To get the world to rediscover
a great automotive marque
The fastest cars in the world in 1919! Four Ballot racers – featuring cutting-edge, straight-eight engines with DOHC and four valves per cylinder – entered the 1919 Indianapolis 500 race, but came away with results that belied their potential. However, triumphs soon followed, including a second place at the 1921 French Grand Prix, a win at the first Italian Grand Prix a couple of months later, and then further successes in over 300 races and hillclimbs.
Ballot racing engines were copied by Miller, Offenhauser and Sunbeam, and inspired Duesenberg. The Ballot sports cars were an inspiration for the Bugattis, Alfa Romeos, Bentleys, Delages and other specialised, high-performance production cars that were to take the sporting world by storm in the later 1920s, and they were unarguably the ancestor of all modern sports cars, being the first to be produced in series with a twin overhead camshaft engine and four valves per cylinder. Prominent coachbuilders, from H.J. Mulliner to Figoni, clothed their sporting chassis with imaginative designs, many of which are featured in these volumes.
This book is about Ballot the company and its founder, Ernest Ballot, as well as paying tribute to Ernest Henry, the man behind the engines, and the many brilliant racers, designers, and innovators associated with Établissements Ballot, one of the greatest of all French automotive marques that time has almost forgotten.
“Since the Ballot book arrived several days ago I have been spending all my free moments reading it! I only thought I knew something about the Ballot cars! It is a very remarkable book and one that I can see spending many, many more hours with and enjoying every moment. Everyone associated with the book should be proud of the result. I am not easily impressed and the Ballot book has really impressed me.”
“What a fantastic job you did with Gautam and Daniel. I am very happy that Retromobile was somewhere the beginning of this adventure.”
“I think it’s a HUGE good work!”
“I have only just had the chance to sit down and enjoy it for a few minutes…that became an hour! What a splendid production and the quality of the period photos and the amount of work that has gone into it is literally amazing”
“It is truly a magnificent and very well documented work, the type we need so badly to keep protecting, preserving and promoting world motoring heritage. Coup de chapeau to the writers too!”
“Huge congratulations to all who were involved – it’s a true masterpiece! The quality of the images and incredibly detailed research is really amazing!”
You have done what none others have done—you’ve combined the facts, the history, the essence of the Ballot marque AND you’ve published countless photographs, probably many never seen before, to literally illustrate the facts as written. It’s a jewel of a publication, and I congratulate you on not only its content, but the quality.