Motor Racing; the golden age. Extraordinary images from 1900 to 1970 – John Tennant

A lovely, surprise birthday present from my partner.  This book is a book of photographs of various motor racing events from, as the title says, 1900 to 1970.  There are few words, mainly captions explaining what the event is, where it is and who is in the photo, where these details are known.

It’s the kind of book to look through on a wet Sunday afternoon, curled up in a chair with a nice glass of red or cup of good coffee.

Unlike modern motor racing photos where you can see the car and, because of the speed, everything else is a blur these photos show details of where the cars are racing and the people watching.  This makes it interesting to examine the pictures rather than just look at them.

You can study how the landscape around Brooklands changes.  You can watch how fashions change, how people made a day out of going to a race (and compare it to a modern race meet).  It is interesting to see how the cars develop and what drivers wear to race.

In one way I really liked the fact that the pictures are in no particular order other than that’s the way they fitted onto the pages and is how the author/editor wanted them.  In another way it’s a bit frustrating leaping from a 1902 hill climb to the end of the 1968 Grand Prix on the same double spread (this might be a bit of an extreme exaggeration but you get the point).

It would have been nice to have a bit of a thematic link and perhaps some narrative to link the pictures and put them into some sort of context.

That said, on the next rainy, Sunday afternoon you’re likely to find me curled up, with a nice glass of red, pouring over these pictures again.

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