Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Groove Book Report : THE BRUCE MCLAREN SCRAPBOOK: Harper Collins RRP $59.99

Gentlemen, Start your Engines.

Bruce McLaren’s life story definitely the stuff of boyhood dreams - a motor-racing career ran at full throttle and it seemed he was unstoppable until the sport he loved claimed him at Goodwood, an hour or so from London, on that fateful day, 2 June 1970.
McLaren was not only the first New Zealander to win a Formula 1 Grand Prix but also the youngest racing driver in the history of GP to win a significant race when he took out the 1959 United States Grand Prix. By ’66 he’d started to not only race but design and build his own cars, founding the ‘McLaren team’ which still operates today (only 2nd to Ferrari as the longest continuos team entry in the sport).
He was a man of both vision and amazing skill, this book is not only a tribute but a personal journey. It’s the kind of high end quality scrapbook that you’d be proud to show your kids, no matter their interest. I’m not a great racing fan, but I found the articles and the facsimiles of old photos, tickets etc a great visual document of the times of the man. My family have connections with the motor trade, so for me seeing the everyday items mixed in with the various names, clippings, even street photos had some personal significance. Often sports books are concerned with the stats and the one off moments that defines the sports personality. They focus on the big events like divorces, births death etc but don’t really give us the visual clues we need to understand the personalities effectively. A scrapbook also lets us make up our own mind and investigate more on various topics. It’s like finding a bx of photographs with info on the back, you know some but want to know more – I like that.
This is a great document not only of the man but his times – an overworked cliché’ I’m sure. But true.
Jan McLaren, Bruce's younger sister, is CEO of the Bruce McLaren Trust.
Richard Becht, who lives in Auckland, has been a writer and journalist for more than 30 years, working in print, television, radio, public relations and media communications. Currently media manager for the Vodafone Warriors, he has written numerous sports books, including the bestselling biography of Tawera Nikau, Standing Tall. Another of his books was Champions of Speed, a nostalgic work about New Zealand motor-racing drivers Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme and Chris Amon.

No comments:

Post a Comment