The latest from Eric's blog
Fresh posts, best read in a comfortable chair with a wee dram of scotch close at hand.
I drafted Niki Lauda’s obituary at the German Grand Prix. Anybody who knew his injuries was sure he could not survive. Guy Edwards’s bravery pulling him from the burning Ferrari was recognised with a Queen’s Gallantry Medal. Later features on his team’s verdict after he lost the world championship to James Hunt, taken up in the Italian press, resulted in a lively correspondence I had with Enzo Ferrari. I can now do a new obituary.
It is time to restore corporate limousines, discarded as economy measures when all they were used for was ferrying executives to short-haul lunches. Now a company car, with driver, is a practical alternative to flying or long-haul trains. Department heads do not pilot the plane or conduct the locomotive. Company cars with chauffeurs should make a comeback as one of the best means of point-to-point travelling ever invented.
Among the handful of car designers with creative genius, as opposed to a mere talent for engineering, Ferdinand Porsche’s reputation is secure. Bugatti’s artistic flair, Royce’s “infinite capacity for taking pains”, even Colin Chapman’s prolific inventiveness with Lotus are overshadowed by a man who not only gave his name to one of the world’s most coveted cars, but also made him a sort of automotive Leonardo da Vinc
The Guardian was an unlikely medium for a sports car feature. In 1969 I was its motor racing correspondent, a contributor to its motoring column and now that Morgan has made its last V8, here is what I wrote about its first. I drove to Malvern to try out the first demo Plus 8, along with Autocar’s Eoin Young. I don’t expect The Guardian, or me would write about “a masculine car” any more. This was half a century ago.
Our latest releases and new editions of classic works.
Out of print for twenty years, the 2017 edition of Jim Clark: Tribute to a Champion is newly revised and expanded and completely redesigned in colour throughout. This classic of motor racing celebrates the life and achievements of Jim Clark (1936-1968).
Covers the MGs of 1922-1939 with a detailed history of MG’s foundation by Cecil Kimber and WR Morris, through its struggles in the aftermath of the first world war to its triumphs before the outbreak of the second. Forty-seven distinctive examples of MG are detailed, illustrated and described along with comprehensive specifications.
Covers the MGs of 1945-1965 with a detailed history of MG’s postwar expansion into the export market, development of austerity-era saloons and sedans, and triumphant return to the motor racing track at Le Mans. Forty-one distinctive examples of MG are detailed, illustrated and described along with comprehensive specifications.
Covers the years 1965-2001 and follows the closure of the Abingdon-on-Thames factory in 1980 after the turbulent British Leyland years and the transition to MG-Rover. Despite modest resources MG kept up with the times and met stringent safety and emissions regulations imposed by world markets with landmark cars such as the MGB GT. Thirty-five distinctive examples of MG are detailed, illustrated and described along with comprehensive specifications.
Newly revised and expanded, this complete history of Vauxhall includes great Edwardian sports cars like the 1911 Prince Henry and the 1920s 30-98 up to the 2007 VXR8. Over 170 individual models are fully illustrated, with a 200-word description plus a full technical specification.
30 Year Edition
What were cars like 30 years ago? Eric Dymock selects from his 1989 writing about cars and motoring topics, with colour pictures throughout. Features and motoring columns are reproduced as they appeared during those 12 months. Some have unpublished parts restored. Comments from the hindsight of 30 years is added for context, or where first thoughts may have turned out less than perfect.