Book Review

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“Automobile Year—No. 23,” edited by Ami Guichard. 223 pp. 12 5/8 in. x 9 5/8 in. (Edita SA, Lausanne. English Agent, G.T. Foulis & Co. Ltd., 1-5 Portpool Lane, London, E.C.1. 55s.)

Every year about this time “Automobile Year,” that luxury annual, arrives from Switzerland. It is an excellent historical documentary for those who have collected it since 1953, and a splendidly uplifting piece of motor literature, even if rivalled in recent times by similar publications.

The contents of the 1965-66 edition are less varied than in the past but the quality remains—beautiful illustrations, many of them in colour, and comprehensive coverage of the past year’s competitions and cars. This time Douglas Armstrong reviews the G.P. and GT races, with Autocourse-type lap charts, starting-grid, circuit map and table of previous winners, for each race. Indianapolis and the great Lotus-Ford victory is covered (but far too superficially—one page, and three pictures). Sprinzel looks at rallies, Nielsson writes historically of America’s big-engined sports cars, and Edward Eves contributes a history of Rover, containing much new material. The Editor tests 4.2 Jaguar E and Ford Mustang 350 GT, the new cars of 1965 are dealt with pictorially (but one misses the previous explanatory text Wilkins used to contribute), Dunlop, Firestone and Goodyear explain their racing tyres, and Tommy Wisdom muses about driving on the right in Europe.

“Automobile Year” isn’t as good as it used to be, but is still a very fine production, the quality advertisements (on better paper than the editorial contents!) enhancing rather than detracting from it. It is not for historians or vintage car enthusiasts, however, because, apart from some early Rovers, old cars are totally ignored, which seems curious in view of the enormous interest they now create.—W. B.

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