1950's Racing Books Illustrated by Louis Klemantaski


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'The Vanwall Story', and 'For Practice Only' are two vintage motor racing books written by Michael Frostick and illustrated by famed photographer Louis Klemantaski. These are not modern day retrospectives, but rather contemporary impressions of the Grand Prix world as it existed in the mid to late 1950's. The text is quite informative, and the photography is, well, it's Klementaski. What else needs to be said?

Although both books are fewer than seventy pages each, they are packed with vintage images that are a joy to peruse. All the legendary marques are represented; Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, BRM, Vanwall, Mercedes and Jaguar. Many of the heroic drivers of the period appear as well; Moss, Fangio, Ascari, Kling, Taruffi, Hawthorn and Collins.

'For Practice Only' gives an insiders look into the several-day run up to a grand prix, from transporting the team, to tuning, to practice, to racing. 'The Vanwall Story' is self explanatory, but interestingly covers the highly successful Ferrari 4.5 litre 'Thin Wall Special', piloted by luminaries such as Mike Hawthorn, Piero Taruffi, and Peter Collins. The book goes on to cover the development of the Vanwall cars to their place of prominence on the world stage.

These books are a delightful read, as well as valuable period resources for the grand prix enthusiast.

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