Gentlemen, if your significant other is itching to go to the Big Bad Wolf sale, chances are you're worried that you're going to be bored, walking around a venue as big as the World Trade Center Manila in Pasay for hours filled with racks and racks of books. And then there are the lines at the cashier.
But, as we found out, the Big Bad Wolf book sale is actually quite interesting if you're not interested in perusing shelves dedicated to books on crafting, cooking, DIY, novels, and reading and coloring material for children. You can easily tell, judging by the areas in the venue that the guys are gravitating around, and they're stocked with books on topics like science fiction, music, home improvement, historical reference and general interest hardbacks.
And, if you tke a bit of time to rummage through the selection, you can find some neat books for the car guy that will look great on your desk, mini library, or on your coffee table. And the prices are very good too.
Here are some of the books that we took home from the Big Bad Wolf book sale, which runs until Sunday, March 4, 2019.
Title: The Limit: Life and Death on the 1961 Grand Prix Circuit
Author: Michael Cannell
First Edition: 2011
BBW price: PhP 230
Modern Formula One is very much a safe sport. That sounds odd, especially since anyone who has every raced against another to a checkered flag knows that motorsport is inherently dangerous.
But the Formula One of 1961 wasn't just dangerous, it was fatal. The helmets were rudimentary and drivers didn't have seatbelts; some actually preferred to be thrown from the car rather than be stuck in it in a crash. Getting killed can come in the way of a high speed accident or worse, a fiery gasoline-fueled one. And the crowds watched perilously close to the course, easily at risk from any crash.
That's the imagery that the book by New York Times editor Michael Cannell paints with his book, The Limit. In it, he tells the story of two Ferrari drivers in 1961 -Phil Hill and Count Wolfgang von Trips- competing against each other for wins and the championship. It recalls a time when drivers were modern day knights, literally putting their lives on the line for racing glory.
This was the time before modern safety measures like safety harnesses, carbon fiber, guard rails or fire resistant suits. And winning was everything, especially if you had to drive under Enzo Ferrari's banner. Phil Hill would win the championship, but von Trips wouldn't survive a crash at the 1961 Italian Grand Prix.
The book iconically quotes the Il Commendatore of the Scuderia once said, after a driver died: "What a pity. What about the car?"
Title: Go Faster: The Graphic Design of Racing Cars
Author: Sven Voelker
First Edition: 2010
BBW Price: PhP 350
Race cars intrigue us.
Vehicles that are meant to go flat out for many laps, hundreds or thousands of kilometers, or up to 24 hours are always interesting, and in this book, Sven Voelker focuses on the graphic design of such machines.
Volker focused on a lot of Porsches in endurance and sports car racing, and how teams made the cars look faster by adding graphics, stickers, and stripes. The 70's was the era the Volker took a look at more closely, using small scale models of cars that he painted white with chalk and showed the differences in the graphic design of each one.
The influences of the many sponsors of the era can also be seen, showing that competition wasn't just about finishing first, but about having the coolest looking car, like the Gulf-liveried Porsche.
Perhaps the most striking is the story of the Porsche "pig" car. Originally it was meant to have Martini sponsorship, but the team painted it pink and adorned it with the dotted lines and the names of the different cuts of pork; yes, like the kind you'd see in the supermarket or your local butcher. Needless to say, Martini pulled their logos, but the "pig" became an icon nonetheless.
Title: How To Drive
Author: Ben Collins
First Edition: 2014
BBW Price: PhP 480
If a man walked up to you and introduced himself as Ben Collins, chances are many won't know him from Adam. If that same guy introduced himself as the Stig, well, things will be different.
Just like Prince, Ben Collins is The Driver formerly known as The Stig of Top Gear fame. He was the anonymous driver (actually the second Stig) that took cars to the limit at the show's test track in the UK. We never knew who he was given the unmarked Alpine Stars race suit and all-white Simpson helmet, until Ben Collins said it was him underneath.
Garnering all that experience driving a variety of cars (including the ones from his racing career) is like a gold mine, and in 271 pages, Collins takes us through a long and exceptionally well-written lesson on the finer points of driving. It matters not whether you're driving for high performance on the race track or out to enjoy your family saloon on a mountain road; there are plenty of great lessons in the book.
He explains (with the help of some clear graphics, charts, and illustrations) concepts like the late apex, the traction circle, understeer, oversteer, and everything else in between. And yes, towards the end, you'll get a lesson in drifting.
We also got a few more titles like The Art of the Race (PhP 480) by renowned Formula One photographer Darren Heath, which is a fantastic reference for motorsport photographers, as well as the more general Retro & Vintage Design (PhP 780) by Lisa Hayek, and undoubtedly these would be excellent additions to our library.
But of our haul from Big Bad Wolf, the book by Ben Collins is by far the most useful one for the driving enthusiast, as for PhP 480 you can get a lesson that many pay tens of thousands for at a local racing school.