New Zealand Classic Car - - Book Reviews -

Isn’t it a plea­sure when an au­thor comes up with some­thing out of the or­di­nary? This is what Simon Owen (who sadly died be­fore this book was pub­lished) has done with Rac­ing Colours. Like many good ideas, it’s ba­si­cally a sim­ple one — what Owen has done in 192 small pages is to re­pro­duce with great care and ac­cu­rate colours a de­tail of 78 com­pe­ti­tion cars. For a cou­ple of older cars like the 1908 Pan­hardLevas­sor, it’s the ra­di­a­tor. But for most of them, it’s a part of the bon­net or a close look at some side pan­els. The fi­nal pages were pro­duced via Ap­ple Mac, but only af­ter Owen had care­fully thought out and mea­sured his sub­jects. The colour­ful va­ri­ety is great: a se­lec­tion of Fer­rari GTO bon­nets in var­i­ous liveries, side pan­els and bon­nets of a cou­ple of GT40S, Denny Hulme’s Yard­ley Mclaren, a Rob Walker Lo­tus 18, Cha­parral, Howmet tur­bine, the Mar­tini colours on a Lan­cia rally car, and the danc­ing lady sym­bolic of Ligier’s Gi­tanes spon­sor­ship. Not all the cars pic­tured were great suc­cesses, and there are quite a few pri­vate-en­trant rac­ers like Ge­orge Follmer’s Lo­tus 23 with beau­ti­ful gold com­pe­ti­tion num­bers. Oth­ers are very suc­cess­ful fac­tory cars such as Clark’s Lo­tus 49 or the Le Mans–win­ning Peu­geot 908. All have been pic­tured in a way that some­how draws you into the de­tail. Op­po­site each il­lus­tra­tion is a quo­ta­tion from a book or mag­a­zine ar­ti­cle that’s rel­e­vant in some way to the car or driver con­cerned — an­other clever touch, as are the fi­nal dozen pages that show the metic­u­lous care and mea­sure­ment which went into ev­ery il­lus­tra­tion. A dif­fer­ent and en­joy­able take on the sub­ject!

$50 AVAIL­ABLE FROM OC­TANE BOOKS By Simon Owen ISBN 978 1 8458 4652 7

Avail­able from Oc­tane Books Re­view copy sup­plied by the pub­lisher Re­view Mark Hol­man

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