Book Reviews, February 1954, February 1954

Book Reviews

“‘The Motor’ Electrical Manual.” 218 pp., 6 in. by 7 1/2in. 5s. (Temple Press, Ltd., Bowling Green Lane, E.C.1.)

The electrical system causes more roadside breakdowns than any other part of a car, according to R.A.C. statistics, and it is very true that the least understood components are the most vulnerable. Consequently a book which explains in simple text and clear illustration the complex construction of electrical installations as found in the modern car will repay careful study and most certainly should be retained for reference purposes.

This Motor publication, while it does not pretend to be unduly detailed or even fully comprehensive, is just the book for quick introduction to the mysteries of “elektrickery.” It is fully revised, in its 12th edition.

“Motor Sport Racing Car Review – 1954,” by D. S. Jenkinson. 144 pages, 7 1/2 in. by 5 in. 8s. 6d. (Grenville Publishing Co., Ltd., 15-17, City Road, E.C.1.)

This attractive landscape reference work makes its eagerly-awaited annual appearance and is fully up to former standards. Indeed, it contains more material than formerly, printed on art paper. The author is Motor Sport’s Continental Correspondent and consequently his technical descriptions and race accounts of the fifteen 1953 Grand Prix racing cars with which he deals are searching, authentic and “on the spot.”

The cars which he covers this year are the B.R.M., Connaught, Cooper-Alta, Cooper-Bristol, Formula II Ferrari, 1954 Ferrari in prototype form, 2 1/2-litre Ferrari, 4 1/2-litre Ferrari, Ferrari Thin Wall Special, Formula II Gordini, 1954 Gordini, H.W.M., Formula II Maserati and Formula Il Osca. In fact, all the cars which were prominent during the 1953 season and will form the nucleus of the coming struggle.

Each description is terminated by a tabulated specification and most are illustrated by one or more full-page Motor Sport photographs, making a total of 25 in all.

It is interesting that the author expects to see “the bulbous, efficient-looking Connaughts” racing as much as ever this season, but he hints of Gordini that “it is possible that he may have to withdraw from racing” (for financial reasons). Of the Formula II Ferrari he is naturally full of praise. writing: “Such a record for two full seasons’ racing will stand for evermore as one of the landmarks in Grand Prix racing.” He expects great things from Maserati but reminds us that “the handling is still impaired by the rigid one-piece rear axle, and it is to be hoped that something new will be designed for the forthcoming Formula.”

Of the B.R.M.’s failures Jenkinson says: “The same set of people who had muddled through past seasons were still concerned and it was only the source of money that had altered,” but he describes the Thin Wall Ferrari as “one of the highlights of the season” from the British racing point of view.

This is an excellent work of reference which, collected annually, gives a complete record of Grand Prix and road-racing cars from 1948 to the present day. The foreword is by W. Boddy, Editor of Motor Sport, who originally suggested that an annual work of this nature should be undertaken.