29 April 2015

France: The Essential Guide for Car Enthusiasts, By Julian Parish

A few years ago I moved to a rather remote part of the Dorset countryside, seemingly miles away from any sort of motorsport or classic car connection. But as the months passed by, I discovered that the area was littered with historic car connections, including the Gurston Down hillclimb and the old Blandford motor racing circuit.

Finding places of interest in new locations is always hard, which is where guidebooks come in. The internet is great but if you want a focused list of intelligently- compiled facts, you can’t beat the real thing. And for anyone planning to cross the Channel to France this year, a new book by Julian Parish is just what’s required.

France: The Essential Guide for Car Enthusiasts does just what it says on the tin. Packed with over 200 events, museums, concours d’elegance, racing circuits and more, it is split into five geographic sections. Each attraction has a page with a clear description, good photographs and a really useful ‘practical information’ box that includes things like satnav coordinates, relevant website addresses and opening times. At the start of each chapter is a map, showing the location of each (colour-coded) attraction and listing page numbers.  This makes it really easy to use.

Even if you have no intention of visiting France, this book is still a really interesting read. The information on the scores of motor racing circuits is fascinating; I’m now tempted to plan a tour of a few of them later in the summer. It’s also a great size- small enough to slip easily into a glove box or coat pocket. At £14.99 it’s not cheap, but the quality of writing for such as small-run book is very good and I believe it’s worth every penny- I can see my copy becoming a well-thumbed and dog-eared companion for many years to come. My only advice for the publishers is this: write one for the UK- I’d buy it!

France: The Essential Guide for Car Enthusiasts by Julian Parish is published by Veloce Publishing www.veloce.co.uk, tel 01305 260068. ISBN: 978-1-845847-42-5

We have five copies of this great book to give away. All you have to do is email us at uknews@hagerty.com with the answer to the following question before midday on Friday 15th May. The winners will be chosen at random from all correct entries.

Question: In what year did Mike Hawthorn drive a Jaguar to victory in the le Mans 24 Hour race?

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