autocar or Motor.



#19 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 16:44

As far as I remember, if you simply wrote to Castrol or your local dealer, they just sent you a copy. Simpler times ... 


Edited by Jon Saltinstall, 06 January 2020 - 16:45.


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#20 68targa

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 16:45

I seem to remember that you had to apply for these, free of course.  I am not sure if they came with the Castrol lubrication charts of the time that were also free. The earlier years from Castrol had the nicest artwork in my opinion



#21 10kDA

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 17:05

Thanks for posting. Gotta love the Pathe film crew working the MG EX179 record runs!

 

Here's a few more   ;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

1956.jpg

 

1956

 

 



#22 RogerFrench

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 17:11

Castrol made a lot of effort to appeal to the enthusiast back then, and were also very helpful about which of their products to use. I remember corresponding with them when I wanted both Girling and Lockheed brakes on a car and wondered about which fluid to use, being too mean to consider dual master cylinders. I can't remember the outcome, but I do remember their non-dismissive attitude which created a brand loyalty I still feel today.

#23 Tim Murray

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 19:10

1957-BP.jpg


Interesting - no crumpled nose.  ;)

72-D52-E16-9744-44-BD-9156-885-A306-F85-

#24 MCS

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 19:20

Here's a few more   ;)

 

 

1952.jpg

 

Wow!  :clap:



#25 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 19:48

Love that Spa painting - it gives a really impression of a summer holiday atmosphere, a bit like there used to be at the Osterreichring in the early 1970s.

 

Found a few of the pre-F1 era booklets, below. the first few almost have a sense of impending menace....

 

1931.jpg

 

1931

 

1933.jpg

 

1934.jpg

 

1935.jpg

 

1936.jpg

 

1937.jpg

 

 

1949.jpg



#26 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 19:49

Interesting - no crumpled nose.  ;)

72-D52-E16-9744-44-BD-9156-885-A306-F85-

 

Clearly the artist made his working sketches on the previous lap  :rotfl:



#27 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 20:02

The latest one I could find.....

 

1974.jpg



#28 MCS

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 09:35

So was the last one for sale ("Show price 30p") at the 1975 Racing Car Show at Olympia I wonder?



#29 68targa

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 10:19

This was a show guide that had to be paid for - They called it the 'Great Motoring Extravaganza'



#30 Giraffe

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 11:43


Cheers Barry. A couple more from the sixties then, to evoke a little nostalgia....

1964.jpg

1965.jpg

1966.jpg

1967.jpg

1968.jpg

1969.jpg

1969


Q4kSyN.jpg

Phil Bradford standing next to Sid Taylor's Lola. Phil had to hastily bring the car back from Austria for the shoot, and then take it back there. PS the engine remained in Austria where it was being rebuilt between races. :smoking:

#31 Roger Clark

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 15:40

I've got several magazines with postage paid postcards for requesting the Castrol booklets.  Perhaps it's time to send them off.



#32 D-Type

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 16:01

I've got several magazines with postage paid postcards for requesting the Castrol booklets.  Perhaps it's time to send them off.

It would be fun, just to see how they replied.
 



#33 Odseybod

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 16:39

In my early days as an advertising copywriter - when of course things were done 'proper' - we had drummed into us the principle that every offer coupon or competition entry form must clearly state a closing date (including the year), as a defence against the archetypal little old lady who discovers it under the floorboards at some future date and justifiably demands her reward.

 

Roger, this could be your chance to be that little old lady ...



#34 Roger Clark

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 16:42

In my early days as an advertising copywriter - when of course things were done 'proper' - we had drummed into us the principle that every offer coupon or competition entry form must clearly state a closing date (including the year), as a defence against the archetypal little old lady who discovers it under the floorboards at some future date and justifiably demands her reward.

 

Roger, this could be your chance to be that little old lady ...

There are some who would say I've been like that for years.



#35 john winfield

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 16:53

I have some spare Castrol coupons too - some poor customer relations person is going to get a shock!

 

It was from Shell Successes that I learned about Grand Prix racing. I couldn't understand why there was so much fuss about Jim Clark and Lotus. BRM and Ferrari seemed to be utterly dominant! And I think only Ferrari ever won long distance races.



#36 BRG

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 17:30

I wonder for how long 'postage paid' remains valid?  Definitely worth sending one off just to see what happens.  



#37 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 18:57

I have some spare Castrol coupons too - some poor customer relations person is going to get a shock!

 

It was from Shell Successes that I learned about Grand Prix racing. I couldn't understand why there was so much fuss about Jim Clark and Lotus. BRM and Ferrari seemed to be utterly dominant! And I think only Ferrari ever won long distance races.

 

Did Lotus win some races in the 1960s then, John ?  :rotfl:


Edited by Jon Saltinstall, 07 January 2020 - 18:57.


#38 john winfield

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 19:09

Did Lotus win some races in the 1960s then, John ?  :rotfl:

 

Not that I remember, Jon, but I'll check the Shell books!

 

I've owned at one time or another plenty of the Castrol and Ferodo books but don't recall any Esso publications. Did they produce anything similar?



#39 MCS

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 19:09

This was a show guide that had to be paid for - They called it the 'Great Motoring Extravaganza'

Where was the show, out of interest?  :)



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#40 1969BOAC500

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 19:29

Lovely books - so glad to see the 1969 copy pictured. I sent off for my free copy way back then, pored over it for ages, and still have it. Maybe Sid Taylor's T70 in my 'avatar' pic has something to do with it......



#41 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 19:29

Not that I remember, Jon, but I'll check the Shell books!

 

I've owned at one time or another plenty of the Castrol and Ferodo books but don't recall any Esso publications. Did they produce anything similar?

 

I haven't been able to find any, John, but maybe - like Lotus - that's because they didn't win anything either?  :drunk:  :drunk:

 

Anyway, now you've set me off on the Shell booklets....

 

S1952.jpg

 

S1953.jpg

 

S1954.jpg

 

S1958.jpg

 

S1959.jpg

 

S1960.jpg

 

S1961.jpg

 

S1962.jpg

 

S1963.jpg

 

S1964.jpg



#42 Sterzo

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 20:00

I'll keep following this thread in anticipation of the Notwen Achievements booklets.



#43 68targa

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 14:38

Where was the show, out of interest?  :)

Held at Olympia in London - They had stands for different decades  1900's, 1910's and so on.



#44 Doug Nye

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 21:33

I ran a Donington Collection display stand for Tom Wheatcroft at that 1974 Castrol Extravaganza. We had three or four cars on it, and I had to recruit some staff for the duration of the Show.  I think we were recommended to do so through an exhibition agency.  In those uncomplicated times we ended up with a group of half a dozen (or so) very pleasant girls to do the job.  

 

The Collection was billed at the time as the 'World's Biggest' and we had white tee-shirts printed with that line across the chest. On the girls this proved in literal terms to be an offence against the trade descriptions act - but few visitors complained - and the girls themselves apparently enjoyed the joke, and proved more than capable of handling the resultant repartee. I seem to recall the Extravaganza being quite a lengthy affair, lasting a week or more?  

 

It was quite fun...   :blush:

 

DCN



#45 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 12:33

Not that I remember, Jon, but I'll check the Shell books!

 

I've owned at one time or another plenty of the Castrol and Ferodo books but don't recall any Esso publications. Did they produce anything similar?

I remember Esso stuff in the 60s.  Plus Tiger Tails

The Castrol stuff I also remember though an Aussie version

Golden Fleece too who spent money sponsoring speedway and their stuff was speedway and road orientated



#46 nexfast

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 00:16

Some of the above issues of Castrol achievements are being sold at an auction:

 

https://www.catawiki...strol-1960-1970



#47 dgs

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 07:42

I have a Shell  achievement book 'Ferrari in Racing' 1950-2001' it is  softbound,

landscape 230mm x 140mm and runs to 272 pages. Mainly colour illustrations and statistics show every 1-3 places Ferrari cars achieved in each year. Also shows technical data on each model.



#48 john winfield

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 11:34

I have a Shell  achievement book 'Ferrari in Racing' 1950-2001' it is  softbound,

landscape 230mm x 140mm and runs to 272 pages. Mainly colour illustrations and statistics show every 1-3 places Ferrari cars achieved in each year. Also shows technical data on each model.

 

I have this one too. Despite having 'For promotional use only' printed on the back it's quite a different beast to the first Shell book I had back in 1964/65. This ran to about 24 pages, rather than 272!  That's Formula 1 budget escalation for you.  :drunk:

 

Edit: Ferrari dominant in both books, very little BRM content in the newer one......


Edited by john winfield, 26 February 2020 - 11:36.