by Reinhard Klein
Rally Cars by Reinhard Klein is an excellent book, not to be passed up by modelers. It is ISBN number 3-8290-4625-1 and is published by Konemann. It lists for around $35US. The book is a thick and heavy hard cover publication. It is about 600 pages and about 2 inches thick. Most of the pictures are color except for earlier photos before color film. The book covers rally cars from pre-1966 all the way up to the year 2000 rally cars.
The book is well organized chronologically by year and the table of contents is listed alphabetical by manufacturer and car with page references. For example: under Audi there are seven thumbnail pictures of the different Audis with page references to each particular model number such as the Quattro, or the 80 Quattro. Each car listed in the table of contents has a one or two page spread with detail pictures and text details such as engine size, HP, and chassis details. At the end there is a glossary of rally terms and a specification spreadsheet for every car listed with all the vital stats. There are also features called 'my favorite rally car' where a driver or engineer will describe why a particular model is their favorite rally car with some in depth reasons for its place in history.
The first couple of chapters before the specific cars are introduced go over the background of the rally car and their evolution, the engines, the gearboxes, the drive trains, etc. Then as the cars are introduced, between specific cars the text goes through the evolution of the rules and the changes through time right up to the present day WRC 2000 rules.
I not only found the pictures excellent reference material but the text very enlightening. Being in North America where there is little exposure to the World Rally, I didn't know all the rules and rule changes through time and the text lays it all out for you, Group A, Group B right up to the present day WRC rules and homologation requirements. If you're not into the older rally cars, don't worry the book is heavy on the modern day rally cars with excellent pictures of the 2000 Subaru WRC and Mitsubishi Lancer V and VI.
I had heard about this book last year and it was on my Christmas list but both Amazon and Barnes and Noble failed to have any in stock up until the middle of January. However it has been available in Europe and Australia for quite some time. If you're in North America you can now get copies from Barnes and Noble or Amazon at a discount price of just over $30.
Don't miss this book if you are a rally fan or model builder, the number of excellent detail photos of engines, cockpits and the car in action is staggering. Most of which are modern rally cars. The book is also a real bargain. What more can I say? Get yourself a copy.