Super Rare Book Sighting: The Grand Prix Car Vol 1 & 2 by Laurence Pomeroy
It’s not everyday you get the opportunity to touch a rare historic grand prix book and one in fantastic preserved condition as well. I was fortunate enough recently to hold and view a copy of the famous two volume “The Grand Prix Car” books by Laurence Pomeroy at the Automoto Bookshop in Sydney, Australia. The […]
It’s not everyday you get the opportunity to touch a rare historic grand prix book and one in fantastic preserved condition as well. I was fortunate enough recently to hold and view a copy of the famous two volume “The Grand Prix Car” books by Laurence Pomeroy at the Automoto Bookshop in Sydney, Australia. The Pomeroy books are unique because they have appeal beyond motorsport buffs and are recognised by the antique collector market. Every now and then you will find these books dusted off from a private collection and offered to buyers via established auctioneers like Sothebys, Bonhams, etc.
What better book to mark the 100th book review posted on F1-nut.com than this classic?
Although this post isn’t really a proper book review per se (as I haven’t actually had the chance to read the books from cover to cover), I wanted to capture some basic observations.
Firstly, the condition of both volumes was superb. The dust jackets were in excellent shape with only minor tears and discoloration considering its age. For a lot of antique collectors, the difference between a premium price and normal price for a collectable book is the condition of the dust jacket. In this case, the jackets on these both were in superb shape compared to photos of other copies that you might find on the internet. The pages too were excellent – no tears, stains or marking and white with no yellowing. The same for the books’ binding. It’s obvious these were very well looked after with little exposure to the sun.
Pomeroy’s first edition of The Grand Prix Car was apparently very frail, using cheap paper and binding. The second edition used heavier grade paper and binding, the quality of which was obvious to see.
Each volume covers period grand prix cars with details of their history, engineering, plate diagrams , technical notes and for many cars – detailed cutaway drawings by L.C.Cresswell. Many of the car drawings are fold-out multi-page spreads.
In Volume 1, Pomeroy covers the following cars pre-war era cars:
- 1908 Itala
- 1911 Fiat
- 1912 & 1913 Peugeot
- 1914 Mercedes
- 1920 Ballot
- 1922 Vauxhall
- 1922 Fiat
- 1924 Sunbeam
- 1927 Delage
- Bugatti Type 35
- Mercedes W25B
- Auto Union Type C
- Mercedes W125B
- Mercedes W163
- 1936 Auto Union
- Mercedes 1935 W25B
The appendix included a list of 200 most important races 1906-1939.
Volume 2 is a much more technically focused book. The content is more oriented towards engine design evolution and power curves. A few cars of note that are covered include:
- Ferrari 4 1/2 litre
- Formula II cars 1948-53
Plate diagrams included are for the Alfa Romeo Type 158/9, 1952 BRM, BRM engine, Bugatti Type 59, 1953 Ferrari Formua II and the 1914 4 1/2 litre Vauxall.
During their time, its easy to see why these books were incredibly well researched and technically superior in content as Pomeroy was an engineer himself.
Although not every collector will have the money or the opportunity to get their hands on a copy of these books, hopefully sometime in the future e-book versions will be available. I guarantee though that they won’t replicate the musky smell of the pages of a 60 year old book though!
Also very special thanks to Anand and the friendly guys at Autobookworld for allowing me to view the books. Their website is: www.automotobookshop.com.au and they specialise in all sorts of rare military and auto books. The A$ has dropped in recent times, so overseas readers should check their books in stock.
Wow Factor or Money Shot: More technical coverage and pull out cut-away drawings of famous 1930’s GP cars than any other book; Rarity
Suitable for: F1 historians