THE PERFECT CAR: THE BIOGRAPHY OF JOHN BARNARD
Author Nick Skeens Price £40 evropublishing.com
Told with an attention to detail that will please its subject greatly, The Perfect Car is a meticulous biography of legendary F1 designer John Barnard, one of the sport’s most relentlessly innovative technicians.
His career took him from Lola to Mclaren to the USA, where he made his name with the Indy 500-winning Chaparral 2K. Upon his return he pioneered the use of carbon fibre in F1 at Mclaren, where his singlemindedness earned him the nickname ‘The Prince of Darkness’.
That unwillingness to brook compromise served him well at Ferrari, where he pushed through innovations such as the semi-auto gearbox. It’s in these chapters, and those concerning his brush with Benetton, a further Ferrari stint and an abortive return to Mclaren, that the book comes into its own.
Barnard’s F1 involvement fizzled out, but the author wraps up with an amusing tale about his attempts to secure an interview with Ron Dennis.