Book Review: The Turbo Era by Alan Henry
With the new 2014 season ushering in V6 turbos, everyone hopes the spirit of the exciting turbo years in the 80’s can be re-captured and lead to some more exciting competition instead of the one horse RedBull domination in recent times. Alan Henry’s “The Turbo Years” is an excellent compact book which documents the history […]
With the new 2014 season ushering in V6 turbos, everyone hopes the spirit of the exciting turbo years in the 80’s can be re-captured and lead to some more exciting competition instead of the one horse RedBull domination in recent times. Alan Henry’s “The Turbo Years” is an excellent compact book which documents the history and players of the 80’s era of turbo engined F1 cars.
Alan Henry has managed to give a very comprehensive look at the development of the turbo engine from the early Renault RS01 up to the 1988 McLaren Hondas. The opening chapter introduces the Renault turbos, followed by early Ferrari 126CK, then BMW and Hart. The second chapter covers further refinement in the turbos – Ferrari 126CK2, Brabham BMW BT52, Renault RE30, Lotus Renault 93T and Alfa 183T. The 3rd chapter discusses the TAG Porsche engines for McLaren; the 4th chapter reviews the rise of the Honda powered Williams. The 5th chapter deals with the gradual decline of Renault, BMW, Ford and Ferrari engines into the mid-80’s. In Chapter 6, Henry covers the domination of the McLaren-Senna-Prost-Honda combination. The back 3 pages include tables with every GP race winner during the 1977 to 1988 race season.
In reviewing F1 history, Henry also provides the backstory to each designer and the technical challenges faced – Gordon Murray at Brabham, Harvey Postlethwaite at Ferrari, John Barnard at McLaren. Its written in not overly technical detail so most F1 fans will find lots of interesting tidbits of information.
Being an Autocourse Technical Series book, the color photography selection is excellent. There a lots of engine shots – so BMW and Honda fans in particular will find lots of detailed photos to study.
Although its a small and slim book with a somewhat ‘busy’ photo of the Williams Honda engine on the cover, don’t be fooled – this is a great read.
Wow Factor or Money Shot: Lots of excellent lesser seen close up engine mount shots – Hart powered Toleman TG181; some nice shots of the BMW M12/13 in works Brabhams; close up of the Honda RA163-E in the Spirit Honda; close up of the Ferrari 126CK turbo boost gauge.
Suitable for: 80’s F1 fans and engine afficionados