Books for Christmas

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“Rolls-Royce in America” by John Webb de Campi. 256 pp. 10 in. x 7¼ in. (Dalton Watson Limited, 78, Wardour Street, London, W1V 4AN. £9.50)

Never has one make of motor car been better or more beautifully documented than the Rolls-Royce. Following John Oldham’s great reference work comes this specialised book about Rolls-Royce in America. It is as magnificently produced and illustrated as its forebears from the same publisher and is a mine of information about the chosen subject. Not only are the Springfield Silver Ghosts, Twenties and Phantoms covered in detail and especially pictorially but the book continues the theme with Americanised Rolls-Royces up to the present day.

The Brewster Phantom Is and the Inskip Phantom Ils get chapters to themselves and the Appendices are as informative as the text, consisting as they do of a breakdown of recognition points on the Springfield cars, such as mascot, wheels and hubs, radiators and headlamps, instrument panels, tail-lamps, door-handles, fuel-caps, coachbuilders’ plates, etc., not forgetting engine differences, all copiously and clearly pictured, a tabulation of individual cars including notes on the fate of many of them, and an index of body names and coachbuilders tying in with the illustrations. Photographs of Rolls-Royces are leavened by those of American personalities and their premises, there is a two-page colour reproduction of an appropriate Vogue R-R advertisement, and altogether this book looks good, smells high-class, and will make a 100% acceptable present to any Rolls-Royce fanatic, especially in the USA.

Dalton Watson do a similar service for Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, Packard and Alfa Romeo enthusiasts but as they have not submitted review copies we cannot comment on those books.—W.B.

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“Donington Monomarques” 80 pp. 10¼ in. x 7 in. (Macmillan Leisure Books, 4, Little Essex Street, London, WC2R 3LF. £2.95 each.)

This is a new series of profile intended eventually to cover the more important racing cars to be found in Tom Wheatcroft’s splendid Single-Seater Collection gathered together in the museum at Donington Park, Derby. Three of these slim but informative and well-illustrated volumes have already been issued and stand out as excellent Christmas presents. The first, by Doug Nye, deals with the GP Tyrrells of the 1970-73 Jackie Stewart period. The Foreword is by Elf, there is a fine full-page picture of Tom Wheatcroft buying 006/2 for his Collection, chapters on Tyrrell and his team, on the Tyrrell 001 “£22,500 Backyard Special” and on the facets of how this make of F1 car achieved World Championship status. It is all illustrated with masses of photographs and with drawings and colour-plates.

Next we have Denis Jenkinson’s discourse on the Maserati 250F. This is particularly welcome, because, as I well appreciate (and did in 1941, when I persuaded him to do this kind of work), “Jenks” better than anyone knows how to keep an accurate record of the more recent racing cars. In this “Monomarque” he sorts out the complex Maserati 250F story for us, with some nostalgic and valuable pictures, colour-plates and driver-profiles. He includes, moreover, a table of Maserati numbering, from car 2501 to 2535 (the latter never in fact issued) and this will be invaluable for stopping the mouths of those who tell you that every 250F is “the Moss car”, and more importantly, for providing an accurate check on all 34 of these beautiful and classic GP cars (2517 was never built). Long ago, when many racing fans had no idea that Maserati and certain other racing cars were chronologically numbered; or where to find such numbers, “Jenks” was keeping a watchful eye on these useful identifications. Now we, the readers, are to benefit. The Foreword to this one is by Stirling Moss—who better?

The third “Donington Monomarque” is by Alan Henry and is about Four-Wheel-Drive Racing Cars. He has made a good job of this “formula for failure” in motor racing. He starts off with an Introduction about miscellaneous 4-w.d. racers, and even if he misses some, I was delighted to find that he follows this by informative notes on the Bugatti Type 53s, the Millers, and even the 1902 Spyker, all of which tried out the on-paper rosy idea of splitting the drive through all their wheels. Then comes the kernel of the book, covering later 4-wd. racing cars, and especially the Ferguson-Climax, and the Lotus, Lola and Matra racing attempts with this form of drive. The book’s format is as for the others, with a very generous supply of important pictures, colour-plates, and tabulated racing records. Also an index. The Foreword is, again appropriately, by Robin Herd.

Although publishers must guard against too many similar books on the same subject, the failure of the Tony Harding “Profiles” makes a place for these new “Monomarques”, which are clearly ideal for selling from the Donington bookstall.—W.B.

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“The Bosch Book of the Motor Car” by John Day. 256 pp. 12 in. x 9 in. (Collins, 14, St. Pines’s Place, London, SW1. £4.95).

This is an enormous bhook full of colour illustrations and text by a real engineer, tracing the evolution and engineering development of the motor car down the years. The idea has been to split up the mechanism into different parts and describe and illustrate how and why these parts of a car have become as they are. It is a very difficult theme, and while there are some serious omissions and sometimes a lack of balance between the wordage devoted to one component against that devoted to another, on the whole I think it has succeeded, and with a Bosch flavour only when you come to electrics!

It will, though, be less easy for novices to learn from this book than from the excellent “Modern Book of Motors” that taught me so much at a very early age about how the i.c. engine and the rest of a car functioned. Most of the pictures of cars in Day’s book have been seen previously, although they are mostly in enlarged and coloured form, under Barry Rowe’s care. The nitpickers will no doubt spend a long time checking dates and even facts; but as the author is a BSc, and a qualified engineer, they will mostly be wasting their energies. I rate this the sort of book any doting aunt will be bound to buy for a motor-minded teenager.—W.B.

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Peter Filby has written a 112-page book about the British small-series production sports cars, from Add Nova to WSM, which David & Charles have published for £4.25, or for £3.50 if you buy it before January 8th—don’t ask us why.

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A soft-cover 239-page volume by Paul Dempsey guides you on car tune-up and emission-control servicing. The publisher is Foulsham-Tab, Ltd., of Slough, Bucks, and the selling price is £1.95.

Cars in Books

From Pat Phoenix’s autobiography we learn that the Coronation Street actress and her husband used a Citroën for 70,000 miles and found it a “faithful, trusty steed”, before replacing it with a new Citroën Safari, which may already be known to Citroën fans.

From “Brown Bread and Butter in the Basement” by Jenifer Wayne (Victor Gollancz, 1973) we learn that a chauffeur-driven Austin Seven was used to take the author and a friend, aged nine and ten, respectively, from Lewisham to Blackheath High School during the General Strike of 1926, a decidedly cramped form of transport that never struck anyone as in any way humorous. Presumably it was a “top hat” saloon.—W.B.

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For Open-air Motorists

Apart from books and car miniatures, a suggestion for a Christmas present is Harbenware’s CS32 Campact Set of packaway non-stick cooking utensils. The set consists of three stewpans, of 6 in., 7 in. and 8 in. dia., with lids, and an 8 in. frying-pan, these utensils fitting one inside another, with an additional frying-pan acting as a lid. With adaptor rings and detachable handles, this constitutes an excellent pack for caravanners, campers, and open-air motorists, who may wish to cook their own meals at race-meetings, etc. The utensils are adequate for cooking a meal for six, and are of aluminium, with a Teflon non-stick coating. We have tried these out and find them well suited to all kinds of cooking—stewing, roasting, baking or for making a casserole. They even serve as a warming unit and double boiler. This cooking-set stows so easily in a small space that it will be a boon to travellers. The recommended retail price is £11.45 but MOTOR SPORT readers who apply to Harbenware Ltd. (Dept. H), Hanover Mills, Fitzroy Sr., Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancs. before Christmas can obtain the set for £8.35, complete with some tempting Philip Harben original Christmas recipes—W.B.

Miniatures News

From Mettoy comes another of those large Corgi models of F1 racing cars, this one a 1.18-scale 1974 McLaren of the Texaco-Marlborough team. As with the Corgi JPS, this miniature McLaren is correctly coloured and has authentic decals. The wheels are removable, a tiny wheel-brace being provided, and the rear suspension and Cosworth-Ford engine are particularly well-detailed. The reference number is C191 and the model is 10¼. in. (260 mm.) long. The price in the UK, which includes VAT, is £2.99. We cannot think of a more attractive Christmas gift, in this field.

Incidentally, at the London Motor Show we were asked by an enthusiastic boy-modeller why he could not obtain kits for building 1975 GP racing cars. It is obvious that time is needed to prepare drawings and moulds, etc. but the manufacturer who can meet a new F1 car with a model, on the day of announcement, as the smaller die-cast models used to be produced for manufacturers who required a miniature to give away at new-car releases, will be sure of catching many sales among keen and knowledgeable youngsters.

Grand Prix Models of Radlett have two metal kits for making up miniatures, to 1:43-scale, of the Lotus XIs that were successful at Le Mans in 1957. One kit is of the ingenious 750 c.c. Lotus prepared for the Index of Performance which it won, and of especial interest in this age of the small economic car, the other of either of the “works” 1,098 c.c. Lotus team sports-racers. Future kits promised are to cover the new S-type Jaguar, Lotus 7 and SSKL. Mercedes-Benz. The same source of supply is offering Buccaneer replicas of pre-war Dinky and Tootsietoy miniatures, at UK prices of £3.00 for kits, £4.50 for complete models, these covering such rarities as the Chrysler Airflow, British Salmson, 1934 Rolls-Royce drophead, Vauxhall Big-Six saloon, SS1. etc. Only 400 of each will be made, apparently. The prices appear high but Grand Prix Models point out that if you could find an original Dinky Chrysler Airflow, etc., it would cost “at least £45”, and they also remind us that such miniatures can suffer from metal fatigue and “in time will crumble to dust”. All of which intrigues the Editor, who has several such miniatures in his collection, owned from new and apparently as sound as ever. Not motor-car miniatures.

I know, but Meccano Dinky have sent details of two releases of interest to collectors. One concerns their interesting 1/65th-scale version of a Zero-Sen A6M5 ship-based fighter aircraft, No. 739 in the series, with a 184 mm. wing-span, priced in the UK at £1.95, complete with electrically-driven propeller. The other Dinky miniature is of a German 88 mm. gun with crew, a WW2-piece to a scale of 1/35th No. 662, this Dinky Model costs £1.89 and can be towed behind their Hanomag tank-destroyer.—W.B.

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Two–wheeler literature

Motorcycle one-make books are now in full spate. It is right and proper that the Triumph should be included and this has been done with a history written by Harry Louis and Bob Currie. Rather poorly produced, it is nevertheless a complete history, which contains 91 photographs and 14 drawings in its 128 informative 9¾ x 7¼ in. pages. Many of the engine drawings are large enough to stand close scrutiny. Dennis Poore writes the Introduction and the publishers are PSL, Barr Hill, Cambridge, C83 8E1, the price being £4.95.

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The same publisher offers a wide variety of current motorcycle sport in a Motor Cycle News “Racing Champions” volume, priced at £2.50 (how expensive such books have become!). It packs excellent pictures of two-wheeler bravery and skill into its 96 big pages, most types of speed work, from Continental road racing to moto-cross, being included.—W.B.

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