I must be the luckiest boy in the world! In addition to putting the 2010 Le Mans Annual and the DVD review in my stocking, Santa Claus also brought me a copy of the limited ‘Prestige’ edition of the new Le Mans encyclopaedia. This has been much advertised in Le Mans Racing Magazine, and should actually have been published in July, but various delays meant that it only appeared in mid-December. So Santa decided to intercept my copy and put it under the Christmas tree, to await my eager hands on Christmas morning. Through a number of complex circumstances though, it didn’t actually get opened until the afternoon of the 26th.
What an amazing book it is. Three volumes, in both French and (predictably stilted) English, covering every participant in the 24 hour race from the very first race in 1923 until the last race in 2010. However, more than just a photo of each car, as the previous Moity / Tesseidre book did, there is a cameo portrait on many of the significant entrants, and also coverage of those who came to the race without making the start (step forward Tim Lee-Davey!) And move to one side, Time and Two Seats, as you are no longer the biggest book on the bookshelf. Although I am not sure that the brushed aluminium case will go on the bookshelf – it might have to stay on the floor, such is its weight.
I admit that I pushed the boat out somewhat when I ordered it, as it is far from cheap. But there seemed to be only once chance to get it, and hence I decided that the Prestige edition was worth it. My copy is number 4 out of 500, and from the web-site, I would suggest that around 100 of them have already been sold. I am sure that the regular copy is just as good, just not as exclusive, but what I really want to know is who has numbers 1, 2 and 3. Anyone reading this, please let me know!
And when I have given it a more thorough going over, then probably a review for dailysportscar.com will be called for!