Simon Moore’s The Magnificent Monopostos: Alfa Romeo Grand Prix Cars 1923-1951, took more than a decade to produce, and saw the author travel the world to investigate and verify every fact for the two-volume book, which is published by Parkside Publications. It is the most exhaustive study into Alfa Romeo’s single-seater Grand Prix and Formula 1 cars ever seen.
The Award was presented to Mr Moore at the ceremony on Wednesday 28 October in Pall Mall, London by Tom Purves, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club. The Club initiated its Motoring Book of the Year award in 2014, with the event forming one part of its mission to foster interest in all aspects of cars and motoring in Britain – a role it has played for over 110 years – through a series of events during London Motor Week.
‘Our Library here already contains some exceptional works, but Simon’s book shows a staggering depth of research which has impressed everyone who has seen it’, said Tom Purves. ‘Our highly experienced judges, who are completely independent of the Club itself, were united in their praise for what he has achieved.’
A new book on the life of British motor racing legend Sir Stirling Moss OBE, also impressed the judging panel. Stirling Moss: My Racing Life, written with Simon Taylor and published by Evro, received their special commendation. Other books that were in close contention included Porsche 917 – Autobiography of 917-023 by Ian Wagstaff, Jaguar Lightweight E-type 4 WPD by Philip Porter (both from Porter Press), and Jim Clark: Racing Hero by Graham Gauld (McKlein).
Some 40 titles were nominated by the judges, all of which were published between July 2014 and June 2015. Books from publisher Veloce were nominated six times, with three each from Dalton Watson, McKlein, Motorbooks and Porter Press.
Besides the overall winner, they all had their own personal favourites. For example, Keith Adams, of Classic Car Weekly, rated Saving Jaguar by Sir John Egan, while Henry Willis of Auto Express liked The Porsche 924 Carrera: An Evolution To Excellence by Roy Smith.
The other judges included Mick Walsh of Classic & Sports Car magazine, Henry Hope-Frost of Autosport and Goodwood, Gordon Cruickshank of Motor Sport magazine, and independent reviewer and Octane writer Richard Heseltine.
On Magnificent Monopostos, Gordon Cruickshank commented: ‘This is a rare case of the term ‘definitive’ being truly appropriate – it’s deeply researched by a pre-eminent Alfa Romeo historian.’ Mick Walsh added: ‘This is the final book in Moore’s trilogy of Alfa Romeo books, and it has fanatical research and a stunning selection of historic photographs, all beautifully presented.’
Peter Read, Chairman of the Club’s Motoring Committee, said: ‘With books of the high calibre evident in this year’s nominations, it was always going to be hard to choose one, overall winner. But Simon Moore’s book truly stood out for its excellence. Only a genuine enthusiast could consider such an undertaking, and we heartily applaud that.’
Source. Newspress/Royal Automobile Club