MotorBinder Classic Photographs from the golden age of motor racing
By Roy Spencer
321 pages, softbound, 10.75 by 8.25 Horizontal layout
$64 Post Paid US, $84 PP international
Review by Pete Vack
Although dedicated to his father Bev, (1917-1977) Roy Spencer’s stunning MotorBinder is a collection of photos that serve as a fitting tribute to the late photographer Gordon Martin, a former Motorsports Editor for the San Francisco Chronicle.
While many of the book’s 321 pages present photos from other sources including the Spencer family album, it is the previously unpublished photos from the Martin collection that makes this work both important and enjoyable. The Martin photos were rescued from a basement after 40 years; the photos presented range from 1955 to 1967, primarily taken at California racetracks and events. All photos are superbly restored and printed on heavy, fine quality semi-gloss paper.
Reviewing such a book is difficult without displaying a selection of the photos. The problem is, which ones? One method is to go through the book (in general there is on large photo to the right and the caption on the left page—a very nice layout) and tab the most impressive images, for whatever reason. Then go back, read the text, and after a second look determine if the initial reaction was still valid, and tell the readers about it.
Race car historians and enthusiasts owe thanks to Roy Spencer for finding, saving, and making this outstanding collection available at a truly reasonable price.
And before that, ask the author/publisher for permission to do so; we thank Roy Spencer for providing not only permission but sending some excellent scans. Hopefully, these will allow the reader to get a grasp of what is in store, for the book is much, much more exciting than can be presented here. All are by Martin unless otherwise noted. We hope the readers will respect not only these copyrights but all that seen in VeloceToday.
That’s only a few of hundreds; we’d love to provide many more examples but you get the picture; buy the book, it is a steal. There are a few typos, a few cases of mistaken identities, most of which are mentioned by readers on the MotorBinder website. They do not detract from the book or the presentation of these photos. There is no index, though one would be helpful.
MotorBinder is a work which will be welcomed by those interested in West Coast racing in the 1950s and 60s, motoring historians in general, and anyone who loves fine black and white photography. It is available for only $64 including S&H for domestic delivery, $84 for the rest of the world. For the money, an excellent deal. It can order ordered via Motorbinder.com.