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From the day that enthusiasts first took off the hubcaps of their production cars to race against each other, saloon car racing has always been a top favourite with spectators. One-off events at Silverstone in the 1950s enthralled vast crowds and so. recognising this, the BRSCC set up the first Saloon Car Championship in 1958. Since then. this type of motor racing has been an integral part of the sport for half a century.
From 1958, when competing cars carried no advertising, no roll cages and no suitable racing tyres, to 2008, when the machinery has become as specialised as anything on the race track, the cars have always been exciting to watch, with close competition and sometimes astounding performances to entertain spectators.
In half a century the transformation has been complete. Technically, of course, it would be impossible to measure Jim Clark's acrobatic handling of a Ford Lotus-Cortina against Andy Rouse's clinically astonishing performances in a Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth, or one of several more recent heroes, such as James Thompson's Vauxhalls and Matt Neal's Hondas.
Every period of this fascinating first half century has been featured, with nostalgic coverage of cars as legendary as the Group 5 Ford Falcons of the 1960s, the massed ranks of Capris of the 1970s, the Rover Vitesses which followed, Super Touring Cars such as the BMW M3s, Audi A4s, Renault Lagunas and Vauxhall Vectras of the 1990s, along with versatile drivers such as Frank Gardner, Win Percy and Steve Soper.
Visually, however, this book provides a startling comparison of cars, liveries, and their performance over the years. Although the cars, and the regulations, might have changed persistently, the attraction has never been lost. This meticulously researched book not only captures most of the successful, even legendary, cars, their teams and the drivers, but it also provides a complete listing of Championship results over the years.
Graham Robson is a distinguished and prolific motoring historian who watched his first Touring Car race at Silverstone in 1955 and has been a `tin-top' follower ever since. Not only is he a recognised researcher and writer, but he has been a rallying co-driver at International level, a team manager in international motor sport, and a genuine petrol-head for many years. His surveys of international motorsport have been published all over the world, and his books include many for Haynes Publishing.