Book Review: The Amazing Summer of ’55 by Eoin Young
With Mercedes GP on the cusp of enjoying more GP victories this season, will they soon be reliving the glory days of the Silver Arrows? Will Lewis be the new Fangio and Nico the new Stirling Moss? With the summer break in full swing, it made sense to look a book which covers both themes […]
With Mercedes GP on the cusp of enjoying more GP victories this season, will they soon be reliving the glory days of the Silver Arrows? Will Lewis be the new Fangio and Nico the new Stirling Moss? With the summer break in full swing, it made sense to look a book which covers both themes of Mercedes and summer with Eion Young’s “The Amazing Summer of ’55“.
This book doesn’t just focus on F1 races but includes a range of famous motorsport events during 1955. These include chapters on Siamese Prince Bira winning the opening grand prix race of the year in New Zealand, Fangio’s victory for Mercedes in the dehydrating heat of the Argentine GP, Moss in the Mercedes 300SLR at the Mille Migilia, an accident packed Monaco GP, the death of Italian favorite Ascari, Lancia’s merger with Ferrari, Mercedes darkest hour at the Le Mans crowd deaths, Dutch and Swedish GPs, new banked track at Monza, Moss winning the TT race for Mercedes at Dunrod, Jack Brabham winning the Australian GP in his own car, Tony Brooks winning the Syracuse GP, the unbelievable Mercedes 300SLR coupes and also brief chapter on the death of movie actor James Dean behind the wheel of a Porsche Spider. The chapter on Le Mans delves into many of the controversy and even includes extracts of reports from Mercedes’ Neubauer.
Past British driver Tony Brooks pens the book’s foreword and Young has managed to include many excellent black & white photos (from LAT, Daimler and David Hodges archives) capturing the scenes described in each chapter. Certainly, the photos of the wreckage of the burning Mercedes in the stands at Le Mans is still very chilling.
If you’re looking for detailed research on the Mercedes GP exploits during 1955 – Chris Nixon’s books and the Silver Arrows in Camera books are probably better. The Amazing Summer of ’55 is more for light reading but manages to capture a lot of the significant motor racing headlines during that year.
Wow factor or money shot: Ferrari prototype 2.5l Monaco 1955 engine; Fangio in the airbraking Mercedes at Le Mans; Jack Brabham in the ’55 Cooper.
Suitable for: Motorsports fans