Gear: Put An Encyclopedia Of Speed In Your Bookshelf With 'The History of Motorsport'

Put An Encyclopedia Of Speed In Your Bookshelf With ‘The History of Motorsport’

By Alex Sobran
May 3, 2018

You can purchase this book here, and browse the rest of our automotive literature in the Petrolicious Shop

The history of motorsport. Pretty daunting, right? Where do you begin, where do you end, what do you include in between such wide bookends? Jörg Walz, the author of this infinitely flip-through-able saga of the last 120 years of auto racing, took a simple but wise approach to the towering subject: start at the beginning, in 1894, at the Paris-Rouen, and work up through the years one by one in chronological order with a focus on a unique or otherwise important car built for competition in the year or period.

This inevitably means that some cars will be left out, but for the reader’s sake, would a multi-thousand page count and microscopic type be all that interesting? More than likely not, for the simple fact that nobody could do adequate justice to the comprehensive century-plus of motorsport history that’s occurred across our continents. In this one-year, one-car format however, the major machine is introduced, given context, and often couched in commentary of what the racing zeitgeist was like at the time, and how it would evolve.

The book does an excellent job of making this progression through time a fluid one, and rather than just choosing the winningest or the fastest subject matter, Walz has carefully selected his material to ensure the scope in these pages is not only a matter of years. From obscure ice racers to icons like the Group B Audis,  ’80s touring cars to ’50s prototypes, you can certainly find more exhaustive and penetrative material on each subject printed in The History of Motorsport, but it’s doubtful you’ll find such a balanced and thoughtful collection as this.

Also, it would be wrong to occupy an air of snobbery and think that the book was written for people who don’t know squat about racing and want things spelled out and explained as such. Decidedly not true here. It’s not that the tone is dull and dry and filled with numbers and codes—the language is actually pretty lively and very easy to comprehend—but beyond the meat of the pages that is the year-to-year ordering, there are also plenty of statistics, race results, and other datasets that are only fun if you truly love what you’re looking at here. In summary, Walz’s book is a terrific summary, but don’t think of it as a half-assed one.

You can purchase “The History of Motorsport” here, and browse the rest of our automotive literature here

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Zoe King
Zoe King(@zoe_king)
5 months ago

This evcyclopedia is a great one including amazing information of speed in bookshelf. This would help me in writing about my favorite book

Liza Rose
Liza Rose(@liza_rose)
6 months ago

encyclopedia is very informative we can learn anything from here like this website provide information related to wikipedia and their policy

1 year ago

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1 year ago

I have no encyclopedia.

1 year ago

I am writing an essay on this topic, who can help me?

Mraks Surik
Mraks Surik(@alexejderkach36prpc)
1 year ago

Its cool

1 year ago

Great article. I used to love driving too, but after the accident I could not even be near the car. I had to hold many meetings with the therapist before I let go of my fears. I cannot convey the relief that I experienced for the first time sitting behind the wheel after a long break. It was exciting and delightful at the same time.

1 year ago

Very interesting article, which was very useful.

Joseph Robert
Joseph Robert(@joseph-robert)
1 year ago

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1 year ago

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mariya williams
mariya williams(@mariya_williams)
3 years ago

It looks cool. I really thankful for your post.

3 years ago

Looks like I may have to add this to my library. I continue to enjoy my copy of ‘The Encyclopedia of Motor Sports’ (ed. by G.N. Georgano) that I got for Christmas in 1972 but some updates of the last 46 years may be in order!