Jim Clark is a motor racing icon, viewed by many as a man who reached the very pinnacle of his sport, arguably becoming the greatest of the great. In one of the forewords to "Jim Clark: Tribute to a Champion" by Eric Dymock, Sir Jackie Stewart says: "Jim Clark was not only the best racing driver I ever raced with and against. He was also a great friend."
Jim Clark was born in Fife in 1936 and six years later moved with his family to a farm near Duns in the Scottish Borders. He went on to race just about anything with four wheels, including sports cars, touring cars and in the Indianapolis 500, which he won in 1965. But it was as the winner of the Formula One World Championship in 1963 and 1965 that he is best remembered. These were days before driver safety became as important as it later did and the life of a racing driver was all-too-often a short one. Even the very best were not immune to the dangers, and Jim Clark was killed in a Formula Two racing accident in 1968 in Hockenheim in Germany.
Author Eric Dymock, himself a Scot from Glasgow, has spent half a century as a motoring and motor racing journalist, reporting from around the globe. He first met Jim Clark in 1955, and followed - and reported on - his career closely thereafter. There could be no-one better qualified to tackle the task of, as he puts it in his preface, "reinstating the memory of the noblest racing driver..." This book was first published in 1997, with a revised and updated version appearing in 2017. The revised edition comes with short forewords by Sir Jackie Stewart, David Coulthard, Allan McNish and Dario Franchitti. A royalty on every copy is being donated to the Jim Clark Trust, which in 2019 brought to fruition a long held ambition to open the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum in Duns.
What you get is a beautifully produced and presented hardback book which sets out a chronological biography of Jim Clark. We begin with his early life and interest in cars, before moving on to his beginnings in motor racing, the height of his career, and, of course, the tragedy that brought that career to such a premature end. The book is copiously illustrated with colour and black & white photographs, and with a series of nice little cartoon cells that help move the story forwards. But as you'd expect from such an accomplished journalist, this book is really about the words. What shines through is the author's deep knowledge of his subject and his ability to convey his huge respect for Jim Clark in such an accessible and engaging way. This really is an outstanding book.