Books for Christmas
Books for Christmas
“Goodwood — The Sussex Motor Racing Circuit.’ by Peter Gamer, FRSA. 120 pp. 91/2″ , 63/4”. (Dalton Watson Ltd., 76, Wardour 5treet, London, WIV 4AN. t7
This is another in the series of National Motor Museum National Trust Books, published by the high-class house of Dalton Watson. I ,nn cross with Peter Gamier too doing a. because it has given mc a very had attack uf the nostalgics. The multitude of vii, good pictures with long and accurate captions bring back so much of the pleasure of watching racing at the Sussex circuit, the race-course made by His Grace, The Duke of Richmond and Gordon. who contributes the Preface. It is almost all there, the early pouf-war days, the Club Meetings, the important long-distance races, and many of the famous, and less-well-known. drivers who competed at Goodwood. The book takes us from the Ye, beginnings ot this circuit to the very end. and it also takes in the vintage days, the demonstration-runs and similar Goodwood happenings. Peter has even remembered to include a race for the MOTOR SPORT Brooklands Memorial Trophy. which
was contested at this it • war BARC “Brooklands’ substitute”, belore we transferred the contest to the VSCC. although. as the opening parts of his story are about the Brooklands link with Goodwood, even to a picture ol the Memorial Garden, I could have hoped hr a little more about MOTOR SPORT, contribution. That apart. here it all is — the Paddock tunnel being built. Mt., Hawthorn, Farina, Collins. Salvation and all the great drivers we saw in action at titaxlwood. Poore and Walker winning the Nine Hour Sports-Car Race in a 1,1130 Aston Martin from the D-type Jaguars and Monza Ferraris: -Bira” and Goldie-Gardner with the Duke; Hilda, Duchess rI Richmond with her grandson the Earl of March asking an amusing question of Parnell as he prepares to sample the V16 BRM; the 1952 .d 1959 life,: involving Aston Mat-tins at the pits; rally and vintage cars at the track, and of course Johnnie Morgan who fathered it all.
A pack of nostalgia and history. in clear pictures. Just the present for English race-goers with perhaps cut their teeth at Goodwood.
.Croydon To Concorde” by Capt. R. E.
Gillman. 230 pp. •< ,.1ahn bItoTav Lid., 50, Albemarle Street, London. W IX 41W. vs. so
Th,s is an extremely good and readable hook tor anyone who likes first-hand accowas of flying the huer types of actopt.o. Strictly one should read Ron Gillman, “The Shiphunters” first, because this is his account of his war-time living. But having had a surfeit of aviation histo,. I decided read -Croydon To Concorde” first. It covers Inost of the more recent so-called “air-liners”, mmencing with the DIM and the MI Rapide and running right up to experience 41i.
the Lockheed TriStar, and finally the NASA,Boeing 737 which smacks of the future j, once predicted for motor racing, with the controlled by “black boxes” and the drivers undant. such is the human race likely to boat mercy of the silicon-chip. Vet. the futuristic machines apart. Gillman etwers most of it, and throws in for good measure
an alarming and modest account of how he flew the difficult Replica 1909 Avro Triplane from Old Warden to Denham. But Gillman is a modest pilot; he has been awarded the DEC, DFM, and is a FRMetS. MRAeS and MR1N, hut this does not .how-upon the book’s dour racket, The sto, of how he came out of the RAI:. applied tor a civilian flying job at Croydon. w. interviewed by the great Capt. Gordon ()Hey and told he could take the next 10186 service to Liverpool alter he had been shown round one in a hangar and made six take-tiffs and landings in it, it both typical and a startling exposure of how casual it then was. What Gillman thought of 011ev’s flying is also Very entertaining.
‘rho rest of the book consists of either personal experiences of-Gillman,, or the recounting of old talcs from his experienced angle — the latter including how a Vickers Viking got hack salely after a bomb had burst in its freight compartment and of how Eric Starling. tryIng for Commercial pilot’s licence, found that in the dark he had gone off his intended route and landed the Robinson Redwing he was flying in a Calais street. Both have been told in other books hut both well repay another look at them. Of all his graphic but unexaggerated accounts of thane commercial aeroplanes I think the descriptions of landing, in fog are quite splendid. Try to read them shortly after you have been driving a car in lOg and the full implication should be apparent! Whether you will ever want to fly again as a passenger is anothei matter, . . Gillman lets u into all manner of tulle air-line -trade secrets”. like how National tlaas have not always been retriKted from the Hag-mists ot atr-liners such as the Viktng, ot what over-night stavawers were like, with or with an the Stewardesses, and the ploy for smuggling gifis through Customs. which did not work for every pilot. “Croydon Ti, Concorde” is a least of good reading for those in any way intrigued by commercial aviation, anti fellow pilots should find interest in comparing their ideas about well-known air-liners Willl Gillman’s. IIii story of a classic “over-shoot” in a V wkers Viking compares with his vivid accounts ol getting his passengers safely down through thick fog. The tthok is illustrated with some good, it mostly small, pictures, numbering a few personal ones among the official hand-outs. Returning to the text, there are some brief mentions of trying Bell and Sikorski 061 helicopters and of how Gillman got out of having to pay for a Lvnx-engined Cierva C30 Autogyro he had brought for I:850 in 1946. There is versatility, too — the author rebuilt an Avro Avian in his garage in 1950, and fOunded the Vintage Aeroplane Club, and he describes what it was 1.e to fly a Blackburn 82 light ‘plane after piloting a Beverley.
This book will make a worthwhile Christmas present for commercial aviation fanatics and will also be of much appeal to those who have reason to travel frequently by air. The sister book. -The Shiphunters”. is by the same publisher and costs only 13.95. and will be reviewed next month.
W.B. “Jaguar — The History of a Great British Car”
by Andrew Whyte. 249 pp. 914 Patrick Stephens Ltd., Bar Hill, Cambridge, C11.3 bEL. Had this book been written bv anyone other than Andrew Whyte I would be letting out a prolonged moan ot “not another book about Jaguars”. St. Christopher knows. there have been so many already — from Lord Montagu, original exhaustive history compiled wtth the aid ml Sedgwick through big picture books, the road-test
report reproductions, the accounts in enormous detail of the Jaguar sportscars. the SS and Jaguar saloons, and books 1m the great competition achievements of what is.. Andrew says, a great British car.
However. Andrew Whyte has studied Jaguar history so intensively since he served Ins apprenticeship there and later worked in the PR and other departments of “The Jaguaran Covent, that this book cannot fail to be thorough, and to break fresh gniund.
Wisely. Andrew takes us through the history of the jaguar Company with especial emphasis on the personalities concert, therewith; and he has persuaded Sir William Lyons, FRSA. RDI. DTech.. to himself write the Foreword. So this is at once a comprehensive and a fascinating book, of interest to those who knew, or seek t11 learn about, other aspects of the British Motor Indust, as well as to the Jaguar fanatics. Part 1 is devoted to “The People”, most of whom the author knew personally. Part 2 details “The Producti”. front the Swallow sidecars with which William Lvons had his far-reaching beginnings, to the XJ Jaguars. This section is mainly tabular and takes in all kinds 1,1 important facts and data. such as selections from the factory records of car numbers related to famous owners (Billy Cotton had F.-type No. 860031, Lofty England No. 850004 and !Imes Ireland No. 660009, for instance and you can trace some of the Show and demo cars; but not the two E-types MOTOR sPola bought thr its Continental Correspondent 1. The full list of SS-Jaguar 100 In,. seater, is given. These tattles alone will be of immense worth to historians and should amuse Jaguar fans or hours.
In the historical part of “Jaguar” the author takes us quickly through it all, with much worthwhile detail about the pioneenng days. There are pictures al Sir William at school and later with his motor,cles, tascinafing repmductions of old advertisements and of photographs of old factory buildings etc.. of Austin 7, Fiat, Morris-Cowlev, Standard, 12 50 Alums, and %Volsci, Hornet ca, car,ing Swallow bodies, even a Swalloa push-car. In these and 1)ther rare shots Andrew Whyte has unearthed SOMe very interesting links with the past. The hook then runs on easily into the SS and early days of Jaguar, with anta.dotes ti, leaven the solid commercial history. It is such that no serious-minded Jaguar enthustast can be without it. I have any grumble, it Is that the book seems to dodge about a hit, chronologically. and that, although the successful competition exploits of Jaguar are naturally included, a separate book about them is still badly needed. which 1 hope one day Andrew Whyte and “Lofty” ,,gland ma!, jointly write. Frt. sonic of the reminiscences Whyte has included In. England’s vaned motoring career it is clear that “Lofty” has a great tale to tell — hts little aside about a trick played on the late Charles Follett whets the appetite! The con,tition side has understandably had to he curtailed in this book, which pritnarily about how SS and Jaguar cars , and Swallow sidecars and bodies, were made and the people who made them In this context, how unusual problems were sorted out with (Anti and Austin 7 chassis when Swallow bodies were bong put 4/11 them will interest others besides Jaguar folk, .d then there
are even picture, iit Bill he: honeymoon in his father’s 10 2$ h.p. Talbot tourer and pat Lyons with her father, Vauxhall, so it isn’t all Jaguar. Right through the book ntnnuhar unexpected pictures arc to be thund, the total number of illustrimons being 185, with 43 tables. But the book dors not deny. nor confirm. the rumour that when he was planning the twin-cam XK Jaguar engine “Bill” Haynes persuaded Rooms to allow him to look at the drawings of Louis Coatalen’s 3-litre Sunbeam engine mnd why not?, before the World’s greatest production
• .double-wipe” engines W.21, finalised. so maybe there are mill a few mon, le to fill remember, too, that Sir William Lyons generously wrote to say that oi all the reports he had mad of the very wet 1950 T1′ race at Dundrod, he thought mine in MOD if, spt aRT captured the atmosphere best ttt all. That was the year we flew to Ireland in an Airspeed Con,. and only just got back to Brands Hatch in turie tor the Sunday 500 c.c. Club Race Meeting because Speke Airport had closed down on the Saturday night and we could not refuel. In Whyte’s hook that Ti’. very important to Jaguar’s new car. in which Stirling Moss’ XK120 won at 75,15 m.p.h.. get, iust fOur lines and one ‘,holograph. I mention this to emphasise that Whyte is a omerned more with factory matters than with the cirsuits: but it would be nice on, dav tat have the inside store of Jaguar’s great racing victimes.
In the meantime, taaa those who can momach yet another dose of the “Big Cats-. here as an enthralling addition to detailed motoring ht,ton. which should sell well, especially around Coventry. I sometimes think that general motoring hist, is more plea., than detaikd one-make stuff — hut Andrew’, hook. is an exception — did you know. tor example, that Bill Rankin, the Jaguar PRO, invented “Red Barrel” as at slogan for Watnev’s, or that for years Lyons had a lady Sales Director? These and many more SS Jaguar mats will be tOund packed between tha’ covers of this fascinating PST publicatton. — W.13.
“Martlesham Heath” by tior.l. Kinsey.
263 pp. 9, 7′ Teren, lialtonlid, Water Laqvultam, .’ttallatll nt aa5;.
There is great emoyment to be had flom this rather unusual bratk. firm published in 1975. reissued an 1979. about the Mart,hani Heath
Experimental Flying Establishment in Suffidk and what went on there tn. 1917 to 1973. It came into being because the author used to hang about the unfenced aerodrome a, a hot’. watching and logging what happened, Ile has put at all into this specialist book and has persuaded many great men to mean then MCM01.11, 1.4 flying at Martlesham and he has got Air Vice A.liirshal John Gray and Air Commodore H. F. V. Battle to contribute a joun-Foreword. Printed on fine art-paper. which humours the excellent pictures. the book is a mixture of personal accounts of living from Martleskam
Heath /11 CalViree pre.war lit, at Me dose calls and accidents that were i?bvionsly part and parcel tat such an Experimental Stanon, some tat 1111,1: 1,1 quaint outcon, and techmeal and historical notes on famous pilots swooned there. duffles at daily activities. lists of aeroplanes tested there, in what fashion, from 1917 to 19, and accounts of mods, dime to many of them. Compelling stuff tOr all Msoincally-minded aviation buffs! Motoring pictures include at vintage Daimler landaulette passing Station headquarters and a tine shot of a Nack-rathator Model.T Ford with Huck’s-starter installation made by Ransom,. Sims and Jelleries of Ipswich Beyond this. the book tells much about how Martlesham came intta being, how its hangar:, was extended. with sheds sometimes destroyed ha fire or damaged by machines running into theth, even details of the aerodrome lease, not to overlook lists of the Officers who commanded the Station (Bader was one’, a table of Operational Squadrons there from 1917 rn 1939, and infimmation about armament-testing during the same period. The end-papers are of the lava. of Mart lesham around 1930, with the various sheds, etc. annotated ii wish someone could do this tor the whole of Brooklands t. and Mere as a map til the area, much of which Must have been known to
of the RFC Diaries we are serialising. The author’s own -spotter’s Mart, tam the secret war years of the 1940, appear to have been used IM some enthralling entries and while many the photographs are standard hand-out, from aeroplane manulaciumrs, or from sunilar ,ources including FlIghrs photograph ot one my favourite aeroplanes. the Gloucestershire MAI’S Bamel-I biplane which took the British Air Speed Record at Martleshani in 1921. flown ha i H. James, others are special (0 this unique book. Verses from Me old days on the ,n Heath, details of how security tightened up as war approached. it is all there. a mre breath of the old days. Unusual. Yes. But a hook tew flying enthusiasts will be able to resist. — W.B.
“Kaleidoscope of Char-A-Banes And Coaches” by Stan Lockwood. 96 pp, 12 o81•:”. ? .1.1arshall Harris 13,?1,12tIn ltd., 17, Arr Ntat, London, 11/. 1.6.95 This one just enormous fun. ft is crammed with motor-coaching pictures lroni the earliest limes to the Motorway Age. Some of them have appeared previously. a the pages of I ill Motor in its old format. No Mutter! Collectively they make a fine display. of heautitullv-reproduced photographs on tine art -paper, that capture the very es•ence of Public-Service transport down the Years. The end-papers of one coach following another on a surburban road. 1,therwisc deserted. both vehicle, in the road-centre, are alone .1 tine introduction to what follows. Stan Lockwood certainly has a retentive memory id the coaching world he joined the London ‘,oral a:oac h Station in 19301 and the chapters he uses to carry the extensive spread of piciures are titled ‘The Pioneer,. “Lure of the Open Road”. “The Motor Coach tirrow,p”. “Railways Beware”, story” the interior of motor-coach bodywork
-Something ‘,ouch ,ations-. ••Acculents Will Happen”. “Continental Interlude”. “Comfort Stopthe heading picture here is of a solid-tyred Karrier outside a pub/. “The Streamlined Thirties”. “Coaches Go To War”. “Postwar Revival”. and “Abroad Again”, on to “The Motorway Age”. It is informative, evocative mull Some of the vehicles are all but unbelievable, like a 3-ton aaluaa stearn-waggon with a frilled-top char. -bane body perched high up on its ‘,alit/M. an Cral MOre lofty and overhanging body on a Mann steam,waggon. or the 1911 Thames coach. similar to one at Beaulieu. with masses of passengers perched on its root. Anyone who enjoys t:i1SUal WIII 41,1 revel in this book. there are the coaches parked at Tarporlev races tn NI, a ladv being hoisted into an open coach in Holborn, coaches on Scotland’s Devil’s Elbow in 1926. with unidentifiable American cars. an early Austin 20 tourer. bull-nose Morns and Modcl-T Fords intermingling. and a truly astonishing view of 37 open-bodied eoaches setting off for ata outing Item Guildhall Square. Plymouth. some time In the 1920s. a few of them ernpty, perhaps to act as tutu rat’ vehicle, Space preeludes mention of all
the good things in this book. But what a splendid volume to browse through on Christmas afternoon — and the price is right. ow. — W.B. • • • This is “Battle of Britain” Year and in the book of this name by Len Deighton, the well-known war historian, every aspect of those grim bin proud days can be relived in word. picture and diagram. Done in a rather “popular” hut comprehensive style, the htck nins to 224 pages each measuring 10″ x and it is full of pictures, diagrams and statimics, sonie of the plates in colour. The publishers are Jonathan Cape Ltd., 30, Bed.rd Square, London. WC1 and it costs £8.50. Yet another good suggestion fora present, • • •
It is interesting to follow the competition by two well-known motor-book publishers. Patrick Stephens and Motor Racing Publications, with books in the one-make commercial-vehicle history field. MR( Ltd.., 28, Devonshire Road, London, Wa 21111, have just brought out their Scania title, in their landscaped “Trucks Today” series. a make which PSL covered some time ago. in their “World Truck” series. The present hook is by Eris Gibbins and it covers the Scanta scene very fully from 1902 the present. on 112 copiously-illustrated pages. The price is E6.95.
Anyone seeking a quick gift to amuse those who can stand motoring cartoons is directed to “The Best of NIBZ on Motoring”, which contains 1ms of the work of A urocar, cartoonist, in a sr.th-cover 01.50 booklet published by Rolling Stock Publications. 7, Middle Street, Montour, Somerset. Postage is 35p extra if not bought in a bookshop or at a newsagents. It is intended as the first of a series and might well serve as someone’s stocking-Idling. • • • The Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club Mat
reprinted “Rolls .Royce Memories” be Massac Buist, which appeared in 1926 and original copies of which, we are told. now fetch well over E100. In fact. I have one of those originals. to do not necessarily welcome a repro. Like the better reproduction furniture, however. this is a crib very well done. This will not however make the rather insipid contents, which add verv little to existing Rolls-Royee history, any more readable (I am prepared to bc challenged over this, With typical R-R integrity nevertheless. the Club has used paper from the same mill and the book weighs the same as the original. For those who must have everything there is appertaining to Rolls and Royce, the R-REC Club Shop at Paulerspury can post you a copy of this reproduction .r E10.75. “A superb Christmas gift” is how the blurt, describes it. Phil Drackett, Chief Press Officer for the RAC Rally, has updated to some extent. his book and retitled it “The Story ial the RAC International Rally-, in time for this year’s RAC Rally ii wan. first published in 1970 at “Rally of the Forests’ by Pelham Books. It describes this irnpurr.L .11Y in popular style. as can be deduced from some of the chapter headings, like “Pardon. my slip is showing” and “Our hearts were young and carefree”. But it does give the story of the RAC Rally between two covers. with many exciting illustrations, and with full appended results of that event from 193239, and from 1949. What Drackett has done is to add materiat. superficially, about ohe pm-war day, when this was a long-iiisiance road-rally for MOM’ Of less
ordinary cars. A much fuller account would have been justified. if only to please old-car fanatics. But the new chapters do indicate to the present-day world of tnrest-stage rallies what it was like in the mild old days. Regrettably, the short eoverage omits any mention of the really primitive cars which used to cock-a-snoot at the then-modems on the RAC Rally. like a certain Edwarthan Crossley and my hole 1922 Talbot-Darracq that got through in 1936 without loss of marks on the mad section. etc. The impact of certain aids to slow-running and, conversely, to quick driving-test times, that some competitors adopted, and, for the mcord, the more serious accidents that happened. might also have been included. Instead. Phil Drackett has been content to just sketch in the more amusing and light-hearted aspects of these pre-war RAC Rallies that so many entrants, manufacturers included, took so seriously. No mute-maps. not a single Pro-mar action picture. appear But some coverage is belief than no coverage al all. and I suppose Jew it any pubkhers would now look at a full-length hook, solely about this one rallY pre-war, or about the MCC long-distance trials.
for that Matte, SO good that this RAC Rally book is available agam. The Haynes Publishing Group Ltd. of Sparkford. Yeovil, Somerset, 11A22 7JJ publish it at 17,5. Every Motor Show. has its “Dream Cars”. those engineering arid styling flights of fanc — some of which look literally as it they might fly — that seldom appear in WI. and (Men are 11CVer seen again. They were there 31 the NEC this year. Those who like to look at ouch thin, bodywork stylists perhaps who hope to draw inspiration from such cars tit to learn ft.% them what to noW WIT many such dcsigns set out tor them, in a book called •• Dream Cars” ho Michael Ft.,’.ta, k Iie covers such flights of fancy by Chrysler, Ford. Ghia, Burton and General Motors, with lots of photographs set out in Dalton Walson’s characteristic de luxe style. over 192 10″ X ;Li. art-paper papox. with a Tailpiece of outbaur unexpected nightmares or dreamer’s creations. In the toren of the Root Scarab, Mercedes•lient 540K, the Burney Streamline, the Docker Daimler, that twin-engme V16 Royer-powered 89gani Royal Replica and “‘toot. ‘Hie hook can he Mos, it you want to, for Ott ttt
Octupus Books Ltd., 59 Grosvenor Street, London. W1X 90A, have hit upon the idea of publishing a series called “Great Marques”, to cover in largely a big colour pictoriad-format important makes of the more illustrious cars, adding a potted history. and specifications tables, relating to them. These books have been produced under Senior Editor Michael Gilliat and General Editor John Blunsden and the first three titles cover Ferrari. Mercedes and Porsche. While many of the photographs have been seen previously and many have boon borrowed from manufacturers’ archives, the excellent colour and the large page-size of these hooks 112,.. x results in some very attractive pictures, except that the larger ones over a double-page spread suffer from having to be folded into the binding. But many people will no doubt li.ke the idea of big colour-presentations of cars the the SSK Mercedes-Benz and its engine), the 6136 GP Mercedes-Benz and modern and older Ferraris, et,. Nothing new, but a nice way or representing old material! The Ferrari book is by Godfrey Eaton with a Foreword by Jody Scheckter, the Mercedes book by Roger Bell with a brief Foreword by Juan Manuel Fangio. and the Porsche book by Chris Harvey with a Foreword by Dr.-Ing.h.c. Ferdinand Porsche, presumably obtained during a seance. Each book, printed in Hong Kong, runs to 96 pages with its index, and each sells for £3.95 net.
Adrian Feather has brought out another book of Aston Martin Press road-test reports, this tine covering the period 1959 to 1969. so including test reports on the DB, DB4GT and lagato. 0B4 Vantage, and the 085, 0B6 and DRS and variants. Articles from American journals are included. the reproduction, on magazine-size pages is very good indeed, and it is always nice to have such material in book-lorm, I enjoyed re-reading !noes Ireland’s accounts of running his 086 and 086 Vantage Astons. There arc no MOTOR SPORT reports, however. The book is to go out in a !Muted edition of 1.000 copies and the recommended price is i10. Apply to Adrian M. 1,ther. “Burnside”, 40, Hollow Lane. Draycott-in-the-Clay, Sudbury. Derby. DE6 5HQ. A number of hooks and directories about the World’s or our National motor museums are available hot Albion Scott Ltd., 51 York Road, Brent ford. Middlesex are now distributing ful,scale books about individual motor museums. We have seen the ono about the Porsche Museum. which is No 3 in the “Famous Automobile Museums” metes and sells as a 159-page stiff-coVer bwk for £6.9.5. Lt is interesting that Porsche has a very fine collection of racing cars and enginox in their Museum, covered in this book in manv pictures and a curious mixture of British and Japanese tent. We have no information on the other books In this series, A useful present for those interested in car bodywork made in glass reinforced plastics would he the comprehensive hook of that title by Richard Wood. who is t000 experienced in this kind of rustless structure rhe book runs from early work in this held. to current practice. aed it contains a bibliography and a list oot suppliers of glass-fibre materials. etc The publishers are Pentech Press. 4, Graham Lodge. t oraharri Road. London, NW4 3DG and the price t’to For those still running Brough Superior tt1014.11,10 arly age from 1919 to 1940 the late
W. S. Gibbard, Technical Adviser to the Brough Superior Club, wrote a handbook for them before his untimely death, it comes from the Club. and has a Foreword by the Bishop of Sherwood.
Finally, so far as “Books For Christmas” are concerned. may we remind you that the standard work about Brooklands Track. with official lap-speeds, details of record attacks and race results. “The History of Brooklands Motor Course, 1906-1940” by W. Buddy, has been reissued in revised form by. Grenville Publishing Co. Ltd., at f15.90. It has a unique collection of hundreds of pier.ra of rare and famous Brooklands racing-cars and personalities, and containing all those official facts and figures. including a complete list of BARC Certificates, tabulated results of the Brookland long-distance races of 1921-1939, and the Rules and Regulations that helped to make the old Motor Course what it was.