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The Book of Sports Cars - (Great Britain)

The Book of Sports Cars - (Great Britain)

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The Book of Sports Cars - (Great Britain)

Comprimento:
261 página
2 horas
Lançado em:
Jan 29, 2014
ISBN:
9788896365441
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

“… This is a book for which lovers of the automobile have waited a long time: the most comprehensive text-and-picture history of the dual-purpose car since it came to life more than sixty years ago.
As the authors of The Book of Sports Cars point out, “in the beginning they were all sports cars.” The automobile began its active life, whatever the intentions of its creators, as a new instrument of sport. Because the increasing demands of this sport imposed an ever-growing burden of technical development, the sports car and its achievements have never stopped forwarding the improvement of the everyday automobile. Here at last, evolved from years of painstaking research, is a record of what the world’s motorists owe to the dreams and the daring of the men and women of motor sport.
In arranging the history of the outstanding marques by countries of origin, the authors have made it plain how first one nation, then another took the lead in developing the automobile as a sporting instrument and hence inevitably as a thing of greater common use and benefit. First Germany led the world, then France, then Great Britain and Italy and the United States.
The Book of Sports Cars is a magnificent tribute to the glorious past and the exciting present, a fascinating record of the history that points to the challenging future. A book to be read for pleasure and profit, it will be an invaluable addition to the library of every enthusiast of motoring history…”

(1959) - BRIGGS CUNNINGHAM
Lançado em:
Jan 29, 2014
ISBN:
9788896365441
Formato:
Livro

Sobre o autor


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Amostra do Livro

The Book of Sports Cars - (Great Britain) - Charles Lam Markmann

THE BOOK OF SPORTS CARS - (Great Britain)

by Charles Lam Markmann - Mark Sherwin

New digital edition of:

The Book of Sports Cars (Great Britain)

by Charles Lam Markmann - Mark Sherwin

© 1959 by Charles Lam Markmann and Mark Sherwin

Copyright © 2014 Edizioni Savine

All Rights Reserved

Strada provinciale 1 del Tronto

64010 – Ancarano (TE) – Italy

email: info@edizionisavine.it

web: www.edizionisavine.com

Source text and images taken from the Public Domain

NOTES

ISBN 978-88-96365-44-1

CONTENTS

THE BOOK OF SPORTS CARS - (Great Britain)

colophon

Foreword

In the Beginning They Were All Sports Cars

A.B.C.

A.C.

ALLARD

ALVIS

ASTON MARTIN

AUSTIN

AUSTIN-HEALEY

BERKELEY

BENTLEY

BRISTOL

ARNOLT-BRISTOL

CROSSLEY

DELLOW

DORETTI

ELVA

FAIRTHORPE

FRAZER NASH

G.N.

H.E.

HEALEY

NASH-HEALEY

H.R.G.

INVICTA

JAGUAR

JENSEN (AVON STANDARD)

JOWETT

KIEFT

LAGONDA

LEA-FRANCIS

LEYLAND-THOMAS

LOTUS

M.G.

MORGAN

NAPIER

HUTTON

PEERLESS

RILEY

ROLLS-ROYCE

SINGER

SIDDELEY SPECIAL

SQUIRE

STRAKER-SQUIRE

SUNBEAM-TALBOT

TRIUMPH

VALE

TURNER

T.V.R.

VAUXHALL

WOLSELEY

Foreword

This is a book for which lovers of the automobile have waited a long time: the most comprehensive text-and-picture history of the dual-purpose car since it came to life more than sixty years ago.

As the authors of The Book of Sports Cars point out, in the beginning they were all sports cars. The automobile began its active life, whatever the intentions of its creators, as a new instrument of sport. Because the increasing demands of this sport imposed an ever-growing burden of technical development, the sports car and its achievements have never stopped forwarding the improvement of the everyday automobile. Here at last, evolved from years of painstaking research, is a record of what the world’s motorists owe to the dreams and the daring of the men and women of motor sport.

It was, for example, the Grands Prix of the early years of this century that begot the demountable rim — an invention that was necessitated by the incalculable time losses when clincher tires blew out in races. The races and rallies and trials of those early days also made inevitable the rapid development of the pneumatic tire from the frail, brittle casing no stronger than a bicycle tire to the magnificent, durable shoes that every car can wear today as a matter of course.

So, too, we can trace virtually every advance in automobile design and construction to the demands and ambitions of the builders and drivers: the vast improvements in ignition systems, in fuel and carburetion, in steering and suspension, in solving the problems of weight distribution and of power/weight ratios, in engine economy and efficiency, in braking — one has only to remember that the first four-wheel brakes were developed by Isotta-Fraschini in 1910 to meet the emergencies of fierce competition — and in coachwork, both aerodynamically and esthetically.

In arranging the history of the outstanding marques by countries of origin, the authors have made it plain how first one nation, then another took the lead in developing the automobile as a sporting instrument and hence inevitably as a thing of greater common use and benefit. First Germany led the world, then France, then Great Britain and Italy and the United States. Not the least of the services rendered by The Book of Sports Cars is to point up the valuable contributions of other, smaller countries that might easily be overlooked in the grand sweeping picture — the Netherlands, for instance, which gave birth to the first four-wheel drive, four-brake car just after the turn of the century; or Belgium, which produced such impressive marques as Métallurgique and Minerva and Excelsior; or Austria, the home of Austro-Daimler and Steyr.

The Book of Sports Cars is a magnificent tribute to the glorious past and the exciting present, a fascinating record of the history that points to the challenging future. A book to be read for pleasure and profit, it will be an invaluable addition to the library of every enthusiast of motoring history.

BRIGGS CUNNINGHAM (Wikipedia)

In the Beginning They Were All Sports Cars

The automobile did not come into being as a utilitarian vehicle for the transport of men and goods. It began as an instrument of pleasure: a working model of a spring-driven vehicle was one of the amusements of Leonardo da Vinci. When the internal-combustion engine became a practical reality, its first application to transportation — and indeed its major application for a long time thereafter — was the provision of pleasure.

But perhaps we should do well to define a sports car before we go farther. A precise and dogmatic definition cannot be drawn for any category whose components are so highly individual and particularized, so we must of necessity start with a general principle. A sports car, then, is an automobile designed for the enthusiast to whom pleasure is its paramount potential: pleasure in its performance and pleasure in its design. The sports car is a dual-purpose car: it is equally at home in city traffic and in all-out competition, and it requires no essential modification to convert from the one use to the other. It is, in short, a car that is meant to be driven to a race, in the race and back home from the race — and to make any kind of driving exciting.

All the early cars fell into this category. Their designers and builders raced them as soon as they were sure they would run; their buyers, in the main, never thought seriously of doing much else with them (except, perhaps, dazzling the neighbors). One bought an automobile, in the early years of this century, as one bought a hunter: pour le sport seulement. If the vehicle turned out to be really useful in conveying oneself and one’s friends or one’s chattels from place to place, that was a bonus: but it did not really matter. What did matter was that here was a new form of sport.

This sport enjoyed a number of virtually simultaneous sires in widely separated places: in Austria it was fathered by Siegfried Marcus; in Germany, by Karl Benz and Gottfried Daimler; in France by Panhard and Levassor, the Marquis de Dion, Louis Renault and others; in Great Britain by F. R. Simms, Percy Riley, the Hon. C. S. Rolls, S. F. Edge and many more; in Italy by Senator Giovanni Agnelli, the Ceirano brothers, Vincenzo Lancia; in the United States by the Duryea brothers, Elwood Haynes, Henry Ford — the list of pioneers is limitless. All these men, whether the cars they made were large or small, were producing (whatever their ultimate dreams) essentially a luxury item whose price made it available only to a few. And most of those few bought it to have fun with it; when there was serious traveling to be done, they relied on the horse-drawn carriage or on the railway.

It was principally in the United States, in the years immediately preceding the First World War, that the initial concerted effort was made to transform the automobile from a sporting luxury to an everyday adjunct of living. After that war, Great Britain, too, saw the motor car become a tool as well as a toy; but in Europe it remained for the most part the monopoly of the sporting rich. True, some small economy or family cars were made and marketed on the Continent; but they were always relatively few and even the least expensive were well beyond the reach of the majority of the population.

Sports motoring developed variously according to geography and economics in the first half of the century. In the beginning, the road race was as common in America as in Europe and ultimately, through special Acts of Parliament, got a foothold in some parts of the British Isles; indeed, there was at first no other racing. Manufacturers — and in some cases private owner-drivers — sent their German Benzes, their British Napiers, their French Panhards, their Italian FIATS to compete on American highways, and the American Locomobiles and Thomases and Simplexes were shipped over the ocean to return the compliment. But the mushrooming of the utility or family car in the United States soon clogged its roads, and its makers no longer produced automobiles that could race as well as relax; competition became, in the United States, the monopoly of cars specially built for racing under extremely limited artificial conditions: the circular or oval track, which bore no resemblance to actual road work. Today only one round-the-houses course exists in the United States, and it was created less than 10 years ago: Put-In Bay, an island on Lake Erie where once each year the Cleveland Sport Car Club and the Northeast Ohio Region of the Sports Car Club of America stage a day of racing on the narrow farm roads and village streets of a resort community, whose terrain makes it necessary to limit entries to cars of under two-liters capacity.

The same situation developed in the British Isles. The famed Tourist Trophy, which for almost 50 years was run on public roads, first in the Isle of Man and later in Northern Ireland, is now held on a closed circuit. But in Europe the public highways have remained the race courses, and the cars that compete on them have remained (except for grand-prix racing) substantially the same as those offered for sale to such Europeans — or Americans — as have the money to buy them. Even today there are few closed courses in Europe, though apprehensions for spectator safety are beginning to bear ominously on such renowned highway racing circuits as those of Le Mans, Monaco and the Mille Miglia.

American automobile designers were the first to stop building competition characteristics into their general products. This was not a sudden unanimous change: into the 1930’s models of several American production vehicles fully merited the classification of sports cars: the Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg, for example, or the Marmon or the Kissel, or the du Ponts, Chryslers and Stutzes that ran at Le Mans. But, as the opposition to road racing increased, manufacturers who wanted racing products began to build them for the only type of racing that the country would countenance: on an enclosed track. Such cars, because they were designed exclusively for this one purpose, had and have little or nothing in common with road cars of any kind: they are generally single-seaters, they lack lights and tops and fenders, they have no starters or fans and at most two forward gears, their braking, steering and suspension are adapted exclusively to a flat course on which the only turn is left. In sum, they are single-purpose cars fully as much as the family sedan or convertible is a single-purpose car of quite another type.

In Europe, however, road racing has never been threatened with extinction. A manufacturer who wishes to enter his cars in competition there knows that they will have to race on exactly the same kinds of highways that he drives daily between home and office; he knows that they will have to race at night, that they may have to stop — and start again — many miles from the pits with their service crews; he knows that they will encounter every possible type of corner; and he knows, too, that a large number of his customers, while they may want to race their cars, must also depend on them for other uses.

What he also recognizes, unlike his American counterpart, is that a substantial proportion of the motoring public, while it may never enter a formal race on any kind of course, wants a thoroughbred. Perhaps these people drive only to get from A to B: but to them the process of getting there is as much — perhaps even more — to be enjoyed as the arrival. Hence the sports car has always formed a much higher percentage

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