Daniel's painstaking research and phenomenal archive of Delage documentation and photographs certainly deserved international recognition, as did the specific research on his own car by Christophe, but these accolades don't always go to the most deserving. I alone spent over 800 hours on the project and Daniel probably four times that amount...and it's a lonely path the author treads...frequently in the small hours. I'm surprised the fibre-optic cables in Normandy and Warwickshire didn't melt with the email traffic...often every 15 minutes!
By working over Christmas and the New Year we managed to meet the deadline by literally a few hours and the book was duly on sale at Retromobile to coincide with the first time five of the six cars had been together since they were dismembered in Uncle Reg Parnell's garage!
So...this recognition is a fabulous reward, not just for Daniel, Christophe and me, but for all those who sweated bricks helping out but with a very special mention and thanks to Sophie Jauneau the young lady responsible for the design and layout of the book. How she sweetly put up with our, almost hourly, alterations and corrections I'll never know.
We dedicate the award to the glorious memory of a great man who drove for France, fought for France and sadly died for France at the hands of the Nazis in Buchenwald....Robert Benoist.
The RAC press release reads:
Peter Read, the Chairman of the Club’s Motoring Committee, said. ‘The Club’s library at Pall Mall is already among the finest in the world, and fortunately for us there’s no shortage of exceptional new titles we’d like to add to it. Our independent judges undertake an incredible task for us, and it’s satisfying that the 2017 winner Watching The Wheels by Damon Hill is an excellent read with the widest possible appeal.
‘Meanwhile, Delage – Champion Du Monde, is an example of fresh research and beautiful production of which we wholeheartedly approve.’
The judges for the Award were leading specialist bookseller Ben Horton of Hortons Books; Gordon Cruickshank of Motor Sport magazine; Mark Dixon, deputy editor of Octane; commentator and reviewer Henry Hope-Frost; Mick Walsh, international editor of Classic & Sports Car magazine; Christian Whitehead from London bookstore Foyles; and Tom Wiltshire of Auto Express magazine.