The outstanding images in this book chronicle the career of one of the most admired Grand Prix drivers in living memory - and surely the most loved in all of F1 history.
Gilles Villeneuve's career statistics cannot even begin to explain the mystique. It was created over only four full seasons with Ferrari in F1, three of these with uncompetitive cars. He achieved only six victories from 67 starts, two pole positions, eight fastest laps and 107 championship points. He was one of the finest racing drivers never to become World Champion.
He possessed miraculous car control and frightening courage that could often overcome the flaws in his equipment. He thrilled spectators because he made them fear for his safety. He raced to win and, if that meant taking risks, so be it. He crashed often, and occasionally he broke his cars in his frustration, but he could wring from them performances far beyond their capabilities. Sometimes his starts almost defined belief, and always he was magnificent on a wet track. He never, ever, gave up.
He treated his racing cars with uncompromising brutality. Yet he was soft-natured, and emotional and devoted family man, loyal to his friends, charming to strangers. He was unwavering in his commitment to sportsmanship, to his inborn sense of right and wrong.
One dreadful day, incensed by an injustice, he took a risk too many. The memories he left us will stay with us always. There has never been a racing driver like Gilles Villeneuve. It is impossible to believe there ever will be.
Our fifth book on Aston Martin starts with the introduction in 1994 of the DB7. Many people saw it as a sexed up Jaguar, not a true Aston - also it had a pressed steel body instead of a hand-built aluminium one, and "they plan to make lots of them, cannot be an Aston", and so on. However, it was successful and 7,049 were made which was a fantastic achievement considering that since 1920 only some 12,000 cars of all types had been made. The new V12 DB9, made in the company's first purpose-built, up-to-date factory at Gaydon, restored the hand-built image but with added up-to-date engineering features.
This family of fast, alluring and supremely elegant cars first appeared in 1958 in the form of the 240bhp 140mph DB4. The response from the motoring press and the motoring public was rapturous, though the price of this handbuilt supercar was beyond the reach of all but a favoured few. The coupe was soon joined by a 266bhp Vantage version, by the 302bhp short-chassis DB4 GT(only 75 produced) and by a convertible. The DB4 GT Zagato, most powerful of all at 314bhp, is also the rarest, only 19 examples being made. The 1964 replacement for the DB4 was the DB5, again offered as coupe or convertible, with standard 282bhp engine or the 314bhp Vantage unit, and the line concluded with the 1965-70 DB6, with cut-off tail, better aerodynamics and in Vantage form having 325bhp. All these cars remain as special and as exclusive as they ever were, and they command correspondingly high prices based on three factors â?? condition, history and most of all originality. Here James Taylor gives full details of correct original specification and equipment for all these cars, backed up by in-depth colour photography of outstanding examples of all models and variants. Body panels, external trim and badging, paint colours, interior trim, dashboard, instruments and controls, under-bonnet components, engine and transmission, lamps, and other features right down to the tool kit, are all covered.