Far from being a gossipy look at the stories surrounding these cars, Griffin looks at them with a considered eye developed during his years as a lawyer… it’s the way the author discusses the different arguments that really make this book a must-have for anyone interested in historic vehicles Trigger’s broom has never been so thoroughly dissected and studied... Another unexpected treat… is its handsome, stylish design by Julian Balme.
A historic car is both a precious asset and a piece of rolling history. Its value draws on its origins and its ownership is a responsibility, albeit an exciting one. Yet how can you know that any important machine is what it seems? This is not a dry legal textbook it has coffee table size and incredibly high-quality illustrations including new ones commissioned by the author. The book is indeed a work of art.
Octane magazine – Book of the Month
Of course, before the classis car hobby became an industry it was the Wild West, with all sorts of long-lost cars being recreated from scratch and ‘discovered’, identities reassigned, repeated and such… Classics gradually became ‘assets’while pre-industry shenanigans were hardly a harmless lark, there was now a big financial incentive to wilfully deceive… You’ll definitely come away from it knowing a lot more about the law, finding several rogues rather less lovable and inevitably muttering ‘tip of the iceberg’.
The Automobile magazine
Familiar names in the old-car world from racing drivers to dealers have their indiscretions revealed in detail, the Coys saga and the criminal case against Lord Brocket amongst them. Outright fakes, replicas, sanctioned recreations and the recent phenomenon of factory continuations are considered, while anyone contemplating venturing into battle with the DVLA will not be reassured by the chapter dealing with their seemingly unfathomable and often contradictory reasoning in assessing the provenance of old cars.
Sports Car Market magazine
The author… has explored the question of legitimacy from every possible direction and angle… The recounted misdealings of some late-and-not-lamented British dealers mean the book’s title could well have been ‘The Cast of the Notorious’ If you are a dealer or international trader, or a frequent auction buyer or seller wanting to protect yourself, this book will certainly further your education
Classic & Sports Car magazine – Book of the Month
This impressive first book by retired City lawyer and well-known historic racer Paul Griffin is a fascinating review of the legal cases involving famous sports and racing cars… but many such issues are just as relevant to more popular classics, particularly when a rusty monocoque has been replaced by a better shell. It is full of lessons for all enthusiasts, and the reasonable outlay could save you thousands in the long run.
Auto Tradition’s Racing Spirit magazine
The authenticity of a vehicle’s history is paramount and the difference of it making a few hundreds, or thousands at auction, or several millions. It comes as no surprise that there have been times when a car’s history has been found to be questionable to say the least and the matter has ended up in the courts… this is an excellent book full of fact and interest. So, to all prospective racing car investors, it’s a MUST read before you buy!
Paul Griffin is uniquely placed to have written this exceptional treatise, as a lawyer of repute with deep experience of historic motoring and an eye for a great quote and illuminating analogy…This book sparkles with genuine enthusiasm for its subject Handsomely presented, with excellent photographs and authoritative weight, this is a book worthy of a spot in any enthusiast’s collection and is likely to be a standard point of departure in the genre for years to come.
Michael Sedgwick Memorial Trust
[This] is a most unusual book. At a glance, it seems like just another history of motor racing… but actually it is a history of the historic car movement and the problems created by its increasing popularity and commercialism In the end, the main value of this book is to guide intending buyers through the minefield of the classic car business by learning from the misfortunes of others.
Society of Automotive Historians in Britain
Paul Griffin’s new book could almost be described as a text book dealing, as it does, with the perennial conundrum for historians, what is the Truth. Certainly, the appearance of Plutarch, Aristotle and Hobbs in a book about motoring (a first since Setright?) is well justified. It could equally be described as a mini encyclopaedia… A brief review cannot do full justice to this book and it is unreservedly recommended to all motoring historians… you will learn a lot of useful things about how to establish the true history of cars.
Griffin has turned his professional mind to writing a book that is as much a philosophical discussion of the ‘Trigger’s Broom’ theory as it is a compilation of case studies including some notorious instances such as the Ferraris of Lord Brocket Away from these more sensational cases, Griffin’s analytical approach is just as thorough and entertaining. As many classic cars morph from being machines to be driven and enjoyed into artworks and, dispiritingly, financial assets, The Past And The Spurious is a pertinent read. It also happens to be wry, informative and designed and laid out with care that elevates it into being an essential reference book.
When I first heard that Paul Griffin was writing a book on the legitimacy of historic cars, I was most encouraged. So far as I am aware, no attention has been paid to this subject in a comprehensive and detailed manner [A] hugely compelling part of the book comprises a considerable number of photos and illustrations… these lift the tone of the volume, so deflecting the prospect of a overpowering weight of material. I advise acquisition, sooner rather than later, so as to avoid waiting for the inevitable reprint.
Without the many 1,000s of words expended in online forums, Griffin the lawyer gets to the crux of the matter in a forensic fashion… The Past And The Spurious is a worthy addition to any bookshelf and, apart from ghoulish fascination has an essential role warning of some of the industry’s malpractices. To those considering the purchase of an important racing car, it could be worth its weight in gold.
Jeremy Wade, Jaguar XK guru
Frankly, it is a masterpiece. Not only is it written with great eloquence and wit but the design and layout is exemplary. I have already recommended it to several colleagues in the trade… certainly a most important work.
Martin Emmison, doyen historic car lawyer
This is a slightly strange ‘out or world’ experience for me. I have been practising law in this historic car field for some 30 years, with no authoritative ‘primer’ to guide me. And suddenly there appears ‘Griffin on Historic Cars’ I wish you had written it in 1989/90.
Bristol Owners Drivers Association Newsletter
Paul Griffin revels in his subject and his down-to-earth skill in simplifying the complexity leaps off every page… a thought-provoking book which will not only become a standard work for the foreseeable future but is also a pleasure to read.
Motor Sport magazine
Is the truth out there? As values spiral, car backstories become ever more precious. Gordon Cruickshank learns the word ‘genuine’ is debatable… Among the rules of thumb is ‘do anything but go to court’. I’d add: if you must sue, you and the judge should both read this book.
Robert Daley, master motorsport writer and photographer
I never paid any attention to anything except the racing. I see now that there was a whole other world out there. And that it was fascinating too.
Doctor Frederick Simeone, historic racing car collector, writer and museum founder
I found your views absolutely fascinating, both as an issue of automotive originality and legal contortions, and how a questionable car is studied. Your detailed analysis was so good I read it twice and could see the extent of research The extent of the work you have done is admirable, because you obviously put your own thoughts intermingled with the facts, and this makes it all the more fascinating.
Carol Spagg, Historic Motor Racing News
All this philosophy, metaphysics and fact is wrapped in a beautiful quality coffee-table style book full of photos, drawings, paintings and quotes – oh so many quotes – and includes indices, lists and descriptions of clubs and organiser, other publications and even a glossary of terms. It is clearly a labour of love from someone who feels great passion for his subject.
British Racing Drivers’ Club Bulletin
This book should be on the bookshelf of anyone wishing to buy or sell a historic car… for the wealth of information which this book contains, it is a bargain. It is not possible in the context of a short review to do full justice to the merits and appeal of this book. It covers just about every aspect of the minefield that is the world of historic cars and the racing of them. It is also a very attractive publication… Indeed, if you are not in the mood for grappling with the issues which the book raises, the quality of the images is such that it is a pleasure to handle and browse through.