Karl Ludvigsen’s Reid Railton: Man of Speed, published by Evro Publishing, has won the Royal Automobile Club’s Specialist Motoring Book of the Year award for 2018.
This magnificent book, presented in two volumes within a slipcase, explores Reid Railton’s life and work in extraordinary detail, stretching to 848 pages and containing 1,000 images.
One of the judges said: “What a life story, and what a book — lavishly researched, profusely illustrated, endlessly informative.”
Railton, automotive engineer par excellence, created an extraordinary range of cars. He rose to renown during the 1930s as chief engineer at Thomson & Taylor, Brooklands-based racing-car builders. There he realised the dreams of that era’s top men of speed, including Tim Birkin, Malcolm Campbell, Whitney Straight, John Cobb, Raymond Mays and Goldie Gardner. His great cars powered them all to sensational racing and record-breaking success.
Karl Ludvigsen said: “Given the wonderful opportunity I had to write about one of my heroes, Reid Railton, thanks to the confidence his daughter Sally had in my abilities, I tackled the job in the spirit that the book could help raise the profile of a great engineer who deserves to be better known for his achievements, not only in his native country but also abroad. Never one to blow his own horn, Railton was overshadowed by his clients, Speed Kings Malcolm Campbell, John Cobb and Goldie Gardner, whose achievements were underpinned by his brilliant designs.
“It’s my earnest hope that this award by the Royal Automobile Club —which I hugely appreciate — will engender wider recognition of the man and his towering accomplishments in the service of speed on land and water.”
This is the third time an Evro book has won a Royal Automobile Club Motoring Book of the Year award. In the inaugural year of these prestigious awards, 2014, the honour went to Evro’s very first book, John Surtees: My Incredible Life on Two and Four Wheels. The 2016 winner was Brian Redman’s memoirDaring Drivers, Deadly Tracks.
Eric Verdon-Roe, Chairman of Evro Publishing, said: “It is a great honour to have won another RAC Motoring Book of the Year award. These awards are particularly significant because they are bestowed by the Royal Automobile Club and judged by six reviewers and booksellers who really know our world of motoring books.”