by William Boddy. 253 pp. 5-3/8 in. x 4-1/4 in. (B. T. Batsford Ltd., 4, Fitzhardinge Street, London, W.1. 8s. 6d.)
“The Vintage Car Pocketbook” led the way for this series, and was the greatest possible fun, selling in unexpectedly large numbers. This “Sports Car Pocketbook ” is likely to be even more successful, because it covers a wider field, setting out to cover the great and lesser-known fast cars of more than five decades, British, European and American. In sober fact, more than 200 different makes are described, each with a specification, and more than 230 illustrated.
Thus this handy little book scores as a quick reference for newcomers, a “refresher” for old hands to all those fascinating cars with open bodywork, special engines, “speed” chassis and so on that thrilled motoring enthusiasts and keen drivers from 1910 or so, onwards, culminating in today’s Porsche and Jaguar-E coupés, etc.
“W. B.” modestly states in his introduction that, being in a glasshouse as a critical reviewer himself, “already I can hear faintly the tinkle of falling panes as the critics throw the stones back!” Certainly S.C.A.T., correctly dealt with by the author in his “Continental Sports Cars,” has gone in wrongly as S.C.A.P., with a picture of these cars, and those who have been roughly handled by “W.B.” in the past may discover other errors in the enormous number of fascinatingly set-down facts which pack this jolly little book.
But it is both extremely informative and great fun, especially as Anthony Harding of Batsford’s has dug out many rare pictures of sports cars of all ages with which to illustrate it. For example, do you know what a sports McKenzie or a Kissel looks like, or how the valves of the 14/45 86-m.p.h. Rover were operated, or what an Alpine Brough Superior was all about? This little 8s. 6d. work of reference tells you and will keep you occupied for hours.