LE MANS: THE OFFICIAL HISTORY 1960–69
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This was the defining decade for the Le Mans 24 Hours. It started with six consecutive victories by Ferrari, overwhelming Aston Martin and Maserati. But then Ford threw its all-American dollars at the race and won it four times in a technically exciting period that also brought the competitive emergence of brands such as Alfa Romeo, Matra, Porsche and Renault.
The participation of great automobile manufacturers spurred the development of many iconic racing cars: Ferrari Testa Rossa and GTO, Ford GT40 and Daytona Cobra, Porsche 904 and 917. The machines that were specially built for Le Mans evolved through the decade from front-engined brutes to mid-engined monsters.
By the end of the period, many of them could achieve more than 200mph (300kph) on the awesome straights that defined the race, thrilling as many as 300,000 spectators at trackside.
Almost 50 companies built cars that were raced at Le Mans in the 1960s. The 24 Hours became an annual cauldron of corporate rivalry and a high-speed proving ground for innovative automobile technologies. Above all, it became an incomparably arduous and complex challenge to man and machine that captured the imagination of the public the world over.
- UK price: £50.00
- ISBN: 9780992820954
- Format: 280 x 230mm
- Jacketed hardback
- Page extent: 352pp, colour throughout
- Illustration: 320 photographs, plenty of colour
- Word count: 60,000
Quentin Spurring entered motorsport journalism on the editorial team of Autosport in 1966. He became the weekly magazine’s deputy editor but left in 1970 to try his hand as a freelance, also serving two years as the media officer of the British Automobile Racing Club and the editor of its monthly publication.
He was the launch editor of Competition Car magazine in 1972–74, and the press officer of Graham Hill’s Formula 1 team in 1975. He returned to Autosport in 1976 as its editor, and served in this capacity or as its executive editor until 1988.
On April Fool’s Day, ‘Q’ left to form Q.Editions, a specialist contract publishing company, which was successful in Formula 1 and high-end sportscar racing. Q.ED clients included the FIA, Asprey, Castrol, Jaguar, Marlboro, Mercedes-Benz and Shell, as well as professional Group C teams such as Brun, Schuppan and Spice.
Having originally learned his trade on Civil Engineering magazine, he saw the need for a trade and technical periodical serving the global motorsport industry. In 1992, Q.ED launched Racecar Engineering magazine, for which he subsequently received individual achievement awards from both the UK’s motorsport industry trade bodies, AMRA and the MIA. He sold the title late in 1996 and quit as its editor in 2000 to edit two internet projects, F1i.com and RaceAccess, Marlboro’s extensive motorsport media website.
In 2008–09, he edited The Paddock, a monthly magazine focusing on the business of professional motorsport. He has been the European Motorsport Correspondent of the US publication, AutoWeek, since 1982.
His first book, Formula 1 in Camera 1980–89, which featured the photographs of Rainer Schlegelmilch accompanied by a detailed commentary, appeared in 2005, published by by Haynes Publishing. Other titles followed on Jim Clark, Gilles Villeneuve and Ronnie Peterson. With David Bull Publishing he wrote Grand Prix: Images of the First 100 Years, which won an award from the American Publishers Association (APA).
His long-held passion the Le Mans 24 Hours – he has reported from the race 26 times – made him the ideal author for a new project detailing the history of the race decade by decade in individual volumes. Published by Haynes in collaboration with L’Automobile Club de L’Ouest (ACO), organisers of ‘The World’s Greatest Motor Race’, the first four volumes were launched in the order 1960–69 (2010), 1970–79 (2011), 1949–59 (2011) and 1980–89 (2012). Evro Publishing then took over the series, introducing the fifth volume, 1990–99, in July 2014.He is married with two children (and five grandchildren), and lives in south London.
“Spurring’s opening assertion that the 1960s saw the making of the Le Mans 24 Hours is amply borne out as one peruses this handsome work, which captures the event’s colour, variety and atmosphere during a decade of rapid change… The photography is plentiful, the prose crisp… this is an intelligently conceived and executed volume, to be lingered over and sipped at leisure, like a good glass of champagne.”
“There are few authors better placed to write this… The former Autosport editor has reported on the great race for decades and his enthusiasm is clearly undimmed. This is an easily accessible read for the uninitiated but with enough nuggets to satiate hardened Le Mans types… And any book that has the imagination to picture the timber-hulled Moynet is OK with us.”
“A top-class effort.”
“Spurring’s book contains a huge amount of information, from lap speeds to qualifying positions, entry lists to final classifications… But it’s the photographs that really take a starring role. From images of cars rushing through the Mulsanne Kink, to swinging through the Esses or tearing away from the start, they’re wonderfully atmospheric… This is a fantastic book, and well worth the money.”