What is the most iconic British car ever built? The Aston Martin DB5? The Jaguar E-Type? The mighty Mini? Peter Grimsdale celebrates the cars that drove Britain’s automotive golden age in his adrenaline-fuelled new book High Performance
Past the forty lap mark the Cooper team in the pits began to notice a white spot on one of the front tyres, then two. The spots gradually grew into stripes, broadening with each lap; the rubber was wearing right down, exposing the canvas inner case of the tyre. Moss’s lead was growing but a change of tyres would put him back down the field. Lap after lap he refused to stop until gradually it dawned on the Italian teams that they had been bluffed. Moss had planned all along to go the full distance without stopping at all.
The little car came home first, 2.7 seconds ahead of the pack.
High Performance also tells the exhilarating tale of the rebel designers who created the finest automobiles the world had ever seen.
Sketched on the back of envelopes and welded together in garage back rooms, these cars hammered the competition in the showroom, on the road and on the track. Colin Chapman, Alec Issigonis, John Cooper and William Lyons did for British cars what Lennon and Jagger did for music, Conran and Quant for style.
Minis, Jaguars, Aston Martin, Lotus and Land Rover shocked and thrilled, won races and grabbed attention. In Formula One, at Le Mans, Monte Carlo, Indianapolis and in Hollywood, British cars became stars in their own right. James Bond’s DB5 to Charlie Croker’s getaway Mini Coopers and Avenger Emma Peel’s Lotus won fans worldwide. High Performance by Peter Grimsdale publishes on 16 May in hardback, audio and eBook.