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The Book of Sports Cars - (France and Germany)

The Book of Sports Cars - (France and Germany)

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The Book of Sports Cars - (France and Germany)

Lunghezza:
214 pagine
1 ora
Pubblicato:
Feb 11, 2014
ISBN:
9788896365458
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

“… This is a book for which lovers of the automobile have waited a long time: the most comprehensive text-and-picture history of the dual-purpose car since it came to life more than sixty years ago.
As the authors of The Book of Sports Cars point out, “in the beginning they were all sports cars.” The automobile began its active life, whatever the intentions of its creators, as a new instrument of sport. Because the increasing demands of this sport imposed an ever-growing burden of technical development, the sports car and its achievements have never stopped forwarding the improvement of the everyday automobile. Here at last, evolved from years of painstaking research, is a record of what the world’s motorists owe to the dreams and the daring of the men and women of motor sport.
In arranging the history of the outstanding marques by countries of origin, the authors have made it plain how first one nation, then another took the lead in developing the automobile as a sporting instrument and hence inevitably as a thing of greater common use and benefit. First Germany led the world, then France, then Great Britain and Italy and the United States.
The Book of Sports Cars is a magnificent tribute to the glorious past and the exciting present, a fascinating record of the history that points to the challenging future. A book to be read for pleasure and profit, it will be an invaluable addition to the library of every enthusiast of motoring history…”

(1959) - BRIGGS CUNNINGHAM
Pubblicato:
Feb 11, 2014
ISBN:
9788896365458
Formato:
Libro

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Anteprima del libro

The Book of Sports Cars - (France and Germany) - Charles Lam Markmann

THE BOOK OF SPORTS CARS - (France and Germany)

by Charles Lam Markmann - Mark Sherwin

New digital edition of:

The Book of Sports Cars (France and Germany)

by Charles Lam Markmann - Mark Sherwin

© 1959 by Charles Lam Markmann and Mark Sherwin

Copyright © 2014 Edizioni Savine

All Rights Reserved

Strada provinciale 1 del Tronto

64010 – Ancarano (TE) – Italy

email: info@edizionisavine.it

web: www.edizionisavine.com

Source text and images taken from the Public Domain

NOTES

ISBN 978-88-96365-45-8

CONTENTS

THE BOOK OF SPORTS CARS - (France and Germany)

colophon

Foreword

In the Beginning They Were All Sports Cars

FRANCE

AMILCAR

ARIÈS

B.N.C.

BALLOT

BERLIET

BIGNAN

BUGATTI

CHENARD & WALCKER

COTTIN ET DESGOUTTES

DARRACQ

D.B.

DE DION-BOUTON

DELAGE

DELAHAYE

DERBY

VERNON-DERBY

GOBRON-BRILLIÉ

GORDINI

GRÉGOIRE

HISPANO-SUIZA

HOTCHKISS

GEORGES IRAT

LORRAINE-DIETRICH DE DIETRICH

MORS

PANHARD ET LEVASSOR

PEUGEOT

RENAULT

ROLLAND-PILAIN

SALMSON

SARA

TALBOT

TALBOT-LAGO

TRACTA

VOISIN

GERMANY

ADLER

BENZ

B.M.W. -E.M.W.

D.K.W.

HORCH

MERCEDES

MERCEDES-BENZ

PORSCHE

WANDERER

Foreword

This is a book for which lovers of the automobile have waited a long time: the most comprehensive text-and-picture history of the dual-purpose car since it came to life more than sixty years ago.

As the authors of The Book of Sports Cars point out, in the beginning they were all sports cars. The automobile began its active life, whatever the intentions of its creators, as a new instrument of sport. Because the increasing demands of this sport imposed an ever-growing burden of technical development, the sports car and its achievements have never stopped forwarding the improvement of the everyday automobile. Here at last, evolved from years of painstaking research, is a record of what the world’s motorists owe to the dreams and the daring of the men and women of motor sport.

It was, for example, the Grands Prix of the early years of this century that begot the demountable rim — an invention that was necessitated by the incalculable time losses when clincher tires blew out in races. The races and rallies and trials of those early days also made inevitable the rapid development of the pneumatic tire from the frail, brittle casing no stronger than a bicycle tire to the magnificent, durable shoes that every car can wear today as a matter of course.

So, too, we can trace virtually every advance in automobile design and construction to the demands and ambitions of the builders and drivers: the vast improvements in ignition systems, in fuel and carburetion, in steering and suspension, in solving the problems of weight distribution and of power/weight ratios, in engine economy and efficiency, in braking — one has only to remember that the first four-wheel brakes were developed by Isotta-Fraschini in 1910 to meet the emergencies of fierce competition — and in coachwork, both aerodynamically and esthetically.

In arranging the history of the outstanding marques by countries of origin, the authors have made it plain how first one nation, then another took the lead in developing the automobile as a sporting instrument and hence inevitably as a thing of greater common use and benefit. First Germany led the world, then France, then Great Britain and Italy and the United States. Not the least of the services rendered by The Book of Sports Cars is to point up the valuable contributions of other, smaller countries that might easily be overlooked in the grand sweeping picture — the Netherlands, for instance, which gave birth to the first four-wheel drive, four-brake car just after the turn of the century; or Belgium, which produced such impressive marques as Métallurgique and Minerva and Excelsior; or Austria, the home of Austro-Daimler and Steyr.

The Book of Sports Cars is a magnificent tribute to the glorious past and the exciting present, a fascinating record of the history that points to the challenging future. A book to be read for pleasure and profit, it will be an invaluable addition to the library of every enthusiast of motoring history.

BRIGGS CUNNINGHAM (Wikipedia)

In the Beginning They Were All Sports Cars

The automobile did not come into being as a utilitarian vehicle for the transport of men and goods. It began as an instrument of pleasure: a working model of a spring-driven vehicle was one of the amusements of Leonardo da Vinci. When the internal-combustion engine became a practical reality, its first application to transportation — and indeed its major application for a long time thereafter — was the provision of pleasure.

But perhaps we should do well to define a sports car before we go farther. A precise and dogmatic definition cannot be drawn for any category whose components are so highly individual and particularized, so we must of necessity start with a general principle. A sports car, then, is an automobile designed for the enthusiast to whom pleasure is its paramount potential: pleasure in its performance and pleasure in its design. The sports car is a dual-purpose car: it is equally at home in city traffic and in all-out competition, and it requires no essential modification to convert from the one use to the other. It is, in short, a car that is meant to be driven to a race, in the race and back home from the race — and to make any kind of driving exciting.

All the early cars fell into this category. Their designers and builders raced them as soon as they were sure they would run; their buyers, in the main, never thought seriously of doing much else with them (except, perhaps, dazzling the neighbors). One bought an automobile, in the early years of this century, as one bought a hunter: pour le sport seulement. If the vehicle turned out to be really useful in conveying oneself and one’s friends or one’s chattels from place to place, that was a bonus: but it did not really matter. What did matter was that here was a new form of sport.

This sport enjoyed a number of virtually simultaneous sires in widely separated places: in Austria it was fathered by Siegfried Marcus; in Germany, by Karl Benz and Gottfried Daimler; in France by Panhard and Levassor, the Marquis de Dion, Louis Renault and others; in Great Britain by F. R. Simms, Percy Riley, the Hon. C. S. Rolls, S. F. Edge and many more; in Italy by Senator Giovanni Agnelli, the Ceirano brothers, Vincenzo Lancia; in the United States by the Duryea brothers, Elwood Haynes, Henry Ford — the list of pioneers is limitless. All these men, whether the cars they made were large or small, were producing (whatever their ultimate dreams) essentially a luxury item whose price made it available only to a few. And most of those few bought it to have fun with it; when there was serious traveling to be done, they relied on the horse-drawn carriage or on the railway.

It was principally in the United States, in the years immediately preceding the First World War, that the initial concerted effort was made to transform the automobile from a sporting luxury to an everyday adjunct of living. After that war, Great Britain, too, saw the motor car become a tool as well as a toy; but in Europe it remained for the most part the monopoly of the sporting rich. True, some small economy or family cars were made and marketed on the Continent; but they were always relatively few and even the least expensive were well beyond the reach of the majority of the population.

Sports motoring developed variously according to geography and economics in the first half of the century. In the beginning, the road race was as common in America as in Europe and ultimately, through special Acts of Parliament, got a foothold in some parts of the British Isles; indeed, there was at first no other racing. Manufacturers — and in some cases private owner-drivers — sent their German Benzes, their British Napiers, their French Panhards, their Italian FIATS to compete on American highways, and the American Locomobiles and Thomases and Simplexes were shipped over the ocean to return the compliment. But the mushrooming of the utility or family car in the United States soon clogged its roads, and its makers no longer produced automobiles that could race as well as relax; competition became, in the United States, the monopoly of cars specially built for racing under extremely limited artificial conditions: the circular or oval track, which bore no resemblance to actual road work. Today only one round-the-houses course exists in the United States, and it was created less than 10 years ago: Put-In Bay, an island on Lake Erie where once each year the Cleveland Sport Car Club and the Northeast Ohio Region of the Sports Car Club of America stage a day of racing on the narrow farm roads and village streets of a resort community, whose terrain makes it necessary to limit entries to cars of under two-liters capacity.

The same situation developed in the British Isles. The famed Tourist Trophy, which for almost 50 years was run on

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