Automobile Year 54 2006/07
For long the standard reference work on the motoring year, the latest edition has undergone some major improvements and rightfully earns its place next to previous volumes on any self-respecting enthusiast's bookshelf.
The publisher will be familiar to Classic Driver readers as it is Christian Philippsen, the well-known concours d’elegance judge and for many years the organiser of the "Louis Vuitton Classic" concours and rallies. He is also the chairman of the jury for the "Louis Vuitton Classic Awards”, and works for Pininfarina and Renault.
In a rapidly moving world where the years seem to pass by increasingly faster, having one single work of reference that encompasses all the really important motoring issues of the previous annum becomes ever more important. Automobile Year has always been the book to turn to whether answering a question on which year Michael Schumacher did not win a Formula 1 world championship, or taking a definitive view on the introduction of some of the world’s most exciting and innovative supercars like the Lamborghini Countach.
The 2006/07 edition ticks all the boxes with some glorious photography, in-depth articles on subjects like the ‘Ferrari P 4/5, the birth of a 'haute-couture' car’, the ‘100th anniversary of the 1st ACF GP’, and the ‘Bugatti Veyron, the quest for performance’ by none other than Gordon Murray, the designer of the McLaren F1.
International motorsport is catered for as usual with a briefer than normal review of grand prix racing (no doubt reflecting the intense media coverage of the sport over the year), the Le Mans 24 Hours race and its ground-breaking win by a diesel Audi racing car, other long-distance GT events featuring Aston Martin, Maserati, Porsche and Ferrari, and of course saloons, single-seaters and rallying.
There’s also (understandably enough) an extended review of the year’s concours events as well as a synopsis on the international top-end auction action. All new car launches are covered, with seperate market analyses on the important American, European and Asian sectors.
Not cheap, (it has a suggested retail price of £ 43.00/US$ 79.00/Euro69.00) but as a long-term companion and aide-memoire it’s unrivalled.
Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Pininfarina S.p.A/Ferrari Media/Automobile Year 54
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