“British Sports Cars,” Second Edition
by Gregor Grant (Foulis, 8s. 6d.).
The author of this book has lost a golden opportunity. In the second edition he could have eradicated the many serious errors which marred the first impression of “British Sports Cars,” especially as, in his foreword to this new edition he writes : “I am grateful to the Editor of Motor Sport for allowing his journal to be occupied to the extent of two whole pages devoted to a most searching criticism of a highly constructive nature.” It is true that no fewer than thirty-seven of the mistakes which were pointed out in Motor Sport’s review of the first edition have now been corrected, almost word for word as we suggested. Alas, many confusions remain, and fresh errors have crept in.
The author gets badly muddled about the “Ulster” Austin Seven and the differences between the production and the T.T. versions. He states that Austin Seven won the 200-mile Race, when victories in the 750-c.c. class of that race are intended. Lycett’s famous 8-litre Bentley is now made to appear to have been one of the 4-litre cars, whereas it merely had a 4-litre chassis frame. Other drivers, besides Cocker, raced Crouch cars at Brooklands and the front suspension was full-elliptic, not canti lever as quoted. The Simmins-Talbot engine measured 57 by 95 mm., not 57 by 57.5 mm., and the Beardmore was a 2-litre, not a 1,192-c.c. car. The engine eventually used in the F.M., after the Jameson 2-stroke project had fallen through and before Peter Clark had put in a V8 Ford, was a beautifully-finished, blown 2-litre Lagonda, not a push-rod 3-litre Lagonda, as Grant states in a footnote. A “Silver Ghost” Rolls-Royce did 101.810 m.p.h. over one mile at Brooklands in 1911, not 103 m.p.h. Bolster’s 4-engined “Mary” no longer exists, as two of its engines are in the present “Mary,” nor does John “sit almost on the ground, elbows raised to avoid a maze of engines and chains.” The underpart of his seat has some 5 1/2 in. clearance and there is only one final-drive chain. The L.M.B. Epoch was a fairly-normal blown Ford Ten open 4-seater, not a special trials car with a tubular “back-bone” chassis. We have no more space in which to correct further errors, which is a pity, because this might have led to a third, more accurate edition. It is needed, because frequent and serious errors in a work of reference are indeed unfortunate.