Compiled by Lawrence Dalton. 318 pp. 9-7/8 in. x 7-1/2in.
(Dalton Watson Ltd., 76, Wardour Street, London, W1. 80s.)
This looks like an attractive book, in its red coverex antique binding, until you realise that it consists of handfuls of pages torn from past issues of The Autocar. It does not need much skill to compile a book by this method and then to sell it at £4 seems a decided affront. Back issues of Britain’s first motor journal may be scarce, bound volumes expensive, but presumably the patient publishers can supply inexpensive photostats of any page particularly required.
Convenient, you may say, to have all of them on the 1930 Shows in book form until you discover the poor quality of many of the illustrations (apologised for in Mr. Dalton’s Preface), and the fact that the text of the Olympian coachwork exhibits is very small and difficult to read, as is that of some other sections of this copy-book.
Another distasteful aspect of such repetition material is that bits of articles not relevant to the subject have to appear, when they fall upon the torn-out reproduced pages. Final criticism concerns the choice of period, because the Shows of 1930 were concerned not with vintage cars but with the 1931 offerings. Nineteen-twenty-nine would have been a happier choice.
I am prepared to forgive Mr. Dalton this one, if he doesn’t flood us with such expensive tear-outs! The book has a lot of period charm but personally I’d prefer to spend the four quid on a set of “Profiles”, whose range of historical fact and picture is infinitely greater.—W. B,