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Blackhawk Editions

Volume 3

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by Stirling Moss with Christopher Hilton

In his introduction to this excellent volume, Stirling Moss expresses some surprise that he is still (the book was first published in 1994) famous. He candidly attributes this in part to his trademark Christian name, bestowed on him by his mother who named him after a town in Scotland. Be that as it may, famous he is, and the title of this book is "STIRLING MOSS'S Motor Racing Masterpieces". Moss's name certainly draws attention and readers, but the book can stand on its own merits. Moss's collaborator is Christopher Hilton. Each of them refers to himself as an "author". This is an anthology, so they are, of course, editors and will be so-termed here.

The editors each provide an introduction, as well as short notes at the beginnings of most of the selections. These, if too brief, are generally informative. Moss's comments regarding his career, the art of driving, other drivers and the authors of the selections are particularly interesting as he is, in addition to being an expert, obviously still an ardent fan of the sport. The reader learns that Moss seems to prefer "racers" such as himself and Ayrton Senna to "the true professional, where winning is what matters" such as Jackie Stewart. He apparently is happier being the best driver never to have won a championship rather than being a holder of one championship only.

The selections are delightfully varied. Though not all of them fit the category of "masterpiece", many do. The late Denis Jenkinson's epic tale of his epic ride with Moss in the 1955 Mille Miglia is here. This by itself would justify the book's subtitle: "Classic Tales from the Track." There are two pieces lifted from "Jim Clark at the Wheel", including a surreal picture of events during Clark's first Grand Prix at Spa. A meticulously detailed account of the fortunes and misfortunes of John
Surtees at the 1967 German Grand Prix by Michael Cooper-Evans tells one more, perhaps, than one might wish to know about a Grand Prix weekend. "Poet and Peasant", a bit of dry humor mixed with terror by non-motor racing writer Godfrey Smith, provides a mere mortal's reaction to a handful of full tilt laps with Moss in his prime around Goodwood, in the process exposing much of the great gulf between racing and automobile driving.

The list of writers whose works are included is eye catching: Jenkinson, Ken Purdy, Doug Nye, Alan Henry, Cyril Posthumus, Nigel Roebuck, Barre Lyndon and more. In addition to Grand Prix, rally is touched on. Particularly striking are a brace of stories on Frank Williams, one covering the start of his life in racing and the other covering the start of his life following his serious road accident.

The book has its shortcomings. As pointed out earlier, the editors could have been more generous with notes and glosses for the selections. Knowledgeable readers will notice that the first Grand Prix, held at Le Mans, is dated to 1900, whereas it actually took place in 1906. This sort of error is one of the reasons why editors are provided with galleys. "Mirage at the Masta?" by Mark Kahn appears to actually belong in "The Readers Digest". The caption accompanying one of the sparse number of B&W photos makes a big deal of saying that it shows a rarely seen view of Mansell in a Williams: standing still. A glance at the car's tires reveals that the car is actually moving. The poverty of illustration, by the way, is not a detriment, since the book is first and foremost a celebration of motor racing writing.

Notable virtues of the book are the quotes that follow up many of the selections and improve some. In the interview by Pino Allievi, "Alain Prost: The Believer", the interviewer makes a clumsy attempt at novelty by not posing racing questions to Prost, and, instead, tossing him shallow queries on trendy subjects of the day (1990). But upon finishing this fragment of existential fluff the reader is hit between the eyes with two venomous quotes: one from Prost about Senna and the other from Senna about Prost.

All in all the book's problems are minor. The enthusiast with a good collection of motor racing literature will probably possess much of its content already, but others who desire to get a library started can, without a doubt, do no better than to begin with "Stirling Moss's Motor Racing Masterpieces".

Review provided by Robert W. Butsch

Moss, Stirling and Christopher Hilton, eds. "Stirling Moss's Motor Racing Masterpieces". Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995, 285 pp., ISBN 0-283-06260-6.


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by Louis Stanley

Louis Stanley was for many years chairman and joint managing director , with Jean Stanley, of the family-owned BRM racing team. From this vantage point he was able to observe the changes that the years would bring to the Formula 1 circus. He was at the forefront of motor racing safety and the establishment of the Grand Prix Medical Unit. He chronicles the introduction of advertising in a frank and honest manner having introduced Marlboro to Formula 1, a development that he would later regret. He writes critically regarding the use of electronic driver aids which in his mind produced a two-tier situation in Formula between the haves such as Williams, Ferrari and McLaren and the have nots. But to dismiss this book as the bitter remarks of a person who time has passed by is to make a great mistake. In his chapter Unpredictable Personalities he delivers concise snapshots of legendary figures such as Enzo Ferrari, Vittorio Jano, Louis Chiron and Alfred Neubauer. The chapters entitled Analysis of Accidents, Safety Measures and The Campaign that Saved Lives are both disturbing and necessary, as Louis Stanley sought to understand the cause and effects of crashes in order to promote greater safety in the future. Lastly his chapters Memories Never Age and Victories to Savor give the reader a window to this period in Grand Prix racing the 60's and 70's, The Legendary Years. Graham Hill's victory in the German Grand Prix of 1962, a young Jackie Stewart winning at Monza in 1965 and Jean-Pierre Beltoise's remarkable win in torrential rain at Monaco in 1972 stand out. The book finishes with a short story on the origins of BRM. Generously illustrated with black & white photographs that make the drivers seem even more heroic, this book would make a welcome addition to anyone's library.

Stanley, Louis. "The Legendary Years". Queen Anne Press., 1994, 248 pp., ISBN 1-85291-547-1


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by Derick Allsop

From Moss to Mansell the lives of great British racing drivers are contained herein. Famous names such as Mike Hawthorn, Peter Collins and Tony Brooks are given flesh and blood through anecdotes and personal remembrances. We read of the exploits of G. Hill, Clark, Surtees and Stewart racing wheel to wheel in cigar shaped cars painted British racing green and Italian racing red. A time considered by many as the true golden age of Formula 1.

Mike Hawthorn the great amateur among professionals, the first British World Champion and his mate Peter Collins make an all too brief an appearance. Tony Brooks and Stirling Moss, one famous the other less so could both have been World Champions. Moss's tragic accident that ended his career is covered. The minor drivers are given lives again. The book is 176 pages but contains more interesting material covering the life and times of its subjects than books many times its size. By now you may have guessed that this is one of my favorite books. The current World Championship is fought by drivers from many other lands and is no longer dominated by the drivers from Great Britain. This in itself is not a problem what is lacking is the personnel friendship shared by the earlier British contingent. When the season ended they would race down-under, in the Tasman series, free of the intense pressure of the European races. They would eat, drink and race together, a true Grand Prix circus. The years covered in this book encompassed the years of my youth and just as those days will never return the Reign of the British Racing Hero has ended. Reading this book will be as close as we will ever get to those times when an aspiring driver was measured by his speed rather than his bank account.

Allsop, Derick. "The British Racing Hero". Magna Books, 1992, 176 pp., ISBN 1-85422-313-5


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by Guy Jellinek-Mercedes


History is full of stories of inventors who after gaining fame from their inventions finding themselves overtaken by others who were more able to take advantage of the commercial opportunities these inventions offered. Daimler-Benz could very well have fallen victim to the same misfortune were it not due to the vision of Emil Jellinek. In 1896 Emil Jellinek traveled from Nice to the Daimler factory in Cannstatt Germany. He came there to take delivery of a new 6hp Daimler. After reading everything he could get his hands on concerning this new invention, the horseless carriage, seeing it in person galvanized his belief that he and only he had the vision to bring forth this great invention to the public. He would act as their agent; in the computer age his position would be know as an evangelist or true believer. In 1897 he order no less than 140 cars of various models. Everyone knows the story of him naming cars that he re-sold after his daughter, Mercedes. Less are aware of the fact that he had his own name legally changed to Jellinek-Mercedes.

He was eccentric and overbearing yet bursting in energy and he believed in the value of racing to improve the breed. His relationship with Gotlieb Daimler was strained but in the engineer Maybach he found a will partner. Trans-continental telegraph messages and letters flew between wherever Jellinek happened to be and the factory at Cannstatt. Pleading and badgering the factory to build more and more sophisticated cars. Letters from that "maniac" Jellinek were read warily but the challenge to Daimler's engineers would not be left unanswered. It must be remembered that the very same cars that were raced in those days were the cars that anyone with the money could buy. The reputation of Mercedes cars having some of the best engineering available was born in that period and lives on to this day.

Guy Jellinek-Mercedes tells the tale of his father through personal remembrances, undoubtedly handed down and embellished by his father, and includes his correspondence and fascinating accounts of classic road races held in the early days of the automobile. You also learn about the brilliant engineer Wilhelm Maybach who more than anyone was responsible for the greatness of Daimler's first cars.

Jellinek-Mercedes, Guy (translated by Ruth Hassell). "My Father Mr. Mercedes". G.T. Foulis & Co. Ltd, 1966, 319 pp.


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by Peter Miller

During its thirty years of existence, from 1927 to 1957, the Mille Miglia was considered "the greatest road race in the world." In his book Peter Miller has captured the spirit of this great event with over 150 photographs - many of which have never been published, and contributions from Stirling Moss, Piero Taruffi, Alfred Neubauer and the Contessa di Maggi. Miller has produced a family album because when the race was held all the drivers were treated as family and the event took on the feeling of a family reunion at the Maggis' Calino villa. The story of the Mille Miglia is the story of one man's dream, Conte Aymo Maggi with the help of three friends sought to revenge the loss of the Italian Grand Prix to Milan by creating the worlds greatest road race for sports cars. They wanted to spur the Italian motor industry out of its doldrums and bring publicity to Brescia. The four musketeers as they were known decided on a race from Brescia to Rome and back to Brescia. The distance of approximately 1600 kilometers converted to 1000 miles which had a nice ring to it. One of the four Franco Mazzotti remarked that the Roman legions used to calculate their marches in miles "so why don't we call it a race for the Coppa della Mile Miglia?" Renzo Castegneto, who would become Maggi's right hand man and the one responsible for the organization of the race came up with the famous symbol of the red arrow emblazoned with the words 1000 MIGLIA.

Chapters such as Race Hazards, the Final Lap and The Man Who Loved Life bring back echoes of a long gone age. Peter Miller describes all of the problems that had to be overcome each year the race was run, the politics and the rivalries that are a part of Italian daily life are all described in an engaging style. We learn of Conte Maggi's own racing exploits as one of the leading Italian drivers of the 20's. The race would take more and more of his energy and he discontinued driving. In the end it was said that he died of a broken heart when his race was banned after 1957.

Miller, Peter. "Conte Maggi's Mille Miglia". St Martin's Press, 1988, 164 pp., ISBN 0-312-02525-4

Other Book Reviews

The British Racing Hero
Colin Chapman: The Man and his Cars
The Chequered Flag
Jim Clark: Tribute to a Champion
My Father Mr. Mercedes
The Grand Prix Champions
Grand Prix People
The Legendary Years
Conte Maggi's Mille Miglia
Stirling Moss's Motor Racing Masterpieces
Motor Racing Through the Fifties
My Two Lives - Rene Dreyfus

Books from the Grand Prix History Library

100 Years of the Automobile by Marco Ruis and others
Alfa Romeo la Monaposto Tipo A del 1931 by Luigi Fusi
Alf Francis - Racing Mechanic 1948-58 as told to Peter Lewis
American Grand Prix Racing by Tim Considine
Anatomy of Speed
by Terry Jackson
A Racing Car Driver's World
by Rudolf Caracciola
Automobile Quarterly - (Various volumes)
Auto Union Racing Cars 1934-1939
Ayrton Senna
by Ivan Rendall
Ayrton Senna's Principles of Race Driving
by Ayrton Senna
Berlin Diary
by William Shirer
Book of Chronologies
by Bruce Wetterau
British Grand Prix
by Richard Hough
Bruce McLaren
by Eoin Young
Case History
by Smith
Champion Year
by Mike Hawthorn
Colin Chapman - The Man And His Cars
by Jabby Crombac
Dick Seaman - A racing Champion
by H.R.H. Prince Chula Chakrabongse
Enzo Ferrari - 50 Years of Motoring
by Piero Casucci
Famous Motor Races
by Rodney Walkerley
Ferrari … a dream born in snow
by Roberto Boccafogli
Fifty Year of Ferrari
by Alan Henry
Francorchamps 1948-1960
by Jean-Paul Delsaux
Frank Williams
by Maurice Hamilton
Gentlemen, Start Your Engines
by Wilbur Shaw
Grand Prix Circuits
by Alan Henry
Grand Prix People
by Gerald Donaldson
Grand Prix - The Complete Guide by Trevor R. Griffiths
Grand Prix Tripoli 1925-1940
by Valerio Moretti
Great Auto Races
by Richard Hough
Gurney's Eagles
by Karl Ludvigsen
History of the Grand Prix 1945-65
by Doug Nye
History of the Grand Prix 1966-91
by Doug Nye
How to Watch Motor Racing
by Stirling Moss
Italo Balbo - A Fascist Life by Claudio G. Segrè
Jenks: A passion for Motor Sport
by Denis Jenkinson
Jim Clark: Tribute to a Champion
by Eric Dymock
Jody (Scheckter) an Autobiography
by Himself
John Surtees - World Champion
by Himself
Life at the Limit
- by Professor Sid Watkins
Life in the Pit Lane
by Steve Matchett
Maserati 250F - A Technical Appraisal by Andy Hall
McLaren - The Epic Years
by Alan Henry
Mercedes Benz - Grand Prix Racing 1934-1955
by George Monkhouse
Mercedes Grand Prix Ace
by Rudolf Caracciola
Michael Schumacher
by Derick Allsop
Moments that made Racing History
by Rodney Walkerley
Monaco Grand Prix - Portrait of a Pageant
by Brown, Newman & Hewitt
Motor Racing Masterpieces
by Stirling Moss
Motor Racing Through the Fifties
by Peter Lewis
Motor Racing with Mercedes Benz
by George Monkhouse
My Cars,My Career
by Stirling Moss
My Father Mr Mercedes by Guy Jellinek Mercedes
My Two Lives
by Rene Dreyfus
Pole Position by the BRDC
Porsche - the Man and his Cars by Richard von Frankenberg
Pole Position by the BRDC
Portrait of the 60's by Rainer W. Schlegelmilch
Pursuit of Victory by Karl Kling
Racing Cars by Piero Casucci
Racing & Sports Car Chassis Design by Michael Costin and David Phipps
Racing Stewart by Maurice Hamilton
Racing the Silver Arrows by Chris Nixon
Rosemeyer! by Elly Beinhorn and Chris Nixon
Schumacher by Timothy Collings
Speed was my Life by Alfred Neubauer
Sports Car and Competition Driving by Paul Frere
Team Lotus - The Indianapolis Years by Andrew Ferguson
Technology of the F1 Car by Nigel MacKnight
The Art and Science of Grand Prix Driving by Niki Lauda
The Automobile - The First Century by Wise, Boddy and Laban
The British Racing Hero by Derick Allsop
The Complete History of Grand Prix Motor Racing by Adriano Cimarosti
The Encyclopedia of Motor Sport by GN Georgano
The Four Wheel Drives by Alan Henry
The German Grand Prix by Cyril Posthumas
The Grand Prix Car 1954 to 1966 by L. J. K. Setright
The Grand Prix Mercedes-Benz Type W125, 1937 by Denis Jenkinson
The History of the Grands Prix of Monaco 1929-1980 (CD) Vol. 1
by IMD
The History of the Racing Car by Giovanni Lurani
The Illustrated Evolution of the Grand Prix & F1 Car by Simon Read
The Legend of Formula 1 (CD) by Cine Television Team (CTT)
The Legendary Years by Louis Stanley
The Man with Two Shadows by Kevin Desmond
The Nightmare Years by Bill Shire
The Power and Glory by Ivan Rendall
The Racing Driver by Denis Jenkinson
The Science of Speed by David Tremayne
The Star and The Laurel by Beverly Rae Kimes
The Technique of Motor Racing by Piero Taruffi
The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Formula One by Bruce Jones
The Viking Drivers by Fredrik Petersens
The World of Racing Cars by Eric Dymock
Vanwall - A Technical Appraisal by Ian Bamsey
When Nuvolari Raced ... by Valerio Moretti
When the Flag Drops by Jack Brabham
Williams - The Business of Grand Prix Racing
by Alan Henry