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Lotus 49: The Story of a Legend Hardcover – Sep 1999

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Veloce Publishing Ltd; Gold leaf ed edition (Sep 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1901295516
  • ISBN-13: 978-1901295511
  • Product Dimensions: 25.7 x 21.2 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 800,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joolz on 13 Feb 2009
Format: Hardcover
I imagine most race fans have a favourite car or two. For me, the Lola T70 is one, while another is the Lotus 49. By no means the most technically advanced car, the 49 introduced the F1 world to engines forming a stressed part of the chassis via the Ford Cosworth DFV. In the hands of Jim Clark it was an instant and frequent winner!

Oliver's research is astonishingly thorough and solidly presented, yet this is not a technical book as such, the stories of individual cars being woven into their competition histories with a great deal of input from the actual people involved, and many telling anecdotes. The result is an incredibly detailed work that leaves out virtually nothing, yet is eminently readable and always entertaining - a rare feat for such a specialised work.

Printed on glossy paper, Oliver's absorbing narrative is accompanied by a wealth of priceless photographs throughout, mostly of the cars in action but including behind the scenes shots, and some of the cars in recent years. These are in monochrome, but there are additionally two large blocks of colour plates. All are excellently printed and help to bring the book alive.

In the context of the day, the 49 was about as beautiful as a F1 car could get, at least to these eyes! As the first DFV car, it deserves its place in history, and Oliver more than does it justice. 'The Story Of A Legend' is not simply a description of a car in its evolving configurations, but a celebration of an icon. Highly recommended.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Nov 1999
Format: Hardcover
The author has clearly spent a great deal of time researching this book, and draws from personal experience as well. While the text offers many informative insights, it is the pictures that really catch the eye. An altogether good book, not just for the car buffs out there but also those who would like a reminder of the good old days. Buy it for the pictures, and dream as the words mingle with the revs in your head.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Labor of Love 21 Jan 2000
By kyle kaulback - Published on
Format: Hardcover
There are a paucity of books extolling the history of single Formula One designs. The Lotus 49 is one of the few that have been done twice. David Hodges did a piece in period, one that should be treasured by collectors, but one that also falls short of telling the complete story. Michael Oliver's effort is one of love for the car. It is extensive in its coverage of the story of the Lotus 49 but is probably not truly the complete story. Not for lack of effort, because Oliver has tracked down and interviewed just about all of the living participants, from designer and drivers, to the mechanics who kept them running. But because, unfortunately, many of the key players have exited the stage and their contributions are missed. Still Oliver managed to tell the story of the Lotus 49 and the Cosworth Ford DFV quite effectively. The story of both the car and the engine are integral, making fodder for the debate over whether it was the car or it's powerplant that was responsible for the successes. Although the driver lineup that included all 5 of Lotus' world champions surely had an impact.
In attempting to be complete and include all of the details Oliver could have easily reverted to an all too common style of documentation where each race is described in a boring litany of what driver drove which chassis and finished in which place. Instead he weaves the vital statistics into a prose style story littered with interesting tidbits from the mouths of the drivers and mechanics. Interspersed throughout the book are "First Person" vignettes like Keith Duckworth on Jim Clark and Graham Hill and Mario Andretti on the Lotus 49. These jewels make the book. Just about every page has a photograph, often depicting the story told in the text, many of which were culled from private collections and have never before been published.
The history of each chassis and it's current location is given at the end and is so up to date as to include the current whereabouts of the Rob Walker car sold at auction this past Summer.
Lotus 49 the Story of a Legend is available in three versions. The Standard in a Gold Leaf colored dust jacket, the British Racing Green covered, and a leather bound edition, each with a successively higher price. Collectors can buy the expensive ones. Enthusiasts really ought to pony up the dough to get the standard edition. It is a well told entertaining story of an important part of Lotus and Formula One history.
This review first appeared in reMarque, the newsletter of Lotus Limited
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
What a book! One of the best about a Formula 1 car. 6 Mar 2000
Format: Hardcover
A book not only about the Lotus 49, but also about the men like K.Duckworth, C.Chapman, J.Clark, G.Hill, J.Rindt and many others that made one of the greatest legends in formula 1 history. You can learn much more about these people than in their biography books. All about the context, the cars, the people, the races and the opposition is told mainly by the the men(alive today) involved, who tell the story based in their recollections with their words. You can't stop from reading the 250 pages with hundreds of incredible b.w. & color photos, most of it from personal collections. I hope that Michael Oliver, the author, makes more books about the others fabulous Lotus formula 1 like the 25, 33, 72, 78, 79 and more! A mandatory book to all the Lotus admires and even every formula 1 enthusiast.
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