21/04/2012 'Inside the Paddock: Racing Transporters at Work'
Do not be alarmed. That arbiter of taste and style, Lord March, has written the foreword to this fascinating book: one with nearly 400 pages of content that is far more ‘people-’, ‘than ‘train-spotting’.
“To finish first, first you must finish.” True enough. But before that, you’ve got to take your racing car, team crew and all its assorted paraphernalia sometimes 100s of miles from home to a circuit often lacking in many of life’s necessities (one British team in the 1950s would always travel with a keg of Watney’s beer…).
So, enter that noble automotive beast of burden, the racing transporter.
This book, recently published by Dalton Watson, tells the story of vans, trailers and lorries ranging in size from a VW Type 2 flat-bed with a Formula Junior stuffed unceremoniously in the back, to today’s leviathans parked with to-the-millimetre precision in an F1 paddock or at Le Mans.
They are all there: the Ecurie Ecosse Commer; pre-War Mercedes and Auto Union state-of-the-art fleets of service vehicles; a whole host of Bartolettis used by Ferrari, Maserati and Shelby Cobra; and all the scruffy converted coaches so loved by impecunious British privateers in the 60s and 70s.