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Leo Villa's Bluebird Album


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This is the definitive photographic record of Donald Campbell’s legendary Bluebirds, much of it captured through the twin lenses of Leo Villa’s 'Stereo Realist' camera.

An amazing body of photo-journalism in colour (18 in 3D) and black & white, this 256 page hard back book captures the life-and-death drama that was played out against the barren landscapes of salt beds and the magnificent backdrop of lakes such as Coniston Water. With almost 600 photographs contained in its pages, Leo Villa's Bluebird Album also puts the story in its historic background, showing the fashions and styles of the day. The 3D images are a rare and unusual view of a time when a 3D camera was a hugely expensive novelty. The glasses require to see the images in three dimensions are included in a pocket in the front of the book.

In 1964 Donald Campbell and his team went to Australia with the intention of breaking the land and water speed records in the same year, 'The Double'. An adventure unsurpassed in record breaking history, fraught with difficulty and obstacles, it was a constant fight against the elements, and the technicalities of high speed vehicles.

For 12 years Donald Campbell dominated the record breaking scene on both sides of the Atlantic, and throughout this period he was aided and advised by Leo Villa, his friend and chef d’équipe, who had known him since childhood.

Leo played a unique part in record breaking history, and helped the team break no less than 10 land speed records, and 11 water speed records with Donald and Malcolm Campbell and their legendary Bluebirds. This fascinating book is a 'Snapshot' of time Leo and the Campbells spent travelling the world together.
  • ISBN978-0-85184-071-0
  • Size10x13in (250x320mm)
  • US Price 49.95 - SEE MAIN TEXT
  • UK Price Sold out
  • EU Price Sold out
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What the Press say

Even without the 3D images (the glasses are tucked inside the front cover) this would be an essential acquisition for all fans of the Campbell clan, the Land Speed Record or even just photography. These breath taking images enigmatically record the lives and deaths of Malcolm and Donald. So personal and on the spot is it that there is an almost guilty pleasure as if you are surreptitiously delving into a shoebox full of memories hidden at the back of a wardrobe, but then that is also why this book is so compellingly unique. The young engineer Villa was poached by Malcolm in the '20's and stayed within 'Bluebird' employ for nearly 50 years, intimately involved with every car and boat, every adventure, every record attempt, triumphant and tragic. There are other detailed accounts of the Bluebird story but none so personal; these pictures tell the story better than any number of words ever could. Simply beautiful.
CLASSIC & SPORTS CAR – May 2007

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