VSCC BULLETIN SUMMER 2017
“A Record of Grand Prix and Voiturette Racing —Volume 2 1926 1931”
Any serious motoring bookshelf will have a row of these black books, all uniform in size, colour and style, and most will simply call them ‘Sheldon’. This volume is the Second Edition of Volume 2, first published back in 1990 so 27 years have passed and, as an indication of the depth of research that has led to a new edition, the first edition ran to 341 pages, the new version adds 113 pages.
Before getting into a description of the book it is necessary for readers to understand the reasoning that has shaped these books for nearly 30 years. In the words of the publishers “The Formula One Register is dedicated to the collection,
preservation and publication of data on single-seater motor racing. They strive to give a complete record of every race run to the formulae covered, including non-championship events, with full results and retirements, entry lists including non-starters, grids and chassis numbers, where known. There are no photographs since the authors, feel there are many other books that cover that aspect. So here we have 454 pages of detailed information, arranged in chronological order and giving the most complete picture of these events available anywhere in one place.
Each race is covered by a complete entry list, detailing the race number, where known, the driver, entrant, car, chassis number and engine type. This is followed by a description of the race, the starting grid and, finally, the results.
For each year the ‘annual chapter is divided into sections covering Grand Prix, Formula Libre, Voiturette, and Cyclecar races and so a complete record of ‘open wheel’, as opposed to sportscar, racing is included.
New for the Second Edition is a separate chapter, Appendix 1, on Les Grand Prix Bugatti, the three races organised by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, under the patronage of Ettore Bugatti, exclusively for private entrants of Bugatti cars. This is followed by Appendix 2, another new inclusion, which covers major handicap races; where else might one find details of the 1 Championnat de Aviateurs or the 1 Journée des Handicaps? Thank heavens for ‘Sheldon’!
There is a full and consolidated index to conclude this important work and, finally, a summary of the period as a whole and a list of sources shows from where the information was gleaned. This is not, of course, a finished project, the authors recognize that new information will continue to be discovered and they might, in future, issue a third edition or, possibly, an addendum to several volumes as has happened in the past.
Considering the amount of work that has gone into producing this invaluable series, the price of £80 must considered extremely reasonable, the quality of production is acceptable for a book that will see continual usage over many years and, being the first port of call for any information on the period, the first edition on the Editorial bookshelf is holding up well to 27 years of use. This book is a vital reference work which will be invaluable to historians, researchers and authors but it is more than that and every enthusiast for this important period of motor sport history should have a copy; it will also settle arguments at your local pub meet about who won what or who was the driver.
This book gets the Bulletin’s highest recommendation and to the publishers we say keep up the good work; we rely on you!