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#1 Dennis David

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Posted 08 January 2002 - 22:31

If I was starting a library these are the ten books that I would start with. The greatest books with broad coverage. Now I have left out many great books that are more specialized since I said above that I would start with these ten first.

The Grand Prix Car Vol 1-2 by Laurence Pomeroy & adapted to CD by Les Rix
These are legendary books.

History of the Grand Prix Car 1945-65 by Doug Nye
History of the Grand Prix Car 1966-91 by Doug Nye
Follows in the footsteps of Pomeroy and Setright

The Complete History of Grand Prix Motor Racing by Adriano Cimarosti
Best one volume history.

The Encyclopedia of Motor Sport by GN Georgano
The only true encyclopedia in a land of pretenders.

Power & Glory, Vol 1-2 by William Court
Nobody does it better.

My Cars, My Career by Stirling Moss
A template for all driver biographies…

The Racing Driver by Denis Jenkinson
Still the best description of what it takes to be a racing driver.

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#2 rdrcr

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Posted 08 January 2002 - 22:37

Thanks for the insights! :up: Much appreciated... I got the Complete History of Grand Prix Motor Racing by Adriano Cimarosti over the holidays as a gift.

#3 Geza Sury

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Posted 08 January 2002 - 22:47

Thanks for the tips Denis! Actually, I'm just starting to build a library, because currently I own a relatively small amount of motor racing books! BTW, I would include the Grand Prix! series by Mike Lang from which series currently I own only the fourth volume.

#4 Dennis David

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Posted 08 January 2002 - 23:15

The Lang series of which I have all four would be my next selection in that category. I think it best to break the library down into topics rather than just categories. Let me give you an idea, lets say the topic was "what's it really like out there" I would look at books that contain annecdotes such as Motor Racing Masterpieces by Stirling Moss or race accounts like Great Auto Races by Richard Hough. Then there are best of breed where you are interested in a particular marquee like Mercedes then you must have one of Karl's books like Quicksilver Century or the one that I have, Mercedes-Benz Racing Cars,

Stay away from the encyclopedias most of them are only good for keeping you warm if you run out of wood for the fireplace. Buy the encyclopedia that I have mentioned then purchase one of the Autocourse annuals each year. These are great bargains that really go up in price.

Biographies are another black hole. Besides the fact that most of the drivers are plastic, besides Schumacher and Hakkinen none of them have done anything to merit a book let alone 10 minutes of air time! I'm not saying that driving is easy but you now have two drivers that have won WCs or even come within a wiff of one. Most have not even won a race. I may resort to one of the compilations since most are only worth a paragraph or two.

One thing that is hard to do is to be selective. It's a problem for all of use especially with all of the new books coming out but it is better to own 20 good books than 100 crappy ones. They may cost more but you will find yourself reading them over and over again.

#5 Dennis David

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Posted 08 January 2002 - 23:18

If you have a chance take a look at William Court's Power and Glory books or My Two Lives by Rene Dreyfus and you'll see what you've been missing.

#6 Don Capps

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 01:31

Originally posted by Dennis David
If I was starting a library these are the ten books that I would start with. The greatest books with broad coverage. Now I have left out many great books that are more specialized since I said above that I would start with these ten first.

The Grand Prix Car Vol 1-2 by Laurence Pomeroy & adapted to CD by Les Rix
These are legendary books.

History of the Grand Prix Car 1945-65 by Doug Nye
History of the Grand Prix Car 1966-91 by Doug Nye
Follows in the footsteps of Pomeroy and Setright

The Complete History of Grand Prix Motor Racing by Adriano Cimarosti
Best one volume history.

The Encyclopedia of Motor Sport by GN Georgano
The only true encyclopedia in a land of pretenders.

Power & Glory, Vol 1-2 by William Court
Nobody does it better.

My Cars, My Career by Stirling Moss
A template for all driver biographies…

The Racing Driver by Denis Jenkinson
Still the best description of what it takes to be a racing driver.


This is a topic I never tire of and which is getting tougher and tougher to discuss it seems. Of these, the only ones I don't have are the Pomeroy books -- please DD, send me the address for the CD-ROM again!.

However, there are others which are less GP-specific and of which are available that I could suggest as well:

American Sports Car Racing in the 1950's -- by our very own Michael T. ( 'Cabianca' ) Lynch

American Grand Prix Racing -- Tim Considine

Offenhauser; Kurtis-Kraft; the Kurtis-Kraft Indy Cars -- all by Gordon E. White

Can-Am -- Pete Lyons

The Miller Dynasty -- Mark Dees

Porsche: Excellence was Expected -- Karl Ludvigsen

There are still some of the MBI books on the Chaparal, the Corvette Gran Sport, Scarab, and so forth sitting on book shelves out there. Grab 'em....

What I do suggest is that you start somewhere and work your way towards the object of your collection: there are those who are "Collectors" and then there are those who are "Researchers." As for the former, I spit on their graves, since they tend to forget that books are meant to be used.....

Yours in the Spirit of the Pursuit of Information Socialism,

The Scribe

;)

#7 Dennis David

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 02:25

The The Miller Dynasty -- Mark Dees is on my list as is the French Sports Car Revolution.

For the CD try:
http://www.enginfoserv.com/index.htm

#8 Keir

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 04:08

Good, but try these:

Grand Prix Year by Ted Simon - Still the best account of a GP season, ever!!!!!

All Arms and Elbows by Innes Ireland - Great tales of a time, sadly gone by!!!!!

It Beats Working by Eoin Young - As good a book as I have ever read. Unputdownable!!!!!

Brockbanks Grand Prix by Russell Brockbank - Absolutely Required!!!!!

#9 Dennis David

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 04:29

Grand Prix Year by Ted Simon may be good but The Checquered Flag by Douglas Rutherford and Grand Prix by Barre Lyndon are better, trust me.

#10 cabianca

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 06:05

While we all love the cars, what really makes racing is the people involved. You younger dudes have been cheated since the advent of corporate sponsorship has made almost all drivers today politically correct and as boring as most members of Parliament or US Congress. Two books that have some good stories about the craziness that used to exist off-track and on are 1) Mon Ami Mate, by Chris Nixon about Ferrari teammates Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins and 2) The Cobra-Ferrari Wars by Michael Shoen which covers the 1963-65 GT Championship battles when Carroll Shelby set out to "kick Ferrari's ass" and succeeded. Mike Hawthorn running from room to room in a whorehouse and Bob Bondurant, late for the grid, running the wrong way on a one-way public road in a Cobra coupe at speed give you some idea of the "fun" we used to have. John Wyer's two volume Aston Martin racing history is also highly recommended. It's called Racing with the David Brown Aston Martins. Shelby figures in this one too.

#11 Ian Smith

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 06:20

A book in my library I very much treasure is "Jimmy Clark at the Wheel".

Dennis, I assume when you commented about biograhies being a black hole except for Schumacher and Hakkinen, you had current drivers in mind. Clark was certainly worthy of a biography.

By the way, the book is out of print but, thatks to the Internet, can be found.

#12 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 06:52

Originally posted by rdrcr
.....I got the Complete History of Grand Prix Motor Racing by Adriano Cimarosti over the holidays as a gift.

This is the best all around book presently on the market and best value, page by page. Cimarosti's master work should be compulsory reading for everybody here at TNF. Thanks should also go to David McKinney who edited the English version.

#13 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 09:10

Perhaps a modern version – 51 years later – of Pomeroy's The Grand Prix Car is Karl Ludvigsen’s outstanding Classic Grand Prix Cars. Not as pompous as the former, and by far not that expensive, but every page is fascinating with similar contents, concentrating on the important issues, all written in Karl's typical entertaining style. I have both works for comparison in my collection. Karl's book cuts out all the theory and concentrates on the front-engined cars with brief interruptions looking at outstanding events and personalities. Amongst the many illustrations are many I have never seen before. I found this to be a very well researched work, which reveals more information than I can find in ‘The Grand Prix Car’. Very affordable; I paid only US $29.95. Makes me think if I should depart from my two tomes by Pomeroy.

#14 2F-001

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 10:27

Don mentioned Chaparral - a big passion of mine (fairly predictable from my ''handle''!)...
Before Christmas I saw reference in a book dealers ad to a (recent?) Chaparral book I hadn't seen before - not the Falconer or Friedman ones - a fairly pricey one (like £140 / $200+) - but now I can't find the ad again! Maybe I dreamt it, but does anyone know of such a volume or any others I may have missed?

#15 Keir

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 12:11

Dennis,
I have not read either book, tell me more.

#16 mat1

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 12:27

Originally posted by Dennis David

History of the Grand Prix Car 1945-65 by Doug Nye
History of the Grand Prix Car 1966-91 by Doug Nye
Follows in the footsteps of Pomeroy and Setright


I have a book of Nye, but it covers the period 1966 - 85, I believe.

Or am I wrong?

mat1

#17 Darren Galpin

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 12:39

It's an earlier edition of the one which goes to 1991.

#18 930fly

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 13:41

I would like to nominate the Mike Lawrence book on March as getting truly near to the soul of its subject matter. An example to all one-make biographies, though anything by Doug Nye comes with a guarantee of quality.

#19 Breadmaster

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 14:01

As far as biographies go I would recommend "Gilles Villeneuve" by Gerald Donaldson.
10/10 a fantastic book.....

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#20 Don Capps

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 14:46

My advice to those starting to build their reference libraries is to have at it. Buy what you can that interests you and be prepared to ride up more than a few box canyons. A tremendous advantage enjoyed by y'all today is that there are folks you can consult and discuss the merits and the shortcomings of the books you might be interested in. Years ago this was not so easily done. For years I depended upon Gordon's in New York and Autobooks in Burbank and then Classic Motorbooks when it popped up on the scene. Plus, I kept contacts in the UK to help me out from time to time.

There is something to say for so many books.... DD, Hans, David, Michael, myself, and others can ramble on and on for ages on this topic. There are books that are hidden gems and others that are duds. An excellent example of the former is a book that Michael mentioned, The Cobra-Ferrari Wars by Michael Shoen. It is the work of a true enthusiast in the very best sense of the word and it is the sort of book I always wished I had written. It wasn't cheap, but the money is right there looking at you -- the pictures are fabulous and exactly where they should be, not relegated to some place so that the bean-counters can make a profit. I am not certain of Shoen ever made a nickel off the book, but the world is a better place for his having written it.

The death or hibernation of the biography is an matter of what we expect from a biography. Most produced over the years tend to differ little from those being cranked out today. However, Mon Ami, Mate is perhaps the best racing biography in recent years. Chris Nixon also did the Aston Martin books in which John Wyer is the central charcter. Three excellent books. However, the Innes Ireland book, along with those on Duncan Hamilton, John Fitch, and others make it all come alive.

A problem that concerns me is that the cost of many books continues to spiral ever upward. In some cases it is understandable: Paul Sheldon and the Formula One Register self-publish their volumes and try to keep the price as close as possible to the margin as they can. The same with Dick Wallen -- however, I can't imagine how he sells such excellent books for a fraction of what others caharge for books not nearly as good in content or production.

MBI has produced a series books for which we must be thankful, since it very likely that they would have not otherwise seen the light of day and certainly not at a reasonable price. However, they are increasing shifting their focus to books which adhere to a formula and can be marketed more easily. I am certain Michael can speak more on this, but after the latest saga of Gordon White and the Frank Kurtis book, I am beginning to worry.

Then there are the books that seem to be produced solely for the G3 crowd, although in many cases it is apparent that was not the original intent -- however the costs of the books put them beyond the reach of most, including those libraries which still acquire such books. One can purchase one or perhaps even two of these budget-busters, but one can also exhaust both your spouse's sense of humor and your book budget very quickly and very painfully. Some are worth it, others have wonderful pictures and a few morsels of information, but it is a matter that each of us has to grapple with and decide for themselves.

The Paul Vanvalkenberg book, Chevrolet -- Racing? has been reprinted and a longtime favorite of mine: I am convinced that it is easily one of most borrowed and least returned books in the literature of motor racing! My current copy is my third! Leo Levine's The Dust and the Glory now has the second volume available and both can be purchased for well under what many book dealers are asking for one of the originals.

The focus of my library is that is a research collection and therefore is used. And used. And used. Whatever value my books have to "collectors" is irrelevant to me. I use them, read them, skim them, and handle them. Books that just sit on the shelf and are looked at as "investments" are simply trees that died in vain as far as I am concerned. I am often aghast at the attitude of some booksellers and "collectors" concerning books that have "value" solely due to its being an object that can generate money.

Sorry, end of tirade....

#21 Maldwyn

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 14:57

Originally posted by cabianca
Mon Ami Mate, by Chris Nixon about Ferrari teammates Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins

This one is top of my list :up: Wonderfully written, researched and illustrated :up:

#22 Vitesse2

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 15:00

Originally posted by Dennis David
For the CD try:
http://www.enginfoserv.com/index.htm


Thanks Dennis!!! :clap: :clap: :love:

For anyone who doesn't fancy it on CD, they also do it in a print version, which is what I've just ordered!! Weighing it up, I figured it was cheaper than a new print cartridge, because I'd want to print the whole thing out anyway! I NEVER thought I'd EVER own a set of Pomeroy!!! So, with that, Setright, Nye Vol 2 and Karl's recent book ( :up: :up: ) I think I'm pretty well covered!!!;) :D :D

#23 Barry Lake

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 16:01

Two books mentioned here I have to second as excellent works:

The French Sports Car Revolution - great research, very easy to read, has information even GP diehards will be glad they learned (a bit of extra background on GP drivers, for example). I paid full price for this and was delighted to find it was far better than I'd anticipated. You can now buy it almost anywhere for about half what I paid (and still would pay if I had to).

Gilles Villeneouve by Gerald Donaldson. The author obviously had a passion for this task - but it's not a blind hero worship of Villeneuve. This tells it all - good and bad, from many different angles. Donaldson interviewed many people (wife, brother, friends, etc) when researching this book. It is everything the Christopher Hilton biographies are not. You begin to understand a lot about this very complex human being.

Many good books mentioned here (I liked the original list actually) but we must remember that some people are coming into this business "cold", having no real background whatever. In that case, I think most here agree, the Cimarosti history of GP racing is an excellent starting point to gain an overview of how today's F1 came about. And Lang's Grand Prix series sums up the 1950-onwards history very well, to wherever it was he stopped.

Georgano's Encyclopaedia of Motor Sport also is excellent, but way overdue for an update. Maybe a two or three volume set similar to his Beaulleu (hell that's hard to speall at 3.00 am!) Encycloapedia of the Car. I wonder if he's working on it?

#24 Dennis David

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 16:20

I agree with what Don says but not the term he uses. Might I suggest a book investor?

I’m a book collector and like most collectors the price of a book is what keeps me from that which I desire. I must buy 10-20 books a month of which only a small percentage concern motor sports. Why do I buy so many books? Each one is a key to a distant place, a ticket to a journey with hidden surprises. When I am in my library surrounded by my books I am at once at home and yet not at home. I may be at the dusty track in Tripoli or in Mecca with Richard Burton, the 13th century with Barbara Tuchman or maybe Berlin with William Shire. In one day I can be in all of those places. I am in a sense a traveler with “A Long Desire …”

I’ll have more to say on this topic when I get back from my business trip. If Las Vegas represents all that is wrong with the United States then I’m in Orlando and I have found the “plastic capital of the world”.

#25 Dennis David

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 16:26

Vitesse2,

When the CD came out over a year ago there was not much response on this forum when I wrote about it. Of course it is an incredible bargain that has to seen to be believed. The PDF is an exact copy and the pictures are high resolution.

With what you have is a great start. Now if Karl could get Doug on this forum we could plead our case for an update to his work.

#26 Don Capps

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 17:08

DD, I think your term "Book Investor" is far more accurate and I thank you for helping me find the term I was looking for in the first place. Like DD, it is not a problem for me to simply look around my office, see a book, and then remember where that book can take you....and then be there. I also have an extensive number of books on military history and it is the same thing with them as well. I don't know about you, DD, but I can actually close my eyes and "see" the pages of many of my books in my mind's eye. Often, when something pops here on the forum, I can "see" the book or magazine, the page, and often the caption if it is a picture.





















Hmmmm, perhaps I do need to get a life..... :lol:

#27 karlcars

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 18:30

Wow, Hans, I just have to thank you for that plug for 'Classic Grand Prix Cars'. This was made possible by Automobile Quarterly, for whom I originally researched most of the chapters, decade by decade, to go with Walter Gotschke's illustrations -- a labor of love! I sent the text to my friend Edward Eves to check for howlers, and he helped significantly. Sadly Ted is no longer with us.

My thought is next to do 'Modern Grand Prix Cars', taking the story forward from the sixties to today in a similar style. That's not on my short-term agenda, though.

Mention of Chaparral in this thread reminds me that we are doing a Chaparral photo book for Iconografix in the Ludvigsen Library series. It will be out later this year, as will a similar book on the racing 300SL Mercedes of 1952.

#28 Don Capps

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 18:54

I have to second the recommendation of Hans for Karl's book Classic Grand Prix Cars. Ditto for Karl's books on Indy cars of the 1950's and 1960's and the Novi's: they are excellent resources and they are available. The Iconografix series in the Ludvigsen Library are well worth a look and great gems since I have found some neat stuff in those that I have purchased.

I must once again shamelessly plug Karl's Excellence Was Expected, it being one of my "Desert Island Books." It has brought me no end of hours of blissful reading. However, never, ever drop it on anything less sturdy than an anvil since it will flatten it like a pancake....however, it is a dandy device for eliminating wrinkles for objects such as linesman's flags -- a use for which my son put it to more than once...

One book that must be mentioned which was recently reprinted -- and in which Karl is mentioned -- is Griff Borgeson's The Golden Age of the American Racing Car. Combined with Dick Wallen's book on boardtracks and that by Mark Dees on Harry Miller, it makes for a better idea why this era is remembered so fondly in American racing. Great stuff.

The longer I think about this topic the more....

#29 Paul Hartshorne

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 19:18

I would just like to add Steve Small's Who's Who of Grand Prix Drivers which has mini-bios, with stats, of all drivers to have competed in the World Championship (except for the terminally obscure!). It's updated regularly (currently in it's 3rd edition) and is, to me at least, an invaluable resource.

Cheers,
Paul

#30 Dennis David

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 19:47

Don, I agree and "collect" many similar books. You mentioned Autobooks in Burbank I've been there a couple of times. This place is your typical hole in the wall on a non-descript street but inside you will find many treasures. The owner has been at this forever and is a walking encyclopedia of Southern California racing. A must visit if you are anywhere within a couple 100 miles.

Below are the current books that I am reading. As you can see I tend to read a number of books at one time.

Brunelleschi's Dome : How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture

Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton: A Biography

Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766

The Scents of Eden: A History of the Spice Trade

The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime

Grand Prix Driver – Hermann Lang

#31 ensign14

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 21:12

Some of my favourites that have not been mentioned:

'Cooper Cars' by Doug Nye - rags to riches and back again.

'Racing Voiturettes' by Kent Karslake, and the thematic follow-up, 'The Racing Fifteen Hundreds' by David Venables.

'American Zoom' by Peter Golenbock - NASCAR oral history.

'The Story of March' by Mike Lawrence - like Cooper Cars at a lower level.

'Georges Roesch and the Invincible Talbot' by Anthony Blight - the 'prequel' to the French Sports Car Revolution mentioned by Barry, an astonishing labour of love.

'A-Z of Racing Cars' by David Hodges for photographic reference.

But I think the best of the lost was mentioned by Dennis in the first post, 'Power and Glory' by William Court. Court is probably the most literate motor racing writer ever, beautiful prose and rare photography.

I have to confess, I read the Pomeroy books in the Bodleian in Oxford - or rather skimmed through, I didn't understand a word.

#32 Don Capps

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 21:15

Let me add....

The Porsche Book -- Lothar Boscher & Jurgen Barth

Archie and the Listers -- Robert Edwards (This is an excellent biography, I can't believe I didn't mention it earlier...)

Brave in Life -- a biography of Junior Johnson that is top notch, excellent!

The Watson Years -- Gary Wayne (Superb book on the Roadsters of A.J. Watson)

Grand Prix BUgatti -- Hugh Conway

Fabulous Fifties -- Dick Wallen

Roar from the Sixties -- Dick Wallen

Pretty much anything by Mike Lawrence, Doug Nye, or Dave Friedman is okay

The NASCAR series by Greg Fielden is very, very good. It is rather similar to the Mike Lang books, but Fielden has done a very great service by digging up no end of information on the Grand National (Winston Cup) races. Take the word from someone who dug around for that information that Greg deserves a Gold Star. Now if we can only get Phil Harms to publish his information in book form on the AAA/USAC/CART National Championship....




I have about five or six non-racing related books which I am currently reading, which is about the norm....

#33 Vitesse2

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 23:01

Originally posted by Dennis David
Vitesse2,

When the CD came out over a year ago there was not much response on this forum when I wrote about it. Of course it is an incredible bargain that has to seen to be believed. The PDF is an exact copy and the pictures are high resolution.

With what you have is a great start. Now if Karl could get Doug on this forum we could plead our case for an update to his work.


Well, I hope to see it very soon! That must have been before I found TNF ...

And I hate to pour cold water, but I know for a fact that Pelhams lost a lot of money on the first edition of Georgano, while the first edition of what is now the Beaulieu Encyclopaedia was at least profitable. Realistically, I think any new version would probably have to be a Volume 2, covering just the era since (say) 1966 - there has been much more racing in the last 35 years than in the first seventy ...

#34 Dennis David

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 23:03

The following are 10 small gems that can fit in any suitcase if you're going on vacation.

The Technique of Motor Racing by Piero Taruffi

The Fast Ones by Peter Miller

A Racing Motorist by S.C.H. Davis

The Chequered Flag by Douglas Rutherford

Moments that made Racing History by Rodney Walkerley

Grand Prix by Barre Lyndon

Ten Years of Motors and Motor Racing by Charles Jarrott

Speed was my Life by Alfred Neubauer

Nuvolari by Count Giovanni Lurani

A Racing Car Driver's World by Rudolf Caracciola

#35 Dennis David

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 23:07

I wonder if there really have been more races. I know that the top of the line drivers like Moss drove a lot more than our Mr Schumacher. (Not counting trips to the bank)

#36 Vitesse2

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 23:16

Originally posted by Dennis David
I wonder if there really have been more races. I know that the top of the line drivers like Moss drove a lot more than our Mr Schumacher. (Not counting trips to the bank)


Possibly not at the highest level, but the sport has spread greatly in the past 35 years: who in 1966 would have believed that there could ever be a Malaysian GP, let alone a Malaysian driver in F1?

And at grass-roots level there is much more, especially in terms of championships and the number of different formulae ... so much to explain and record before it disappears ....

#37 Dennis David

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Posted 09 January 2002 - 23:32

I'm always leery about making similar statements since many of the old road races in Latin America are no more. The European Hillclimbs are all gone. Think of all of the tracks that have disappeared. Look at Don’s thread and you’ll see what I mean. I’m not sure; I just feel that even in my own area we had two drag strips at Half Moon Bay and Fremont that are no longer here.

#38 rdrcr

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 00:01

Seems like my library was a little further along than I thought. Some of my literature already includes the Borgeson Book, and Karl's "Excellence was Expected". I just now made the connection. Yeah, I'm embarrassed a bit. :o :

While taking a quick inventory, I also saw I have "Motorsports" A Pictorial History by Ray Flower with a forward by Graham Hill. It's well written with many great photos of the different eras. Although I'm not too certain of it's accuracy.

Don, as a comment to your outlook on "collectors" guarding and hoarding books instead of using them as they were intended...

I understand your purpose of wanting to "use" books as reference material to aid you and others in the pursuit of facilitating the chronological order of things as well as bringing to light the erroneous claim or seeking out little known details of the past.

But to be honest, all you are really after is the information right? If the so called "collectors" prize these books and for the most part, keep them under lock and key, what would be the harm in increasing the rarity of them and thus increasing the value?

To my way of thinking, if all of the material that you seek between the pages was made available on CD or over the internet via a database funded by benefactors of racing history and memorabilia for all time, wouldn't that be just as valuable to you? Not to mention a whole lot easier to research and find what you are looking for in a lot less time. It's not the same I think, as having a race car sit in a museum. I personally despise "trailer queens" Once a restoration has been completed, the car is fresh and must be shown that year and the year following to have the potential of winning shows. Once that restoration is over two years old, the car should be driven occasionally and as it was intended. To merely look at a vehicle isn't the same as participating with it. For literature, the rareness of some books and periodicals may dictate that some must be relegated to the safe confines of a vacuum bagged existence or at least covered and kept from oily fingers. It just seems that restoring a book is a lot harder than restoring a car. Once worn and used, doesn't the book become less valuable and more likely to be lost to the ravages of time? It would also seem to me that there are only so many of these and some effort should be made to preserve at least some of the copies, like the 1st editions, for posterity. If I'm off base here, I'm sure you'll enlighten me further...

Regards -

Richard

#39 Don Capps

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 03:41

Richard,

Got it.

The point is that it is the information and the utility of the book that is the sticking point. I once thought "vintage racers" were, well, whatever. However, I came to accept what they were doing since that what racing cars were for -- to be driven.

I don't have any real hang-up about the corpus of a book, merely its utilty and it ability to enlighten myself or others. To me a reprint is just as good as a First Edition. Hell, xerox copies of what I need will do just as good if came to that. I truly wish that the AAA records were on CD-ROM rather than microfilm....

To me a book not being used when I could be is a great sin and a definite shame. Yet, there are those who "invest" in books and deny their use to those who could damn well put them to use. However, if they were to use them as the "dies" for replacement copies or to "regenerate" information, fine and dandy.

Let me also add that to me the gravest sin one can commit is to deface, mutilate, or steal pages (or the whole item) from a book or magazine used for research. That puts me into my truly Dark Lutheran mode and no agony is too great to inflict upon that person's wicked soul.....

I often feel like Number 2 in "The Prisoner," since all I seem to do is ask for "information."

One reason I have developed my frame of reference is that when I began to do serious research in the world of motor racing, it was worse than when I did OB studies of the SGFG (Soviet Group of Forces in Germany) for heaven's sake. I don't mind the buying books since I realize that you have to mae a living, but as we once discussed here some time ago, it is often difficult to impossible to verify, validate, or accredit work that many authors churn out since they are the sould possessors of that information. In the academic world where I grew up (and in the world I currently operate), if the information can't be independently verified.... no try, buckeroo, but no points, do not pass "Go" and don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out. In the world of motor racing history this concept is not necessarily the rule. I think that it is becoming increasing the way we might be headed, but we have a ways to go yet, but while we have made much progress, there is still lots of room for improvement.

Remember, this is something of personal gripe that doesn't necessarily entend as far as it once did. To be honest, there has been far more accomplished by the sharing of information among members of this forum than you would realize. I have no problem with folks being smarter than me and figuring stuff out long before I can even get "Doh!" pass my lips. I accept the fact that I am not one of the sharper knives in God's big kitchen drawer. Just don't drop a dialectic on me and then ask me to take it on your word and no evidence. That is when put Hans the Hammer on you! (After thinking about it, too bad Hans never an opportunity to play Number 2 in an episode of "The Prisoner" since I am certain he would have been perfect for the part:

No. 6 -- What do you want?

Hans as No. 2 -- Ve vant information....und ve vant it now....Your sources, bitte!

:lol: :up:

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#40 kanec

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 03:56

great coffee table book -> Into the red ... if not only for some great pictures and info on some classic racers, but also the cd of engine of 21 cars running around Silverstone.

#41 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 04:47

Originally posted by Don Capps
.....No. 6 -- What do you want?

Hans as No. 2 -- Ve vant information....und ve vant it now....Your sources, bitte!.....

Don,
You are damned right. Everybody please: Always state your sources. :)

#42 rdrcr

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 05:19

Originally posted by Don Capps
...To me a book not being used when I could be is a great sin and a definite shame. Yet, there are those who "invest" in books and deny their use to those who could damn well put them to use. However, if they were to use them as the "dies" for replacement copies or to "regenerate" information, fine and dandy.


In this light, I'd concur. If there is information that historians are aware of and this information is withheld and not even a ransom amount offered, then I'd say that this is a misuse of power over that information. After all it's the actual physical piece that is worth money, not the information. If this is occurring, and apparently it is, then there is a void of data that should be brought to light. This is a bit different perspective than I had originally been led to believe.

...Just don't drop a dialectic on me and then ask me to take it on your word and no evidence...



In response to this and to Hans's urgings, if there is something that I have written here in the past that demands "sources" just let me know and I'll supply them. In the future, I'll be sure to include them. It does seem though, that many do not supply these points of reference. Thus leaving the reader to take their word on faith.

I do have some faith around here though. As some of my scribblings have been scrutinized, and some points illuminated, I've gone a checking... only to find that the questioner surely was correct and that I had erred. No matter, it generally sorts itself out around here as there plenty of sharp knives in this drawer. ;)

Regards -


.

#43 Dennis David

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 05:38

I offer this only as one man's opinion ...

If the books which you read are your own, mark with a pen or pencil the most considerable things in them which you desire to remember. Then you may read that book the second time over with half the trouble, by your eye running over the paragraphs which your pencil has noted. It is but a very weak objection against this practice to say, "I shall spoil my book"; for I persuade myself that you did not buy it as a bookseller, to sell again for gain, but as a scholar, to improve your mind by it; and if the mind be improved, your advantage is abundant, through your book yields less money to your executors.

—Isaac Watts, Logic On the Right use of Reason in the Enquiry after Truth (1724)

#44 Dennis David

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 05:41

Language is the soul of intellect, and reading is the essential process by which that intellect is cultivated beyond the commonplace experiences of everyday life. —Charles Scribner

#45 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 07:08

Because the majority of members here at TNF are interested in the history of our sport, it is important to refer to what has not yet been mentioned, a book covering the races of the very early years before grand prix racing began in 1906. I am talking about the time when racing cars were equipped with artillery wheels.

A Record of Motor Racing 1894 -1908 by Gerald Rose, published 1909 in England with a new edition in 1949. This is the main source used for these early races since it covers most of the early events. Therefore it is a very important book and nowadays rather expensive. If you cannot find or afford this one, the next best work would be:

The Great Road Races 1894 -1914 by Henry Serrano Villard, London, 1972. This is a smaller book without the explicit timetables and detailed race results found in the work of Rose, but tells the same story nevertheless and is affordable.

#46 Vitesse2

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 11:09

It is the very rarity of these books that causes the problem, plus the copyright laws, which until recently, varied throughout Europe: I think there are still discrepancies.

A book is copyright throughout the lifetime of the author, even if that book is out of print. Thus no-one may reprint it (in any form - even electronic) without the permission of the author. Authors sometimes have vested interest in keeping books OP - they may wish to increase the rarity value, they may have uncovered subsequent errors, they may be preparing a new edition, whatever ...

But at the demise of the author, here's the first Catch 22: literary heirs can renew copyright on a work on the author's death, and very often do. This was designed to provide an income for the heirs of novelists, who might have laboured for years for scant reward, and in the UK, until the mid-80s, copyright renewal was for fifty years. Over the years, records of literary heirs get lost, especially for the "less literary" works: major publishers maintain lists of authors coming out of copyright and swoop as soon as they do - there were three simultaneous publications of sets of DH Lawrence!

In the mid-80s the UK rules were changed to come in to line with the German system (25 or 30 years - can't remember which). Nevertheless, it means that no publisher can safely produce an edition of a book until a specified period after the death of the author without paying royalties to the literary heirs: and there's the next Catch 22 - if you can't trace the literary heirs, what do you do? Publish and risk being sued? Royalties significantly increase your publishing costs, so most will play safe and not take the risks ....

And of course, that doesn't even touch on the issue of English language publishing rights being carved up between British and American publishers in their "traditional markets" - with the rise of global publishing that is now less of an issue, but it still applies to the past. In theory at least, a reprint could be authorised by the literary heirs but blocked from sale in large parts of the world because the "partner" publisher didn't want to publish it but wouldn't let that edition into "his" market. It is now important to grant global rather than regional rights ...

#47 pinchevs

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 12:15

Gentlemen,
One thing you have all overlooked is the language of this books. Are any of them written not in English?

Thank you.

Moshe Pinchevsky

#48 Vitesse2

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 12:56

Good point Moshe!

But it does seem that the majority of scholarship in motor sport has always been published in English: of the authors in Dennis's list only Cimarosti's book was originally written in another language.

English-language publishers have always taken more of a world view, because English is so widely spoken and understood, and have therefore come to dominate the field. There is much French, Italian and German scholarship in motor sport too, but it does (as with much British or American work) tend to be inward-looking. Very little gets translated from French or German, simply because there is a comparatively small market for it in English: think of Blue Blood by Serge Bellu, for example - a splendid history of French motor racing, but no best-seller in English.

And if it's a general work in German, why bother with translation costs when it's just as cheap to publish something similar in English in your own house style?

And looking the other way - what French publisher would take a risk on the autobiography of Eoin Young: do you take my point? :)

#49 Don Capps

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 14:28

Originally posted by pinchevs
Gentlemen,
One thing you have all overlooked is the language of this books. Are any of them written not in English?

Thank you.

Moshe Pinchevsky


Moshe,

I was waiting for that one! Perhaps that is also one of the great problems is that there is much being ignored since it isn't in English. Hans and Alessandro are just two among a goodly number who keep reminding us that books written in English don't have a monopoly on the history of motor racing. When I was growing up, the languages were German, French, and Italian for racing materials such as books and magazines -- English was an "also-ran" just like their cars of the day.

I have found it convenient as a native English speaker that English has become the metric for such discussions. However, I am also aware that much material languishes out there simply because it has never been translated in English.

Also,

V2 and Hans point out two issues which do intrude into our world: copyright and subject selection. The former is covered well by V2, in my opinion. And I think Hans is correct to point out the early history of the sport tends to be overlooked.







This is more like the discussion that should be taking place from time to time to remind us of why this forum was established in the first place. :up:

#50 Chico Landi

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Posted 10 January 2002 - 15:08

Very enlightning discussion about books and research. Thanks Don and everyone!

My motorsport library is still small but always growing, and so far it goes in the direction of what I need (but sometimes I can buy something I don't particularly need, but just want to know about it).

So let me add a few non-english books:

A Primeira Corrida na América do Sul, by Vergniaud Calazans Goncalves - wonderful example of good research. It's about the first race ever in South America, back in 1908.

Gordini: un sourcier, une èquipe, by Christian Huet - I haven't read the whole of it yet, but I just imagine how our lives would be easier if every book about a team was like this one. Fully illustrated, with technical details and interesting stories that goes beyond drivers and team owners to land also in the mechanics.

Hinter dröhnenden motoren, by Ludwig Sebastian - The memories of an ex-Auto Union mechanic. What catch me about this book is his writing style, very interesting and rich.

Also, the Taruffi's book about driving techniques is one of my favorites.

Finally, a not so historical one but was a very nice lecture for me: Zielgerade, by Gerhard Berger (probably translated in many languages).