Book Review: The Pursuit of Dreams – the first 50 years of Honda
Japanese Grand Prix time and while I’m disappointed that the last Japanese connection to the sport, the combative Kamui Kobayashi isn’t somewhere on the grid this year, at least we know that Honda is making a welcome return in 2015. One of the best books on Honda was published in 1998 – the excellent hardcover […]
Japanese Grand Prix time and while I’m disappointed that the last Japanese connection to the sport, the combative Kamui Kobayashi isn’t somewhere on the grid this year, at least we know that Honda is making a welcome return in 2015. One of the best books on Honda was published in 1998 – the excellent hardcover book celebrating Honda’s 50 years history “The Pursuit of Dreams – The first 50 years of Honda“. This book not only covers Honda’s participation in F1, F2, CART, MotoGP but its production cars, mower engines, aeroplanes, solar cars and even robotics.
Each chapter is written by a separate author most of who are well known Japanese or American motorsport journalists but there are guest chapters by John Surtees and Sir Jack Brabham.
For F1 fans, there are only a few relevant chapters in the book. Gerard Crombac traces the background Honda’s entry in the early 1960s with some excellent B&W archival photos. John Surtees reflects on what could have been in an insightful chapter on marrying his Lola Racing/Surtees team chassis engineers with Honda personnel to produce the late Honda GPs cars with the RA301 and RA302. There is a chapter on success in the F2 racing with Ralt-Honda and Spirit-Honda in the early 1980s and a chapter which briefly reviews the success of the F1 partnerships with Williams and McLaren. The best chapters cover the early F2 successes in the 1960s with the Brabham BT18.
The rest of the book is an assorted look at different areas of Honda involvement. Innovative areas like robotics, experimental aircraft like the MH02 to classic sports convertibles in the 60s (S500, S600 and S800), famous road cars (Accord, Prelude, NSX), history of its motorbikes. There is a chapter dedicated to Soichiro Honda and a tour of the Honda Collection Hall.
The rear of the book contains a table summary of all the key production and racing milestones of Honda in their first 50 years.
Wow Factor or Money Shot: Lots of good stuff – RA270 test car and disassembled RA272 1.5l V12 engine.
Suitable for: 1960s motorsport historians