TomoHawk

Vintage Racing or Sportscar Books

32 posts in this topic

ID: 1   Posted (edited)

I'm not involved in much racing, but I like the occasional country drive or a lap or two on a track.  So in the off-season, I sometimes buy a vintage book on the subject.  Last summer I bought a very good documentary of the "Greatest Road Race in the World," the  Mille Miglia, which means "1000 miles."  It's an Italian race on open public roads 1923-1957 that covers a large part of Italy, sort of like the Targa California.

I just got another book called The Technique of Motor Racing, by Piero Taruffi.  He discusses how to drive, in 1950s style.

What book(s) do you have on your bookshelf, or which book(s) would you like to have?

Some books may only be available as a PDF, or may be in someone's possession, and maybe with a little (arm-twisting) we could get that person to share the book in some way (I will photograph the pages of an old book and make a PDF file from the images.)

Edited by TomoHawk

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Tomo,

Scanning a published book and posting it to the internet is a clear violation of federal copyright law.

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I"m not asking anyone to do that.

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There is Paul Newman's Winning of course but what I'd really like to read about is the US development of the racing Z covering S30 to Z31. I'm not sure how interesting this topic would be in the US but to this furriner it was magic, those race cars were just the best and far superior to anything else in the world concerning production sports cars at that time.

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1 hour ago, 260DET said:

There is Paul Newman's Winning of course but what I'd really like to read about is the US development of the racing Z covering S30 to Z31. I'm not sure how interesting this topic would be in the US but to this furriner it was magic, those race cars were just the best and far superior to anything else in the world concerning production sports cars at that time.

"...the best and far superior to anything else in the world..."..?

The products of a small company in Germany named Porsche may have slipped your memory, perhaps? A few other candidates making "production sports cars" in the same period might also be in with a shout.

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Point well taken, Alan.  Nissan has one hell of a race record in the U.S. which promotes the impression of dominance.  What is interesting about your point is that manufacturers that might dominate on a global scale don't necessarily dominate in North America.  And vice-versa.

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1 hour ago, 26th-Z said:

Point well taken, Alan.  Nissan has one hell of a race record in the U.S. which promotes the impression of dominance.  What is interesting about your point is that manufacturers that might dominate on a global scale don't necessarily dominate in North America.  And vice-versa.

History shows us that Porsche dominated the decade (and more) in question if we are talking S30 thru Z31, as they took victory in the various classes of the World Sportscar Championship more often than not during that period. 

Point taken about North American dominance not necessarily equating to global dominance (it kind of makes my point for me...) but I was answering specifically the quote "...the best and far superior to anything else in the world...", which is just daft. Just last week I was playing Facebook tennis with somebody who was insisting that Porsche was playing catch-up to Nissan during the 1960s and 1970s (??!!), and that the 911 was some kind of *response* to the SP/SPL Fairlady roadsters (???!!!). FAKE NEWS right there...    

 

Addressing the thread topic: There's far too many books on the subject to give specific recommendations. I've got a fairly big collection but it's just scratching the surface really and if you want depth you have to refine your collecting to your primary area of interest. Personal faves include Mike Schoen's excellent 'The Cobra-Ferrari Wars' and Janos Wimpffen's epic 'Time And Two Seats' on the topic of endurance racing, but my interest in the Japanese racing scene of the 1960s, 70s and 80s leads me to collecting complete runs of Auto Sport Japan and Auto Technic for those decades, as well as modern titles such as Auto Sport Archive Japan's fabulously in-depth '100 Great Races' series (now up to volume 73) and the superb Racing On magazine's offshoot 'Racing On Archives', which also go in-depth, and deep in-depth at that...    

 

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ID: 8   Posted (edited)

The point of the topic is to have something pleasant to read, in stead of watching what is on TV, which is nothing.  You don't need to define any particular interest to have something pleasant or interesting to read.

Edited by TomoHawk

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26 minutes ago, TomoHawk said:

You don't need to define any particular interest to have something pleasant or interesting to read.

Sure, but the thread title you chose is "Vintage Racing or Sportscar Books"....

I've just finished another of Charles Willeford's novels (been reading everything of his I can get hold of) and I'm halfway through re-reading Patrick Hamilton's 'Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky' triptych. I read a lot.

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Good.  The books I like to get are actually old books, not books on  racing antique cars

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 Non-fiction-The Technique of Motor Racing, Piero Taruffi

 Fiction-The Red Car, Don Stanford

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ID: 12   Posted (edited)

There is an example of am American marque that dominated every American race, then dominated in Europe as well.

Edited by TomoHawk

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6 hours ago, TomoHawk said:

There i s an example of am American marque that dominated every American race, then dominated in Europe as well.

That's not quite the point I was answering (concerning certain American-prepped Japanese cars being "...the best and far superior to anything else in the world...") but go ahead anyway, I'm all ears.

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ID: 14   Posted (edited)

On 4/21/2017 at 7:56 PM, HS30-H said:

"...the best and far superior to anything else in the world..."..?

The products of a small company in Germany named Porsche may have slipped your memory, perhaps? A few other candidates making "production sports cars" in the same period might also be in with a shout.

The obvious thing is that Porsche has always been a specialist in high performance sports cars, Nissan and the rest of them are not. As Ford showed with the GT40, it's not that hard to design a Porsche beater, right now in Targa Tasmania a Viper is leading if a current example is needed. And while we are on Targa Tas, check out the performance of a certain S30 compared with The Pretender in his GT3, bit of a laugh really.

Edited by 260DET

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5 minutes ago, 260DET said:

The obvious thing is that Porsche has always been a specialist in high performance sports cars, Nissan and the rest of them are not. As Ford showed with the GT40, it's not that hard to design a Porsche beater, right now in Targa Tasmania a Viper is leading if a current example is needed. 

The GT40? It was conceived in response to Ferrari's success in endurance racing, not Porsche's. They were usually not in the same racing class as Porsche's road cars, and were not in the same price bracket or market sector in the showroom.

Not that hard to design? The GT40's layout, componentry and basic design was cribbed from the Lola Mk.6 GT, so yes - easy! They just bought another manufacturer's car, designer and staff, set up a specialist manufacturing company (F.A.V. Ltd.) in the UK to build it and hire John Wyer and his team to race them. Easy! Apart perhaps from all three GT40s entered in the 1965 Le Mans 24hrs race - Ford's main target - not managing to finish...

Period mag feature for reference:   http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/september-1965/24/ford-gt-40 

What's that Viper in the Targa Tasmania got to do with anything? I'm still wondering what cars you were referring to with your "...the best and far superior to anything else in the world..." further up the thread? You seemed to be pinning it on "...the US development of the racing Z covering S30 to Z31", but I don't see any justification for the claim. Where's the substance?

I just don't get the anti-Porsche sentiment I see so often coming from Nissan/Datsun enthusiasts. Porsche is a company that historically has had racing as its very lifeblood. Maybe we are now in a world where that isn't possible any more (and that goes for just about all the major manufacturers) but in matters historic they have nothing to prove to anybody. All the more ironic when Nissan themselves took such avid notice of what Porsche were doing.

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I think if you study the story of the Ford GT40, you will find that nothing was "easy" and that the true heroes of the Ford GT40 story were John Wyer Automotive, not Ford.  I recommend John Horseman's book; "Racing in the Rain".  Ronnie Spain's; "GT40, Individual History and Race Record" is also great if not a little outdated.

"By Brooks Too Broad for Leaping", by Denise McCluggage is superb.  How about "Cannonball" by Brock Yates or "Sunday Driver"?  I recently read Brian Redman's book; "Daring Drivers Deadly Tracks".  Excellent.  Last March I saw John Fitzpatrick at Sebring and bought his new book; "My Life at the Wheel".

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Historical texts and documentaries are never "outdated."

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1 hour ago, TomoHawk said:

Historical texts and documentaries are never "outdated."

I think Chris was referring to the well known Ronnie Spain GT40 tome "Individual History...", which in its original form is indeed outdated. Further information always comes to light, and - in the case of individual chassis histories - time reveals past cover-ups, mistakes and mystery. Cars thought long lost can appear from the shadows. Ronnie Spain himself has acknowledged and addressed this very point.

So yes, they can so very easily prove to be "outdated"... 

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Yes, my copy of Spain is 1986.

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What I'm responding to Alan is your claim that Porsche is best when it clearly isn't, my current example of Targa Tasmania is real world, not factory with the best pro drivers, real world. And one thing this shows is that as usual on wet roads Porsches lose, two Vipers now leading. As for the US the Nissan/Datsun racing record is self evident and against Porsches too, sorry if facts get in the way of your opinion, again.

Ans sorry for the off topic, I still want books on the most interesting period of production type car racing in the word. In my opinion.

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9 hours ago, 260DET said:

What I'm responding to Alan is your claim that Porsche is best when it clearly isn't, my current example of Targa Tasmania is real world, not factory with the best pro drivers, real world. And one thing this shows is that as usual on wet roads Porsches lose, two Vipers now leading. As for the US the Nissan/Datsun racing record is self evident and against Porsches too, sorry if facts get in the way of your opinion, again.

Ans sorry for the off topic, I still want books on the most interesting period of production type car racing in the word. In my opinion.

You write things but don't have anything of substance to offer when asked about them. I asked specifically what cars you were referring to when you wrote "...the US development of the racing Z covering S30 to Z31. .....those race cars were just the best and far superior to anything else in the world concerning production sports cars at that time." and you don't seem to be able to come up with anything. Now you're talking about Dodge Vipers (a car which first hit the market in 1992) and the current running of the Targa Tasmania, which is a great event but can't rewrite history and I can't see what it has to do with the S30 through Z31 period you were referring to.

Can I suggest you take a peep at some racing history records? Since you mentioned the S30-series Z let's start with the results of the 1970 World Sportscar Championship (note the word 'World' in there...) where the winners for the International Championship of makes was Porsche, and the the winners of the International Cup for GT Cars was also Porsche. Porsche won the Le Mans 24hrs outright for the first time in 1970 (I was there, and got to sit in the winning car after the race) as part of that year of success. I suggest you look at the results for the WSC for the full S30 through Z31 production years and see what you find. 

"Factory with the best pro drivers" IS real world. Those are the results that get engraved on the trophies and the ink in the record books.

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"The Stainless Steel Carrot" by Sylvia Wilkinson.

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ID: 23   Posted (edited)

So nothing on the golden era of US Z car racing? That's truly strange because those successes should have had world wide implications, instead the Zed was basically neglected as a race car in Europe, partly no doubt because it was Japanese and an import.

As far as my world S30 excellence claims go, if  Europe is to be included then it's common knowledge that if you want to compete there then local experience and knowledge is paramount. This obviously requires a Europe based operation, particularly concerning long distance races. Bluntly S30 efforts in Europe were pathetic, competing against a factory dedicated team with the best drivers is only ever going to end in fail, the car is irrelevant. So whatever claims to being a World Event were made in reality they were Euro events and when one maker concentrates on a particular event the number of real contestants which can effectively challenge drops to near zero. For a specialist sports car maker which sales depend on winning races the incentive is obvious and the odds become shorter still. Yawn.

Edited by 260DET

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ID: 24   Posted

43 minutes ago, 260DET said:

So nothing on the golden era of US Z car racing? That's truly strange because those successes should have had world wide implications, instead the Zed was basically neglected as a race car in Europe, partly no doubt because it was Japanese and an import.

As far as my world S30 excellence claims go, if  Europe is to be included then it's common knowledge that if you want to compete there then local experience and knowledge is paramount. This obviously requires a Europe based operation, particularly concerning long distance races. Bluntly S30 efforts in Europe were pathetic, competing against a factory dedicated team with the best drivers is only ever going to end in fail, the car is irrelevant. So whatever claims to being a World Event were made in reality they were Euro events and when one maker concentrates on a particular event the number of real contestants which can effectively challenge drops to near zero. For a specialist sports car maker which sales depend on winning races the incentive is obvious and the odds become shorter still. Yawn.

Moving the goalposts on the pitch is one thing, but you appear to be moving them to another continent entirely. I asked you exactly what you were referring to when you stated "...the US development of the racing Z covering S30 to Z31. .....those race cars were just the best and far superior to anything else in the world concerning production sports cars at that time." and you don't seem to be able to specify which particular cars you are referring to. You now say that the World Sportscar Championship somehow doesn't count in all of this and "...anything else in the world..." doesn't actually mean what it says on the tin. So it's like the 'World Series' of Baseball's link to a newspaper rather than the 'World' implied by planet earth, right? Gotcha. 

There's no point in starting any kind of debate about S30-series Z cars circuit racing in Europe ("pathetic" or not) as Nissan simply were not ready - as a company - to embark on a serious Works campaign of that sort. They did however commit themselves to a rally campaign for the Z with the main focus on three 'halo' events - the RAC Rally of Great Britain, the Monte Carlo Rally and the East African Safari Rally - winning the Safari outright in 1971 and 1973 and placing a fine fifth on the Monte in 1971 (a result which astonished the rallying world) and followed that up with a third in the 1972 Monte. Nissan did take Works Zs to some selected events outside Japan to test the waters and gather data (including Brazil, Malaysia and South Africa) but circumstances - the 'Oil Shock' being the biggest - conspired against them expanding on that. From then on the focus would be mainly on four cylinder machines.

My point still stands. If you want to talk about "World Excellence" in terms of sports cars and GT class racing during the period when the S30-series (and S130-series) was current, then Porsche were the reference point. No contest. There's no shame for us as Z fans to admit that, but it makes us look stupid to deny it.           

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ID: 25   Posted

I just got a new book called The Sport Car, It's Deign And Performance  by Colin Campbell.

It will be a few weeks before I can start reading it, but it sounds interesting, as it will probably discuss the body-on-frame type of cars, which the Zed isn't.

Another book I considered getting was The Sports Car Engine, Its Tuning and Modification by Colin Campbell. It's not really related to the Zed's L28E, but it might be entertaining or informative in its own right.

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