BOOK REVIEW The Art Of Winning Race Car Design Icon Publishing RRP: £24.95 Bob Riley with Jonathan Ingram
OUT WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 24
Most recently known for the Riley and Scott sportscars that have been highly successful in US racing, Bob Riley has a career that stretches back almost six decades.
His route through motorsport has taken him from hot rods, though Indy-bred machines, the mighty Le Mans Fords, GT cars, NASCARS, Sprint Cars and in to the sportscar world.
While there is plenty of detail to keep the hardened technical brains interested enough, the detail that is contained within is wide ranging. Not only does Riley talk about the machines themselves, there are interesting insights into the many of the drivers, the teams and the colleagues he has worked with over the last 60 seasons – Riley is still working despite the fact he is well beyond his 80th birthday.
Given the subject matter, to truly enjoy the tome then the reader needs to have a pretty strong working grasp of the American racing scene.
If you have that, then you will find this book fascinating.
Throughout the book, it is
interspersed with memories from some of those who have worked with Riley and sampled some of his machines.
It adds a lot of colour behind the heavy technical detail and gives an insight into a humble and passionate man.
There is only one minor criticism: strangely, given the title of the book, the main image on the front page is of the man Riley himself. Surely one of his most iconic designs in full flight would have been more appropriate? Yes, they are on the rear of the dust cover, but there are some mouth watering chassis there.
That is a very minor quibble over an otherwise excellent work and an insight into a man who is part of the motor racing fabric but maybe one who has flown beneath the radar until now.