There will be few who would argue that the decade of the 1960s was one of the most innovative and exciting periods in modern motor racing. It was a time that was both brutal and evocative at the same time, as the top sports car manufacturers wheeled out their finest designs and most powerful creations with regular monotony. In fact, you could argue that we were spoilt for choice between the years 1960-1969, as the photos in Paul Parker’s fine publication, Sports Car Racing in Camera 1960-69, will confirm. This is Volume Two in the acclaimed In Camera series, which continues the rich theme.
The 1960s had so many winners in a variety of racing arenas that would astound the modern racing driver. Getting behind the wheel of a Porsche, Ford, Ferrari, Cobra, Aston Martin, Chaparral, Lola, Matra and Gulf Mirage could ensure victory in any one of the varied forms of the sport in which these cars competed. For instance, a sports car driver during this decade could be expected to master such circuits as Le Mans, Daytona, Sebring, Nürburgring, Monza, Spa and the challenging Targa Florio – all in the same season. This would draw on the driver’s skills like in no other decade of the sport.
Each chapter has an introduction, which sets the scene for that year, and offers a summary of the players, the cars, the circuits and the championships. This is followed with a breathtaking selection of images depicting in both B&W (at first) and colour images with detailed captions for each photo. This style of book is, believe me, the most demanding type to write as each caption has to tell the whole story of the photo that it refers to. The amount of research that goes into each caption is immense, so don’t think that because the book is picture-heavy, there won’t be much reading to do, because that just isn’t the case at all.
As mentioned, writing informative and detailed captions for every image is no small task, but selecting images to tell your story is just as much of a challenge. Here the author has selected a variety of truly inspirational images with which to illustrate this era of sports car racing. And what a colourful, exciting and intoxicating decade of sports car racing it was. We are talking about all of the Porsche sports car family (904 to 917, plus the 934 and 935 years), Ferrari 250 GT SWB and 250 GTO, Cobra and Daytona Cobra, Ford GT40, Maserati Tipo 61 ‘Birdcage’, Lightweight E-type Jaguar, Aston Martin DB4GT and DP214, Lola T70, Ferrari 250LM, P4 (and so many more), Bizzarrini, Alfa Romeo T33/2, and the list goes on. I would probably get shot down for not mentioning another twenty top sports cars, but the above gives just a taste of the delicious spread of race cars that graced our circuits during that decade. Apart from the potent factory teams who fielded the above cars, an army of well-intentioned privateer teams posed a very real threat at every turn, making for a thrilling period of motorsport.
Successfully selecting the right photos, and then writing up the captions in an entertaining and informative manner requires an in-depth understanding of the subject matter. This much is abundantly evident in the pages of this book, as the author has shown his knowledge and experience of the sports car racing world in the manner described above. This publication sits alongside the author’s two other volumes in the field, Sports Car Racing in Camera 1950-59, and Sports Car Racing in Camera 1970-79. This is apart from the four volumes that make up his Formula 1 In Camera series.
If you are a motorsport enthusiast, then this book, along with his two others in the series, would make a very impressive addition to your other carefully selected titles on sports car racing.
About the author
Paul Parker is a freelance motoring journalist and has worked for many of the world’s top motoring magazines and has had work placed in well-known daily broadsheet newspapers.