First up, we have the latest offering from one of our longtime friends and colleagues, Mr James Ruppert. His latest tome deals with his long time obsession (some would say affliction) with the world’s favourite small car, the Mini. Mr R is a fan, but still manages to write with clarity and honesty on the subject, which makes this book so refreshing. The Mini is a popular subject, but all too often authors don the rose coloured specs and get too sentimental over a car which can be difficult and expensive to own as the years roll on, as James amply demonstrates in this 35 year saga of the resto of his 1964 Cooper. Set against the background of the history of the small car, it’s a great read.
My Mini Cooper: Its Part In My Breakdown is published by Foresight Publications and costs £12.99. You can find it all the usual online booksellers, or direct from www.jamesruppert.com and www.bangernomics.com.
Not surprisingly we know a lot of writers, and the second book this month comes from another longtime friend and colleague, Martyn Morgan Jones. MMJ has been working with Barry Lee to produce his biography The Other Side Of Winning. I’m sure I’m not alone in knowing little about the rich and varied life of Mr Lee – my knowledge was limited to his expertise as an ace Hot Rod driver and ‘that’ picture from the cover of Custom Car where Mr Lee shivered in his M&S slims while a busty model posed in his trademark gold race suit…
A ten minute conversation with Barry reveals there’s much more to the man (we caught up with him at last year’s Race Retro, see the video here), but MMJ has had the chance to dig a lot deeper and has drawn out a fascinating story. Barry Lee has that rare trait, he’s a natural driver, fast at anything that he turns his hand to. And in the pages of The Other Side Of Winning, you learn that this has been not only been on two and four wheels, but also on everything from horses to trucks. And it’s also fascinating that but for the hand of fate, Barry could have become as famous as a works rally driver or circuit racer, as he ultimately did for his unrivalled ability on the short ovals.
You can get a copy of The Other Side Of Winning direct from www.martynmorganjones.com, www.barrylee.co.uk or the good online booksellers.