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F1 Retro: 1970 Hardcover – Picture Book, 1 Dec 2013
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VG condition book with dust jacket. DJ is clean, has fresh colours and has little wear to edges. Book has clean and bright contents.
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I have just about researched and read all that I possibly can over the years on this most fascinating yet tragic season however, we have presented here before us a plethora of new material in the form of both the printed word and photographic content all revealed and beautifully presented from within it's 250-odd pages.
It exhibits authority, depth, focus and insight from it's author, if very occasionally becoming just a tad flowery and overly dramatic with it's pros; during it's earlier pages if I recall correctly? At times it justifiably refers back to 'Faster!' (Stewart & Manso) and Ted Simon's book 'The Chequered Year', the latter a somewhat underrated and overlooked work perhaps due in small part to it's rather weak and innocuous cover design combining with a somewhat ambiguous title? To the contrary the quality of the dust jacket of 'F1 Retro 1970' is absolute top-notch, its design being quite simply stunning.
Details of it's contents have been adequately covered in other reviews and the product description so I won't repeat them except to say that whilst the 'Fluid Dynamics' content was interesting I felt too many pages were devoted to it with some repetitious detail to the point of almost giving the impression of it being a 'page-filler'. However, to be fair I duly note and acknowledge that others fully appreciated and enjoyed this specific content.
Additional to the above personal 'take' other reasons why I have not awarded it 5 stars are I hasten to add relatively trivial, except that is for the matter of price upon which others have similarly commented. It's a bit too expensive! Circa £10 off full retail would represent a more commensurate figure. Other minor subjective quibbles are; whilst it's obviously well bound with lovely red cloth boards and appropriately tasteful 'gold' contrasting end-papers it's internal printed pages are a rather odd choice its paper more resembling that of thin matte card rather than a premium gloss or satin paper. This also reinforces an initial impression that it has more than it's c.250+ printed pages. It's certainly a handsome, 'higher quality' publication of that there is no doubt, but not luxurious in a traditional 'wow' sense. It reminds one of an earlier shrunk-in-the-wash 'Automobile Year' in it's physical dimensions. It's not quite large enough (for one example) to the detriment of too many, too small credit card sized photos being included. These aspects combine to detract somewhat from it's presence and thus perceived value.
Summing up. Buy it! As stated; in essence the above (last para) comments only reflect my personal, TRIVIAL observations! The predominant facts are that it's very well written, researched and when taken as a 'whole', well designed and presented too. An absolutely essential, quality work.
There you are, Mark Hughes - go for it. I'll be first in the queue.
This book - 10 stars at least.
How fitting that this book should be published just before the start of a new season which will feature so much sameness in car design. Everything about F1 was better back then, especially the differing engine layouts. The flat 12 Ferrari was charismatic and dictated a very distinctive chassis design in the 312. And the Matra V12 was just the noisiest, whilst the MS120 chassis was beautiful too, turning riveting in a form of fine art! Meanwhile the other 12 banger enabled the first BRM win for a while. And we had Zandvoort/Old Spa/Pre-messed up Monza and Watkins Glen . . . ah, if only.
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