TONY ROBIN­SON: THE BI­OG­RA­PHY OF A RACE ME­CHANIC

Classic Driver - - HOLMAN -

Ian Wagstaff. Pub­lished 2013 by Ve­loce who sup­plied the re­view copy (ve­loce.co.uk). 160 pages. Avail­able from Oc­tane Books, Auck­land. This is, for any­one with an in­ter­est in that clas­sic 1950s/60s pe­riod of rac­ing, an ab­so­lutely ter­rific book. Tony Robin­son was in the thick of so much of this pe­riod: both for pri­vate own­ers (Bruce Hal­ford, Stir­ling Moss), for semi-works out­fits (UDT-Laystall) and for what was in ef­fect a works team un­til it got shafted by the pow­ers that be: BRP (Fer­ris de Joux gets some cov­er­age in that chap­ter). He also was at Cooper in their last days. As well as F1, this meant he was en­gaged in F2, Le Mans and the Indy 500 where BRP was com­mis­sioned to en­gi­neer cars for Mas­ten Gre­gory, Chris Amon and oth­ers.

Sadly, it meant that people like Robin­son were far more closely in­volved with the downside of rac­ing- he was there for the death of Harry Schell and Chris Bris­tow, who Robin­son rates as a po­ten­tial world cham­pion, and helped cut Moss from his Good­wood wreck­age in 1962.

Robin­son worked with the leg­endary Alf Fran­cis for some years and was highly-re­garded by his em­ploy­ers as a skilled and re­source­ful guy: you had to be in those days when you drove the team’s trans­porter, ar­gued with cus­toms of­fi­cials, etc! The anec­dotes flow thick & fast in this read­able and en­ter­tain­ing book.

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