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Comment: Clean, crisp interior. Minor cover wear.
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Tales from the Toolbox: A Collection of Behind-the-Scenes Tales from Grand Prix Mechanics Paperback – February 15, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A UNIQUE insight into the pitlanes of Formula One ... With unprecedented everyday access so close to famous drivers and fiery bosses, this recalls some brilliant tales - good and bad - from those who were at the sharp end." - Auto Express



"This is one of those books you can dip into anywhere â?¿ in its plainly-told tales you feel a vibe and a zeitgeist that many weighty histories don't give and which, because of ever higher technologies and regulations, is probably gone for ever." â?? Classic Cars "A brilliant read, this is a book that you'll keep dipping into." â?? Club Lotus News



"The photos, many of which come from the mechanics' personal collections, are not only priceless, but properly capture the moments and tales told by the crew members. This book is a must for all racing fans" â?? autoracinghistory.com

"It's a cracker: and 40% of all royalties go to the Grand Prix Mechanic's Charitable Trust. A softback bargain. Read it." â?? Southern Car Club



"Few books have given us as much enjoyment in recent months as this compilation of tales from the less than glamorous side of motor sport. Buy it!" â?? Octane "Chapter themes in this enjoyable paperback range from travel to job risks, with memories of key spanner-men. Pull-out boxes make it easy to dip into ..." â?? Classic & Sports Car



"Buy this immensely entertaining book and help out a very worthy cause in the process." â?? Vintage Racecar

"A fascinating insight into a part of the world of motor racing that is usually hidden behind garage doors." â?? The Marshal

"This is the most absorbing motorsport 'inside story' book to be published in a long time." â?? Speed Scene

"This small format book packs so much into its 172 pages. It's a real winner." â?? New Zealand Classic Car

About the Author

Michael Oliver went to his first Formula One race when he was just two weeks old, and contends that he learned to count looking at the number roundels on the sides of racing cars. A professional writer, he has contributed features to a wide range of magazines and websites, including autosport.com, itvf1.com, Motor Sport, Octane, Classic Cars, Vintage Racecar, Victory Lane, Chequered Flag and Motor Racing Australia.
Michael Oliver went to his first Formula One race when he was just two weeks old, and contends that he learned to count looking at the number roundels on the sides of racing cars. A professional writer, he has contributed features to a wide range of magazines and websites, including autosport.com, itvf1.com, Motor Sport, Octane, Classic Cars, Vintage Racecar, Victory Lane, Chequered Flag and Motor Racing Australia. He is also the author of two other motor racing books: Lotus 49: The Story of a Legend, published in 1999; and Lotus 72: Formula One Icon, published in 2003. It was the contact he made with mechanics while researching these books, and the mechanics' wealth of untold stories, that inspired him to write this latest work.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Veloce Publishing; 1st UK Edition 1st Printing edition (February 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845841999
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845841997
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #979,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Hobkirk on March 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have ever wondered what happens behind closed doors in the world of professional open wheel racing, this is the book for you. Wonderful inside stories of the Formula One world from the beginnings of the championship through today. The manufacturers, the mechanics, the drivers and the great stars of the series are captured without their coats of armor in this treasure of a book. Not so sure of themselves, not so calm and collected, not so precise. And a whole lot more fun than what you might see on the screen during a race. This is how it was done to begin with and I am sure there are more stories to tell of the megamoney world we now see as F1 racing. A fun read that doesn't take itself too seriously.
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A bit disjointed. It could have flowed better if the author interviewed one person at a time rather than lumping all the "truck breaks down on the way to the race" stories. It's tough to keep up with who is talking. Still, there are some great tidbits about some of the great drivers.
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This is a compilation of "war stories" from mechanics who worked in the 50's, 60's, 70's. Really gives a good feel for what it was like, how dangerous it was, how teams were run and how we got to the state of Formula 1 today. I read this after reading Steve Marchett's book "The Mechanics's Tale" which deals with much more current times. Between the two, I think I have a good sense of the history from behind the pit wall.

The Kindle version does not do justice to the photos, they are just too small and lose something in translation. I'd like to see the paper version sometime to compare.
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What a wonderful read. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of 50s, 60s and 70s Formula 1 racing. It fills in the gaps as to what was happening behind the scenes between the team, drivers and mechanics. Many insightful anecdotes about life in the traveling circus that was F1 in bygone days. If you love reading about Tyrrell, Lotus, BRM, Ferrari, BRP, Clark, Stewart, Hill, Moss, Fangio, etc. etc., then you will love this book. It is a quick read, leaving you wanting more. I thoroughly enjoyed every page. Many photos and individual experiences from behind the scenes. One of those books that I look for, but too seldom come across. Thank you, Michael Oliver for a job well done!
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This book captures the spirit of what Formula 1 was like before it went big time. It's the same as reading a book of NASCAR stories from the same period. Just some mechanics bombing around Europe with a truck full of race cars, trying to get there on time and get things running. And the stories from America are equally good.
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As a formula one fan and an avid reader of motorhistorybooks I must admit that this book is a must read for every single formula one or motorsport interested person out there. The insight into how this sport has grown from its early days in the 1950's to the present wiewed from the mechanics who built, maintained, and transported the racecars from Sweden in the north to Italy in the south and the US and Mexico in the west and what this realy demanded of the mechanics is absolutly amazing. Sprinkle this with absolut gems of insight into the driving abilities of Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jack Brabham and many more together with the raw discription of what it was really like to work for Team Lotus under Colin Chapman, this is a book to be deeply grateful for to have been written. Buy it, it is truly, a must read!
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This is a mix of many short recollections of F1 Mechanics during the 60's, 70's and early 80's. Some were very bad and repetitive. I would rate those a "1". Others were brilliant, I would rate those a "5". Average them together and you get "3". Overall, it was a decent read. I noticed a few typos in the Kindle edition but overall it was fine.
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While I did enjoy this book, I have 2 criticisms. 1. Never say in the introduction that the best stories could not be told in the book. Knowing that, every time I read a story told by a mechanic, I wondered what was being left out. 2. I had a lot of context in reading it, having been a GP fan since the '60's and having actually seen many of these mechanics up close while they were working. But without the context I had, many of the stories they told would have seemed fairly watered down. Overall, I got the feeling that the mechanics were holding back much more than they actually told. Still, I was able to gain some insight into what was going on in the lives of the fellows I watched in the garages as a boy.
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