Unraced… Formula One’s Lost Cars, by SS Collins
Hardcover, © 2007 Veloce Books, ISBN 9781845840846
Regular visitors of RichardsF1.com will know that we have a rather off-the-wall approach to motorsport coverage, and a particular fascination with the rather more obscure aspects of Formula 1 history.
I came into being a fan of Formula 1 in the late 1980s, and one of my overriding memories of watching the sport over so many years have been in the number of ambitious, but ultimately hopeless, outfits that have briefly graced the Formula 1 stage.
And yet, digging even further, there were a host of F1 cars that were built in the last fifteen years that never turned a wheel at a Grand Prix race. Unraced tells their stories.
Author Sam Collins has done a commendable job piecing together and researching many of the details on what are some of the most obscure chapters in the sport’s history.
There’s a great mix here. There are unraced cars from some higher-profile outfits, such as McLaren’s MP4/18, Toyota’s TF101 test car and Honda’s RA099 prototype.
And there are also a few notable entries from some of the no-hopers. Who can recall DOME’s F105 prototype, Lola’s two awful T95/30 and T97/30 challengers, or the DAMS GD-01?
The chapters on these cars are particularly strong, but Collins clearly had a harder time trying to get information about McLaren’s MP4/18. That’s perhaps not much of a surprise – with the book being written just a few years after its failed launch, it’s not a great surprise that the team would keep information about a closely-guarded secret.
F1 fans with a passion for the sport’s history will lap this book up because it is so utterly obscure, and great fun to read because of it.
It’s not perfect (frankly, few books are) – there are some rather glaring typos and the chapter on the Premier 1 GP Series car is distinctly out of place in a book that should be dedicated to Formula 1 machinery.
Perhaps Collins may eventually pen a second edition of this title – certainly we’d like to see an expended version that goes back earlier than the mid-1990s and looks at some of the unraced creations from that time. Would you care to learn more about Williams’ and Ferrari’s six-wheeled efforts, or perhaps a bit more about the hopeless Life and FIRST outfits’ cars? We sure would.
Using our unique ‘Chequered Flags’ rating system, we award Unraced… Formula One’s Lost Cars…
OUT OF A POSSIBLE FIVE.
Unraced… Formula One’s Lost Cars was obtained from Melbourne Sports Books, our preferred motorsport book retailer in Australia.
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