“For Practice Only,” by Louis Klemantaski and Michael Frostick. 64 pp., 10 in. x 7 3/4 in. (The Bodley Head, 10, Earlham Street, London, W.C.2. 16s)
This is a pleasing pictorial and word-study of the things which precede great motor races – in fact, the practice period. Klemantaski has caught glimpses innumerable of drivers, mechanics, team managers, “reps,” and hangers-on with his inimitable camera shots, and Frostick has bound these together with his vivid if superficial writing. It is almost all there – and if one would like more, that is being greedy, for the book contains 120 pictures, some of them full page or even double-spread.
The period is somewhat dated, featuring Ascari, Portago, Gonzales, Fangio, Hawthorn and Collins, but the pre-race atmosphere is very firmly fixed in these pages, which makes “For Practice Only” a good investment as we approach another season of intense motor racing. Klemantaski is to be congratulated on having contrived a book from a pile of old negatives and an author who has obviously moulded his text to these rather out-moded pictures, an idea other photographers may care to contemplate before clearing out their storage cupboards.
“Five Roads to Danger,” by T. R. Nicholson. 186 pp., 8 3/4 in. X 5 1/2 in. (Cassell and Company Ltd., 35, Red Lion Square, London, W.C.1. 25s.)
This is the third of Tim Nicholson’s books covering long-distance travel by motor car in the days when such journeys were pure adventure. “Five Roads to Danger” is perhaps the most interesting of this valuable triology, because it covers the conquest of the Sahara by the Citroën half-tracks and multi-wheeled Renaults.
The book also describes the dramatic journey of Court Treatt’s Crossleys from Cape to Cairo in 1924-26, the Bean expeditions and other fabulous adventures. The book is provided with excellent maps, a table of the journeys noted and a bibliography, and Nicholson is to be congratulated not only on finding a fresh subject for a book on motoring but for the painstaking research he has devoted to his task, in which his studies at Oxford no doubt came to his aid.
There are some excellent pictures in this book which will appeal particularly to Citroën and Renault lovers. – W. B.
“40 Years of Motoring – 1919-1959,” by Edward Young. 190 p.p., 9 1/2 in. x 6 3/4 in. (Stanley Paul & Co., Ltd., 178-202, Great Portland Street, London, W.1. 25s.)
This is at one and the same time the story of National Benzole and a history of motoring in this country during the past forty years. Edward Young has done a good job. The book is both entertaining and instructive and notably free from errors, although one might question the author’s statement that the 3-litre Sunbeam was the first production car ever offered with twin-overhead-camshaft engine – what of Ballot and Salmson?
In some places the author has incorporated as serious facts fictional stories, such as that the Trojan had to be fitted with pneumatic tyres because the “solids” fitted too well in the tram lines and that its only brake had to be powerful, so that when applied hard the Trojan parted in the middle! But mainly “40 Years of Motoring” can be recommended as a useful, instructional work for those seeking an insight into what motoring was like from the dawn of the vintage era onwards.
There are copious illustrations but unfortunately many of them seem to have been photographed at night or in a thick fog. – W. B.
“Who’s Who in the Motor Industry.” Fourth Edition. 608 p.p., 8 3/4 in. x 5 3/4 in. (Temple Press, Ltd., Bowling Green Lane; London, E.C.1. 42s.)
This useful reference work appears in its fourth edition, an extremely useful guide to Motor Industry and Motor Press personalities which will be particularly valuable to those in the trade.
Published by the proprietors of The Motor and The Commercial Motor and compiled in collaboration with these two journals, this fourth edition incorporates many changes of appointments, company alignments, addresses and telephone numbers which have taken place in the industry since the appearance of the previous edition and offers an up-to-date source of accurate information covering all sections of British motoring.
Among the new features in this latest edition which will further enhance the value of the directory are a section on the Motor Industry Overseas, listing overseas subsidiary and associate companies of the British Motor manufacturers, together with the names of their directors and chief executives; the names and addresses of the Motor Industry’s Competitions and Racing Managers; and a complete list of One-make Car Clubs.
A comprehensive and reliable guide to the structure and constituent companies of the British Car and Commercial Vehicle Industries and their allied distributive trades, it is also a personal directory of those engaged in these industries and in the many allied spheres, professional, commercial and sporting, which collectively make up the world of British motoring.