Book reviews, April 1983, April 1983



One might be forgiven for thinking that there have been quite enough Ferrari books to last us a long time. However, these have tended to be expensive tomes, so Haynes Publishing Group may have a point, with their large £9.95 “Ferrari — The Road and Racing Cars” by Godfrey Eaton. “Packed-with-pictures” is particularly the case with this book and as the 255 of these each measures 11″ x 9″, the number can be appreciated; the closing pages are devoted to selected Ferrari specifications.

From the same prolific publishing house, i.e. Haynes of Sparkford, Yeovil, comes a book that must beef much value to a great many enthusiasts. It is “The Car Bodywork Repair Manual”, which in 234 pages looks pictorially at how drivers’ cosmetic repairs should be done, on the lines of home hints manuals. As the index occupies another five pages, the scope of the advice and d.i.y. information can be assessed, all good value, and likely to save the book’s cost, at £6.95.

Rather as with Ferrari, there have been more than enough books about Jaguar cars for quite some time to come. But those who want it all in one book at not too great a cost will find what they are looking for in “Jaguar since 1945” (unless they want the origins of this great make, in which case over to Andrew Whyte and the books we have reviewed previously) by Richard L. Busenkell. It is published by PSL of Bar Hill, Cambridge at £9.95 for 151 pages, 142 black and white pictures and two diagrams, covering Jaguar since it became a limited company, through the eyes of an American writer.

To add to the growing collection of books about toys and models can be added a very interesting one by Graham Thompson about the now rare Tri-ang models, not only of cars and commerical vehicles but of the roadways, buildings that went with them. The book’s title is “Spot On: Diecast Models by Tri-ang” and it is copiously and well illustrated, and for collectors has charts of comparative rarity of the full range of these models. They include that “blower-4¼” Bentley, bull nose Morris two-seater, PB MG Midget and so many other cars, fascinating when they were new in the toyshops and now delightful to possess or search for. The publishers are again Haynes, who charge £6.95 for it.

Among the annuals which cover the previous season’s motor racing, one of the most respected is Haynes’ “Automobile Sport”, that received high praise from Motoring News last year. The 1982/83 volume, all 235 large pages of it, covers it all, F1, Indianapolis, Le Mans, Historics, models, even the Noble LSR attempt, and much more. It is full of pictures, including colour ones. A “good buy” at £12.95.

Michelin have published the 10th edition of their celebrated “Red Guide” to hotels and mteurants in Great Britain and Ireland, using their well-known symbols relating to quality, with a new one for dog owners, showing those hotels which do not like dogs. Michelin say their British Inspectors travelled over 1½-million miles in compiling these records. The 3-star, the highest accolade, has been retained by Le Gavroche, in London’s Mayfair. The new edition of the Guide runs to 585 pages, with no advertising, and covers 3,117 hotels, 977 restaurants and 3,199 garages in 1,573 localities, so is excellent value at £4.95.


That indispensable FIA “Yellow Book”

This year’s edition of the indispensable “FIA Year Book”, as usual a veritable mine of information invaluable to followers of motoring sport, is available from Patrick Stevens Ltd., Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB3 8EL, for £12.95. This is the 16th edition and it has an extra 200 pages or so, a total of 912 containing not only the expected “bible” relating to World competition motoring, but 206 photographs and 221 drawings and circuit maps, etc. in those packed bi-lingual 5¾” x 4¼” pages. Capture one before the supply is exhausted. — W.B.

Albion Scott Ltd., mentioned below, whose address is 45-51, York Road, Brentford, Middlesex, TW8 0QP, have now issued their enormous 1983 catalogue of the motor books they deal in, over 3,000 titles in a dozen different countries, under all manner of headings. It is free to bookshops and others can obtain this useful directory for £1, or free with a book order to Albion Scott — W.B.

A very fine 176-page (and the pages measure 12″ x 8½”) guide to “Castles in Wales”, with a Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales, is available from the AA for £9.95, or for £12.95 in a de luxe binding, the castles being depicted in colour, with ground plans and viewing details, and the maps are additional to the numbered pages. The book is a contribution to the 1983 Festival of Castles in Wales, deals with 82 of them, and is available from bookshops, or from the AA or the Welsh Tourist Board, packing and postage 95p extra.

If you are organising an outdoor event, be it autocross, trial, or even a baby show or a village fete, and you need a portable grandstand, the services of a stilt walker, an expert on fireworks, a tame elephant or a helicopter for joy rides, what you should have is a copy of “The Showman’s Directory”. Compiled by Stephen and Jean Lance, this paperback lists all manner of services, equipment and entertainments which might be required by the organiser of an outdoor event. It costs £3, postage included, from S. & J. Lance Publications, Brook House, Mint Street, Godalming, Surrey GU7 1HE. — G.P.

At first sight it may seem odd that Albion Scott Ltd is selling the guide to the 1981 International Rally of Citroën Clubs. They are doing this because the souvenir guide issued at the time is packed with much historical Citroën material, of great interest to many who did not take part in the Rally. This 187-page soft-cover guide is divided into sections covering the venous Citroën models as well as having pictures of the rally itself, historic additions and evocative cartoons. The text is in English, Dutch and French and it sells for £6.95. Anyone who collects old Citroën pictures or advertisements should snap this one up; it also has photographs that could be of use to anyone who is restoring a vintage 5cv.

Finally, you may find it hard to take, but from Albion Scott Ltd. comes “I Love GTO (Ferrari)”, a pictorial 20th anniversary book, available at £12.95. From the same supplier comes another of the small Toute L’Histoire books, this one about Matra, priced at a modest £2.95, and “Lauf, Käfer, Lauf” (Run, Beetle, Run) by Josef Bicker, which is just pictures in colour, as they need to be, of VW Beetles given all manner of psychedelic or other paint finishes. This one comes at £5.95, from 51, York Road, Brentford, Middlesex.