by John M Fasal. 560pp. 93/4 x 7in. (Burgess & Son Ltd, Thames View, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 3LE. £45 + £3 p&p).
A revised edition of a book first published in 1979, this is quite magnificent — a second chance certainly not to be passed-up by genuine Rolls-Royce enthusiasts.
Very big and beautifully produced, it covers much more than the origins, development and technicalities of the “little” Royce. The early history of the Derby company is investigated in much detail, both in text and pictures, in John Fasal’s industrious and thorough manner, his keenness for everything Rolls-Royce being quite infectious. What can I say of an art-paper, top-grade book containing no fewer than 595 illustrations (but in no way marred by advertisements, other than the contemporary ones which form the end-papers) and with just sufficient colour plates? Except that this is an outstanding work in every way, among the countless excellent R-R books published to date.
Historians should note that it lists every Rolls-Royce 20 built, with relevant chassis, engine and body numbers, coachwork details, and names of first owners and (where known) present owners. One now awaits with impatience the next Fasal books, on Rolls-Royce and Bentley in Princely India?, and, with Bryan Goodman, The Edwardian Rolls-Royce. WB