Book reviews, February 1988, February 1988

RS —The faster Fords by Jeremy Walton, 245pp. 10″ x 71/4″. (Motor Racing Publications, Unit 6, Pilton Estate, 46 Pitlake, Croydon CRO 3RY. £14.95.)

When you want information about Ford cars Jeremy Walton is the author to read, for he has raced and rallied Fords, has worked for the company and still keeps his eyes very much on the best-selling make. His latest study concerns the RS models in production and rally sport forms, commencing with the Escort RS1600 and Mexico, and ending with the Sierra RS Cosworth, RS200 and the BDA story.

Appendices cover specifications, performance figures (for roadgoing, competition and turbo competition cars), sales statistics and clubs. Jeremy has selected a grand total of more than 280 pictures to illustrate his personal experiences of the cars, and he describes each fully and critically in a book which can be said to embrace collectable Fords as well as exciting current models. Essential for all true Fordwatchers. WB

MG enthusiasts must derive great enjoyment from the arrival of the Triple-M Yearbook. The 1986-87 version, edited by Roger Thomas, has just been published by the Triple-M Register of the MG CC, costing £4.00 (inclusive of postage) to non-members, or £5.00 if you live overseas.

Since last year coincided with the Register’s 25th anniversary, the Yearbook has been enlarged to include a detailed, illustrated account of the successful onslaught on 16 International Class records at MIRA last July by members driving various MGs. Apart from this, it contains all manner of fascinating articles and pictures appertaining to M-model MGs, including Mike Hawke’s sorting-out of the R-type Midgets (ten of which all-independently-sprung single-seaters were built); the story of MG Magnette K3012; articles on the MG-ND, on the legendary Don Moore and on how to time the valves of an M-type or F-type; and Rivers Fletcher on bolt-on “goodies” of the vintage days.

One illustration here is of an advertisement issued by Frank Ashby & Sons of Birmingham for its flexible-spoked steering-wheels, in which none of the cars pictured had such wheels and at least two are going round Brooklands in the wrong direction, because the photograph was printed back-to-front. And is the “flat-iron” shown that of Purdy in a Thornas Special or Ashby in his Riley of that configuration?

Colour plates are included, and the book is available from its editor at 3 Kenmore Close, Kew , Surrey TW9 3JG. WB

William Kimberley Ltd of 4 Church Street, Whetstone, London N20 OJU, which has been publishing informative booklets on well-known racing drivers, and books about various aspects of the modern racing scene, also produces Kimberley’s Grand Prix Team Guides, the latest of which are No 14 about McLaren by John Redding, and No 15 on Lotus in the Renault years (1983-86) by Ken Wells. With durable soft-covers, fine colour shots, driver biographies and tabulated results, they are good value at £6.95 each. WB

Anyone involved in timber-haulage or interested in heavy commercial vehicles should see Men, Mud And Machines by Maurice H Sanders. It is very nicely presented, with over 240 nostalgic photographs dating back to steam days, by Cortney Publications, Bainson House, Alton Read, Luton, Bedfordshire LU1 3NS, costing £10.95.

In 134 pages it opens out a specialised profession for the reader unacquainted with the problems of timber haulage, each chapter describing how one individual or company tackled such problems. It is astonishing how the author, by sometimes interviewing 70 and 80-year-old hauliers who once worked 80 hours a week, has found ample material for a second book on the subject.

The lavish pictorial support is mostly of heavy vehicles, although Sanders’ grandfather and uncle began with Model T Fords, and one of his accounts covers a T Ford-powered three-wheeler with wooden gearbox casing! Recommended. WB

Foulis/Haynes’ Monster Mobiles by Barry Brazier covers America’s monster trucks, pullers, mudders and ground-pounding tractors (many of them pictured in colour) in 159 pages,at£12.95. WB

A “Museum” book with a difference is Confederate Air Force, covering that amazing ready-for-action American WW2 aircraft collection at Rebel Field, Texas, with a magnificent assembly of Nigel Moll colour photographs. A feast for anyone interested in vintage aeroplanes, this 128-page offering is published by Motorbooks International, and sold here by MRP. WB