Hit the Road: Vans, Nomads and Roadside Adventures

Hit the Road: Vans, Nomads and Roadside Adventures

Get behind the wheel, turn the key, and feel the breeze. Hit the Road features the individuality of overland vehicles, their passionate owners, and the inspiring journeys that celebrate a life on the move.

There’s a worldwide movement of people escaping the buzz of cities and diving into nature-packed camping trips and weekends away. Recharged, some head back on Sunday evening; others keep driving for months on end as they visit new countries, experience new cultures, and collect new memories. Hit the Road excites as a collection of overland adventures that put the focus on those who have decided to leave the average life behind–and not just millennials. Their rides range from the classic Volkswagen camper to cozy refurbished Airstream trailers and unstoppable fully-equipped 4×4 Adventuremobiles. The journey continues with stunning photography from the deserts of Africa to snow-tipped mountains in Mongolia. Experts share their experiences, their tips and tricks, and their favorite campfire-friendly recipes for life on four wheels. Are you ready to hit the road?

Ford Ranchero 1957-1979 Photo History

Ford Ranchero 1957-1979 Photo History

By James C. Mays. ”More than a truck and more than a car,” the unique Ranchero would take many forms, and this class act was a vital part of the big Blue Oval’s lineup for more than two decades. Far from being just another pretty face, rugged Rancheros did their part to build national prosperity and keep America on the move.

Meticulously researched in Ford’s archives, automotive historian James C. Mays pays tribute to Ranchero, telling the complete story in rich detail. Thoughtfully included are price and options lists, production, sales and export figures. This indispensable reference includes the unique Canada-only Meteor Rancheros as well as the Australian versions.

Route 66 Backroads

Route 66 Backroads

Known as the Main Street of America and the Mother Road, U.S. Route 66 is the nation’s best known highway. Once the microcosm of a culture increasingly connected by automobiles, its sights and attractions are now a fascinating reflection of a nation on the move. Travel this iconic highway through the heart of America with Route 66 Backroads as your guide. This lavishly illustrated book steers you from Chicago to Los Angeles, traveling through the lowlands of the American Plains and the high plateaus of New Mexico and Arizona, from the Great Lakes to the mighty Pacific Ocean, and through major metropolises and remote country towns. Branch away from the Mother Road, and you encounter gems hidden beyond today’s standard motels and tourist traps—the quaint frontier communities that date back to the nation’s westward expansion; the legacy of ancient native cultures; and the awe-inspiring natural wonders that have graced these lands since time immemorial. State parks, wildlife refuges, museums, historic sites, literary landmarks, and much more are there to be explored within a few hours’ drive from the path of Route 66. The fifty trips included here offer new travel opportunities for the thousands of road-trippers who follow this legendary route, looking for something more.

Porsche 75th Anniversary: Expect the Unexpected

Porsche 75th Anniversary: Expect the Unexpected

In Porsche 75th Anniversary: Expect the Unexpected, the full story of Germany’s fabled marque is revealed through a richly illustrated account of its most surprising moves and successes.

Few other sports car manufacturers can match Porsche’s success in the showroom or on the world’s race tracks. In this stunning volume, automotive historian, photographer, and recognized Porsche expert Randy Leffingwell focuses his attention on the key moments and models that have created the Porsche legend, from the original Gmund coupe to today’s 911, Cayenne, Panamera, and all-electric Taycan.

Leffingwell’s recounting of Porsche’s history is accompanied by rare images from Porsche’s own archive and punctuated with quotes and observations from key personnel. It’s a thorough, compelling, and revealing look at one of the world’s premier car makers.

Created with Porsche’s cooperation, Porsche 75 Years takes you behind the scenes of Stuttgart’s most famous cars as well as its key players. This book offers something for all Porsche enthusiasts, whether they are rear-engine loyalists, race fans, or followers of contemporary vehicles like the Cayman, Boxster, Macan, and Taycan.

Celebrate 75 years of Porsche excellence!

Street Was Fun in ’51

Street Was Fun in ’51

Mid-century: that period that we look back at and see as a peaceful, stable time. There was a sense of optimism in the air, a belief in the American Dream. People had money and were looking for something to spend it on. But for some there was a strong desire to rebel, to assert a personal identity in the grayness of the Eisenhower-Nixon years. No wonder the interest in hopped-up and customized cars began to accelerate. The roots of the Car Culture had barely hit the soil when an entire movement blossomed.
At mid-century, to own a good street roadster made sense. They were fun, swift, economical, handled well, and they were noticed! In those simpler days, when there were far fewer people around, far fewer laws and regulars, when the legal speed limit was 75 mpg, when gas was cheap, when driving was a pleasure, if you owned a hot machine you could point the grill down an empty road and go! To the beach, the mountains, or just to the Tik Tok, Jim Dandy’s Flanagan’s, to your favorite drive-in where you could make a cherry coke last all night while you listened to Patti Page and Perry Como and watched the parade of cars that, in memory, seems endless.
Street was fun in ’51!
Early Funny Cars: A History of Tech Evolution from Altered Wheelbase to Match Race Flip Tops 1964-1975

Early Funny Cars: A History of Tech Evolution from Altered Wheelbase to Match Race Flip Tops 1964-1975

Blast through the evolving early years of Funny Car drag racing when doorslammers morphed into flip-top rail monsters. The era features historic mounts from Arnie “the Farmer” Beswick, Al “the Flying Dutchman” Vanderwoude, “Jungle” Jim Liberman, Don “the Snake” Prudhomme, and many more!

The metamorphosis from doorslammers to fiberglass flip-top dragsters wasn’t ever a cut and dry plan. As drag racers pushed the envelope for more speed, a series of innovations quickly evolved and refined the genre.

Funny Cars cut their teeth in the A/Factory Experimental (A/FX) and Experimental Stock (X/S) classes in 1964 with the 2-percent Mopars that looked funny with their axles moved forward. However, it was Jack Chrisman’s supercharged, nitro-fueled 427 Supercharged Factory Experimental (S/FX) Comet Caliente that trailblazed the class on which the NHRA turned its back and the AHRA fully accepted. Showmanship became the draw in the dawn of Funny Car with half-track burnouts and flame-throwing headers that packed fans five deep at the fence.

By 1969, the NHRA had no choice but to create a class for these nitro-breathing, flip-top-sporting rail bruisers, indoctrinating the Funny Car (F/C) class at the Winternationals with 40 cars vying for 16 places in the field. The rest, as they say, is history!

Trans-Africa Land Rover: The Story of Philip Kohler and His Epic Overland Adventure

Trans-Africa Land Rover: The Story of Philip Kohler and His Epic Overland Adventure

When Philip Kohler left his native South Australia in 1955, his sights were firmly set on the UK, yet his continued appetite for travel eventually led him to Northern Rhodesia – a move that would ultimately see him fulflil a deeply held desire to complete a solo crossing of the Sahara desert.
With only his thoughts and the mechanical outpourings of his Series II Land Rover for company, Kohler spent three years traversing his way across a remarkable continent that was in the midst of revolution and change – documenting his journey with his trusted Leica camera – before arriving back in London in the latter half of 1962.
The adventure provided not just new experiences, but also shaped the rest of his professional life – his photographic ability, as well as a chance encounter with John Wayne, resulting in a hugely successful career in the international film industry. Lavishly illustrated with the beautiful photographs that he took along the way, and written by award-winning author Martin Port, this new book from Porter Press International tells the story of Philip Kohler and his trans-African Land Rover.

Detroit Steel Artists: How Edsel Ford, Ray Dietrich, Tom Hibbard, and Ralph Roberts Turned Motor City into a Styling Mecca Before Harley Earl

Detroit Steel Artists: How Edsel Ford, Ray Dietrich, Tom Hibbard, and Ralph Roberts Turned Motor City into a Styling Mecca Before Harley Earl

A groundbreaking book on how automotive styling was born, the artists who made it happen, and how Motor City was changed forever.

Printed in a large 12″ x 12″ format with 296 hardbound pages, Detroit Steel Artists is the first comprehensive story about the avant-garde artists of the automotive business—the industries’ outcasts who changed Motor City forever and made styling an important selling point in the early 1920s.

Styling is a given today for selling cars. How did that come to be? Societal changes, including the modernization of business and the women’s movement, were powerful factors for styling’s rise in significance. The forward-looking semi-custom car designs, from companies such as Le Baron and Dietrich, became a key strategy for styling’s acceptance in Detroit for production cars—before Harley Earl.

Inspired by Edsel Ford’s vision, Ray Dietrich, Tom Hibbard, and Ralph Roberts battled with engineers and executives in drafting rooms and board rooms over design. Packed with lively first-person stories supported by extensive research, Detroit Steel Artists relates the successes and failures of these fascinating pioneering steel artists. With more than a hundred period and modern images, Detroit Steel Artists takes readers on a panoramic tour of some of the most beautiful cars of the Classic Car Era—the zenith of automotive design.

Reno 2012  the Return of Air Racing  DVD

Reno 2012 the Return of Air Racing DVD

The OFFICIAL 2012 Race Video 2 disc DVD

Reno 2012 – After the tragic events at Reno 2011 the future of the World’s Fastest Motorsport was unknown. Thankfully, through the tireless work of the Reno Air Race Association, the Cities of Reno and Sparks, the State of Nevada, and many others who devoted their time and efforts assured that the world’s most unique racing event would continue, at least for this year.

2012 was a year of rebuilding, not only for the Reno Air Race Association, the race teams, and the fans, but also for the video production team. This year we have two goals with the official DVD and HD Blu Ray video production. The first is that if you were here in attendance we wanted to provide you with a memory of what you experienced as well as to take you to some places that you weren’t able to get to, behind the scenes and up close and personal with the pilots, crew and performers. Secondly, if you weren’t able to attend the event in person, we wanted to provide you with something that would allow you to experience for yourself what it was like to be here with as many of the sights, sounds and smells that we could capture and contain with the capabilities of today’s video distribution technology.

This year’s video production is a tribute, a tribute to everyone that was affected and touched by the events of Friday September 16, 2011.

We kick things off with some thoughts from key individuals that give some insight in this area over the last year. We will feature an interview with each of the racing class President’s talking about the planes, the pilots, the course and how they’ve prepared for racing in 2012.

You’ll see highlights of all the medal races for each of the 6 classes and hear from each of the winners about how it was out on the course for each of them during the race. Included will be air show performances and interviews with Clay Lacy and Joe Clark flying the Lear Jet, Jim Peitz doing aerobatics in a very unassuming looking Bonanza, Kent Pietsch thrilling the crowd with his dead stick performance and landing his Interstate Cadet on the top of a specially modified truck bed as they both move down the runway.

The Patriot Jet Team excites the crowd with military precision putting their L-39’s through a great routine celebrating the red, white and blue of America. David Martin, always a crowd favorite, flies an amazing and award winning routine in his CAP 232 and shows why he has won both individual and team medals in multiple World Aerobatic Championships.

We’ll get a look at the F-22 Raptor, the U-2 as it flies by and some of the other crowd pleasing aircraft that were part of this year’s Reno 2012 air show performances, and even some that weren’t!

In addition to some other pleasant surprises you’ll find on the video we’re including a very special interview with Mr. Robert “R.A. Bob” Hoover and Mr. Clay Lacy sitting down together to talk about their first meeting, becoming great friends, and working together over the year’s.

You don’t want to miss hearing from Bob Hoover, also known as “The Pilot’s Pilot” and from Clay Lacy who, as far as we can best determine, has the greatest number of flight hours of any living human today, and he continues to increase that each time he takes to the skies today!

Run Time 6 hours

FERRARI MASERATI – The great challenges

FERRARI MASERATI – The great challenges

Ferrari and Maserati, a rivalry entirely made in Modena which began around 1926, when the Maserati brothers built their first racing car in Bologna. From 1929, the rivalry became direct, even though it was Maserati against the Alfa Romeo of the Scuderia Ferrari. In 1947, Enzo Ferrari became a manufacturer, following in the footsteps of the Maserati brothers who, in the meantime, had moved to Modena. For Ferrari it was the dream of a lifetime come true and the end of any envy towards who had been manufacturers right from the start.

During the 1950’s, if the Ferrari drivers did not stand on the podium then the Maserati drivers did. The results of the rivalry until 1957, when Maserati terminated its direct involvement in races, highlight three F1 World Drivers’ Championships and four Sports, three Mille Miglia, one 24 Hours of Le Mans for Ferrari. The Maserati record book shows one F1 World Drivers’ Championship and a long list of victories in races worldwide.

However, this is not the whole story. A wider panorama is exhibited here, through the iconic cars of that rivalry.

 

Marcel Pourtout: Carrossier

Marcel Pourtout: Carrossier

Pourtout is a name often mentioned as one of the greats of French coachbuilding. It was the company behind the rakish Darl’mat Peugeots of the 1930s and the famous ‘Embiricos’ Bentley. From modest beginnings, founder Marcel Pourtout – latterly working with designer Georges Paulin – created a respected business that bodied some of the world’s finest and most interesting chassis.

When bespoke coachwork became a thing of the past, Carrosserie Pourtout was one of the few companies to survive. It moved on to fresh areas of activity. Quick on its feet, it thrived in a newly dynamised post-war France, whilst remaining a family business under the direction of Marcel Pourtout’s second son Claude.

Extravagant publicity vehicles, notably for the ‘Tour de France’ cycle race, replaced special-bodied Hispano-Suizas and Delahayes. Then Carrosserie Pourtout became involved with ALM, for whom it created a cab body that redefined the image of the company’s rugged trucks, these becoming a staple of armed forces around the world. Finally it became France’s leading converter of Peugeot light vans and a sub-contractor for the aircraft and oil-prospecting industries.

Written by award-winning author Jon Pressnell, this is the first history of Carrosserie Pourtout and has been compiled with the full and generous support of the Pourtout family. Using surviving documentation from the archives held by Kévin Pourtout, it tells the complete story of this enterprising small business, from its inception in 1925 to its demise in 1994.

  • 488 pages
  • 754 photographs
  • 290mm x 219mm
  • Hard cover with dust jacket
Valentino Rossi: All His Races

Valentino Rossi: All His Races

Valentino Rossi’s retirement brings down the curtain on an incredible career in the MotoGP motorcycle world championships.

With his nine titles, including seven in the premier class, he is widely regarded as the greatest motorcycle racer ever, and his 26 seasons of Grand Prix racing make him unique across both motorcycling and Formula 1. Rossi has been captivating fans since he won his first Grand Prix at the age of 17 and even in his final season, at the age of 42, he has been riding faster than ever.

In Valentino Rossi: All His Races, by top journalist Mat Oxley, each and every one of these races comes under the microscope, complete with perspectives about Rossi’s achievements, the controversies, his character, and analysis of his bikes. This is a Valentino Rossi book like no other, with photos by Henk Keulemans, who was shooting grand prix racing when Rossi’s father Graziano was winning races.

  • Early days, from karting and minimoto bikes to a first GP win, on a 125 Aprilia in the 1996 Czech GP, then onwards to claim the 125cc world title in 1997.
  • Moving up to the 250cc class in 1998 brought four consecutive end-of-season wins riding for Aprilia, followed by a decisive title in 1999 with nine victories.
  • Grabbed by Honda to race its super-successful NSR500, Rossi graduated to the ‘class of kings’ for 2000, almost becoming champion that season — but the following year he sealed
  • MotoGP, for 990cc four-stroke bikes, took over and Rossi immediately reigned supreme aboard his Honda RC211V, securing back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003, before a surprise departure to uncompetitive Yamaha.
  • Rossi rates his first year with Yamaha, 2004, as his best: defying expectation, he won first time out on the YZR-M1 and took a fourth successive title with nine wins.
  • In six more seasons with Yamaha, 2005–10, Rossi collected three more championship crowns, his 2008 success especially sweet because it involved a fightback after two leaner years.
  • Rossi’s move to Ducati looked to be an appetising all-Italian prospect but his two winless seasons there, 2011 and 2012, were disastrous.
  • A return to Yamaha never quite recaptured his greatest glories, but Rossi was championship runner-up three times and came very close to another title in 2015.

Beautifully designed and comprehensively illustrated, this book is the complete record of Valentino Rossi’s remarkable career in motorcycle racing.

The Key 2021

The Key 2021

The Key 2021 is both a book and a valuable document. A book because it presents in-depth and compelling stories such as the parallel between the evolution of the automobile over the last 100 years and that of architecture, art, fashion and music. Over 80 unique pages that tell a magnificent story. Then, the history of the Scuderia racing teams which, from an idea of Enzo Ferrari, have become the symbol of an authentic passion for racing. Also of great interest is the discovery of the new dimension of the Classic car experience, revived in a Club called “The eClassic Club”, where real cars are joined by exquisitely crafted simulators by Zagatoand Pininfarina. The past brought to the levels of today’s Formula 1. And much, much more, more besides.

From the pages of the book, 280 in all, we then move on to those of the document: here you’ll find in-depth studies on the various trends of the Classic car market based on the meticulous analysis of the results of global auctions, a very important survey on the opinion of young Europeans, Asians and Americans on the future of the car and on the importance of its past. Statistically representative results on just how very much alive and loved the object that gave humanity its freedom still is.

Finally, a unicum: the ranking of the world’s top 100 collectors. How could you not know it?

The Key 2021. Not to be missed.

Classic Speedsters: The Cars, The Times, And The Characters Who Drove Them

Classic Speedsters: The Cars, The Times, And The Characters Who Drove Them

12 Chapters, 12 Car Companies, 12 Famous Owners And a collection of speedsters that will inform and entertain!

Have you ever wondered when and how the hotrod movement started? Or speed and endurance events? Landspeed racing? Hillclimbing? Or anything involving power, speed, or just having some fun in an automobile? This book—Classic Speedsters—covers all of that, and much more.

Classic Speedsters: The Cars, The Times, and The Characters Who Drove Them chronicles the most significant vehicles ever to have traveled American roads and racetracks. Speedsters were the pizzazz cars of their era. Speedsters were owned by entertainers, captains of industry, the wealthy, and in some cases, the everyday guy or gal. They were often expensive, but they were always fast and sexy. Speedsters were America’s first sports cars.

Each chapter frames the birth and evolution of a company that produced a speedster model in its lineup and includes a biography of a famous owner of the period. This book traces the journey of the speedster concept across several time periods, from 1894 to 1970. It examines the speedster’s story among 12 automotive companies, 11 of which were American.

This is the first automotive book to study the speedster concept in depth. A broad swath of speedsters from 12 different manufacturers (actually—there are 13 companies in the book) are examined in order to distill the essence of this singular model.

The companies and the speedsters that they produced are framed within the context of their time to better understand how technology and market forces shaped the success and failure of these companies (and their cars). The people who were drawn to and purchased these vehicles—why did they? This too is examined and discussed.

Ford Mustang 2011-2014: How to Build & Modify

Ford Mustang 2011-2014: How to Build & Modify

Maximize the potential of your 2011–2014 Mustang with this new book! The Ford Mustang has seen quite an evolution in its 50-plus years of existence. Times change, consumer demands change, and sometimes, you stop and wonder, “How did we get here?” Ford’s designers and its customers were thinking the same thing in the early 2000s. The evolution from the classic original design to the New Edge styling of the 1999–2004 models had some scratching their heads. Ford decided to take a bold turn back to the Mustang’s roots with the fifth-generation model, which made its debut for the 2005 model year and lasted through 2014. Echoing the Mustang fastback design of the 1960s, Ford inspired a path of retro design that the Camaro and Challenger followed shortly thereafter. The move proved incredibly popular with enthusiasts. Of course, with car enthusiasts, the immediate thought was, “How can we make this new Mustang even better?” The big news in 2011 was the introduction of the new 5.0-liter Coyote engine, which was a huge upgrade over the previous 4.6-liter engine. In Ford Mustang 2011–2014: How to Build and Modify, Mustang expert Wes Duenkel takes you through the entire car, system by system, to explore ways to get more performance out the last of the fifth-generation Mustangs. Included are chapters on engine modifications, brake and exhaust upgrades, power adders, chassis and suspension upgrades, cooling system modifications, and EFI and tuning tips. Wheels and tires, differentials, electronic upgrades, and more are also covered. The 2011–2014 Mustangs are finding their way into the affordable category at present with warranties expiring and acquisition costs being very reasonable. Of course, as with all generations of Mustang, there is a robust aftermarket to explore for performance parts and accessories. Ford Mustang 2011–2014: How to Build and Modify covers it all and will help you make your Mustang everything you want it to be.

Cruise Night

Cruise Night

SIGNED

Scenes from the Mexican American lowrider life: a clothbound photobook documenting a vibrant LA car culture

Known for her quiet portraits of American cultural movements, Los Angeles–based photographer Kristin Bedford’s new work, Cruise Night, is an intimate and unstaged exploration of Los Angeles’ Mexican American lowrider car culture.

From 2014 to 2019 Bedford attended hundreds of lowrider cruise nights, car shows, quinceañeras, weddings and funerals. Her images offer a new visual narrative around the lowrider tradition and invite outsiders to question prevalent societal stereotypes surrounding this urban Mexican American culture. Bedford’s photos explore the nuances of cars as mobile canvases and the legendary community that creates them.

With bright color photography and a unique female vantage point, Cruise Night is an original look at a prolific American movement set against the Los Angeles cityscape.

Shirley Shahan: The Drag-on Lady

Shirley Shahan: The Drag-on Lady

Meet drag racing legend and pioneer Shirley Shahan, the Drag-On Lady!

As the first woman to win an NHRA national event when she was named Top Stock Eliminator at the 1966 Winternationals, Shahan blazed a trail for women in drag racing. During the golden era of drag racing, it was rare to find diversity in the sport. Shahan is what’s commonly known as a living legend.

In a career that spanned the 1950s and into the early 1970s, Shahan drove 1956 and 1958 Chevys and was one of the lucky few who was able to purchase one of the rare 1963 Chevrolet RPO Z11 Super Stockers. Later, when she was driving for Plymouth and Dodge, Shahan made the name Drag-On Lady both famous and feared. She then moved to American Motors and raced very successfully with the new SS/AMX.

From 1958 to 1972, Shahan set records and won numerous awards. She was inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, Super Stock Magazine Hall of Fame, and Mopar Hall of Fame, and she was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the Bakersfield racetrack. In addition, Shirley won the Top Stock category at the very first March Meet at the legendary the Famoso Raceway track near Bakersfield, California, which made her the first person (male or female) to do so. In 1966, she was the named one of Hot Rod magazine’s Top 10 Drivers.

She raced against the best drivers during the golden age of drag racing and more often than not blew off the doors of her opponents. She had a fierce passion for winning, and in this book, you’ll feel what it was like to be behind the wheel as she steers you through her illustrious career. Fasten your seat belt; it’s going to be a wild ride.

Ed Swart: From Zandvoort to Daytona

Ed Swart: From Zandvoort to Daytona

Anyone who drove racing cars in the 1960s and ’70s has a wealth of stories to tell, and Ed Swart is no exception. Having competed at international level in touring cars – winning the 1965 European Touring Car Championship Division 1 in the process – and been a front-runner in the European 2.0-litre Sportscar Championship in the late ’60s and early ’70s, as well as helming GTs, sports-prototypes and running an international race circuit – Zandvoort, no less – Ed Swart has more to say about the period than most people. And whilst most drivers from that era retired long ago, Ed has kept on keeping on racing through historic racing. This is the fascinating account of his life, immersed continuously in top-line motor sport.

Just like Sir Stirling Moss did back in the day, Ed Swart scrupulously kept a diary of his racing actions, based on scrapbooks of press clippings, which provides us with an unparalleled record of the crowded schedule of the pro-am racing circus during that heady decade and a half.

This fascinating 10×10-inch, 192-page hardback book, contains over 300 photographs and tell the story of racer Ed Swart who started his motorsport career rallying at the age of 18 and was soon involved in the early days of karting. As Ed’s father was a distributor for Fiat, based in the Hague, early on Ed was obliged to race only Fiat cars, under the title Scuderia Auto Swart – or Team S.A.S, but after he spent a year in Italy at the Fiat school and Abarth factory, he started racing Fiat-Abarth production cars.  Ed raced for five years with the Works Abarth team, winning the 1965 and 1968 class Championships. In 1969, when Carlo Abarth produced a genuine 2-litre sports car, Ed bought one to compete in the FIA 2.0-litre Sports/Prototype Championship. After the Abarth company was sold to Fiat and no longer making race cars Ed became a true Chevron fan and has raced them ever since, both on a professional basis in Europe and then after he moved to the USA in historic racing.

Colin Chapman: Inside the Innovator

Colin Chapman: Inside the Innovator

Renowned as one of the greatest creative forces in the world of the automobile, Lotus’s Colin Chapman (1928–82) left a mixed legacy. Was he an unparalleled innovator or an uninhibited exploiter of the uncredited ideas of others? In this landmark book, celebrated author Karl Ludvigsen gets to grips with the legend, digging deep beneath the skin of Chapman and his cars to explore and expose the motivations that drove this mercurial and controversial genius. Interviews with key figures in the Chapman story mesh with information from the author’s extensive archives to make this book a unique and compelling encounter between the engineer-innovator and the historian-investigator.

  • Conceiving concepts: assessment of the man whom Keith Duckworth described as ‘the most brilliant conceptual engineer I’ve known’.
  • Engine enterprise: recognising that he was, in his words, ‘not an engine man’, Chapman made the best of engines available to him, whether Ford 1172 side-valve, BRM H-16, Cosworth DFV V8 or Pratt & Whitney gas turbine.
  • Transmission topics: this chapter moves through Lotus-designed ‘Queerbox’ transaxles, four-wheel drive, automatic clutch actuation and much more.
  • Suspension sagas: from makeshift suspension ingenuity on his first Austin-based special to espousal of active suspension just before his death, Chapman gained and exploited an advanced understanding of a car’s underpinnings.
  • Structure stories: Chapman’s accomplishments in this field are numerous. Best-known among them are his monocoque innovations, in glass-fibre for the Elite road car and aluminium for the F1 Type 25.
  • Whittling weight: obsession with lightness was a Chapman mantra throughout his life. It contributed hugely to the success of his cars, occasionally at an expense of strength and safety that scared off some drivers.
  • Aerodynamic adventures: Chapman enjoyed aerodynamics — ‘a very absorbing subject’ — and was at the forefront of major F1 developments in this area.
  • Discovering downforce: early insights with wings and wedge-shaped bodies, exemplified by his Types 56 (Indycar) and 72 (F1), led ultimately to the pioneering breakthrough of traction-enhancing ground effect, which reached full flowering with the F1 Lotus 79.
  • Ludvigsen gives special attention to Chapman’s exploits at Indianapolis, where he and his cars transformed the nature of America’s premier race with stunning innovations far from the safety of home.