Author: Terry O’Neil
Publisher: Veloce Publishing Ltd
First published: August 2015
Dimensions: 24.8 x 24.8cm
256 pages – 295 pictures
- Describes Luigi Chinetti’s achievements prior to the formation of NART
- Chinetti’s unique relationship with Enzo Ferrari
- The formation of the North American Racing Team
- An insight into how NART functioned
- Why and how NART was involved in Formula One
- The fall-out with the Le Mans organisers and subsequent consequences
- The question of who drove the NART car to victory at Le Mans
- Examples of vehicle purchase documents from Ferrari
- Reveals the payments made to drivers for their services
- Includes details of NART entries to races in America and Europe
It is refreshing to read a book on a subject, especially one as complex as this, to find that it is both accurate and not subjective. There is little argument about the fact that motor racing in the 1960/1970s is today regarded by many as the most exciting era in motorsport. And to tell the story of NART, one of the most influential and successful privateer teams during this period, warts and all, is particularly enjoyable.
The author writes in his Acknowledgements, that in an interview with Luigi Chinetti Jr, he (Chinetti) stated that he would prefer the author not to write the history of the NART. One must wonder why Chinetti made this request, because the history and achievements of this charismatic and successful private racing team was just begging to be written. It was through the efforts of a small number of visionaries and entrepreneurs such as Luigi Chinetti Sr and others, that various foreign manufacturers gained a foothold in the all-important American market. Chinetti persuaded his friend Enzo Ferrari, that could he could gain valuable market exposure for Ferrari cars through motor racing, and so began the growth of this marque in North America.
With the formation of NART, and again full marks to the author who acknowledges the uncertainty of the exact date of the team’s formation, Chinetti attempted to bring some form of organisation to his racing activities. As with so many similar agreements in those days, the establishment of race teams were often concluded with just a handshake. And so, it is an unfortunate reality that the only people who would realistically know this date, are sadly no longer with us.
The author has skilfully woven together the activities of NART and its achievements with accounts from drivers, team members and others. The depth of research and the author’s vast knowledge on the subject gained through face to face interviews with drivers and team members, is evident throughout. The history of NART is actually a difficult subject to fully recreate accurately, because many of its activities in the day were agreed verbally, and are therefore not recorded. This means that it has been left to the author to piece together the dealings and happenings rather like a jigsaw puzzle, a task that O’Neill has performed admirably.
The involvement of the Rodriguez brothers, Ricardo and Pedro, is well covered. These brothers were instrumental in racing in the 1960/1970s, and NART played an important part in bringing these two extremely talented drivers firmly into the public eye.
At the rear of the book is a useful ‘Statistical Review’ which gives the reader an excellent reference source of the team’s race achievements, giving car model, chassis number, drivers and results for each race.
The book is well illustrated with period images, both colour and B&W, showing the cars, the team and management in good measure. The text is easy to read and the book, which is quite substantial in size, is well presented making this a valuable book for your collection. Whether you are a Ferrari fan or just a motor racing enthusiast, this book is a must as it not only covers one of the most entertaining periods of motor racing, but it also concerns the achievements of one of the most notable private racing teams of the period.
Sadly, NART was disbanded in 1983, but the period from its inception in 1957 until this date is well covered.
Written by Glen Smale