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In this dramatic first volume, leading experts of British motor racing reveal the amazing stories behind their successes and failures, the great classic endurance races and Grand Prix contests in which they dominated - or faced disaster. Motor racing, which has no equal in the ecstasy of victory and agony of defeat, comes vividly to life in the colorful pages of these magnificent books.
It took Britain a few years to get to grips with first-rank motor racing. Apart from Sunbeam's Grand Prix success in the 1920s, it had to be content with the dramatic exploits of Bentley at Le Mans and in the next decade with victories by MG, Austin, ERA, Aston Martin, Riley and Lagonda as well as star drivers Tim Birkin, Malcolm Campbell and Richard Seaman.
Only after World War II, as David Venables so dramatically portrays, did Britain get the hang of Formula 1 racing. Once it did, there was no stopping British cars and drivers. Momentous breakthroughs came in the 1950s with Connaught, Vanwall and BRM, followed by the rear-engined revolution led by Cooper and Lotus. Engines from Coventry Climax and then Cosworth sat behind great champions including Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorn, Jim Clark, Graham Hill, John Surtees and Jackie Stewart. Meanwhile Jaguar and Aston Martin flew the Union Jack with pride at Le Mans. A reborn Donington joined Goodwood, Silverstone and Brands Hatch as the UK's classic tracks. Thrusting teams like Williams, Tyrrell, McLaren and Brabham joined Lotus at the forefront of Grand Prix racing with the likes of James Hunt, Damon Hill, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton at their wheels. British expertise even prevailed at Indianapolis with wins for Lotus, Lola and March.
Between these covers these men and their machines come colourfully to life in authoritative text, rare illustrations from the world-renowned Ludvigsen Library and striking portraits of great racing cars specially commissioned for this book.
Not only the birthplace of motor racing, France also nurtured the sport in its early years. Blue became the French racing color when the marques Mors and Panhard contested the early town-to-town races. France created Grand Prix racing in 1906 when a triumphant Renault prevailed. In the years leading to World War 1, Peugeot dominated Grand Prix racing and joined Delage as a sensational winner of the Indianapolis 500.
Leading expert David Burgess-Wise tells the exciting story of the early years of blue racing cars, taking the tale into the 1920s when first Delage and then the famous cars of Ettore Bugatti dominated Europe's circuits. When Bugatti was eclipsed by the German teams in the 1930s, France turned to sports-car racing with a new generation of spectacular cars. Although Delahaye and Talbot-Lago dominated the sports-car scene, Bugatti made a sensational comeback with two Le Mans wins.
After Word War 2, Talbot-Lago and Gordini carried the blue proudly in the new era of World Championship Grand Prix racing. Matra, a new name, put France on top again in the 1960s and 1970s. Ligier and Rondeau flew the tricolour in sports-car racing. Then the sleeping giant, Renault, awoke and entered the fray with radical turbocharged cars that brought France fresh glory, carrying their success into the 21st Century. Peugeot too returned to gain success at Le Mans.
The saga of over 100 years of French blue in motor racing, the cars and the men who drove them is told in this study. The story is supported by rare illustrations from the world-renowned Ludvigsen Library and striking color artwork of great racing cars specially commissioned for this book.
From Lautenschlager to Schumacher, Germany's racing drivers have etched their names at motor sport's very pinnacle. For Mercedes in 1908 and 1914, Christian Lautenschlager won two of the greatest Grands Prix in history. Discovered by Mercedes-Benz, Michael Schumacher went on to win a spectacular seven world championships. Home Marques Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union attracted Germany's best drivers from Hans Stuck, Rudy Caracciola and Manfred von Brauchitsch to Hermann Lang, Karl Kling and Hans Herrmann. Theirs were racing cars that were both white and silver, the latter passing into legend with the 'Silver Arrows'.
In these pages Porsche accelerates from plucky underdog to dominant power with its 917, 'Turbo-Panzer' of the Can-Am series, and 956 and 962 endurance racers. Mercedes-Benz teams Juan Fangio with Stirling Moss in the 1950s to sweep both Formula 1 and sports-car classics.
Karl Ludvigsen's dramatic telling of the German saga brings to life the great tracks, the Avus and the Nurburgring, and the cars that raced for Germany from BMW, Adler and DKW to Veritas, Audi and Borgward. Not overlooked are the exploits of such battlers in the class wars as NSU, Stoewer, AFM, Zakspeed, Scampolo, Zoller, AWE, Horch and Ford of Germany.
The glistening silver centerpiece of this unique tribute to Germany's racing cars and drivers is the decade of the 1930s, when the Third Reich controversially backed motor sports to flaunt its skill and power. With its historic contests and sensational racing cars that coruscating decade is still classed as motor racing's Golden Age. This is one book that is certain to have motor racing experts and fans thoroughly exhilarated, enticed and eager for the next installment!
Continuing in this incredible new series, Italian motor racing experts reveal the dramatic stories behind their successes and failures, the great classic endurance races and Grand Prix contests in which they dominated - or faced disaster. Motor racing, which has no equal in the ecstasy of victory and agony of defeat, comes vividly to life in the colorful pages of these magnificent books.
Ferrari is the quintessential bearer of Rosso Corsa, Italian Racing Red, in the 21st Century. Rightly so, because Ferrari Grand Prix cars have represented Italy in Formula 1 racing since the World Championship was established in 1950. Ferrari sports cars too have carried the flag with eight victories at Le Mans. But as Karl Ludvigsen explains in his authoritative text, there is much more to Rosso Corsa than Ferrari. In the sport's early years the power to reckon with was Fiat, who also set the pace after World War I. Then a feisty newcomer, Alfa Romeo, carried the Italian flag alongside, into the 1930s, the Maserati brothers. Two racing drivers, Felice Nazzaro and Vincenzo Lancia, created their own car marques, one of which stormed into prominence in the 1950s.
Italian drivers were to the fore with Tazio Nuvolari, Achille Varzi, Nino Farina, Gigi Villoresi and father and son Antonio and Alberto Ascari. Great races such as the Targo Florio and Mille Miglia, and the iconic circuit Monza, hosted many titanic battles. Shoals of creative specialists competed in smaller classes including Abarth, OSCA, Cisitalia, Nardi, Siata, Stanguellini and Bandini, many of whom backed Gianni Lurani's popular Formula Junior.
Maserati, which scored two Indianapolis wins at the end of the 1930s, held epic contests with Ferrari through the 1960s.
Fromm Ferrari to Maserati, the Italians have certainly held a prime position in world motor racing. These colorful contestants and many others come to life in the pages of this volume, with rare images from the world-famous Ludvigsen Library and specially commissioned portraits of key racers by Steven Cavalieri."