Books and Mod­els

The lat­est reads and minia­tures

Classic Cars (UK) - - Contents -

By Michel Bol­lée, £43.95, edi­, ISBN 9 782360 591053 Michel Bol­lée’s ex­haus­tive in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the cre­ation and racing record of As­ton Martin’s ‘Project’ cars may pur­port to be a straight­for­ward his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ment, but in re­al­ity it’s a story of ob­ses­sion. As Bol­lée states, while the DBR1 proved As­ton had the abil­ity to dom­i­nate sports-racing, David Brown wanted to unite road car com­mer­cial suc­cess with unas­sail­able Gt-class track pedi­gree. His en­emy was the Fer­rari 250 GTO, and as this ex­cel­lent book demon­strates, beat­ing the GTO was a fix­a­tion that was to end in tragedy.

The French/english text is clear and un£ashy, telling the story in forensic de­tail. Ev­ery race is recorded, typ­i­cally end­ing in re­tire­ment af­ter some­thing broke. But it isn’t a book about fail­ure, rather one of dogged de­ter­mi­na­tion.

Al­bany’s Racing Rev­o­lu­tion 1936-1940 By Graeme Cocks, £30.30, mo­tor­ing­ This 147-page soft­back is a win­dow on a world that would po­ten­tially be for­got­ten with­out the dili­gence of au­thor Graeme Cocks. The so-called Al­bany Round-the-houses race served pre-war as the Aus­tralian Grand Prix, and yet the fact that Cocks has had to as­sem­ble this ac­count from lo­cal news­pa­per clip­pings and cadged pho­tos from lo­cals sums up what an un­der­tak­ing this pic­to­rial study has been.

It’s the story of a wild race, the vari­able sur­face mak­ing it closer to ral­ly­cross than F1. Through the eyes of its spec­ta­tors we see it evolve from lo­cal me­chan­ics bat­tling each other in spe­cials to works Bu­gat­tis and MGS fight­ing for supremacy on one of the few road-races to be sub­ur­ban, as op­posed to city-cen­tre or Tt-style coun­try lanes. Lo­cal anec­dotes and be­hind-the-scenes ac­counts of charm­ing am­a­teurism add fur­ther colour to a unique story.

Mclaren Uni­ver­sal Pictures DVD, £19.99, uni­ver­salpic­ This sump­tu­ous biopic – part drama, part doc­u­men­tary, seam­lessly in­te­grated – may well change your opin­ion of Bruce Mclaren.

The film feels in­tensely per­sonal, draw­ing heav­ily on let­ters Mclaren wrote to his me­chanic fa­ther back in New Zealand as well as in­ter­views with his close friends and fam­ily.

This is a must-view film for mo­tor sport afi­ciona­dos, but it’s con­sis­tently a hu­man story about a man who over­came dis­abil­ity to achieve un­prece­dented suc­cess in both sport and engi­neer­ing, mak­ing the film’s in­evitable con­clu­sion ut­terly gut-wrench­ing.

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