Works Wonders is a top competition manager's nostalgic view of a golden age of motorsport, the Fifties and Sixties. It was a time when you could buy a car from a manufacturer's catalogue, take it to a tuning shop, stick a set of numbers on the side and go racing or rallying with it. If you were good enough, you might even beat the works drivers in similar cars: and if that happened there was a good chance you would be invited to join them for a future event. A measure of professionalism had entered what previously had been essentially an amateur sport, but it had not been allowed to corrupt it. As always, winning was the ultimate objective, but it was not the tense and humourless business it would later become because in those days there were fewer commercial pressures on drivers to perform out of the car as well as in it: there was still time to have fun on the way to victory. Those were the days of the great rallies like the Monte Carlo, the Tulip Rally, the Alpine, the Liege RomeLiege and the Acropolis, and it was a classic time for the endurance races like the Le Mans 24-Hours and the Sebring 12-Hours. It was also a time when groups of enthusiasts would band together to tackle world time and distance records with production cars, and it was a time when motorsport was more accessible than ever before or since. During this period Marcus Chambers was centre stage in International motorsport as the competition manager, firstly of MG. Then of BMC, with the Austin Healeys and finally, following a short period in the retail motor business, of Rootes and Chrysler, with cars such as the Sunbeam Tiger, Hillman Imp and Hillman Hunter. His drivers scored some of the greatest successes of the period, including an epic victory by Pat Moss and Ann Riley in the 1960 Liege-Rome-Liege in their brutally quick Austin Healey 3000, and the sensational win by Andrew Cowan, Brian Coyle and Colin Malkin in the 1968 London-Sydney Marathon with a Hillman Hunter. In this major expansion of his earlier book, Seven Year Twitch, the author tells an absorbing story of an incident-packed competition career and recaptures vividly the unique atmosphere of the sport during the period when it provided many examples of outstanding personal achievement against the odds and was enhanced by a deeply etched code of sportsmanship and mutual assistance between competitors and rivals in times of difficulty. Illustrated with a fine selection of period images showing various cars in action from the little Austin A35: XKJ 64, Austin A90: POM 754, to the big Austin Healeys : VOK 490, PMO 201 UJB 141, UJB 142, UJB 143 along with MG As : LBL 301, LBL 302, MJB 167, MRX 43 and MG Magnette DRS 1 to, list just a few. In recent years the interest of many thousands of motorsport enthusiasts has turned towards what is now known as Historic rallying and racing, making it one of the fastest growing sectors of the sport in terms of both active participation and spectator interest. To see once famous cars back in action again has been the focus of their fascination: in this new book they will learn more about what it was really like in their prime, with an appendix listing BMC successes in International rallies and races 1955-1961.
Tags: 947981942, Acropolis Rally, Alpine Rally, Austin Healey 3000, Austin A105, Austin A35, Austin A50, Austin A90, Austin Healey Sprite, Hillman Hunter, Hillman Imp, Le Mans, Liege Rome Liege, MG A, MG Magnette, MGA, Marcus Chambers, Monte Carlo Rally, Morris Mini, Morris Minor 1000, Riley 1.5, Riley Pathfinder, Sebring 12-Hours, Sunbeam Tiger, Tulip Rally