Speedscene Magazine, June 2019


The Formula One Register with Jerry Sturman

Volume 1  410pp  £75  &  Volume 2  373pp  £75   (£125 for both volumes)

These two large volumes chart the history of the British Hillclimb Championship from 1947 to 2000 and 2001 to 2018.  They form a reference work with impressive levels of detail and completeness.

The format is straightforward and is organised by year. Each season begins with a brief preamble which highlights any significant changes to drivers, cars and sponsors. Every round of the championship is reported in a few paragraphs followed by the Top 12 results, which have chassis numbers for most cars from ERA to OMS, including much information not available anywhere else. A final championship table, showing scores by round and driver completes the entry for the year. There are no photographs, but there are course maps for every venue visited and there are two comprehensive indexes – by driver and by car and individual chassis number. For the early years (up until around 1962) information is a little sparse and the reports often run only to a couple of paragraphs whereas in Volume 2 the reports are much fuller. The scoring system for the early years has proved to be hard to confirm so the authors have made their best estimates.

Being a reference work it is hardly bedtime reading. However, it is surprisingly easy to pick a year and, starting with the first round, follow the narrative and results as the season unfolds, quickly gaining an insight to the competition that took place. Indeed, it is the early years that are the most eye-opening for those more familiar with the competition’s recent past. For example, it was quite common for drivers to make multiple entries so that at Rest and be Thankful in 1954, Michael Christie took all three podium places in three different cars while Les Leston came home sixth and ninth! A number of names better known for their later circuit racing exploits also appear including Stirling Moss, Peter Westbury, Mac Daghorn and even Tico Martini, who won both Channel Island rounds in 1962.

As an unrivalled work of reference, these two volumes are a must for the historian and die- hard enthusiast alike. As a comprehensive summary of the British Hillclimb Championship it is, and will probably remain, unique.



“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!


Marcus Pye column, Autosport 14 July 2016

“A Record of the RAC British Hill Climb Championship”

The last period Chateau Impney event was in ’67 (the following year’s was cancelled at the 11th hour), by which time I was following speed events vicariously through glimpses of Autosport and Motoring News. With a complete set of this magazine from August 1950, Paul Sheldon and Duncan Rabagliati’s ‘black book’ A Record of the RAC British Hill Climb Championshipand Chris Mason’s fine Uphill Racerstome on my shelves, I could while away hours reading up on golden days.

[excerpt from Autosport article “A peerless history of speed hillclimbing” by Marcus Pye]

IMD Media Newsletter Oct 2014

Formule Libre (Europe) 1929-61

This book is a (almost) essential complement to the series “A Record of Grand Prix and Racing Voiturrette”. Many of these races are documented for the first time. Where known, the following information: entry list with chassis numbers, grid, all results.
[German text translated]

VSCC Bulletin Autumn 2012 no 277 by David Venables

“Record of Grand Prix & Voiturette Racing Vol 4”

For the serious students of motor racing history, the “Sheldons” or the “Black Books” are an essential part of their libraries. If this reviewer was told he could only keep one work from his library, the “Sheldons” would be the choice. For those unfamiliar with this monumental work, it endeavours to cover every grand prix and voiturette race from the 1900 Gordon Bennett race through to almost current F1. All the competitors and the full results are listed for every race with a short race report and subsidiary information about the cars. For some races there are complete lap charts. The series now runs to 15 volumes. …………………… The books are not cheap but their value is immense. Those who have not experienced “Sheldon” should begin now.

Octane August 2012

Another reissue, this volume of the much respected series of “black books”………………It’s a brilliant resource for professional and amateur historians alike.

Book Addiction by Neville Hay: Cars for the Connoisseur – Issue 121: May 2011

“My favourite books and perhaps the best series of books, I believe, is the ‘Record of Grand Prix and Voiturette Racing’ by Paul Sheldon together with Duncan Rabagliati and friends. These books cover several decades and I find them as interesting today as the first time I read them.”

VSCC Bulletin no.255 Spring 2007

“A Record of Motor Racing at Crystal Palace”, by Richard Page. Published by St Leonards Press, available from Formula One Register. Hardback in slipcase. 305mmx215mm. Two volumes: 329 and 343 pages. 89 mono photos.

The price of this work will greatly limit its appeal, but it is a valuable addition to the record of motor racing history. The author has done immense research and the two volumes cover motor racing in various forms at the Crystal Palace for 101 years, from 1899 to 2000. The sport began in 1899 with motor cycle and a solitary car race on a cinder track in the grounds of the park in South London where the exhibition hall of the Great Exhibition in 1851, the Crystal Palace, had been moved. The motor cycle racing contiuned on paths in the park in the ’20’s and early ’30’s; then in 1937, a proper road circuit was built and until WW2 it staged exciting racing with the leading British, and some foreign, drivers.
Crystal Palace re-opened in 1953 with a shortened circuit, and races were held there regularly, with up to four meetingsa year, until 1972, when it fell foul of noise problems and local government politics. The tight nature of teh circuit meant that the racing was always close and exciting, with little room for error, and in the post-War years, every international driver of note raced there, in races for F1 an F2 cars, while vintage and historic races were also featured. Subsequently, sprints were held on part of hte circuit until a final closure in 2000. The entry list and results of every race are given and each has a short narrative, while the motorcycle racing is also covered. Strongly recommended (for those who can afford it).

Humble Pye [16/11/2006], Autosport

…Mention of the South London circuit, home track for longtime Autosport snapper Jeff Bloxham and myself as kids, i commend readers to the Formula 1 Register’s latest publication, A Record of Motor Racing at Crystal Palace.
A sister to Robert Barker’s formidable and prized work on Goodwood. Richard Page’s fastidiously researched twin-tome set details every event from 1899 to 2000 (major racing ran from 1953-72). Not cheap at £200, but with a print run of just 150, not to be missed by historians and enthusiasts “