Royal Automobile Club announces winners of its 2021 Motoring Book of the Year Awards
Now in its eighth consecutive year, the Awards were expanded for 2021 to reflect the increasing number of significant titles being published at different price levels, and in both the motoring and motor sport worlds. As a result, there were four book categories this year in addition to the overall winner – plus a Lifetime Achievement Award and the Graham Robson Award for Best Debut Author. The latter was named in honour of the late Graham Robson, a prolific and authoritative author who sadly passed away in August 2021.
There were a record number of submissions for this year’s Awards, with 52 entries representing 26 different publishers from around the world – from major houses and independents to self-published authors. They were all assessed by a panel of six expert judges led by non-voting committee chairman Simon Taylor – a former winner of the Specialist Book of the Year Award for his history of the HWM racing team.
Taylor was joined by Gordon Cruickshank of Motor Sport, Mark Dixon of Octane, Mick Walsh from Classic & Sports Car, BRDC Bulletin editor Ian Titchmarsh, Ben Horton from specialist bookseller Horton’s Books, and Christian Whitehead from London bookstore Foyles.
‘The quality of entries this year has been quite remarkable,’ said Simon Taylor, ‘which made the judges’ job particularly difficult. There was a lot of healthy discussion and debate, and the fact that we were truly spoilt for choice is a reassuring sign that the publishing industry continues to go from strength to strength.’
The shortlist of contenders included biographies, marque histories, motor sport titles and general motoring reference books, and the judges selected The Lamborghini Miura as the 2021 Motoring Book of the Year.
Motoring Book of the Year Award (No Price Limit) went to Joseph Figoni: Le Grand Couturier de la Carrosserie Automobile Volume 1, Alfa Romeo by Peter M Larsen and Ben Erickson. Celebrating the relationship between Alfa Romeo and Parisian coachbuilder Joseph Figoni, the book was written following close study of the original Figoni archives and includes chassis-by-chassis histories of each of the cars for which the company provided coachwork from 1932-1935.
Gordon Cruickshank said: ‘Obsessively researched, lavishly reproduced – an impressive catalogue of one of the great pre-war coachbuilders.’