Adil Jal Darukhanawala’s book on the Benz motorsport heritage is as engrossing as the three-pointed star race cars
THE book Mercedes-Benz Winning is bound to delight the car’s many fans and the racing team from the brand.
Written by Adil Jal Darukhanawala, its 400-odd pages are abundant in illustrations, rare photographs and detailed accounts of the car maker’s origins.
But what really sets this one apart from other tomes on automotive history is the attention to detail and the joyful narration that strings each of the 42 sections of the book together.
Quicksilver Darukhanawala, an auto journalist and editor (Zeegnition) of formidable
repute, is known to ensure that his readers do not miss out on any of the intricacies of the machinery he reports on. This quality stands out on all the pages, too. Whether it’s the complicated business ties between engine builder Daimler and Austrian diplomat/enthusiast Emil Jellinek (father of the eponymous Mercedes) or the description of the 1914 Mercedes Grand Prix racing car, each historical landmark is lucidly laid out for the reader and supplemented with sepia-toned details. If you’re just leafing through Winning like a coffee table book, some of the pictures will compel you to pause and read further. For instance, the radical design on the 1939 landspeed record Mercedes is worthy of a book of its own. As you flip on, the black-and-white gives way to colour, where Adil delves into the Silver Arrows’ (the nickname for the Mercedes liveried formula cars) dominance on the racetracks in recent times.
Road to India
For Indian readers, the second half recounts Mercedes’ association with our country. This part debunks certain misconceptions (the first car in India may or may not have been an Oldsmobile) and throws light on how the mammoth Mercedes trucks made their way to India. There is even a link drawn between the lack of diesel Mercedes trucks in the Indian Army fleet and the 1962 Chinese Aggression. The author emphasises that the book is not an attempt at narrating all of Mercedes-Benz’s history, but it definitely captures
the triumphant spirit of the marque through its 120 years of existence—from the 1894 Paris-Rouen Trials, known as the world’s first motor race, to the winning streak at the 2014 Formula 1. The writing in Winning is fast, frenetic and ambitious, making it a worthy addition to an auto enthusiast’s book shelf. Rs 4,500. Details: amazon.in
—Agrima Joshua @agrimonious