Minimal motoring reflections

David Thirlby has written learned discourses about GN and Frazer Nash before, but his latest, Minimal Motoringfrom Cyclecar to Microcar (Tempus Publishing, Stroud, £16.99, ISBN 0-75242367-3), is a look at a limited times-pan of cyclecars. It does not include every known minimum-motoring make — for instance, the odd Adamson, in which the driver sat in one sidecar-type shell, his passenger in a separate one, is quoted only in a list of devices driven by vee-belts. There are good pictures, especially of GNs, Bedelias and suchlike. I am reminded that it was not only the Gibbons which had its engine side-slung, but I missed any reference to the springless Gnome or Nomad.

The chapters are devoted to the reason for the post-1911 cyclecar boom, the GN, Morgan, Carden and AV, Bedelia and French cyclecars and those of post-WWII, including microcars. Not comprehensive, but great fun.