“Automobile Year” Edited by Douglas Armstrong. 240 pp. 12 1/8 in. x 9 3/8in. (Patrick Stephens Limited; Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB3 8EL. £11.95.)
This is the 23rd edition of this de-luxe annual, the main purpose of which is to present a report of the preceding season’s motor racing, accompanied by a great many excellent pictures, which this time number 325 blackand-white and 68 colour illustrations.
“Automobile Year” covers each 1975 World Championship Grand Prix in tabulated form, as it does other race categories, but lacks the race-by-race description provided in other annuals. SO it depends on the illustrations, and on high-class advertising layouts, to sell it, backed by a few full-length articles. This year the latter include II about racing, with Paul Frere on the “Return of the Supercharger”, Rosinski on “How Good is Niki Lauda?”, and Laurent Carvin on “The Greatest Maseratis”, and a further seven on technical developments, driving the best of the 1975 production cars, novelties in that field, and a piece by Gordon Wilkins on “The Rolls-Royce Renaissance”, in which he skilfully finds a new approach to this overworked subject.
But somehow this once-superb annual seems, like so many other things, to have diminished somewhat with time, which has not prevented its price from rising. One misses detailed information on all the new cars and on the exotics of the dream-car stylists (the latter are reduced to four colour pages this year), and Anthony Curtis on technical developments in production cars reads too much like a Similar review in Motor last Show-time. But if you like nice pictures…—W.B.