My Car Quest

October 22, 2019

Book Collecting: The Saving of a Book

Hey, I only missed the target by a few decades….

by Wallace Wyss –

A quarter century or so ago, when I was doing a book with Brian Winer called GT40 Photo Album, we ran across a book called Ford Vs. Ferrari by the late British journalist Anthony Pritchard.

Ford Vs. Ferrari - first edition hard to find, doesn't cover '68 and '69

Ford Vs. Ferrari – first edition hard to find, doesn’t cover ’68 and ’69

We thought it sad that such a finally written book was out of print. Oh there were Shelby books (including a couple of mine) but none that really told the Ford vs. Ferrari slugfest race by race. So I flew over the pond to meet Anthony and buy print rights (which I mistakingly only bought for five years).

I thought that someday the story of David and Goliath in car racing would be interesting to a new generation. Of course the Ferrari fans say Ferrari was the Goliath and Ford fans say Ford was but it was an even match at LeMans in ’66 because though Ford GTs on the grid vastly outnumbered Ferraris, Ferrari had the lighter, more sophisticated car and at least five years of winning LeMans right behind them. They were the experienced ones and Ford were the newbies.

When first laying it out as a hardbound book, we realized that we needed to cover the years 1968 and 1969 when Ford more or less abandoned the goal of winning at LeMans and John Wyer, who had managed their team in the beginning, contracted with Gulf Oil to run some small block Ford GT40s (ignoring the whole Mk. IV development).

They won, two years in a row.

Pritchard had covered those years in another book, so we bought the rights to the 1968 and 1969 years from that book and combined them in our edition, created in 1984, with additional pictures added for the Gulf cars. That was before selling on the Internet got big and demand slackened.

I went on to other books, even a hard-boiled detective novel. Brian went on to other ventures but showed his love for the Ford GT by buying a Safir Mk. V (continuation car sanctioned by Ford).

I like to think we bridged the gap on the lack of information on a Ford GT book and maybe even we helped keep the flame burning, enough so that Ford revived the Ford GT in ’05-’06 and even now there is a Ford GT in Ford showrooms.

There have been more books on the Sixties battle published recently. Haynes, normally publishing how-to manuals published an updated Pritchard authored Ford vs. Ferrari in 2011, with 600 photographs, but have since gone back to doing how-to manuals. I wonder how many books on the battle will be available Nov. 15th when the Disney movie Ford v. Ferrari comes out?

Ford GT40

1968 Ford GT40 sponsored at LeMans by Gulf

What about the book the movie was based on? The A.J. Baime book Go Like Hell? Well, before actually finishing the upcoming movie, 20th Century Fox (since bought by Disney) said they were not going to base their feature on that book, so who knows what they will publish so people who like the movie can go buy the book?

Brian, ever the archivist, purchased all the remaining copies of our edition of the book, with this white bordered cover, in sealed cases. What he is offering is not a reprint, it’s “new old stock” (a book world phrase which means old stock that is like new).

Write Brian if you’re interested. He’s sleepin’ on the books (trade talk for having so many books you can sleep on ‘em…)

He can be reached at trueford@aol.com

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

Wallace Wyss

 
 
 
 
THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss has published 18 automotive histories.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thank you for supporting My Car Quest

 

Ford Logo

Ferrari logo

Summary
Book Collecting: The Saving of a Book
Article Name
Book Collecting: The Saving of a Book
Description
We thought it sad that such a finally written book was out of print. Oh there were Shelby books (including a couple of mine) but none that really told the Ford vs. Ferrari slugfest race by race.
Author

Speak Your Mind

*

fsge6ed6.txt