Brock . . . the early years

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

PETER Brock is back, and this time it’s dif­fer­ent. There have been books on the late race ace but they mostly fo­cused on his years at the top of Aus­tralian mo­tor-sport.

A new book, Road to Glory, from Allen & Un­win, goes to the be­gin­ning.

It tells the story of Brock’s youth, his first ex­pe­ri­ences in cars, his time in the army and his start in rac­ing with a Holden-pow­ered Austin A30. The book wraps in 1972, af­ter rolling through his start with Harry Firth at the Holden Dealer Team, fol­low­ing his first win at Bathurst in a To­rana.

Colin Ful­ton’s words cre­ate an en­joy­able, flow­ing yarn that cov­ers all the char­ac­ters and fills in a lot of gaps from ear­lier books.

But the thing that makes the book is the clas­sic pic­tures, in­clud­ing some great im­ages, shot by Terry Rus­sell. The book is worth buy­ing just for the pic­tures, in­clud­ing won­der­ful im­ages of track ac­tion in the 1960s and ’70s. The whole pack­age hangs to­gether im­pres­sively and it’s a book to savour, not just speed-read look­ing for the juicy bits and the crash pic­tures.

You can tell that Ful­ton was pas­sion­ate about the project and Rus­sell’s pic­tures are more spe­cial be­cause he was Brock’s brother-in-law through his first wife, Heather.

The book costs $49.99 and is def­i­nitely one to have. But it’s not the only im­pres­sive mo­tor­ing book in shops to­day, or in the near fu­ture.

Bob Wat­son has done a ter­rific job on the his­tory of the Light Car Club of Aus­tralia, called Phillip Is­land to Fan­gio, and de­serves to do well at $30 through www.bob­wat­son­rally.com.au

We’re also still wait­ing for the first Craig Lown­des book, writ­ten in col­lab­o­ra­tion with tal­ented Mark Fog­a­rty. It prom­ises an ex­cla­ma­tion mark at the end of a year that has pro­duced some mem­o­rable and es­sen­tial read­ing.

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