Wednesday, 27 August 2014


The Royal Automobile Club has announced two brand new initiatives to raise the profile of motoring book publishing: the Royal Automobile Club Book of the Year Award and Motoring Literary Festival.

The Motoring Literary Festival will take place at the Royal Automobile Club’s historic Pall Mall clubhouse in central London – the birthplace of motoring enthusiasm in Britain – on the evening of Wednesday 29 October 2014.

The Motoring Book of the Year will be the climax of the evening, in front of Club members, invited guests, and a host of well-known automotive authors and publishing figures.

The event is one of several staged as part of the Club’s ‘London Motor Week’, which includes the free-to-attend Regent Street Motor Show and the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

‘The Royal Automobile Club is passionate about motoring history and the written word,’ said Ben Cussons, Chairman of the Club’s Motoring Committee.

‘Our Library in Pall Mall contains one of the finest collections of motoring and motor racing books in the world. Our members value it enormously, and we intend to keep adding to it – even though the death of the printed book is frequently predicted.’

At the inaugural event, the Club will host a lively debate on the future for motoring book publishing and printed books in the digital era, with invited panellists including publishers and book retailing experts. Among the experts will be Tom Tivnan of The Bookseller, Mark Hughes of Evro Publishing, Philip Porter of Porter Press International and Rod Grainger of Veloce Publishing.

Another feature will be the chance for guests to ‘Meet a Car Book Legend’, and prolific author Graham Robson – who is believed to have written more car-related books in the English language than any other single author – will be talking about his work and taking questions from the audience.

The evening culminates in the announcement of the Royal Automobile Club’s 2014 Motoring Book of the Year. The judging process will include recommendations from Britain’s most experienced car book reviewers, including Mick Walsh of Classic & Sports Car, Gordon Cruickshank of Motor Sport, Keith Adams of Classic Car Weekly, Henry Willis of Auto Express, Henry Hope-Frost of Autosport and freelance writer and reviewer Richard Heseltine. The Club’s Motoring Committee, and its librarian, Trevor Dunmore, will be closely involved in the final decision. The award will be commemorated by a unique trophy presented to the winning author, along with the use of a specially created logo to promote the work.

‘We intend this unique award to be an important new accolade in motoring publishing,’ said Ben Cussons. ‘As the digital era reshapes traditional publishing, we continue to believe in the power of the written word and the importance – and appeal – of the published book. The Royal Automobile Club Motoring Book of the Year is a significant new ‘badge of honour’ for authors and publishers dedicated to excellence in the field, no matter what type of motoring subject matter is tackled.’

Source: Royal Automobile Club