Last Sunday morning, to a book fair. I wasn't looking specifically for racing books but in recent years there has been a growing proliferation of them at these affairs and a couple of stalls were offering little else. For a fiver I purchased Amateur Racing Driver by one T.P. Cholmondeley Tapper.
Cholmondeley (pronounced 'Chumley') Tapper was born in New Zealand but at 12 came to England with his family - which was clearly one of some substance, for he was eventually "packed off to university in Grenoble" for a couple of years prior to going up to Cambridge. While at Cambridge he decided to go motor racing and this was achieved by the simple expedient of buying a grand prix Bugatti.
Being familiar with Deauville, I was particularly interested in CT's account of the one and only grand prix run there, in 1936. In practice his Maserati clouted a kerb, damaging a wheel and tyre and also cracking a brake drum.
Things were different in those days. "The wheel and tyre could be replaced from my spares," wrote the author, "but the brake drum presented a difficult problem for there was obviously no hope of sending for a replacement before the race. We finally succeeded in getting the brakes of three wheels working efficiently but I knew I should have to drive with extreme care." Quite.