Our selection of auto books for Father’s Day
Lefranc’s cars, by Xavier Chimits
We don’t know much about it, but Jacques Martin took his first steps in comics by writing and illustrating the automobile section of the Tintin’s diary. Subsequently, his heroes Alix and Lefranc allowed him to satisfy his passion for antiquity on the one hand and for travels and investigations, on the edge of science fiction on the other. The automobile is not as much at the heart of the subject as it may be in Spirou or, even more so, Michel Vaillant, but Jacques Martin was a connoisseur, carefully choosing the models behind the wheel of which he placed his characters.
Casterman, who publishes the adventures of journalist Guy Lefranc, has just published a book on the cars that appear in this series. The text, signed by the distinguished pen of Xavier Chimits, recounts the author’s first steps as a rubricard, where realistic drawings accompanied technical descriptions. Then each volume of the series is presented under the spectrum of the models that appear there. The archives are numerous, the printing quality, the price rather reasonable. An unmissable choice for comic book lovers.
Lefranc’s cars by Xavier Chimits, Casterman editions, 112 pages, ISBN 9782203241558, €25
24 Hours of Le Mans 1970-1971, code nine-one-seven
The Porsche 917 was one of the most legendary cars to have raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Designed by Ferdinand Piëch, future boss of the Volkswagen Group, it stood out for its incredible speed, beating in 1971 a record for distance traveled over twenty-four hours, unequaled for more than forty years. Short bodywork to improve road holding, “long tail” version to optimize top speed on the Hunaudières straight and “pink pig”, attempting to combine the advantages of the two silhouettes in somewhat awkward proportions, several versions are available. are confronted, overcoming the competition. The year 1970 marked the beginning of a real hegemony of the German manufacturer in endurance.
The Plein Gaz collection by Glénat focuses on the most memorable moments of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This album, which focuses on the two victories of the Porsche 917, is one of the best in the series. The dramatic intensity of the scenario, carried by the powerful and realistic design of the stormy 1970 edition transcends the history of this mythical car. To the point that we want more: it would have been easy to draw two volumes on the 917, focusing on its design and its more chaotic beginnings in 1969, as well as its years across the Atlantic, after the European sporting regulations l banned.
24 Hours of Le Mans 1970-1971, code nine-one-seven by Youssef Daoudi and Christian Papazoglakis, Glénat editions, 48 pages, ISBN 9782344049976, €14.50
My father’s Peugeot 305, by Laurent Berreterot
Slowly, the Peugeot 305 enters the world of collection. Born in 1977, this wise sedan will have stagnated much longer than most of its contemporaries in this purgatory, this gray area which makes an old car just an “old used car”, and not yet a car that deserves to be saved. This lack of interest, she probably owes it to her wisdom. Aesthetic wisdom, sporting a classic sedan silhouette, at a time when others imposed the tailgate. Technical shyness then, since the undersides were largely taken from its predecessor the 204. To the point that a major update was carried out in 1982 to modernize the platform and the mechanics… unfortunately almost invisible, due to minor exterior retouching .
The author could not have better mastered his subject. If Laurent Berreterot looked into the case of this forgotten museum, it is because he himself owns the copy that adorns the cover. Regular contributor to the magazine Youngtimers, dedicated to young vintage cars, it unfolds with application and precision the history of the Peugeot 305, from its conception to the smallest of its evolutions. The details of little-known models, such as a rally version which almost raced in Group B, add relief to what appears to be a veritable bible of this model. Always with the excellent quality/price ratio of the “my father” collection from ETAI.
My father’s Peugeot 305by Laurent Berreterot, ETAI, 120 pages, ISBN 9791028304027, €29.90
Hellé Nice, a speedy life, by Giuseppe Manuta
Born in 1900, Mariette Hélène Delangle first rose to fame as a cabaret dancer and model, under the pseudonym of Hellé Nice. Attractive and intrepid, she multiplies the conquests and passes her driving license at twenty, which is then unusual for a woman. Very quickly, she became interested in speed sports. Alpine skiing, but also and above all motor racing, where she manages to quickly make a name for herself thanks to her speed. At the wheel of an Omega-Six, she won the first women’s Grand Prix in which she participated, at Montlhéry in 1929. Subsequently, she drove Alfa Romeos and Bugattis in Grand Prix, alongside the greatest of the time. , such as Tazio Nuvolari, Rudolf Caracciola or Louis Chiron. The latter bears responsibility for the tragic end of Hellé Nice’s career. Because she allegedly refused his advances, he publicly and unduly accused her after the war of being a Gestapo spy.
In the form of a comic strip, Giuseppe Manuta recounts the exceptional life of Hellé Nice. The movement of the drawing, the rhythm of the scenario, fits perfectly with the hectic life of this too long forgotten pilot. The generous format, the beautiful paper make reading this graphic novel most enjoyable.
Hellé Nice, a life in speedby Giuseppe Manuta, Félès editions, 136 pages, ISBN 9782491483104, €25
Generation 80 in 80 cars, by Patrice Vergès
Some consider the 1980s to be one of the worst times in the automobile industry. This time of crisis saw the death of manufacturers as famous as Austin or Talbot and the appearance of economies of scale which killed the creativity of engineers and designers. However, the 1980s saw the birth of a number of endearing models, such as the Peugeot 205, Citroën BX and Renault Espace. The very ones that are the essence of the wave of youngtimers, these young collector cars that arouse fervor by their historical interest as well as their still reasonable price, in most cases.
Patrice Vergès is the author of many books, this one is a real success. This author has a habit of contextualizing his stories, bringing them closer to History. Generation 80 is a veritable dive back forty years, which nostalgically highlights the GTIs as much as the Craven A. Specialists in these models will probably not learn much from it, so much has been said about cars presented on these pages. But we immerse ourselves with delight in a time travel. Undoubtedly the best book published to date on youngtimers.
Generation 80 in 80 carsby Patrice Vergès, ETAI, 208 pages, ISBN 9791028305000, €45
Michel Vaillant, Cannonball
Who would have imagined a few years ago Michel Vaillant embarking on a Cannonball, this completely illegal challenge to cross the United States from side to side, as quickly as possible? The famous paper pilot’s albums are always halfway between fiction and reality, and this opus features POG, one of the most famous automotive influencers, and regular participant in the Gumball 3000, one of the craziest supercar rallies in the world. world. Here he challenges Michel Vaillant to compete against him in a Cannonball. The driver is dragging his feet at the start, but for Vaillant this is an excellent way to showcase the endurance of the MontlHéry, its new hydrogen sports car.
It’s been more than ten years since the Michel Vaillant series was turned upside down, with new authors and characters displaying more depth. Once again, the sauce takes. The integration of the character of POG is a nice wink, and the action which takes place at a beating drum recalls the rhythm of the most beautiful races drawn by Jean Graton, in the good old days. Added to this is the aesthetic pleasure of a MontlHéry signed Thierry Métroz and Ugo Spagnolo, from the DS design team.
Michel Vaillant, Cannonballby Denis Lapière, Marc Bourgne and Olivier Marin, Graton publisher, 56 pages, ISBN 9782390601074, €15.95