Every month we create a new booklist from our library collections to mark our motoring heritage. As we’re bang into the middle of its season, this month’s booklist looks at one of the earliest forms of racing and one that demands a special type of skill: hill climbs and sprints.
—Norman Burr; photography – Matthew Gartside; technical editor – Jerry Sturman, 1997. Living with speed: speed hillclimbing through the eyes of Britain’s most consistently successful team. – Roy Lane, with Steel King. Lancaster: N. Burr. – the author’s highly informative and enjoyable collaboration with speed king Lane and Steel King’s participation in the 1996 RAC British Hillclimbing Championship
—Robert Cooper (ed.), 1995. Images of Shelsley: 90 years of Britain’s oldest motor sporting event seen through the eye of the camera. Upper Sapey, Worcestershire: Midland Automobile Club – fine snapshots from a massive eclectic range from most years of the great climb
—Peter Hull (ed.), 1988. Prescott Speed Hill Climb, 1938-1988. Gotherington, Gloucestershire: Bugatti Owners Club. – akin to a large diary, strongly pictorial, of that event’s golden jubilee and the many victories of Bugatti in those years
—Chris Mason, 1990. Uphill racers: the history of British speed hill climbing. Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire: Bookmarque. – the heavy-weight tome on the subject, authoritative, comprehensive, and a first point of reference for the genre
—C. A. N. (‘Austen’) May, 1945. Shelsley Walsh: England’s international speed hill-climb. London: G. T. Foulis. – early, rather dry though worthy, history of its running with full results but no index
—C. A. N. (‘Austen’) May, 1962. Speed hill-climb. London: G. T. Foulis. – the ‘first history’ of the speed hill-climb movement written by a most noted exponent of the sport (in his Cooper 500 particularly) and accomplished author
—T. R. Nicholson, 1969. Sprint: speed hillclimbs and speed trials in Britain, 1899-1925. Newton Abbot, Devon: David & Charles. – a good read of the earliest days with much information contained in the various indices
—Simon Taylor, 2005. The Shelsley Walsh story: a century of motorsport. Sparkford: Haynes. – what might be termed the full and very readable story (to publication) of the climb that has attracted so many of the greats from all sorts of formulas
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