by Roy Spencer

MotorBinder by Roy Spencer

The Ultimate AHA Book!

This book captures in pictures that rich time in American racing history when the sport was dominated by a small number of wealthy amateurs and a growing group of younger professionals who would go on to make their mark internationally.

The expression AHA moment is in current usage and generally refers to a surprising event or unexpected happening. For me this happens more as I read books and stumble across a fact or picture previously unknown to me about a subject which I feel I know reasonably well. In the month that this book has been in my possession, I have been back to it time and again. It keeps bringing things together for me and reaffirming other facts that I know of other sources.

One thing I discovered, to my surprise, was that Bev Spencer, a Buick dealer, shoehorned the little alloy Buick V-8 into a sports racer chassis of the day. Those had to be among the first of the type and a clever idea. Though not particularly successful initially, that little Buick engine went on to do some great things in racing. But that is another story. Bev Spencer would have to be in it.

This book is full of such revelations. I confess that while I had never heard of Bev Spencer before this book crossed my path I am pleased that I know of him now. He owned some important cars and worked with many of the best of the period. One of them was a friend of his and a favorite of mine, Phil Hill. He tells a wonderful story about Hill being invited to sort out his Lotus-Buick and the end result speaks volumes about the man and his values. I’ll not spoil it for you here.

Roy Spencer’s book, MotorBinder, is a wonderful history of sports car racing in the fifties and sixties in pictures, many by unidentified photographers, with an obvious bias toward the cars that Spencer Buick owned and raced. It is California centered, but there are many images taken at other tracks around the US and Nassau in the Bahamas.

I found it interesting that although the book contains a huge number of racing images of the Spencer-Buick in featured races of the day, the shots also contain other well known cars and drivers in the background. It isn’t hard to imagine that someone else was shooting an image focused on a Chaparral or a Cobra and the Spencer Buick race car of the day was in its background.

With few exceptions, the images are in black and white. The notes are copious and detailed and the book contains 318 8½" x 10½" pages.

To me, this is a must have book.

Roy Spencer self-published MotorBinder and can be reached at or via email at

Review by Peter Bourassa