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From the PublisherNew Zealand Classic Car, January 2009
The very productive Robson continues his enjoyable 'Rally Giants' series with these latest offerings on two of the iconic rally cars from the last 30 years. Both titles are in the same, now familiar format: 128-page soft cover books with plenty of fine photos. But the cars themselves certainly are very different: it's easy to forget the impact the quattro had when it was introduced, while the Escort started off looking like a pretty standard family car! The two models didn't quite coincide on the world rally scene as the Escort's days at the top ran from 1975-'81, while the quattro was one of the top dogs from 1981-'86. But they won rallies and titles aplenty, and it's fascinating to follow their rallying exploits. Both books chart the development of the cars; their drivers, from Clark and Vatanen to Mikkola and Blomqvist, plus all the others behind their many successes; the competition they faced, and lovely little snippets like registration numbers and the occasional blind alley.
Speedscene, October 2008
The magazine of the Hillclimb and Sprint Association
The industrious Graham Robson's book on the Peugeot 205 T16 was reviewed in Speedscene 146 and here are two more in the on-going series of Veloce's 'Rally Giants' series. Equally informative, as one would expect from the author with such a worldwide reputation as a motoring historian– fueled by his parallel career as a competitor, team manager, organizer, reporter and commentator (not to mention National Motor Club Quiz chairman, as this reviewer remembers, having been on the HSA's losing semi-final team in a Ford-sponsored series some years ago!) – these books cover the development and competition careers of two iconic rallying legends of the seventies and eighties. The Cosworth 16-valve BD engined Mk2 Escorts were arguably the most consistently versatile and successful rally car of all in the second half of the seventies, while the Audi Quattro was the first 300bhp plus World Rally car and the first to combine 4WD with a turbocharged engine, which brought new standards to the sport in the early years of the eighties. Their histories have been documented before, but Robson's compact and informative series or Veloce provides an ideal reference.
Club News, Summer 2008
Newsletter for the Volkswagen Owners Club GB
This is a very well written and illustrated book that traces the Audi Quattro – a rally giant – through all its stages of development and rallying history. It starts at the very beginning with the inspiration for the car – deep thinking by one Dipl Engineer Jorg Benzinger – and the development that took it to a world beating rally car. Each and every section – of which there are many within this book's 120 plus pages – brings to light both interesting facts and anecdotes. One sections covers personalities and star drivers but, sorry to say, nothing about co-drivers.
This book is a very detailed account of what happened and when and has numerous illustrations in both full colour and black and white and I would think is a must for anyone with the slightest interest in rallying and the development of rally cars. Some of the final pages cover the victories achieved by works and supported cars – of which there are many – in both World and European rallies. If you have anyone in the family interested in rallying I would suggest this book would make a most welcome present. While I appreciate that this book is about an Audi and we are a Volkswagen club the two marques are so intertwined that I could not let this 'history' book pass by without a review in Club News.
Track & Race Cars magazine, August 2008
The Audi Quattro changed rallying by ‘nagging’ the authorities to change the rules so they could use the four-wheel drive car. Once the rules were changed Audi brought success and showed the dominance of four-wheel drive. The book delves into the first ideas for the Audi right through to its successes at World Rally. The design of the car is well detailed, with insights into the engine and engineering of the car. As well as the star drivers over the years and the second half of the book details its competition years. Another good book from the ‘Rally Giants’ series. -
Review from Old Stager, June 2008
Another in the 'Rally Giants' volume, this covers the Group 4, Group B, Sport and Sport 1 evolutions of the ground-breaking 4x4 rallycar. Graham Robson once again provides a cracking read of the period during the eighties when the Quattros with their distinctive five-cylinder 'blat' were all but invincible ... as ever in motorsport, there can be no such thing as 'invincible', particularly when the fundamental design is slightly flawed by having a heavy engine slung out in front of the front axle. The Lancia 037 was superior on dry tarmac. However, drivers such as Hannu Mikkola, Stig Blomqvist, Walter Rohrl and Michéle Mouton all revelled in the turbo-charged car's fabulous traction - before joining Audi, Rohl once said that "even a monkey could win in a Quattro'' ... then he too signed up to pilot the ground-breaking machine!
Review from Octane, July 2008
The latest two softbacks from Veloce are part of a series by Robson that will cover 16 of the most important rally cars of the last half-century. Each runs to 120-odd pages and boasts straightforwardly written, authoritative text and a large number of colour and b&w pictures. Besides the chronological history there are interesting sidebar digressions - did you know Roger Clark's 'Cossack' Escort had eight different liveries in ten events?!