Book Reviews, December 1951, December 1951

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WHEELS Roux THE W011 1.1),” by iait Hess (Newman Nome, 50, Fitzroy Street, 11′.1 94 1

Street, 11′.1 ; 94 pp.; 1 Ss.).

Since the war motoring books have thmrished exeeedingly and have eovered racing in general, racing in particular. record-breaking, rallies, trials, hill-climbs, indeed, every facet of the Sport. or so it seeined. But with ” VIt?els Room! t World ” Alan Hess has filled perhaps the sole remaining ” new angle,” for he describes twelve notable, historic 1(111g. distance journeys through and to “difficult ” places by motor car, culminating in his own famous trip round-tbs.-Globe-inthree-weeks in an A40 Sports Austin and 1 )C4 Skymaster.

‘fess writes these accounts, which start with Dr. Lehwess’ attempted round-theworld journey in a vast Panhard in 1902, simply and convincingly, so that each chapter in this story of the motor car’s conquest of the world is an absorbing essay, making this a book difficult to lay aside. About. his OWII contribution to global travel Hess is unnecessarily niodest.

This book, delightfully produced. is illustrated with drawings by George Bass, and John Cobb contributes the foreword. Through these drawings and the text we meet the pioneers of adventurous motcw travel. -of ” single-handed ” adventure that is different of course from coinpetitions against other ears or an organising club, such as the Monte Carlo Rally, but fascinating in its own, profound manner. Lotwess, I faardt, Terry, Yates Benyon, Symons, Sleigh, they are all hire, to hearten us with their adventures in this age of order and eoovention. So are cars like the Citroi1r Kegresse and Treatt’s Crossley trucks that intrigued your reviewer as a schoolboy and became the basis of numerous Meceano models.

Alan Hess has done a splendid job in writing this book, which is a “must” for all serious readers of motoring history, in an era when many are obliged to omit certain titles from their libraries on amount Of the prolific multiplication of new motoring books. The publishers have also done a tine job, for at the price ” Wheels Round the World ” is exeellent value. Perhaps Ncwn nan Neame can neor be persinuled to render !fess immodest and cause him to write in //Had of the A40’s encirelement of’ the Globe, for suelt 11 book., companion to Hess’ delightful story about the A90 records at Indianapolis, would constitute another of the better books.AV. B.