by Tim Beavis and Guy Loveridge
2022 review by James Loveridge
This is the second in a promised five volumes of the quite outstanding collection of motor sport photographs of the late Edgar Vernon “Twink” Starr. This one continues from the same authors’ “Admission 7/6” which covered the 1960s and takes us into the Supersonic 70s, specifically the period 1970 to 1974.
This is very much a picture book but, unlike all too many of that sort, is packed with detailed information about what is shown in the images, the people involved and the conditions in which events were held. The depth of research done by the authors is impressive, including talking to several of those involved, like John Surtees, Jackie Oliver and John Moore and, to present the view from a different angle, Sue Lehmann who was the first of the Yardley Girls. Her job, bringing glamour to the Paddock and making visible the support of household-name businesses as they started to sponsor the teams and the events, was an essential part of creating the image of top-level motor sport today.
Mr Starr’s choice of subject for his many excellent photographs – he was not a professional photographer – means that this is not just a record of what was happening on the track; it also gives vivid glimpses of what went on behind the scenes. Mr Starr clearly loved his motor sport, to the extent of celebrating his 60th birthday by trips to events in Italy and Canada. Many of the photographs are of Formula One races, both World Championship and others, of which there were plenty in those days, but also Formula Two and other Formulas. Of particular interest is to see how many makes of car contested the lower Formulas. Mr Starr was no motor sport ‘snob’. Almost any kind of event involving fast cars and exciting competition was what he wanted, so we have some lovely photos of Vintage Sports Car Club events and of hill climbs.
Both authors have been involved in motor sport for many years and have indeed competed at several of the places at which Mr Starr took his pictures, so have been able to tackle the considerable task of “interpreting” the images with a great deal of knowledge and understanding. As Mr Starr left comparatively little in writing about his photographs the work involved has required a great deal of detailed research and, as is acknowledged, they have been able to make use of various resources, particularly the Silverstone Interactive Museum (well worth a visit), but the majority of their research has been straightforward “grunt” work and they are to be congratulated on its completeness.
Perhaps to stop us readers from being overcome by nostalgia the authors have included one of Mr Starr’s photographs of the 1972 Earl’s Court Motor Show. They don’t just remind us that it was the show at which the Morris Marina Estate was launched but also let us see for ourselves that the only British makes shown are now extinct or foreign owned. Sic transit Gloria! (which, contrary to popular belief, does not mean “the girlfriend’s been ill in the van”.)
Having read the book and being left looking forward to the next, the Hunt versus Lauda years, one can only regret that Mr Starr did not live long enough to see his historic record brought to the attention of a wider audience than just his family and friends.
Publisher:Douglas Loveridge Publications, Moss View, 85 Warburton, Emley, Yorkshire, HD8 9QP
Price: £40.00 plus £5 p&p directly from the publishers or, it is anticipated, from reputable motoring book retailers.
Description: 128 pages, Hardback with dust jacket. Photos in black & white and colour.