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ERA R4D - the autobiography of ERA R4D - Book Reviews & Testimonials

era r4d book

Graham Hunt, March 2017


'The book is just great, thanks. Totally met expectations at first sight. Looking forward to reading about a truly wonderful racing car!'


Classic Car Weekly, December 2015

...'I know that ERA - The Autobiography of R4D by J. Mac Hulbert, is eagerly awaited by at least one of my CCW colleagues.'


Classic Car Weekly, July 2016

'On Sunday, 3 July, ERA R4D claimed the fastest time of the day at Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb.  It was also very apt as the day saw the launch of this magnificent volume.

'The history of the machine and the men who worked with it unfolds across 320 well-presented pages featuring a fascinating choice of photographs, period and modern, plus a sparkling script.  While some images have been seen before, the publisher must be congratulated in presenting them at their very best.  A great book for a great car.' DB


Auto Express, August 2016

'Telling the tale of one of English Racing Automobiles’ most famous creations, this is another fantastic entry into the Great Cars series.'


Automobile, September 2016. Review by Peter McFadyen

...'The author of this book, J. ‘Mac’ Hulbert, is well qualified to write it, having owned and raced R4D since 2001 before recently passing it on to its next custodian, Brian Fidler.

...'Mac Hulbert is an experienced and accomplished author, even if this is his first car book, and he has written a very readable account of R4D's life story.  Along with the many excellent photographs, especially the earlier 'pre-historic' ones, and the short driver biographies and other diversions along the way, this makes a very worthy addition to the bookshelf of anyone interested in motor sport history and ERA in particular.  Happily, it comes at an accessible price, while a de Luxe edition is available to satisfy the preferences of those with enviable budgets.  Highly recommended.'


Classic Cars, October 2016

'The extraordinary story of the Thirties racer that never stopped winning, plus the history of ERA with it.'


Motorsport, October 2016

'With their slick presentation, lavish illustration and fastidious detail, these Porter Great Cars offerings have established themselves as a peak of single-chassis works.'

'Normally by marque aficionados, this one is penned by a business expert – who happens to be Mac Hulbert, the successful VSCC and HGPCA racer, and more important, for many years the owner of this most famous of ERAs, R4D, subject of this latest volume. It means he speaks with authority of the car’s characteristics, surprisingly telling us that it doesn’t handle as well as the A- and B-type ERAs. But it is fantastically quick as drivers from Raymond Mays onward have proved. Ron Flockhart, Ken Wharton, Willie Green, Neil Corner have all wielded the black voiturette, and all the time it has got quicker and broken more records, especially under Anthony Mayman.

'While giving more pages to Mays and Flockhart, Mac outlines all owners through 80-odd years, backing his history with more footnotes than I’ve ever seen in a book – a page per chapter! But that underscores its completeness in telling an epic story.' GC


Octane, October 2016

...'but we particularly like this volume dedicated to the most famous of a famous breed: English Racing Automobiles’ chassis R4D.

...'While most books in this Great Cars series have been written by professional car historians with input from the owners, Mac – who is a former academic and business consultant – has penned this one himself. It’s clearly been a labour of love.

'Like all Porter Press publications, the book is beautifully laid out and clearly ‘signposted’ from chapter to chapter, with fantastic period images. Rounding things off is a comprehensive studio shoot by John Colley of the car as it is today, with numerous detail close-ups.

'A pleasure to leaf through; a joy to own.' MD


Classic & Sports Cars, December 2016

'During his 15-year ownership, he researched its history and the result is a definitive work on the car. The last 130 pages cover its historic-racing years, with the bonus of a superb studio set of images by John Colley. As well as a complete race record, Hulbert spotlights key figures including Raymond Mays and Peter Berthon, together with recent owners and guest drivers, but more views from engineers and mechanics would have given greater insight than the extensive race log.' MW


VSCC Bulletin, Autumn 2016

...'The final detail is a table of 'endnotes', detailing all the references used in the text.  A very professional job indeed and absolutely essential detail for future historians and, coupled with the illustrations, setting the standard for others to aim at.

...'This is an important book; it sets out, very clearly, the history of ERA R4D in a way that no general history of ERA could possibly do, this is not to belittle David Weguelin's seminal work ERA - The History of English Racing Automobiles Limited but Mac Hulbert's book moves the history of just one car to a new level.  It seems unlikely that all the other ERAs will get treated in the same way; R4D is seen by many as 'The ERA', perhaps a little unfairly, but it is an important car and deserves this excellent record of its life so far.  One slight problem is that this is the sixth book in a series and if the other five so far published are anywhere near as good then readers may end up committing themselves to collecting them all... and there are more to come! The book is well produced, well bound and should last a long time despite its weight.  It finishes with 'A Portrait of R4D', full colour studio shots of the car from all angles and many details, and then a proper index.  At a cover price of £60 this book can only be considered a bargain and every enthusiast for VSCC racing and ERAs should definitely find space on his bookshelf for a copy to while away a few hours during the winter months, when the garage is too cold for fettling, and then to consult on a regular basis in the future.

'Perhaps the 'Book of the Year' so far and it receives the Bulletin's highest recommendation.  Well done, Mac and Porter Press.'


National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, spring newsletter 2017

'In recent years we have been blessed with a plethora of well researched and written specialist books on various marques and models. We now appear to be entering the era of the ultra-specialist book dedicated to individual cars. The Great Cars series from Porter Press has offered fascinating insights into a number of significant racing cars and the latest volume on ERA R4D is equally captivating.

...'A visually stunning book and a worthy addition to the bookshelf. '


Just British, US website, March 2017

'This magnificent book tells the story of a uniquely historic example that has competed almost without a break for 80 years and achieved innumerable successes... The extraordinary life of R4D, a formidably powerful and charismatic racing car, is told in fascinating detail in this long-awaited book.'

'Honestly, Porter Press produces some books that are both beautiful as well as impressive, and this is no exception. From the gorgeous photography to the detailed information on the cars and the drivers, if you are interested in this period of racing, ERA: The Autobiography of R4D is a must have.

'Some Standout Points of Interest

...'The author of this outstanding work, J. Mac Hulbert,...'


Marshal Magazine, April 2017

'This, the latest in Porter Press’ well-received Great Cars series, is typically stylish and lavishly illustrated. It’s also fastidiously detailed. This is an epic story of one of the best-known ERA voiturettes, with a wealth of information on owners and drivers from day one. ...With beautiful studio images to go with the many archive photographs, this is a sumptuously lovely book that is as good to look at as it is to read. Highly recommended.'


National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, newsletter, spring 2017

'The Great Cars series from Porter Press has offered fascinating insights into a number of significant racing cars and the latest volume on ERA R4D is equally captivating.

...'A visually stunning book and a worthy addition to the bookshelf.'


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