By Laurence Pomeroy, F.R.S.A., M.S.A.F. - 2 Volume Set, Hardback Editions, Very good condition (Volume 1, Revised Edition, January 1954, - Volume 2, Revised Edition, November 1954)
When The Grand Prix Car 1906-39 was issued in 1949 it was the first book to combine a history of motor racing with a scientific survey, based on an analysis of 17 examples, of the engineering ingredients which go to make up the racing car.
Lavishly illustrated with cutaway drawings, it was a speculative venture by the publishers, for it was offered at an unprecedentedly high price fora motoring hook. It was, however, enthusiastically received all over the world and the entire first printing was quickly sold.
In order to keep the story up to date without an inconveniently large number of pages, and an embarrassingly high published price, it has now been decided to produce a second edition in two volumes. The first . of these provides basic information upon which knowledge of the modern racing car is founded. The whole of motor racing from 1894 to 1939 is surveyed in 14 chapters which describe and give the results of 235 events. There then follow detailed descriptions and drawings of 17 Grand Prix cars. Of these, the earliest, built in 1908, had an engine of 12 litres (73o cu. in.) capacity with a maximum speed of 100 m.p.h. and the last, the 1939 3-litre (183 cu. in.) Mercedes-Benz, was the fastest road racing car the world has yet seen, with a maximum speed of little under Zoo m.p.h. Also included in Volume One are 3 2 pages of photographs on which appear 52 pictures of racing cars and their constructional features and a lithograph section containing 14 pages of superb reproductions of the pencil sketches made by the artist Cresswell in the course of his researches. In conclusion, it should be mentioned that much additional information and illustrations, not available in the first edition, have been included in Volume One of the new book.
-The contents of this second volume of The Grand Prix Car make it possible to answer this question by two methods. In the opening six chapters of the book will be found descriptions and detailed specifications of the Formula I cars designed and built between 1947 and 1951. They include not only the highly-successful types such as the i 58 Alfa Romeo and 41-litre Ferrari, but also cover technical projects of great interest such as the French Arsenal C.T. A. and the Porsche-designed flat i 2 rear-engined Cisitalia as well as the fabulous and controversial V. 6, 7o lb. boost, B.R.M. In this section will also be found descriptions of the Formula II cars, the Ferrari four-cylinder which won eighteen of the twenty races in which it was entered, the six-cylinder Maserati which was a constant threat, the French Gordini, and the British Connaught, Cooper and H.W.M. models.The second Part of this volume, showing the relation of maximum to average speeds on a given circuit (varying as the sixth root thereof), is liberally illustrated with detai led drawings of engines and components and contains also many unique horse-power curves secured direct from the manufacturers. Volume Two closes with a review by the author of some of the broad factors which have stood behind the design of the Grand Prix cars, such as the finance available for their construction, the type of roads over which they have had to run, and the interrelation between driver technique and the roadworthiness of the car.