Monday 30 September 2013


Roy Smith is the author of 6 Veloce books. His latest, The Porsche 924 Carrera - evolution to excellence, is now available.

Roy Smith has owned over 50 cars since the age of 17! His love of the four-wheeled machines began at an early age, coming from his grandfather who had engines and machinery in his blood. Roy’s middle childhood years saw his interest spread to aircraft – not unnaturally, as it was only a few years after the war and Spitfires and Meteors could still be seen flying around on a regular basis. But in his teens it was racing cars that commandeered Roy’s thoughts, along with girls ... both expensive!

In a Vampire Fighter at RAF Benson aged around 7.

The F1200 race car self-built aged around 19.

The rallying Mini Van in 1968.

At 18 Roy joined the Craven Motor club in Reading, at the time a hot bed of rallying. A few years later, having been sick in other people’s cars so many times whilst navigating that no one would give him a ride, he built a Mini Van Rally car and got behind the wheel himself.
Roy soon began writing articles for local clubs. His first interview was with John Horseman and the JW Gulf team, then running Jo Sieffert and Pedro Rodriguez in the 917 Porsches (1969/70). Over the coming years, various cars passed through Roy’s hands. A Ford Anglia, A Viva SL 90, several Minis including Coopers. He built the Formula 1200 race car whilst functioning as Reading Centre Secretary of the 750 Motor Club.

Hillclimbing a Ford Anglia in 1969.

Cycle racing team in the early 1980's (Roy second from left).

Testing a factory Alpine A110 berlinette in 1984.

The motoring life was always a learning curve, sometimes easy, sometimes steep. Roy continued writing for several years until work, marriage and a family intervened. The Formula 1200 car was sold unraced. Life settled down in a career that would span 40 years in sales – first in retail, then advertising, then machine tools, onto special equipment for chemical and pharmaceutical companies, and latterly water treatment works equipment, including entire plant contracts. As a company director for French and German companies until his retirement in 2003, BMWs, Citroëns, Peugeots, Alfa Romeos, Alpine Renaults and Porsches all came his way.

Castle Combe trackday in the 1990s.

Spoils of victory in 1996.

Hillclimb Championship winning A110 berlinette in 1997.

Racing an MV Agusta in 2001.

Roy hillclimbed and sprinted with a single-seater Jedi in the early ’90s, winning five regional championships. In 1997 he won a classic hillclimb championship with an Alpine Renault A110 berlinette, and raced an MV Augusta not so successfully in the late ’90s. But it was after his retirement that he returned to writing; for magazines at first, before moving on to books in 2006. So far he has given the motoring world six highly-acclaimed specialist titles: four about Alpine and Renault – three covering Alpines Formula 1 and Sports Prototypes stories, plus a book about the iconic berlinette A110 – and a book about the life and times of racing engine legend Amédée Gordini. Now he has released the latest huge work, mentioned above, about the almost forgotten Porsche 924 Carrera GT, GTS & GTR. He is now working on a second Porsche book, Porsche – the Racing 914s, and has in his file the start of a final book about the cars built in Dieppe by Alpine, covering the GT and Turbo era. His hallmarks are intricate research, sourcing hundreds of photos, first-person interviews, detailed diagrams, and a talent for uncovering fresh new information about a rare subject. Roy won the Mercedes Benz Prize and Montagu of Beaulieu Trophy in 2010 for his work on the Sports Prototype Alpines, and was runner up in 2013 with the work about Amedee Gordini which was also shortlisted for Historic motoring book of the year.

Who knows what the future may bring? Roy’s current stable of cars includes a Porsche 914 2 Litre, a Lotus Esprit Turbo, a Porsche 911 and one of the rare 924 Carrera Porsches that form the subject of the current offering. A member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, Roy continues to look for new and interesting subjects, usually to be the first to document their history in English before it is all forgotten.

Click here to view all books by Roy Smith.

Wednesday 25 September 2013


On the evening of Thursday 19th September 2013 John Rosamond provided his popular "Reminiscences of the Meriden Triumph Factory Talk" that covers the traumatic times 1970 till 1983.

The well attended Norfolk Advanced Motorcyclists event was organised by Vice Chairmen Paul Milner at the luxurious De Vere Dunston Hall Hotel, Ipswich Road, Norwich.

Rob Chandler (Chairman) led the healthy Q&A debate at the end of the talk. This tried to establish how Triumph the UK's premier motorcycle company in the 1960's went into decline and closed in 1973. This was followed by various attempts to restore the world famous brand to its former position of strength, much of which is covered by John Rosamond's book Save the Triumph Bonneville! The Inside Story of the Meriden Workers' Co-op.

At the end of the evening John Rosamond had the great pleasure of presenting club members Richard Minkler and David McGee with their "Institute of Advanced Motorists" (I.A.M.) awards.

Click here for more info about the book.

Friday 20 September 2013


Stuart Owen racing a full race spec Ferrari F40 over 1/4 mile!

Coming soon from Veloce!

The Book of the Ferrari 288 GTO
By Joe Sackey

Covers the entire story of the iconic Ferrari 288 GTO, including the prototypes, early production cars, mainstream production cars in their various specification guises, and the Evolution cars planned for the aborted Group B FIA race series. A comprehensive and beautifully illustrated look at a unique sports car.
More info.

The Lambretta Bible – New Edition!
By Pete Davies

A year-by-year, model-by-model, change-by-change record of the world’s finest scooter from Model A to the GP 200. The story doesn’t end there, though, the focus moves to machines prepared and built by Lambretta Concessionaires. The book ends with a look at the main British dealer specials of the 1960s. Essential reading for Lambretta enthusiasts.
More info.

Tuesday 17 September 2013


Advance copies of the eagerly anticipated The Book of the Ferrari 288 GTO by Joe Sackey arrived at Veloce House this week. We thought we'd share a few photos of the finished book here on the blog ...

This book covers the background, conception, design, production and aftermath of the iconic Ferrari 288 GTO, including the prototypes, the early production cars, the mainstream production cars in their various specification guises, and the Evolution cars planned for the aborted Group B FIA race series.
It features over 400 relevant photographs, from original production images to the cars as they are today, including the 1984 Geneva Salon where the car debuted, the first ever GTO Reunion in 1985, current salon and action images, right up to the 25th Anniversary Ferrari 288 GTO Reunion held in America in 2009. Also featured are the actual factory production approval sheets, as filed with the Italian government, in an illustrated technical drawing form, along with a chassis by chassis register of every 288 GTO built, including destroyed prototypes, production cars, and GTO Evoluziones – in fact all 284 cars ever built.
This book contains essential resources covering all aspects of the car, including archives, maintenance specialists, restoration specialists, worldwide clubs, parts sources, etc. A comprehensive, beautifully illustrated look at a unique sports car, and a must-have for Ferrari fans.

Click here for more info about the book!

Thursday 12 September 2013


The motorcycle racing legend Jim Redman MBE will be giving a talk at Manor Hotel, Yeovil on 8th October 2013!

Available from Veloce!
Jim Redman MBE – Six Times World Motorcycle Champion - The Autobiography
New Edition!

The incredible rags-to-riches story of one of the world’s greatest motorcycle racers. From humble beginnings in 1930s London, to winning six world titles, Jim Redman MBE is one of GPs most extraordinary characters, and a true legend of motorcycle racing. After migrating to South Africa, he started his racing career in the mid-fifties, and was awarded an MBE in 1964 – a year that also saw him win three World Championships in a single day. More info.

Thursday 5 September 2013


We were delighted to be able to provide the Riley Motor Club with competition book prizes for its national rally last month.

Nick Walton (East Anglia Centre Secretary) commented:

"The Art Deco book and the story of of MG's Abingdon factory were really attractive prizes to Riley owners.

"This year, we had more pre-war cars attending the Rally, so it was actually possible to see at first hand the evolution of the 6-light Kestrel described in the 'Art Deco' book."

Art Deco and British Car Design – The Airline Cars of the 1930s
by Barrie Down
MG's Abingdon factory (Those were the days ...) by Brian Moylan

Tuesday 3 September 2013


Veloce launches Mike Brewer's Wheeler Dealer Know How! as an eBook at just £2.99* for just one week!

The brand new series of Wheeler Dealer launches on the Discovery channel on the evening of September 17th next week. To celebrate the event, Veloce is launching the ebook version of MIKE BREWER'S WHEELER DEALER KNOW HOW! on September 17th at the special price of just £2.99 UK, €3.99 Europe and $4.99 USA & Canada for one week only! When the offer ends the ebook's normal price will be £10.99 UK, €12.99 Europe and $14.99 USA.*

The new eBook is already available to pre-order for iBooks, Kobo and Google Play and will be released officially on the 17th by all major eBook vendors including Kindle and Nook.

(* The ebook will also be available at equivalent prices in other world currencies.)

Millions follow Mike and Edd's collectable car adventures on Discovery Channel's Wheeler Dealer series, now in its tenth year and shown all around the world. Here's the eBook to accompany the series.

The Wheeler Dealer Know How! is written by Mike Brewer, cheeky chappie and TV's best-known car dealing expert. In a career spanning almost 30 years, Mike has seen and done everything when it comes to buying and selling cars, and having established a successful career as a television presenter, is eager to share his knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for cars.

Telling you all you need to know about buying, preparing and selling modern classic cars, this book guides you through the minefield that is the world of car dealing, and helps you avoid the pitfalls that await the unwary. Plus, with stories and anecdotes from Mike’s time in the trade, you'll gain a fascinating insight into the world of wheeler-dealing.

Packed full of information and tips, The Wheeler Dealer Know How! will give you the confidence to buy the car of your dreams and avoid ending up with a lemon. You’ll find out how to prepare a car to expert standards – from cleaning, to repairs and improvements – and when the time comes to sell, Mike tells you how to get the best price and avoid being ripped-off.

Check out Wheeler Dealers new series promo video!

As featured in the first episode of the new series, the little baby Lambo!

Also available from Veloce!
The Book of the Lamborghini Urraco

The amazing story of the Lamborghini Urraco; what really happened to the car that was built to beat the Porsche 911 and Ferrari 308, and why it never got the chance it deserved. A fascinating and practical account of a future supercar classic. More info.


Author of 16 Veloce books, biker Peter Henshaw is our author profile this month. His latest book The Triumph Bonneville Bible was published last month by Veloce.

I can remember counting down the days to my 17th birthday and being able to legally drive a car, about ten years before the event. But it didn’t turn out like that. I bought a moped at 16, and that changed everything.

It was a Puch VZ50 in bright yellow, which could manage 38mph flat out. After a decade of pedal power it seemed blindingly fast. No CBT or compulsory training, of course – the examiner had stood on a Dorchester street corner and watched me wobble round the block. I remember braking on gravel on the Puch, and repenting at leisure, but I was never seriously hurt. For that I probably have to thank the RAC/ACU training scheme, in which a bunch of unpaid volunteers attempted to instil some road sense into wobbly novices. They did it to keep new riders safe and motorcycling thriving, and I’ve never said thank you. So, thank you.

At 17, I bought an old CZ 175 using cash saved from summer jobs, under the strong impression that nobody rode a moped at that advanced age. Of course, it was a laughing stock in the school bike sheds alongside the Superdreams and RD250s, but it was cheap, it was mine, and it felt fast enough. A Triumph Tiger 90 followed a couple of years later – a Honda would probably have been more sensible, but I was caught up in a welter of youthful idealism that combined patriotism with an affinity for the underdog struggles of the Meriden co-operative’s attempts to survive against all odds. Many breakdowns, and several rebuilds, but my word ... what a beautiful machine.

My employment at Haynes Publishing offered the opportunity to waste larger amounts of cash, and I did so on an ex-police Norton Interpol, the rotary-engined bike that a few forces bought in the 1980s. Actually ‘waste’ is unfair, because the Norton was a unique experience that I wouldn’t have missed for anything, though it had some odd habits. All this time, cars came and went in the background. An Austin Maxi for a while, and at least two Imps – my brother and I wrote The Inside Story of the Hillman Imp, published in 1987 – but I was never without a bike.

Redundancy led to a job with Diesel Car magazine. I’d never intended to become a journalist, but it all worked out alright. The salary was rock bottom, but I began writing books with photographer Andrew Morland, mostly about bikes or tractors. Best of all, my company transport was an Enfield Robin diesel, which I bought when I left the magazine and still own today. It cruises at 50-55mph (hitting 65-ish on the proverbial downhill), will plonk away happily all day, and gives 170-200mpg. Owning the Enfield came with an increasing awareness that we live on a planet of finite resources, and our profligate habits have got to change – the diesel is fun at 50mph and 200mpg.

I’d been an on-off reader of the old Motorcycle Sport magazine for a while, so the chance to take over as editor in 1996 was too good an opportunity to turn down. They were great days, commuting down to Cornwall every week, and riding everything from scooters to Goldwings. I went through a bit of a feet-forward scooter phase before buying an ex-road test Honda Transalp, and finally the Suzuki Gladius that’s in the garage as I write this, now approaching 50,000 miles on the clock and still going strong.

My involvement in the ill-fated Motorcycle Voyager magazine lasted until its collapse, and I’ve since learnt as a freelance writer not to put all my eggs in one basket, instead tapping out articles for magazines at home and abroad for a range of publishers. Meanwhile, the book list keeps growing, and last time I counted it was up to 50, with a good proportion of them published by Veloce. Keep buying them, and I’ll keep writing them.
Peter Henshaw

Click here to view all Veloce books by Peter Henshaw.

Monday 2 September 2013


Tony Mason will be signing copies of Mason's Motoring Mayhem at Rallyday, Castle Combe Circuit on Saturday 21st September 2013. Catch Tony's interview with commentator Howard Davies at 12:10 on the main stage. Immediately after this, Tony will be signing copies his book.

Few people achieve success and notoriety in more than one field, but Tony Mason has managed it! He joined a local car club before he even had a car, eventually climbing to the top with rally wins in his native Lake District, before joining the prestigious Ford works team and co-driving Britain’s biggest rally star, Roger Clark, to win outright the RAC Rally – Britain’s toughest event of its kind. He started a successful car accessory business then ventured onto the stage for a short while, before being signed by the BBC to appear on its popular Top Gear programme, on which he was a main presenter for 15 years. His cheery presence became a popular part of the programme, and he moved from rallying to driving all manner of vehicles, from vintage Rolls-Royces, Reliant Robins, tanks, fire engines and Eddie Stobart trucks. After he was famously bombarded with snowballs during a report on the Monte Carlo Rally, he became even better known, with the famous out-take being shown on programmes around the the world.
Tony Mason’s light-hearted, jovial persona transfers from television to page in this autobiography, taking readers on a trip from his early life in the seaside town of Morecambe through almost 100 countries, with thrills, spills, ups-and-downs all vividly remembered and often shown in photographs.More info.