am 24. März 2010
Forty-seven years after his career-ending crash during testing in 1962 Stirling Moss turned 80 in 2009, the year this book was published. It must be nice to turn 80 and look back on a full and unusual life. And especially nice if you were a racing driver and lived to tell about it. Moss raced in an era when loss of life was so rampant that more than once the sport was pushed to the brink. It may be called the "golden era" but it also was a bloody one.
This book is not a biography but sort of an annotated racing calendar of the years 1947 to 1962. Written in collaboration with renowned motorsport journalist Alan Henry who has been a member of the F1 press corps for almost 40 years and covered more than 560 races, Moss describes each of his 585 races. It is startling nowadays to think of the sheer number of races that were held after the eight-year hiatus imposed by World War Two. Also the variety of races available to Moss would be totally uncommon today, from hillclimbs to formula races, which naturally means the variety of cars he needed to master is very wide.
Each year starts with a full-page photo and a short summary of the year's highlights. As the years unfold and Moss got busier this summary increasingly moves away from the personal to the strictly professional. The year's events are then spelled out, one by one, beginning with a data panel containing finishing position or status, name of event, car driven, race dates, and one or two lines of text or other pertinent detail. This is then followed by a few paragraphs describing the race and specific circumstances that mattered to Moss. This, then, is probably not a book one would read cover to cover but rather use as a reference source or to randomly peruse.
From 1952 on, the photos increasingly are in color. All have detailed captions that also list the source. In almost all cases they fall on the same pages as the events they were taken at but the photos themselves are not dated so the reader has to pay some attention as to what goes with what. The many photos are supplemented by racing posters, programs, newspaper clippings etc. The photos come from a number of sources and are thus uneven in quality. Their purpose here is to document and illustrate the specific events being talked about, not in being "art."
Full review at <speedreaders.info>. Copyright 2010, Sabu Advani.