Win one of 20 copies of Idle Torque

The Road Ahead is giving readers the chance to win a copy of Alex Forrest’s latest book, Idle Torque.

Careless talk costs lives, so the old wartime posters warned.

But Idle Torque, a cracking new coffee-table book penned by one of Western Australia’s most enduring and well-regarded motoring writers, Alex Forrest, is far less costly at $39.95 (RRP). 

In the words of its subtitle, it’s “a collection of stories for classic car enthusiasts”. And what a collection it is, drawn from the author’s regular weekly column that ran in The West Australian newspaper for more than 21 years, something of a record for a motoring column in this country. These are his “favourites”.

His passion for all things automotive and for penning an engaging story are obvious and can be traced back to that 12-year-old boy who found fascination with, as Alex puts it, “ripping yarns” about cars, their drivers and motoring events within a dusty dog-eared pile of his father’s Sports Car World magazines. 

For the young Alex, like many kids before and since, those car mag clippings stuck to the bedroom wall, became veritable icons.

Idle Torque consists of about 70 stories and kicks off with the one that first got Alex’s West Oz column off the starting grid – a yarn about a truly gorgeous and collectible aluminium-bodied Jaguar XK120 and its owner, Neville Martin.

Read on and the stories about cars, their pedigrees, the characters that own and love them, various racetracks, and famous racing drivers, include a yellow 1924 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost that transported mourners to Claude Monet’s funeral. 

Add in too, a Shelby GT350 Mustang, a Goggomobil ute, a Ford 10 racing special from ‘39 known as the “White Mouse”, a collection of exotica that includes a De Tomaso Mangusta and a Ferrari formerly owned by Cher, a 1909 Renault that Dame Nellie Melba drove, a Torana A9X previously piloted at Bathurst by Perkins and Janson, and a 1925 Bugatti recovered after 72 years in the murky depths of a Swiss lake. 

There’s even a quirky story about the now late Lois Maxwell, former Perth resident and the actor who played Miss Moneypenny in 14 James Bond films, involving Roger Moore, a 75th birthday, and a DB6 Aston Martin.

All that and more should endear this book to anyone with even a passing fondness for cars and a great backstory, let alone real dyed-in-the-wool rev heads.  

Published by Fremantle Press, there are 104 printed pages (250mm x 240mm, landscape) on quality stock within a hard cover sporting an evocative image of a ’35 Bugatti’s cockpit.

The stories are liberally laced with a great selection of mostly colour photos and historic black and whites. 

The author’s own pride and joy, a 1968 Volvo 1800S, graces the inner lining of front and rear covers too.

So, I recommend you grab a cuppa, buckle yourself into a comfy chair and go between the covers of your own copy to take a ripping ride alongside Alex. 

A perfect gift for Father’s Day, Idle Torque is available from all good booksellers.

Each winner will receive one copy of Idle Torque, valued at $39.95. 

The total prize value is $799.

Competition ends at 5pm 30 September 2021. Good luck!

Enter now