Books for Christmas


"Motor Road Tests, 1966 Series." 130 p.., soft covers, 11 3/5 in. x 8 1/3 in. (Temple Press Books Ltd. George Newnes Ltd., Tower House, Southampton Street, London, W.C.2. 31s.)

At this time of the year, welcome as a Christmas gift, comes this annual containing reprints of road-tests published by Motor between July 24th, 1965, and July 9th of this year. The cars covered range alphabetically from the Alfa Romeo Giulia Super to the Wolseley Hornet and embrace such interesting cars as the Aston Martin DB6 Vantage, Auto Union Audi, B.M.W. 2000TI, Daihatsu Compagno Berlina, Jaguar E-type 2+2, M.G.-B GT, Oldsmobile Toronado, Peugeot 404C (spelt Peugot in the table of summarised performance!), Rover/B.R.M. gas-turbine car, Toyota Corona, and Volkswagen 1600TL. Most of the test reports cover six pages of extremely detailed information, comprehensively illustrated and with very full figures relating to almost every aspect of performance it is possible to measure.

The book is extremely valuable as a source of reference and g guide to prospective car buyers. This time the fastest car tested was the Aston Martin DB6, timed at 147.6 m.p.h., the most accelerative over a s.s. I-mile the same car (14.9 sec.), and the most economical the Wolseley Hornet, which returned 34.7 m.p.g.

I would not be without these excellent road-test annuals.—W. B.

"Autocar Road-Tests, Autumn 1966." 128 pp., soft covers, 11 5/8 in. x 8 3/4 in. (Iliffe Books Ltd., Dorset House, Stamford Street, London, S.E.1. 9s. 6d.)

This is Autocar's companion, but interim, volume to that reviewed above. It contains 20 of this magazine's new 6-page road-test reports, ranging from Aston Martin DB6 to Fiat 850 coupe, Reports on the controversial Oldsmobile Toronado, the Pontiac GTO Automatic, the Jag' E-type 2+2, M.G.-B GT, and the Toyota Corona are included. Fastest car of this bunch was the Aston Martin, with 148 m.p.h., the most accelerative over the s.s. ¼-mile this same car (14.5 sec.), and most economical the Fiat 850 coupe (32.5 m.p.g.). It may interest Mrs. Castle to know that every one of the cars tested very comfortably exceeds 70 m.p.h.--W. B.

"World Car Catalogue, 1966 Models." 776 pp., 10 2/3 in. 8 7/8 in. (MN Books Ltd., 42, Russell Square, London, 63s.)

This is another exceedingly welcome annual publication, which should be in every manufacturer's library and in all County Libraries, and which will be of inestimable value to those private individuals who can afford to invest in it.

As in previous editions, the aim is to describe and illustrate (with an outstanding technical or styling feature) every production car on the World's markets, with comprehensive accompanying specification and performance data. Arranged under nationalities, there is also a section devoted to special bodies, illustrated in colour with technical information. This year, too, an innovation is the inclusion, at the end of this great volume, of road-test coverage on selected cars, nicely presented on card, with line drawings of engines or components and scaled side views. The cars covered include Lamborghini 350 Spider GT and Maserati 2-door and 4-door Berlinas.

There are also specialised indices, arranged under engine capacity, price and maximum speed as well as under makes, while summarised histories of many car manufacturers are included. This is an Italian production from the A.C. of Italy, the Introduction being by Rodolfo Biscaretti, President of the Association of Italian Car Manufacturers. This does not in any way bias the contents and Ififfe Books are to be congratulated for ensuring its continued appearance in this country.—W. B.

"Man & Motor—the toth century love affair." edited by Derek Jewell. 208 pp., 11 in. 8 ½ in. (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd., St. Paul's House, Warwick Lane, London, E.C.4. 84s.)

This can be described as one of the most intriguing and comprehensive "bedside books" on motoring yet published. Conceived by Derek Jewell, Deputy Editor of The Sunday Times Magazine, it is lavishly illustrated and contains the works of celebrities from Hardy Amies to Ian Yeomans. Of perhaps rather too popular format for Motor Sport readers, the general motoring public are going to lap up the contents of this big volume with the eagerness of Get-Away people; it constitutes the ideal Christmas gift. There is Bill Boddy on the eleven most important racing cars from 1895 to the present day, Hunter Davies on what G.P. racing is like seen intimately from within, famous drivers from Moss to Suttees quoted on how they regard motor racing, the great marque' observed by Robert Daley, Boddy doing a pictorial Ford history, Jewell himself looking at John Cooper and his competition cars, Peter Dunn with a wellbalanced commentary on Rolls-Royce, and Elizabeth Woolley getting hysterical about the Aston Martin DB5 and DB6.

That takes you half-way through this refreshingly new motoring book. In the second half we get a clever cartoon portrayal of how the modern car is made and how its engine works, and yet another version of that theme started so successfully in Motor Sport years ago by W. B. of " Cars in Fiction," illustrated and with quotations chosen by Bill Boddy, accompanied by his notes on the authors and the cars they put into their books. This is extended on other pages to the car as great artists, including Toulouse-Lautrec,have seen it, As poets have written of it, and in cartoons. Bernard Braden, Jean Shrimpton, Jim Clark, Malcolm Muggeridge, Barbara Castle(!), Donald Campbell and other celebrities deal with the cars they most desire, there are articles by Lord Montagu, Maxwell Boyd, Patrick Campbell, Peter Sellers and John Dankworth. The American scene from Detroit to drag-racing is covered, the book looks at car beautification down the years, at the future, at safety, at car-hate, at cars for criminals, at drivers under hypnosis, and it is illustrated by photographers of the calibre of Horst laumann, Duffy, Gerry Cranham and Lord Snowdon: Some of the material has been published previously. James Leasor writes a very interesting account of his f.w.d. Cord, Elizabeth Benson expresses a woman's view of cars, but we cannot forgive George Perry for his dramatised piece on "The Car As a Killer."

There is a quote from T. E. Lawrence's book "The Mint" that is alone almost worth the admission money, and "Man & Motor" is lavishly illustrated, with many colour plates. It will presumably become an annual and it will almost certainly be a best-seller.—W. B.

"The Anatomy of the Aeroplane." by Darrol Stinton. 321 pp. 10 in. x 7 ½ in. (G. T. Foulis & Co. Ltd., 1-5, Portpool Lane, London, E.C.1. 63s.)

Written by a former test pilot and aircraft designer, this is a physical textbook for students of aeronautics, and is concerned with why modern aeroplanes are shaped as they are from the standpoint of meeting operational and design requirements.

Copiously illustrated and with mathematical explanations,"The Anatomy of the Aeroplane" is clear and fascinating reading even for wingless laymen. It would constitute an excellent and very acceptable seasonal gift for aeronautical students.

The book deals with aircraft design in terms of aerodynamic shape, propulsion system, and structural shape, etc., with a leavening of history, while detailed appendices cover specific applications, in the form of projects. Examples are given of light and utility, subsonic transport, supersonic transport, strike and reconnaisance aircraft and aircraft designed for counter-insurgent, or COIN, operations.—W. B.

"European Transport Aircraft Since 1910," by John Stroud. 680 pp. . 8¾ in. x 5½ in. (Putnam & Company Ltd., 9, Bozo Street, London, W.C.2. 105s.)

Here is another of these incredibly detailed Putnam make-by-make aviation histories which put the majority of equivalent motoring works to shame. This one covers every conceivable European transport aeroplane from 1910 to the present. British machines are not included, because they have been dealt with elsewhere, but the volume, the text, photographs and plans of which follow Putnam's standard format, is sub-divided to cover the aeroplanes of Austria (Hausa-Brandenberg and Hopfner), Belgium (SABCA), Bulgaria (D.A.R.), Czechoslovakia (Aero to National), Denmark (Kramme & Zeuthen), France (Bernard to Wibault), Germany (A.E.G. to Zeppelin), Italy (Agusta to Savioa Marchetti), Netherlands (Foldcer to Werkspoor), Norway. (Honningstad), Poland (Lublin and P.W.S.), Romania (KAR), Sweden (Saab), Switzerland (Comte to Pilatus), U.S.S.R. (Akt to Ya-6) and Yugoslavia (Mitrovitch). That gives an indication of the complete and fascinating coverage of this beautifully produced reference work. The story of the Zeppelins as unchallenged transport vehicles is particularly interesting. There are interior views of famous commercial aeroplanes, the colours they flew under are quoted when known, and the book closes with appendices of European Aircraft Markings and Production and Airline Fleets.

It is a book that recalls for this reviewer nostalgic if chilly days spent at Croydon (Waddon) aerodrome with his mother, waiting for the pioneer airliners—the D.H.s, the Farmans and the Handley-Pages, to come in—a variegated, mysterious, far-off age that will never be known again. Nostalgia apart, this is a magnificent record, which every library in the land should possess. Britain should be particularly proud of Putnam's aviation books, for we doubt if anything comparable is published anywhere else in the World.—W. B.

"History of British Dinky Toys-1934-1964," by Cecil Gibson. 152 pp., 8¾ in. x 5½ in. (Model Aeronautical Press Ltd., 13/35, Bridge Street, Hemel Hetnpstead, Herts. 15s.)

This is Dr. Gibson's long-awaited account and painstaking suiting out of the Meccano Dinky Toy cars and road vehicles. Collectors will find it irresistible, especially as it is full of photographs of these little miniatures, from the now very rare and historic ones to recent offerings. The author's explanations of how he has worked out the Meccano numbering system makes fascinating reading even for non-collectors, and this is another nostalgic book, redolent of the excitement of Christmas toy bazaars and displays in the big London stores in our youth. Nearly 1,000 Dinky miniatures are described and tabulated. This unusual but welcome survey is dedicated "To William Boddy—An enthusiast." As a Dinky Toy enthusiast, I am delighted to say, thank you!—W. B.

A new edition of " hree-Pointed Star—The Story of Mercedes-Benz," by David Scott-Moncrieff (Cassell, 392 pp., 8 ¾ in. 5½ in., 5os.) has been published revised by Peter Hull, so that it now covers the years 1885-1965.

We are pleased to announce a new edition of "Lost Causes of Motoring," by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu (Cassell, 224 pp., 8 ¾in. x 5½ in., 36s.), because this is a fascinating and detailed account of the lesser-known pre-1941 cars, so it is excellent that it has not gone out of print. However, although additions have been made to this second edition it is disappointing to find the histories of Armstrong Siddeley and H.R.G.. which have become British "lost causes" since the first edition appeared in 1960, omitted. Apparently the publishers only wished to add a few paragraphs at the end of each existing chapter.

Students of motorcycle Moto-Cross are recommended to "The Art of Moto-Cross," by Champion rider Jeff Smith and tuner Bob Currie (Cassell, 143 pp., 8¾ in. x 5½ in., 25s.).