Book Reviews



Lola T70 - The Racing History & Individual Chassis Record, by John Starkey.
ISBN: 978-1-787110-51-9, £35 (+ P&P).
Published by Veloce Publishing Ltd, 33 Trinity Street, Dorchester, Dorset, England, DT1 1TT.
Tel: +(0)1305 260068. Fax +(0)1305 268864.
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This book is part of the Veloce Classic Reprint series, and is a fourth edition of a very well received book which has been revised with updated information for its chassis record. And what a chassis record - rarely have I seen something so detailed. Not content with just listing the chassis produced, it lists the gearbox numbers the cars were originally built with where known, the odd engine number, complete race results, post-period history and colour. It's a seriously impressive amount of research, and makes it the source for documenting these cars.

The book itself starts by describing the genesis of the T70, starting with the Ford GT40, and how Broadley moved on to create his own car based on his own ideals. It the moves through the five year front line career of the car, documenting the changes through Mark II, III and IIIb, as well as the T160, T162, T163 and T165 cars, which had a direct bearing on how the car developed. Liberally spread through the book are images of the cars at the various circuits around the world where it competed, together with many shots of the internals (anyone for fluid reservoirs, suspension uprights or engine bearers?), and documents showing car delivery specifications. Short of having an actual Haynes manual for the car, you couldn't do better. Included also are comments from contemporary drivers, and copies of track tests done in the past. It fully describes the car.

The author owned more than one T70 himself, and the passion for the car shows through, as every little detail which could be found has been added. The only possible thing to say against the book is that some of the images could be a little crisper, although I wasn't so sure about the chapter on historic racing. But this is definitely just a personal bias - I like to see the cars being driven, so that you can hear how they sounded, and feel more of the impact, but the actual racing doesn't interest me so much, nor does the fettling of the cars on newer rubber so that they go better than they ever did in period. If they weren't raced though people wouldn't maintain them, and the cars wouldn't be seen, so it's something to live with.

The fact that this book is on its fourth edition, having been first published in 1993, gives you a good hint as to the quality of this book. It is recommended.

Errata

PG 61 - Roger McKluskey should read Roger McCluskey.



BMC Competitions Department Secrets, by Peter Browning, Marcus Chambers, Stuart Turner and Philip Young.
ISBN: 978-1-849948-94-8, £24.99 (+ P&P).
Published by Veloce Publishing Ltd, 33 Trinity Street, Dorchester, Dorset, England, DT1 1TT.
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BMC Competitions Department secrets was first published in 2005, but is reissued here as part of the Veloce Classic Reprint series, which is good news, as you can now pick up books which you missed the first time around.

This isn't a book if you are after narrative - it doesn't do lengthy descriptions of the rallies undertaken, making do with short chapters from each of the three department managers. But what it does do is to publish numerous internal memos and photographs, fleshing out from the companies point of view what was happening. And it is highly illuminating, showing what was concentrated on and thought important, and how things were done. For example, in order to short-cut customs bureaucracy, chassis plates and registration numbers were sometimes switched, so when taken together with cars which were re-shelled, it makes it somewhat difficult to work out whether a car which is claimed to have won a rally actually did so. Pity the poor historian....

Some of the memos though may require a magnifying glass to read, as a closely typed A4 page when reduced to letter size can be hard to read, and the reproduction for some isn't great, although that may also have something to do with the quality of the original paperwork being shown. Nevertheless, it is an informative an interesting view of what went on behind the scenes. One memo for the London to Sydney Marathon was particularly amusing in its content and innocence: "Suggest that it would be a wise precaution for each car to carry a small fire arm for some personal protection in the event of a breakdown or accident in remote parts. As most members of the team have already demonstrated their prowess at this art in the past, I am leaving each crew to make their own arrangements for the supply of suitable armoury." Apparantly weapons weren't taken in the end, but I have images of co-drivers with a long list of things to tick off before leaving: Map, check. Stop watch, check. Walther PPK, check..... You wouldn't see that in the WRC today.

Maybe the directives on firearms should have been taken on by the department managers, as it may have helped with the politics of the department closure, which is also described through various memos. These memos help to show the human effect of such decisions, bringing through the hurt and upset at having to disband and implement others decisions. It is worth the read, and a different take on how to describe the rallying world and teams.


Errata

PG 32 - 1955 Tulip Rally - #137 MG Magnette is captioned as being Geoff Holt. Holt drove #148, #137 was driven by Shaw/Lawton.

PG 41 - 1957 Liege-Rome-Liege Rally - Caption for top picture says that Pat Moss finished fourth - she was not fourth overall, she finished 23rd. Fourth in class perhaps?

PG 42 - 1958 Monte Carlo Rally - says that #317 was Brookes brothers. They drove #304 - #317 was Bremner/Oldworth.



Lotus 18 - Colin Chapman's U-turn, by Mark Whitelock.
ISBN: 978-1-845845-20-9, £50 (+ P&P).
Published by Veloce Publishing Ltd, 33 Trinity Street, Dorchester, Dorset, England, DT1 1TT.
Tel: +(0)1305 260068. Fax +(0)1305 268864.
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The Lotus 18 wasn't the first rear engined car, and wasn't the most successful either, but it did win races, helping to build the reputation of Lotus in F1 as a winner, and it laid down the foundations (or should that be chassis members?) for more successful cars to come. It was raced in Formula 1 and 2, and a two seater variant was raced in sportscars. It was a versatile car.

So there is a lot to cover, which this book does in detail, mixing detailed photographs of suspension and car internals, with diagrams of chassis layouts and pictures from various races, sprinkled with short side pieces on the drivers who competed in them, the major circuits it competed on, and the teams which campaigned it. The book goes chronologically through each year in which the car competed, whether in F1 or the South African Gold Star series, before summarising each chassis history as far as they are known (and this is more difficult than may be imagined, with chassis plates being swapped to help avoid customs duties - read more in the book....). Quotes from the people involved are also used to help add more context to the prose.

There are many great images, and I think that the image on page 40 of Stirling Moss in a Cooper with wheels pointing at all angles while followed by Innes Ireland in an 18 with wheels perfectly upright, summarises exactly why it was such a good car. It wasn't really the u-turn suggested by the book title - when you are being beaten by a car with the same engine repeatedly then you take a look at why - the real development was the suspension and approach to frontal area. This can be seen clearly from the numerous diagrams and images throughout the book.

The book seems to assume a certain age of its readers, as things such as temperatures and measures are often given only in imperial, and I was taught entirely in metric. Also, some things are seen through a too much Lotus 18 centric prism. For instance, Goodwood for me isn't remembered for Innes Ireland's two wins there, significant though they were for the 18 (and as stated in the text) - instead it is remembered as the site of Bruce McLaren's fatal accident, and the career ending one for Stirling Moss. That last one was in a Lotus 18/21, another variant covered within the book.

In summary, the book is a well crafted history of a significant car in the development of Grand Prix racing. It is nicely laid out, and unusually for my last set of reviews, doesn't come with any errata. It's a good book....



The Argentine Temporada Motor Races 1950 to 1960, by Hernan Lopez Laiseca.
ISBN: 978-1-845848-28-6, £35 (+ P&P).
Published by Veloce Publishing Ltd, 33 Trinity Street, Dorchester, Dorset, England, DT1 1TT.
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This was a much anticipated book, as it covers a part of motorsport history not often written about, but often hinted at. Although the Argentinian Grand Prix in Buenos Aires is well known, less well known are the series of events which made up the Temporada series, at different circuits throughout the country.

The tag line of the book gives a good description of how the book is laid out - "in 220 contemporary photos". The book is heavily photograph based, with many atmospheric photographs showing the drivers, the cars, and the events. However, the accompanying text although informative is a little terse, and as a result sometimes leaves a few questions hanging (as well as sometimes repeating the photograph captions). For example, on page 26 it says that after the 1950 Mar del Plata race, that "the relationship between the Italian and Argentinian press deteriorated and an incredible media battle ensued", but then says nothing more about it. Bearing in mind that this was before the era of instant communications, it would have been interesting to know how this developed and over how long, and whether it had any further long term effects. The terseness also extends to the concluding lines - having described the final race, there is one line saying that the golden age of Argentine motoring was over, with no enlightenment as to why or for what reasons the races were no longer held. A couple more lines are ideally needed.

Additionally, the book doesn't appear to cover all of the races which occurred in Argentina during this period, even if we take into account only single-seater events. Missing from 1950 is the Gran Premio de Paraná held on the 12th November 1950 at Parque Urquiza, Paraná. Missing also are any races from 1952, with the VI Gran Premio del General Juan Perón y de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires being held on the 9th March 1952 in Buenos Aires, and the VI Gran Premio Extraordinario de Eva Duarte Perón being held on the 16th March 1952 at the same venue. No indication is given as to why there was nothing reported for 1952, and it seems a strange omission. Also missing are the winning times for the single seater races, although they are given for the sportscar events. Otherwise full race results are given for all of the races reported.

In conclusion, it wasn't quite the book I hoped it would be. It has wonderful photographs, but the textual content is slightly flawed. However, it covers a series of races not generally covered elsewhere, so for that and the photo's it is still worth purchasing.


Errata

PG 125 - Gran Premio de la Republica Argentina. Missing #24 Adolfo Schwelm Cruz, who drove a Cooper-Bristol T20, DNF/20 laps/wheel off.

PG 125 - GP de BA - winner was Giuseppe Farina rather than José (a number of drivers have their names transcribed into the Spanish equivalent in other places too).

PG 130 - GP de BA - Was a two part race, and the race result given is the heat 1 result, not the aggregate overall result. Heat 2 and aggregate results are missing.



Grand Prix Ford - Ford, Cosworth and the DFV, by Graham Robson.
ISBN: 978-1-845846-24-4, £65.00 (+ P&P).
Published by Veloce Publishing Ltd, 33 Trinity Street, Dorchester, Dorset, England, DT1 1TT.
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The DFV - three initials which for two decades ran through the veins of Formula 1. An engine which started in Formula 1, and spread throughout the motorsport world - this reviewer wrote an article on the engine, and many a book has been as well. It was so successful and so many built, that they even reached club racing, Dave Coyne's Lancia Stratos featuring a turbocharged version and being particularly memorable to this reviewer as it won it's race at Castle Combe when on fire and leading by almost a lap.

This book is well laid out and put together on high quality and weighty paper, and has a section for every single type of car which has ever raced in F1 with a DFV or derivative engine. There are many images, as well as a list of some of the other projects the engine was used for. It also includes brief biographies of key people in the engines' life story, such as Alan Mann, Harley Copp and Mike Kranefuss. It is encyclopaedic, but I couldn't help but notice that the author couldn't decide whether to use country codes or the full country names when giving the constructors, it randomly switching between them even for the same country. But that is the smallest of niggles, and is only noticable because of the high standard of the rest of the book. The book was originally started by Anthony Pritchard, but following his death was taken over and completed by Graham Robson, who expanded on the wording and the layout.

The book is about Ford, so would have been interesting to read more about how the success was viewed from the US headquarters, given that the drive for Total Performance came from there, and it had to be approved at board level. What drove their approval? How come they did it so quickly? Why did they continue funding the program for so long given that their image targets had been achieved, and that the marques they were competing against in the marketplace weren't competing in the same race series? If the subject is Ford, I would have liked to have seen more about the whole, rather than just the Ford Europe point of view.

The previously reviewed autobiography of Keith Duckworth makes an excellent companion volume to this book - read both, and you will have a good understanding of what happened and the people behind it. But this is the definitive guide to the DFV and derivative engined F1 cars, by an author who has met and spoken to most of the main actors over the years. It's a book I'd happily leave out on the coffee table for others to browse through, read bits and go "I remember that", or "Do you remember ?". The price might seem a little high, but the book is a limited edition of 1500 copies, and I imagine that they will go quickly - it's a book I will be returning to when I want to jog my memory on the subject, and few subjects in motorsport run over 25 years.....


Errata

PG 128, Col 1 - "March 86B F3000 car, which had just won the 1976 Championship". Should be 1986 Championship.

PG 147, Col 2 - "Way of optimising the 'ground effects' which Cosworth DFF runners...". Should be Cosworth DFV runners.

PG 154, Col 1 - "Onyx's co-founders, Mike Earls and....". Should read Mike Earle.

PG 195, Col 2 - "Nomally-aspirated teams would compete for..." Should read "Normally-aspirated".

PG 197 onwards - Williams type numbers frequently written FWO (with letter O) rather than FW0 (number 0).



Dino - The V6 Ferrari, by Brian Long.
ISBN: 978-1-904788-39-3, £40.00 (+ P&P).
Published by Veloce Publishing Ltd, 33 Trinity Street, Dorchester, Dorset, England, DT1 1TT.
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The Dino to Formula 1 cogniscenti is the legendary 156 "Sharknose", the 1.5 litre car which Ferrari used to win the new engined formula 1 championship in 1961. But there were also a range of road cars which used the same name, and after reading this book I can honestly say that I know a whole lot more about them. It's also one of the few times I've seen the Ferrari type numbering system explained too.

The book has an elegant cover, quality paper and many sharp images, taking you briefly through the story of Ferrari before concentrating on anything which had a V6 engine, detailing the show cars presented at the motor shows as well as actual production vehicles, even quoting the detail differences between different mark runs of the same vehicle type. It runs through to the final V8 models, which given the title I guess is the exception which proves the rule! It also includes facsimiles of the product brochures from both Fiat and Ferrari, the book covering the Fiat Dino models as well.

Additionally included is a brief buyers' guide, running through the things to look out for when buying one, including a picture of a very sad looking example needing a lot of body work attention, but still costing in excess of £130,000 at 2015 auction prices - these cars aren't cheap. They also need more regular mechanical attention than a modern car, as you may expect, and services can take three days, so don't expect to buy one and have running costs like your every day car.

As a bonus, the book has even taught me new vocabulary - jounce - the compression part of a shock absorber cycle before you get the rebound. But perhaps that says more about me!

So, in short, the book is a detailed record of the Dino cars and the changes the underwent through its seven year run. If you own one or are looking into the history of them, then this is for you.

Errata(ish)

PG 10, column 1 "Ninth in the 1919 Targa [Florio]" - Ferrari did not finish, only completing 3 laps out of 4. Depends on whether you include DNFs as places, which wasn't usually done in period. Admittedly the reproduced CMN advert from that year says Ferrari was 3rd in class, so....



WSC Giants: Ferrari 333 SP, by Terry O'Neil.
ISBN: 978-1-845847-58-6, £16.99 (+ P&P).
Published by Veloce Publishing Ltd, 33 Trinity Street, Dorchester, Dorset, England, DT1 1TT.
Tel: +(0)1305 260068. Fax +(0)1305 268864.
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When this book was first mentioned to me, it brought to mind pictures of scarlet Momo sponsored cars, usually in bright sunshine, which frequently appeared in Autosport through the long lifetime of the car. But minds play funny tricks on you, as I found when reading the book and looking at the pictures (and there are lots of them in this book - 141 of them in 122 pages!) - there were so many entries which weren't scarlet at all - I could remember the drivers, but the colour schemes of the cars not at all.

This book is a chronicle of the cars competition career, listing every race which was entered, together with the drivers, the results, and which chassis finished where, so it is a detailed log with small race descriptions. As the cars career was mainly focussed on the US racing scene, that is where the book concentrates, and it chronicles how US scene went from IMSA, through the USRRC, Professional Sports Car Racing to the ALMS, a period of of great turbulence in sportscar racing.

It is a good book (there are a couple of minor errors - on page 35, which covers the 1996 Sebring 12 Hrs, it says that a Porsche came down off the banking and collided with Baldi - Sebring is an airfield circuit and there is no banking) - it would have been a great book if the author could have interviewed the designers and asked them why they did some of the things they did, what made them accept this proposal and not others. And the drivers - how did they feel in the car, how did it compare to others in how it drove and handled? How was the car developed over time, and why? And a summary/overview of the career at the end would close the story better. But there is nothing else out there which chronicles the cars history, and it does it in detail. I liked it.



First Principles - The Official Biography of Keith Duckworth OBE, by Norman Burr.
ISBN: 978-1-845845-27-5, £35.00 (+ P&P).
Published by Veloce Publishing Ltd, 33 Trinity Street, Dorchester, Dorset, England, DT1 1TT.
Tel: +(0)1305 260068. Fax +(0)1305 268864.
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Cosworth - if your were born at a certain time, it means the DFV, the engine which powered the garagistes who took on the factory teams with their own chassis. To the next generation, it means the RS500, the massively powerful Ford Sierra used in the British Touring Car Championship, on our screens every other weekend on BBC Grandstand showing flame spitting on turbo over-run as Robb Gravett, Andy Rouse and Laurence Bristow amongst others fought each other around the UK circuits, the race at the Birmingham Superprix particularly sticking in the mind. Later again it was the Ford Escort Cosworth, the rally car which was competed everywhere, carrying the likes of Francois Delecour and Malcolm Wilson. But although the name is well known, less well known are the founders, Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth. And even if the names are known, less is known about the men themselves.

And this is where this book comes in. The official biography of Keith Duckworth, it charts Keith's story from his family beginnings in Blackburn, through his school, University studies, the founding of the company and on through his various projects. The author has interviewed many of his fellow co-workers, and quotes them extensively through the text, together with many quotes from his family. And together they help to flesh out a feeling of who the man was, and how he operated. The author blends them into the narrative to help give a feel for why things were done as they were. Added to this are numerous personal photographs of the people involved, and the projects undertaken, which help to add colour to the text. The picture on the front cover of a young Keith Duckworth overlooking his engine design while talking to Colin Chapman really shows what he was about, and helps to convey more than text alone ever could.

In addition, the book doesn't exclusively focus on motorsport, as Cosworth was involved in many more projects than just F1, and it is all the better for that. But the reader should be aware when reading this book that this isn't just a biography of Duckworth, it also covers all of the projects that Cosworth was involved with during his time there, some of them of which Duckworth might only have been involved with in passing. But it is a good read. The only thing I would request is that when the book is reprinted, please can the footnotes be moved from the end of the chapters to the bottom of the page where they are used - this reviewer ended up having to bookmark the end of the chapter so that they could be read in context!



Competition car aerodynamics (3rd edition), by Simon McBeath.
ISBN: 978-1-845841-23-1, £40.00 (+ P&P).
Published by Veloce Publishing Ltd, 33 Trinity Street, Dorchester, Dorset, England, DT1 1TT.
Tel: +(0)1305 260068. Fax +(0)1305 268864.
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"Wow" was the first response upon unpacking this book when it arrived. It has weight, the design lends it gravitas, and on flicking through the pages (which are on high quality paper) there were lots of impressive looking diagrams - it looks authoritative.

The book isnít afraid to use maths to explain things (although this reviewer thinks that one of the worked examples is incorrect Ė see the addendum to this review), but this shouldnít put a prospective reader off. The maths help to explain what the CFD examples are showing and why, and what the CFD algorithms are doing. And that is the point of this book Ė an explanation of how things work and how to apply them to your race car, whether it is a saloon car or single seater. It doesnít aim to give you exact figures and tell you where to place your new wing, but instead an idea of where to look and how to go about deducing what would work best, together with methodologies for testing your newly discovered setup.

So yes, the book is authorative, and well worth a read for those who want to understand the why when looking at the latest aerodynamic designs in motorsport. It works whether you are in interested viewer, or whether you are looking at pointers for building your own car. And although I donít have a car of my own, Iíd love to sit in on a session at MIRA when the author was testing one of the cars featured in the book!


Addendum
The equation on page 133 for balancing front and rear wings based on weight distribution reads:

Which is missing brackets to begin with, confusing the equation. It should read:

The example says that the 1/2ρ and V2 cancel each other out as they are on both sides of the equation, but mathematically thatís not true as these values are not in both terms on both side of the equation. So, letís get rid of some of the fractions, to make the next steps easier. Firstly, the 38/62:

Letís get rid of the fractions, so multiply all by 124:

Rearranging to get the same terms on each side:

And taking out the common factors:

Rearranging to give:

Taking ρ (air density) to be 1.225 kgm-3, Afront to be 0.4 m2, Arear to be 0.5885 m2, and assuming a velocity of 60 ms-1 (the 217 kph maximum speed of the car), together with a CLrear of 2.95, we get a CLfront value of 1.81, which is substantially smaller than the 2.67 value calculated.

Actually, because the V2 component is so big, the first term is tiny, and hence if you ignored the first part, you end up with an equation in which the front coefficient is simply the rear multiplied by the weight distribution fraction.


Update
Following clarification with the author, who was kind enough to discuss this in detail, what we have in the equation on page 133 is a confusion between a subtraction and a negative number. So -CL means negative CL, in which case the two terms do cancel out as suggested, and the quoted values are correct. Thank you for taking the time to point this out!


Please note that all of the opinions stated here are mine.....