The Morris Motor Car - 1913/1983

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The Morris Motor Car 1913/1983 by Harry Edwards, 344 pp., 9 1/2 in x 6 in. (Moorland Publishing Co Ltd, PO Box 2, Ashbourne, Derbyshire. £14.95).

We have written so enthusiastically of the knowledge and integrity of this author, who is Historian to the Morris Register and who has been Editor of its excellent magazine since 1963, that there is little need to eulogise over this comprehensive Morris History. It is done in Edwards’ usual thorough style, with many appropriate tables and much tabulated data to back up the text and many very good pictures, some in colour.

One tends to feel sorry for authors whose earlier works are superseded, but whereas Jarman and Barryclough gave us very worthwhile coverage of Morris cars a long time ago, their book ran only from the bullnose to the flatnose models. Now Harry Edwards, after accumulating a great mass of important historical material and photographs, gives Morris followers the whole story, model by model, defects as well as merits, right up to 1983 when BL decided never again to put a Morris badge on a car. He includes the rare racing Morrises and even a picture of Lines Bros pedal-propelled child’s bull-nose.

The Morris, along with the Austin, was so essentially a part of the British motoring scene that this worthwhile book will be welcomed not only by Morris followers but by those who want to see how this famous make justifiably imposed itself on the National canvas. Mainly, though, it is a rare treat for Morris owners of all decades, and all those who enjoy the writings of Harry Edwards. The “compleat Morris”, in fact! WB

* * *

Those intending to get in on the hobby of restoring and running stationary engines can do no better than study the all-embracing soft-cover, magazine-size “Stationary Engines For The Enthusiast”, by David Edgington and Charles Hudson. It has pictures innumerable, and tells a great deal about the mechanical pecularities of these engines, the pioneering years, and then looks in detail at individual makes like Lister, Petter, Ruston & Hornsby, Crossley, National, Gardner, Tangyes, Wolseley, Bradford, Blackstone, Bamford, Bentall, etc, concluding with chapters on the very small and the very large engines of this kind, even sleeve-valve examples, their different applications, and how to preserve them. All very entertaining, and as I have said, copiously illustrated in picture and diagram.

It is to the credit of the authors that, after being asked for this book by a publisher who went bankrupt, they published it themselves. In two years the first print-run had sold out. You can now buy the reprint, at £5.25 post free, from D. Edgington, Lodge Wood Farm, Hawkeridge, Westbury, Wiltshire BA13 4LA. Incidentally, the author started The Stationary Engine in 1974 with a circulation of 140, by 1983 this had, we understand, risen to some 4,000 and needed a professional publisher, and PPG, who then took it over, now have a readership, we are told, approaching 6,000. Books on Lister, Wolseley and other individual makes of stationary engines are also available. — WB

* * *

Osprey Publishing Ltd, of 12/14, Long Acre, London, WC2E 9LP, have come up with another three titles in their attractive “Auto-History” series, all books in the same format, which includes colour illustrations and informative tables, as well as a crisp if brief text, and many excellent photographs. The trio on offer this time is: “Lamborghini Urraco & The V8s” by Jean-Francois Marchet, in which this Lamborghini specialist takes a close look at the Uttaco, Bravo, Silhouette, Athon and Jalpa models of this very exclusive Italian luxury car, F. Wilson McComb, as interesting and lurid as ever about the .”Ford Mustang” of 1965-70 in hardtop, convertible and fastback forms with the six-cylinder and V8 power-packs, and “Ferrari 250 GTC 1962-64; Competition Berlinetta” by David Clarke, a man who knows intimately this very significant Ferrari model. Each book costs £6.95 and should you be able only to afford one, you will have to choose between McComb telling of the Mustang’s early competition successes, and driving impressions of various versions of this powerful American sports car, Clarke, who works on Ferraris describing what it is like to live with the 250 GTO, or the pictures of the truly beautiful Lamborghini models. A tricky choice. So perhaps you should purchase all three. — WB

* * *

Motor Racing Publications have a book by Michael Allen that looks at “The Big Fifties Fords”, ie the Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac cars of this period, again 160 pages, this time measuring 10 in x 7 in, of in-depth nostalgic data and a plethora of pictures from the days when you frequently encountered these big Fords on the road and when they were raced and rallied. The author was 11 years old at that time but has collected a fine amount of information about them. One picture alone sets the scene — Marcus Chambers, when BMC Competition Manager, presenting Jeff Uren with the BMC Bonneville Trophy for the 1959 BRSCC Saloon-Car Championship — and one wonders how Marcus felt, giving the cup to a Ford driver! The book costs £10.95. — WB

* * *

Michael Ware, Curator of the National Motor Museum, has done a little booklet on “Veteran Motor Cars” for Shire Publications Ltd, Cromwell House, Church Street, Princes Risborough, Bucks HP17 9AJ. No. 112 in their Shire Album, it is intended as an introduction to the subject, but contains pictures that could well be interesting to the more knowledgeable. It sells for 95p. * * *

Among an astonishing number of books about Porsche might be listed the new Haynes offering, “Porsche” by Anders Ditlev Clausager, which in magnificent photographs and Neil Brace colour plates and a text checked according to the author against other competent Porsche histories, represents 223 12 in x 9./2 in pages, the story running from Dr Porsche pre-VW Beetle days to today’s Porsche models. Many of the black and white pictures are from the Porsche archives and this big tome sells for £19.95 — WB