Originally published in 2004, I got this book around 2006 or 2007. It was a gift from my friend Jeff, a fellow moderator at DiecastXchange, at the time the biggest 1:18 diecast forum on the web. Back then I was an avid 1:18 collector, trying to build a focused collection 🙄. I wanted to stick to Le Mans and Silberpfeile, and just a few road cars, yet in 1:18 those themes were scarce. And books like this didn’t help either. Brock Yates tells a great story about the 1955 Indy 500, and Bill Vukovich’s tragic accident. He also talks about the 1955 Le Mans tragedy and the aftermath. For both cases, it was VERY interesting to see how much a pilot’s safety (and life) was important. Or better said, how little that mattered. He also writes about the death of James Dean, in the last part of the book. However, being honest, that part was subpar compared to the rest. Being blunt, he could have stopped at Le Mans.
Even so, all in all a good book. To the point that I branched my 1:18 collection into vintage Indy racecars 😣. Despite the James Dean part, it’s a very good book. However, I looked it up at Amazon and it’s out of print. If you get a chance to get one, even if you’re not into Indy, it’s a good way to understand a little how racing was done in the 50s. Oh, Brock Yates also wrote “Enzo Ferrari: The Man and The Machine”.
Though I only watched yesterday (🙄), WEC posted this some two weeks ago. Almost an hour long, it shows the highlights of the 2022 season. With that, each race receives a little bit of coverage, so all in all it gives a good idea of how was 2022. However, they don’t focus much on the smaller teams. Basically, they talk about Porsche, Toyota (duh!), Corvette and Ferrari, and just a little on LMP2 (mainly WRT and Jota). I definitively would like to see more on the small teams, specially Glickenhause.
I think that concurrently they also released a “behind the scenes” video called Unmasked. This one is 41 minutes-long, and again, almost nothing on the small teams. Even so, still nice to see some of what happened at the garages and paddocks.
Do I have all the Gulf 917? Not even close. Missing from that shot is one of the Gulf 917LH from 1971. It could be either the#17 or #18, I would be happy with either one – I’m not picky. And of course, the 1971 Daytona winner… The problem is that all three are hellishly rare to find, specially the Daytona car 😣. I’m aware that there are quite a few other 917s in Gulf colors, however the Le Mans cars and the Daytona one (because of the story of that race) are the ones I really covet. Lets hope that Spark reissue those, like they did with the 917K #20 and very recently with the winning 1933 Alfa. If Spark did, a LOT of collectors would go ballistic with joy (like yours truly). Besides, I’m certain they would sell like hot cakes.
The video above is about John Wyer’s Gulf Porsche 917 team. With interviews with Pedro Rodriguez, Jo “Seppi” Siffert and John Wyer himself, it focuses on the JWA team in 1970. The video, 33 minutes long, covers all the 1970 championship races, from Daytona to Zeltweg. The most interesting part is John Wyer’s take on the team’s performance on each race. In the end, a delightful half hour that will please any vintage gearhead.
I just finished this book on my Kindle: “Porsche Legend: The Can-Am L&M Penske Porsche That Made Racing History”. Quite short, dirt-cheap, yet I found it to be a gem. It is totally specific to the L&M Penske 917/10 in the 1972 Can-Am season, and that’s why it is so brief. Nonetheless, it brings some great stories of what happened behind the scenes in the Penske camp. It is very light on the technical side, with almost nothing on stats or specs of the Penske cars. Even so, the book is a nice read, and you can basically finish it in one sitting.
With all that, I don’t think it will appeal to all gearheads, being so specific (and brief). Yet, for the price (less then 3 bucks!) you just can’t go wrong. So, if you have an interest in the 917/10 or Can-Am, it´s a nice read.