Eoin Young's Collector's
Column no. 17
a happy coincidence I met up with my schoolboy racing hero at the
Monaco Historic races. It
was the 40th anniversary of the Anciens Pilote's club and Mike Sparken
had hosted a splendid lunch at his Cap Ferrat home. All the
Golden Oldies were there. Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Tony Brooks,
Roy Salvadori, Paul Frere, Jacques Swaters, Jean Guichet, Giannino
Marzotto, Nino Vacarella, Les Leston, Tony Gaze, Cliff Allison, Maurice
Trintignant, Tim Parnell, and Howden Ganley among others I may have
Hans Hermann turned
up and I learned that he had signed a print of a drawing of him ducking
under a level crossing gate on the Mille Miglia, just dodging a train.
This was the coincidence and Hermann
was my hero. When I was a schoolboy at Timaru in New Zealand the shops
were open late-night Fridays and I used to visit the town's only bookshop just
to leaf through a book of motor racing art that I couldn't afford to buy. It
was 'Motor Racing Sketchbook' by German artist, Carlo Demand, and my favourite
picture was this electrifying portrayal of Hermann's Porsche diving under the
level-crossing bar in the Mille Miglia.
The coincidence continued. Years
later, when I was living in Surrey and setting up my rare motoring book business,
I had a letter from a "C. Demand" in Germany ordering a book. As luck
would have it, he was the famous Carlo Demand - and he still had the original
artwork of that Porsche picture which I bought from him in a sort of triumphal
achievement at getting the artwork that I had drooled over as a schoolboy.
And here was Hans Hermann,
signing a copy of the original picture so we had to arrange a photograph of
us together with the artwork. I asked him how it had happened. "We
were doing about 160kph and the level crossing bars were around a blind bend. There
was a marshal with a warning flag but he was almost at the crossing and I had
no chance of stopping in time. I whacked my co-driver on the helmet,
pushing him down and we both ducked under the bar. The train was only
It was the 40th anniversary
of the old drivers' club and it was the 40th anniversary of my first Grand
Prix as the first employee of Bruce McLaren. We were in Monaco 1962 and
Bruce was driving for Cooper. Bruce led away, then was caught by Graham
Hill's BRM and Jimmy Clark's Lotus but both broke and he scored a win from
Phil Hill's Ferrari. I found a copy of the 'Autosport' that covered Bruce's
win with a cover photograph of him in action and took it to the luncheon to
have the old drivers sign it. As you do...
Phil Hill spotted the magazine
and I joked that Bruce had beaten him by five seconds. "Five seconds! It
was one point four seconds!" exploded Phil, with crystal memory of that race
four decades before. He was even more pleased when we looked up the results
to check and found that he had actually only been one point THREE seconds behind
the flying Kiwi in the Cooper.
We went out to Cap Ferrat
by train from Monaco to Beaulieu and paused a few miles down the line at Eze-sur-Mer
to Cliff Allison's delight. "We used to stay out here with Team Lotus
in 1958 and drive the Grand Prix cars to and from the track. That was
great fun. You couldn't do it now"
The old drivers and historic
cars brought all sorts of memories back. I've always liked the story
of Phil Hill getting back to his hotel after the early morning practice session
to be accosted by an elderly resident demanding to know if he was one of the
people making all that noise. "What are you doing?" She asked. Phil
said that he had been practising for the Grand Prix. "Practising? Only
PRACTISING? Can't you do it somewhere else-!"
To read previous
click on the links below:
SCRAPBOOKS and THE EDDIE HALL PHOTO ALBUM MYSTERY
GOODWOOD CIRCUIT REVIVAL 2001
SPRING RACING IN NEW ZEALAND
5. "CHASING THE TITLE"- A 'must-read' book...
HERMANN BEATS THE TRAIN
OLD CAR IMAGININGS
NEW BOOKS, PRESCOTT AND GOODWOOD 2002
FIXING FORMULA ONE
CLASSIC RACERS, FORZA AMON! and COLIN CHAPMAN
MY NEW BOOK... & BERNIE'S NEW BOOK
SELLING AT GOODWOOD AND BUYING AT BEAULIEU
TARGA NEW ZEALAND, BRABHAM ON SCHUMACHER, AMON ON CLARK
IT STILL BEATS WORKING!
PUSHING BUTTONS; F1 DRIVER SHUFFLES
STILL OPEN FOR BUSINESS
COLLECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS IN WARSAW
Eoin Young is a
who left a bank job to join Bruce McLaren and help set up his racing
More or less. He arrived in the UK in 1961 as a freelance journalist,
the Formula Junior season with Denny Hulme, joined McLaren in 1962.
director of team. Established Motormedia 1966. Started weekly "Autocar" diary
page in 1967 -- it ran until 1998. Covered CanAm, Indy and GP series.
In 1979 established as a dealer in rare motoring and motor racing books
and ephemera. Still trading with regular lists. Autobiography "It
Beats Working" published in 1996. with its sequel "It Still beats Working"
in 2003. He lives in tiny low-beam period
cottage in Bookham, Surrey. Drives VW Golf VR6.
The stock of
books and ephemera is constantly changing.
here to view the current catalogue.