An autobiography of a racing car!
ERA R4D is possibly one of the most famous pre-war racing cars still to be racing. Mac Hulbert owned and raced R4D from 2000 to 2015 and, I think, is the person to have owned it longest after it’s original owner, Raymond Mays.
Mays and Peter Berthon designed and developed the car in 1935 and Mays raced it until the early 1950s. Since then it has been owned by a number of rich, eccentric men, almost all who have raced in it.
I remember the car racing from various outings to Vintage Sports Car Club meets in the 1980s. One of my friends – the one who lent me this book – it a bit of an ERA nut so we always had to properly watch the races where ERAs were running and got a running commentary of which car was which.
Honestly, I would rather listen to Chris rabbit on about what he knows about ERAs than have to read this book again!
The pictures in the book are fabulous and from all eras. There are some nice potted biographies of the various people who have owned R4B or had some significant involvement it. But, my God, the book is a dry read! I’m so glad I never had to attend one of Mac Hulbert’s marketing lectures at Columbia Uni!
The bulk of the book is, regrettably, a list of the race meets where R4B has raced each season, where it was placed and any problems there were with the car. This could have been achieved in a nice, neat table placed in an appendix and the book could, and should, have been an exciting story of what the car is like to handle, the challenges of racing and about the people who made, and continue to make, this amazing car a thing of beauty.
This book is £60 on Amazon and eBay. That’s a lot of money to spend on a boring book!