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November 19, 2019
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Motorsport > Browse Books
1½-litre GP Racing 1961-1965

1½-litre GP Racing 1961-1965
We have a limited number of copies with bookplates personally signed by Mark Whitelock! Request during checkout.

By Mark Whitelock
About the Author

336 pages, 174 photos, 30 diagrams, hardback

ISBN: 9781845840167

£ 39.99 Postage + P&P (eBook prices vary, and delivery is free)

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• Covers a period largely overlooked in GP history. • First comprehensive history of the period within a single cover. • Highlights significant technical developments originated by British manufacturers. • Chronicles achievements of the 5 major race car constructors. • Records contribution of 16 lesser known makes outside established constructors. • Provides background to achievements of well-known British racing drivers. • Records contribution of 91 lesser known drivers outside the ‘top ten’. • Opportunity to establish niche market for histories of other periods. • Full use made of contemporary cutaway drawings of cars and engines. • Taps into nostalgia accumulating for the classic days of GP racing.


The story of a Grand Prix formula largely overlooked due to the perception that the cars were underpowered and hence unspectacular. This perception ignores the significant technical developments that took place, the domination achieved by British race-car constructors and the rise of British drivers Jim Clark, Graham Hill and John Surtees.


This is the story of a Grand Prix formula that no British constructor wanted but became one that they would almost totally dominate. It has remained largely overlooked due to the perception that the cars were underpowered and hence unspectacular. Such a perception ignores the significant technical developments that took place that are now taken for granted, such as monocoque chassis construction. It saw the career of Stirling Moss came to a premature end but in his absence the rise to prominence of a new breed of British drivers in Jim Clark, Graham Hill and John Surtees. The book paints a complete picture of the 1Ω-litre F1, the 21 marques and 101 drivers that took part in one or more of the 46 GPs between 1961 and 1965. Many of the marques and the majority of the drivers made little or no impact, yet their contributions deserve to be remembered.

Independent Reviews

Review by the Editor of Cars For The Connoisseur magazine, March 2007

Whitelock paints the complete picture of this era featuring the twenty-one marques and the one-hundred and-one drivers that took part in one, or more, of the forty-six GPs run between 1961 and 1965 'on circuits whose characteristics differed profoundly, with cars still painted in their national colours, when spectator protection was as sparse as the money, and the paddock and its bar were open to the public.'

The result of many years of diligent research this is a mine of information and should give pleasure to every true motor racing enthusiast.

Review from South London Press, January 2007,

The result of many years of diligent research, this unique book paints the complete picture of the 1½-litre Grand Prix racing years, featuring the 21 marques and the 101 drivers who took part in the 46 GPs run between 1961 and 1965 at venues including Crystal Palace.

Review from The Automobile, January 2007

An oft-ignored period, the 1500cc era saw rapid technical evolution. The book takes us through every season in well-illustrated detail with a technical summary. Included are race results of non-championship events. The season chapters are followed by driver evaluations and a look at all the championship circuits. Closing chapters fully describe every chassis design and every engine used during the five years. This is a really useful study of the 1.5 litre GP cars.

Review by Angelo Van Bogart for Old Cars Weekly magazine, January 2007

The brief period of 1½-litre Grand Prix racing from 1961-65 is thoroughly dissected in this hefty, 336-page hardcover book from Veloce Publishing.

This beautiful, heavily illustrated work comes from author Mark Whitelock via a British publishing company, and it has a wonderfully British perspective, so watch for many references to the country's drivers and cars. This is not to say, however, that every marque and driver is not given his due, because that's simply not true.

True fans of Formula One racing will find that this book begs to be on their shelf.

From Historic Grand Prix Cars Association

For all enthusiasts of the 1.5 Litre period of Grand Prix racing (HGPCA classes 10 & 11), this is an impressive and extensive work covering every year from 1961 to 1965. It highlights races, drivers, circuits and car development and is packed with pictures and a superb selection of contemporary cutaways. It chronicles the achievements of the five major race constructors plus sixteen lesser known makes.
The book paints a complete picture of the 1.5 litre F1 and the 21 marques and 101 drivers that took part in one or more of the Grand Prix races in this era. . A superb achievement for Mark Whitelock’s first book which would make an excellent Christmas present!

Review by Mark Holman for New Zealand Classic Cars

New author Whitelock has written a good book, with over 330 large pages, and covering the races, the drivers, the marques and the motors.

It seems to be all here. About a third of the book is devoted to straight forward but well written race reports and results (but Bruce McLaren is shown as winning the 1962 Belgian GP when the victor was Clark). Then come short chapters on the GP circuits and the top ten drivers.

The best part of the book in many ways is the second half, which covers the development of each marque in interesting and comprehensive detail. The photos are more original too, as a surprising number of the other pics are quite well known from magazines and books. For a book at this price, the absence of colour is a bit of a surprise, though partly offset by liberal use of some very good cutaway drawings.

The book closes with the motors - some real surprises here: Climax’s flat 16 for the last year of the formula was an innovative but pointless development, but what a shame Ferrari and Maserati didn’t get to race their transverse 8 and 12 cylinder motors!

I don’t think such a full history of this interesting GP formula has been done before. This is a good effort and it is well worth considering if you’re at all interested in F1 in the early 60s.

Review from Classic & Sports Car, October 2006

This impressive work is the result of Whitelock's frustration with 1990s Grand Prix racing. Since his father took him to Goodwood on Easter Monday 1957, he has followed motor sport's premier league and the 1½-litre years are his specialist subject. This extensive book covers every year in depth from 1961-'65, highlighting races, drivers, circuits and car design development. Packed with pictures and a superb selection of contemporary cutaways, it's an enjoyable and insightful review of a golden age. Typical sidebars include a points review listing every driver's results with Jim Clark heading Graham Hill and, intriguingly, with Richie Ginther coming in fifth. A superb achievement for Whitelock's first book.

Review from Club Lotus, October 2006

Veloce are well known for producing high quality motorsport books. With many original photos, excellent cutaway drawings plus details of all the races, drivers, marques and engines this is a comprehensive record of the period when Lotus first became the most exciting team in Grand Prix Racing.

Review from Startline magazine, October 2006

This book looks at a time when Formula One changed to 1500cc engines, a period when the beautiful 'Shark Nose' Ferrari ruled supreme. The British Teams spent 1961 playing catch up and in 1962 Lotus, BRM and the Coventry Climax V8 gave the Prancing Horse a run for its money. This book is the author's first and is well written with in-depth statistics and accompanying photographs. A third of the book is devoted tofascinating race reports which include sets of results. The highlight of the book is the detailed account of each marque of racing car and its developments during the period of its competition history. This section uses original photographs and cut-away drawings to keep the reader interested and offers a comprehensive detailed account of these beautiful racing cars. The book is well worth checking out if you have an interest in this period of Formula One racing.

Review excerpts by Russell Jaslow for, October 2006

For the first time, a book is devoted exclusively to this time period thanks to Mark Whitelock. This rookie author has produced a winner. In a year by year account, Whitelock presents each year's championship in chronological order with each chapter concluding with a technical overview of the season. He seems to hit just the right note in presenting enough detail for historical accuracy while not overburdening the text with too much detail.

It is done in a scholarly style. This means it concentrates on just the facts, and does not bring out the characters of that era, which is something I would have liked. However, don't assume that means it is a dry read. Instead, and here I disagree with Raymond Baxter who wrote the forward, the prose moves the reader along quite nicely, and it easily has you riveted describing some of the races.

Some of the photo captions are frustrating. For some reason, Whitelock never uses the numbers to identify the cars. Thus, there are times it was nearly impossible to figure out what car he is talking about, since not all of us are experts in identifying chassis, which he always lists. Plus, I was particularly annoyed when he made the geographical faux pas of describing Watkins Glen as New England countryside.

At first, I was surprised when I was halfway through with the book, and it appeared to be done. Then, I discovered that after presenting the information in a seasonal account, the author lays out the information by category, thus enhancing the scholarly value of the book. If someone just needs to look up a particular piece of information, they will easily be able to locate it without much page turning.

First comes a section on all the tracks used in that era (my favorite part). A chassis directory appears next, detailing every chassis that was built for those five years (a designer's favorite part). Finally, for the motorhead's favorite part, comes the engine directory and all the detailed specifications that go with it. Numerous cutout drawings in these later two chapters add greatly to the information. And of course, the photos throughout the book are priceless.

Like the book jacket says, "The 1½-litre GP era is often largely overlooked." Mark Whitelock has now made that statement obsolete. The English author does present this book from a British perspective, but that is not out of order.

For any Grand Prix enthusiast, or racing fan in general, this is a must to fill in that historic hole on your bookshelf.

Review from Motorsport magazine, October 2006

Mark Whitelock rightly believes 11/2-litre F1 is due for reappraisal, and his painstakingly researched book provides a well-rounded survey. There are chapters detailing each year's racing, sections on leading drivers and circuits, and expertly written technical coverage of all the chassis and engines. Abundant photographs, cut-away diagrams and stats add to this book's usefulness.

Review from, October 2006

Another important book from Veloce. Mark Whitelock has researched the period thoroughly to produce a volume which in its 335 large format pages covers every aspect of that period dealing not only with the greats but also the likes of Emeryson, Scirocco and Stelbro.

This is an accurate and detailed record with plenty of well chosen photographs and drawings which should be on every collector’s bookshelf.

Review from, September 2006
UK website

The 330-page volume covers the five seasons in detail with race reports, statistics, circuit and car diagrams, and a large number of excellent photographs.

Here is a lesson in never judging a book by its cover – or title. Before even getting a hold of this book I was expecting a dusty technical work on the mechanics of 1.5-litre engined F1 cars.

I was delighted, therefore, to find that this is in fact a tremendously detailed account of all aspects of the 1961-65 Grand Prix seasons. Formula One fans who know little beyond the modern era of the sport have a very limited range of material from which to learn about the early decades of motor racing. There is little in the way of comprehensive video record and books are generally the best resource to turn to.

In '1½ litre Grand Prix racing 1961-65' Mark Whitelock picks out an unusual period in Grand Prix history and gives it broad, deep coverage. This is an ideal book for someone reading about this period for the first time.

F1Fanatic rating 4/5

Review from Classic Lotus Racer, September 2006

This is simply a must for your book sheIf.

It's not perfect and does not seem to me to concentrate enough on the technical side of the machinery; but perhaps that's just my viewpoint. However it is a very good record of a most important period. A period in which Great Britain established a world lead in motor racing that it just retains to this day.

The book, in ten chapters deals with the 1.5 litre era. After setting the scene, each year 1961 to 1965 is given a chapter. This is then followed by chapters on the individual drivers, and Circuits that featured a F1 race.

The meat for me is in the final two chapters; the Chassis Directory that lists all the chassis types that took a start in a F1 race. Finally the last chapter covers the engine manufacturers.

The photographs are all from LAT and are excellent. A goodly number of line drawings also add to the information contained in these large pages.

A review of gearboxes employed might have been an interesting addition to the story. For all that it is a superb book that I think will provide an insight into motor racing of the early mid 1960s. It will also form an invaluable reference source.

Review by Ted Riviere for British Racing Mechanics Club, August 2006

The author, Mark Whitelock, has obviously researched the subject well and he has put his point of view across in a very readable way.

A thoroughly good read, and well worth dipping your hand into your pocket for.

Review from Western Morning News, August 2006

This first comprehensive record of the era highlights significant technical developments by British manufacturers and chronicles achievements of the five major race car constructors, plus the 16 lesser-known makes.

Lots of illustrations and pictures are included as well as many contemporary cutaway drawings of cars and engines.

Additional Information

Details the following tracks; Aintree, Brands Hatch, East London, Mexico City, Monte Carlo, Monza, Nürburgring, Reims, Rouen, Silverstone, Spa, Watkins Glen and Zandvoort.

Includes directory and evaluations of the following drivers, Dan Gurney, Ritchie Ginther, Bruce McLaren, Phil Hill, Jack Brabham, Lorenzo Bandini, Jackie Stewart, Wolfgang von Trips, Tony Maggs, Innes Ireland, Stirling Moss, Jo Bonnier, Giancarlo Baghetti, Mike Spence, Jo Siffert, Peter Arundell, Trevor Taylor, Tony Brooks, Bob Anderson, Denis Hulme, Ricardo Rodriguez, Godin de Beaufort, Jochen Rindt, Olivier Gendebien, Jack Lewis, Willy Mairesse, Gerhard Mitter, Jim Hall, Pedro Rodriguez, Roy Salvadori, Chris Amon, Maurice Trintignant, Walt Hansgen, Ronnie Bucknum, Richard Attwood, Masten Gregory, Neville Lederle, Lodovico Scarfiotti and Mike Hailwood.

Also has an engine directory covering; Alfa Romeo Guilietta, ATS T100, BRM P56, Clisby, Coventry Climax FPF Mk 2, Coventry Climax FWMV, Coventry Climax FWMW, de Tomaso 801, Ferrari Dino 156, Ferrari tipo 158, Ferrari tipo 1512, Ford Cosworth 105E, Ford Lotus Twin Cam, Ford Cosworth SCA, Honda RA271/2, Maserati 150S, Maserati tipo 8, OSCA, Porsche type 547/3 and Porsche type 753.

AND a chasis directory covering; Alfa Special, ATS T100, Brabham BT3, Brabham BT6, Brabham BT7, Brabham BT10, Brabham BT11, BRM P57, BRM P578, BRM P61, BRM P261, BRM P67, BRP,Cooper T45, Cooper T51, Cooper T53, Cooper T55, Cooper T58, Cooper T59 ‘Special’, Cooper T60, Cooper T66, Cooper T73, Cooper T77, Derrington-Francis T100, de Tomaso F1, de Tomaso 801, Emeryson and ENB Maserati.


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