The Jaguar E-Type is arguably one of the most iconic cars ever to have seen the light of day, both on the road and on the track. The story of this remarkable car – and the man who helped shape its legacy – is the center feature of the book The All American Hero and Jaguar’s Racing E-Types.
365体育投注APPThe book, written by Phillip Bingham, tells the story of American racer Briggs Cunningham and how his quest for glory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans helped shape the legacy of the E-Type through trial, error and combat. The book, published by Porter Press International, weighs in at 288 pages and was published in May.
Bingham, the author, was born in Norfolk and has three decades of experience writing about cars and motorsport and has had a long standing association with Motor Trend.
The story of the car, the man and the great race
The book tells the story of Briggs Cunningham and his quest for glory at Le Mans in great detail. It begins in 1950, when Cunningham enters a pair of Cadillacs that have gone down in racing folklore, with Le Monstre a particular eye-catcher.
365体育投注APPThe Cadillac Series 61-based roadster with custom bodywork remains one of the most ghastly looking creations Le Mans has ever seen. The car’s 1950 appearance, along with the Cadillac Series 61 Coupe lovingly nicknamed the ‘Clumsy Puppy’, was the first attempt of many for Cunningham.
After first attempting to win Le Mans with his own all-American squad, Cunningham begins to form a relationship with Jaguar. The story is told through remarkable anecdotes, from how his quest nearly succeeded in 1951 before a heartbreaking engine failure, to the time Le Monstre was nearly crashed out before the race after one of Cunningham’s star drivers shunted it on the road in an attempt to impress an ACO secretary.
365体育投注APPThe Jaguar story itself also throws up some remarkable tales. The book tells how Cunningham got the job as Jaguar importer because his predecessor was a bit to keen in his commercial efforts with rival marques and was subsequently replaced.
365体育投注APPIt also gives an insight into the development story of the E-Type, from the Le Mans-racing E2A prototype to Jaguar executives miscalculating just how popular their car would become, which resulted in a Hollywood dealer having to turn down an offer from Frank Sinatra himself.
The book is also littered with appearances from some of the greatest names the sport has ever seen. The like of Bruce McLaren, Dan Gurney, Jack Brabham, Graham Hill, Stirling Moss and Steve McQueen all appear, and even a young, fresh-faced Roger Penske is featured – far removed from The Captain we know and love today.
Images from history
The story is presented in five parts. It focused on Cunningham and Jaguar, but also looks at some of his rivals and the history of American motorsport at place like Sebring, Daytona and Bridgehampton. It also gives an introduction to some of the lesser known driver talent like John Fitch, Phil Walters and Walt Hansgen.
The set-up and story is complimented by over 250 photographs, which gives a remarkable look at racing during a time when motorsport looked a lot different than how it is today. Looking at Le Mans in the 1950s and 60s and comparing it to what the Circuit de la Sarthe has come to be is a fascinating look, and the same goes for places like Daytona and Sebring, which are practically unrecognizable today.
365体育投注APPBut arguably the book’s piece de la resistance is in the final chapter, where it takes an in-depth look at the E-Type that was first campaigned by Cunningham and the car that led to the creation of the E-Type Lightweight, which has become one of the most sought after historic racers in the world. Through high-quality studio images, it gives a detailed look at one of the most iconic racing cars ever made.
In summary: The All American Hero and Jaguar’s Racing E-Types gives an in-depth and detailed look at the story of one of America’s most revered racing heroes and is well worth picking up for anyone who wants to brush up on their racing history.
365体育投注APPIf you just want a look at images from racing’s past, then there is also more than enough to look at: the image collection on its own is arguably already worth the price of admission. But no matter your taste, this book makes a great addition to the collection of any Le Mans enthusiast.