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By David Cross and Bjørn Kjer. Transport in international motor sport has always been a major task for all competitors. Whilst modern Formula 1 drivers travel in style, often in private jet planes, their cars and mechanics follow in sophisticated tractor/trailer transporters but earlier contestants and in particular those who were not well-to-do, had to use whatever transport was available to them, more often travelling in old vehicles in the dead of night, when roads were quieter.

Overshadowed by the antics of racing drivers and their magnificent steeds, perhaps it is not surprising that there is no treatise dedicated to the racing car transporter. However, transporters are so vital to the start of every race that this omission needed to be rectified and the 550 photographs and other images collected in this book not only represent a unique visual history of an important motor racing ingredient but also fill a glaring gap in the chronicles of motor sport.

Racing car transporters not only come in the form of road vehicles but also in the shape of trains, boats and aeroplanes, in fact, any device which hauls a racing car, and that includes man power! Some photographs have been lying unseen in private collections and some have already seen the light of day. The latter have been chosen to reappear either because of their visual attraction or their importance to the overall subject. Colour photos of early transporters are rare, so the majority of pictures are black and white but colour images including models, paintings and superbly detailed line drawings are featured in abundance.

A map of Europe and North Africa shows principal venues for pre-war motor sport events. Linked to this, there is a brief study of the travels during the 1938 season for the Mercedes-Benz team and its slog across Europe and this is amplified by diary extracts of the Auto Union mechanic and transporter driver, Hans Jugel. His diary was recently unearthed in Audi’s archives and it contains fascinating facts and figures now revealed to the public for the first time.

Captions for photos have been carefully researched and checked for accuracy with the expert help of Bjørn Kjer whose knowledge is well known and respected in transporter circles. Information contained in captions sometimes exceeds the immediate subject field but in doing so, engages the reader in other entertaining facets of the image.

To enhance aspects of transporter life, where appropriate and with permission, extracts from other writers have been quoted, either verbatim or in précis form.

The order of contents is largely alphabetical, not chronological, and this approach encourages the reader into a feeling of serendipity, not quite knowing what is coming up next. The indices will be by proper names, transporter manufacturers and coachbuilders.

The Earl of March and Kinrara has probably done more for historic motor sport than anyone and many readers will have attended the now famous Goodwood Revival where some of the transporters shown in this book are seen each year. He has kindly written a foreword to the book.

David Cross was born in 1938 and was educated at Bromsgrove School, Worcestershire. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant and was a partner in private practice for many years until he retired in 2003. Married with two daughters, his interest in motor sport began at an early age with a visit to Shelsley Walsh Hillclimb and although never a competitor, he keenly follows historic motor sport, being closely involved with the Bond Formula Junior racing cars, admiring the spirit which engenders Fast is good – faster is better!

For some years, he has been intrigued by the ways in which racing cars appeared at events and was disappointed to find no guidance on what appeared to be an important facet of motor sport. He decided to remedy the omission and detailed research has resulted in the publication of Inside the Paddock: Racing Car Transporters at Work.

Bjørn Kjer, the son of a haulier, was born in 1946 and grew up in Denmark. He was sniffing petrol and diesel from an early age. A draughtsman by profession, he also worked as a transport manager and administrator but is now retired. His collection of model racing cars started at an early age and from 1978 he spent much time photographing and learning about lorries, as well as writing articles and giving practical support to the publication of several books on transport. Later, he became seriously interested in the history and modus operandi of motor racing transporters.