Book Reviews, April 1953, April 1953

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Those Bentley Days  by A. F. C. Hillstead. 196 pp., 9 in. by 5 1/2 in. (Faber and Faber, Ltd., 24, Russell Square, W.1; 21s.)

This is an excellent book in every way, nicely produced, with rare photographs, and filling in many gaps in the history of the old Bentley Company from its formation in 1919 to its demise in 1930. The author, who was on the sales staff from beginning to almost the end, tells a rather sad tale of endless financial struggle but in the telling the magic atmosphere of the nineteen-twenties, is captured admirably.

There is a good balance of technical data, some of it new, but obviously the book is intended for a broad readership. Our only criticism is that much of the material has appeared previously in the Autocar, Motor and elsewhere. But there is much of interest between the covers for Bentley fans as well as some excellent anecdotes of fast motoring and its personalities. The foreword is by W. O. Bentley himself. — W. B.

***

The Vintage Alvis  by N. H. Johnson. 39 duplicated pages. 8 in. by 6 in. (Privately by the author, 5s. 6d.)

This excellent history of Alvis cars from 10/30 times, through 12/50 and f.w.d. era to the six-cylinder vintage models is extremely interesting not only to vintage Alvis enthusiasts but to all students of motoring history. It is neatly duplicated, contains a number of historically and technically interesting photographs, reproduced mainly from the Autocar, and has a chapter devoted to the racing activities of the Alvis Company.

The book was compiled for the enjoyment of the Alvis Register and concludes with a record of reference numbers of all known Alvis cars from 1920 to 1933. Fortunately, Mr. Johnson has prepared a few extra copies for distribution to interested persons at 5s. 6d. each, which is a Very Good Thing. — W. B.

***

Australian Motor Racing.  Edited by Theo van Alkemade. (Keith Winser, Publisher, 1-7, Knox Place, Melbourne. 5s. 6d.)

The Australian Motor Racing Year Book No. 3 is the latest of this now well known series from the publisher of the Australian Monthly Motor Manual. 

Again containing reviews of a large number of competition cars which have not been featured previously, this digest-size volume demonstrates the healthy state of the Sport in Australia. Popular features include circuit maps, personality photographs, a review of the year’s sport, etc. An article by well-known automotive designer Phil Irving gives some interesting sidelights on the problems confronted when the layout of a new engine is being decided.