Since we’re enthusiastically on the topic of history, especially when it comes to racing, this visually stimulating volume, brand new, just sailed over the transom. The term “grand prix” predates it, but as a racing category with a specific set of regulations governing car design and construction, Formula 1 is a postwar phenomenon, first organized in 1950. And, alone among manufacturers, Ferrari has fielded a works team since Day One, employing drivers from Jean Alesi to Wolfgang von Trips, with champions such as Phil Hill, John Surtees and the unassailable Michael Schumacher also in the mix. History books about Ferrari and F1 have been published many times. This new one, by British journalist Stuart Codling, is a very thick and photo-centric examination of each car Ferrari has constructed to contest motorsport’s premier series.
Ferrari Formula 1 Car By Car is a hefty work on expensive, coated stock that will surely please those genuine tifosi who make the investment in it. Each race car has an encapsulated technical history, generally running to four of the book’s 224 big-spread, hardcover pages, which correctly salutes the individual designers, such as John Barnard in the case of the controversial, largely British-penned 640 with its torsion bars and problematic semiautomatic gearbox. Besides a technical narrative, there’s also a useful specification box for each car, and a year-by-year accounting of Ferrari finishes in F1. Really, it’s quite good, and not unreasonable at 60 bucks in the U.S. from Motorbooks.