Book Review: Classic Racing Cars by Cyril Posthumus

Classic Racing Cars book cover
Classic Racing Cars book cover
Classic Racing Cars book cover


Title: Classic Racing Cars
Author: Cyril Posthumus
Publisher: Optimum Books
ISBN: 0-600-35003-7
Year/Edition: 1981
# of pages: 160
Photos: Mainly B&W; a few color
Cover: Hardcover with dustjacket
Size: 22cm (w) x 30cm (L) x 2cm (thick)



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Great coverage of early pre-war and 60's classic GP cars; also covers US racing cars


Nothing major; although what about the 312B2?

Posted January 8, 2014 by

Full Article

Happy New Year! If you’re interested in older era grand prix cars and technical cutaway diagrams, a good older title which is worth a look is Cyril Posthumus’ ‘Classic Racing Cars‘. This book covers the period in open wheel racing cars from 1906 to 1976 with  40 different cars featured. A chapter is dedicated for each car including photos, engine details and cutaway diagrams.

The cars covered are:

  • 1906 GP Renault
  • 1907 GP Fiat
  • 1908 GP Mercedes
  • 1912 GP Peugeot L76
  • 1914 Mercedes
  • 1921 GP Duesenberg
  • 1922 2 Litre Fiat
  • 2 litre GP Sunbeam
  • Type 35 Bugatti
  • 1927 Grand Prix Delage
  • 1 1/2 litre Miller
  • Alfa Romeo Monoposto P3
  • Mercedes Benz W25, W154, 196
  • Auto Union D-Type
  • Maserati Type 8CTF, 250F
  • Mercedes Benz W154
  • Alfa Romeo P2, 158/159
  • Kurtis Kraft 3000
  • Ferrari Type 375, Dino 246, 312T
  • BRM 1.5 litre v8, P160
  • Porsche 804
  • Lotus 25, 49, 72, Indy
  • V12 Honda
  • Matra
  • Tyrrell Ford
  • McLaren M23

As you can see from the list, many of the cars that are covered in Pomeroy’s excellent The Grand Prix Car and Stuart Codling’s more recent Art of the Formula 1 Car are studied in Posthumus’s book but in addition fans of US racing history will be happy to see the Lotus Indianapolis Ford, the famous Eagle Westlake and the Kurtis Kraft 3000 included for review.

Posthumus gives a brief history of each car’s racing development and includes a short specification summary (engine, transmission, chassis, dimensions, speed). Photography is largely small B&W thumbnail shots although there are some color photos of the Alpha Type 159, Ferrari Type 35, Honda RA272, Porsche 804, Brabham BT20 and 1962 BRM.

The cutaway diagrams of the cars are feature of this book and while most are small detailed B&W drawings, there are some larger 2 pages color spreads of the BRM P160, McLaren M23 and Ferrari 312T.

Overall, this is still a good read today.

Wow Factor or Money Shot: Although I have a soft spot for the Ferrari 312T2, its amazing to study the shape and images of the 1906 Renault – its aerodynamic sloped nose seems way ahead of its time.

Suitable for: Pre-war GP fans

Classic Racing Cars book cover






Classic Racing Cars book pages






Classic Racing Cars book pages






Classic Racing Cars book pages






Classic Racing Cars book pages




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