Be prepared! - much of this is sensational
The truth behind the Mini's Monte Carlo disqualification in 1966
Never before published photos and internal memos and documents
An insight to the politics of BMC and its movers and shakers
Details of planned prototypes
For the London to Sydney Marathon, team
instructions included the recommendation that a firearm be carried by the
crew of each car ... "A small pistol which can conveniently be located
under cover in the car is what we have in mind" ...
The revealing and surprising inside story of the
legendary BMC Works Competitions Department told by the three Competition
Managers of the highly successful BMC/British Leyland race and rally teams
based at Abingdon. The book reveals the inner workings and machinations of
one of the most successful motor sport teams Britain has ever seen. Based
on previously unpublished internal memos and documents, and the
recollections of the prime movers, the book describes the ups and downs,
and the politics of big time competition in an exciting era. An excellent
and entertaining read and an important factual documentation, no motor
sport enthusiast should be without this book.
From Australian Classic Car, July 2006
The book is laden with hundreds of contemporary photos but reading the
inter-departmental memos and letters are even more revealing, especially
the minutes of Departmental meetings. The lists of instructions to teams
competing in the rallies of the day, even detailing their accommodation,
are also intriguing.
This book will fascinate anyone interested in the halcyon days of the
BMC Competitions Department.
REVIEW from BRITISH CAR MECHANIC, July 2006
'BMC Competitions Department Secrets' is a very descriptive title of a
book written by the three men who knew what was involved to obtain the
memorable successes that such a small department at Abingdon achieved in
Motorsport, even beyond Europe. Philip Young well deserves the credit for
pulling together the very interesting documentary evidence that makes this
book such a compulsive read. The three managers describe their
involvement, satisfaction and frustrations in less than one third of the
book whilst the remainder comprises letters, internal memoranda and
particularly interesting and previously unseen photographs.
Stuart writes an excellent resume' of his period, the 'Middle Years' as
he calls them, from 1961 to 1967. He recounts how he drafted the agenda
for the annual Competitions Committee meetings and then had discussions
with fellow members John Cooper, Donald Healey and John Thornley to ensure
they were on his side when facing Chairman George Harriman and Alec
Issigonis. He then wrote up the minutes over John Thornley's name and was
left to get on with the decisions. His development of comprehensive pace
notes is probably one of the most important actions taken during his
period, alongside getting Board level agreement to use Scandinavian
drivers brought up amongst roads covered in snow and ice for long periods.
Unlike an engineering mind Stuart claims "Pace notes are like sheds in
that they should be cleared out every so often, otherwise they become
From Motorsport, December 2005
This is a fun read, detailing the underbelly of BMC's competition
department. Written by a triumvirate of former managers, it gives an
insight into how they functioned within - and despite - BMC and Leyland.
Including many never seen before documents, it paints a refreshingly
honest picture. It's especially interesting to learn how much the drivers
were paid and the terms of their contracts: some of them really couldn't
The images are wonderful, too. We particularly liked the one of Nancy
Mitchell door-handling an MG Magnette saloon. Entered in the 1956 Tulip
Rally, her event was over before it started after a scrutineer ran a
magnet over the, ahem, standard car and discovered the body panels were
made of aluminum. Excellent stuff.
Review from Classic Car Mart, January 2006
For fans of the various individual BMC marques and followers of the
Corporation?s political ups and downs over the years, this latest volume
from Veloce is an absolute must. Within its 192 pages can be found some of
the best stories, some of the most fascinating facts and some of the most
intriguing images we have seen in recent times. And that?s no exaggeration.
This is the inside story of a legendary works Competition Department
told by the three competition managers of the highly successful
BMC/British Leyland race and rally teams, based at Abingdon. The book
reveals the inner workings of one of the most successful motor sport teams
Britain has ever seen, and makes full use of previously unpublished
internal factory memos, photographs, documents and the recollections of
the prime movers of the time. It describes the ups and downs, highs and
lows, and the politics of big-time competition.
Chambers, Turner and Browning each took their turn as managers of the
BMC/British Leyland Competition Department between 1955 and 1970, and
between them accumulated a vast collection of archives and memories. And
they can all be found here.
At almost £25, this book isn?t cheap. But never before has such a
complete and fascinating version of the BMC Competitions Department story
been told. It?s a story of human endeavour, engineering ingenuity and
political upheaval. And we can?t recommend it too highly.
From Mini Cooper Register, December 2005
This book retells many of the familiar stories, but where it differs
from previous books on the Department is that the original documents of
the period are reprinted in full.
For the serious student of all things Classic Mini this will be a
valuable addition to your sources of information. The Department's three
Competitions Managers, Marcus Chambers, Stuart Turner and Peter Browning
tell it like it was; fascinating stuff!
Review by Basil Wales
The book is a mine of new information and a ?must? for every BMC
enthusiast?s Christmas list. A few owners of cars bearing ex-works
registration numbers were known to be concerned that too much technical
detail of necessary marketing and ?carnet? changes might come to light in
this ?book of revelations? but I think they can rest their consciences for
a while longer. As more claims are made over allegedly ?original? cars,
the few who really know are concerned to see that subtle changes keep
being made between presentations in a vain attempt to try to authenticate
a hybrid that has metamorphosed from a genuine sump-guard, chassis plate
or similar scrap part ! The enthusiasm for this Classic era of British
Motorsport will only be increased by this unique publication.
Basil Wales knows the three authors well, having done a Liege-Rome-Liege
Rally with Marcus Chambers whilst still an apprentice in 1956, worked
under Stuart when appointed as Special Tuning Manager in 1964, and then
continued alongside Peter Browning after Stuart left. When Comps was
closed Basil inherited a number of competition responsibilities until the
department was reformed as Leyland ST in 1973 when Basil left to join
From MG Drivers Club
This is the revealing and surprising inside story of the legendary BMC
Works Competitions Department as told by three Competitions Managers of
the highly successful BMC/BL race and rally teams based at Abingdon.
Their book reveals the inner workings and machination of one of the most
successful motorsports teams Britain has ever seen. Based on previously
unpublished internal memos and documents and the recollections of the
prime movers, the book describes the ups and downs, and the behind the
scene politics of big time competition in what some call the most exciting
era of British motorsport.
Each of the author begins his section of the book with a personal
history of his time with the Comps Department.
Following the pages of personal reminiscences are reproductions of
internal company documents and photos (some never before published). The
real treasure trove of information for the enthusiast ''BMC Competitions
Department Secrets'' is an excellent and entertaining read and an
important factual documentation. No MG and British motor sport enthusiast
should be without this 192 page book.
Dimensions: 9.75w x 8.25h