by SCH Davis (184 pp, 15s. Iliffe and Sons, Ltd., Dorset House, Stamford Street, SE1).
The subject-matter of this book is self-explanatory from the title. It is written in Sammy Davis’ inimitable style made familiar through his earlier, classic volume, “Motor Racing.” It deals with pre and post-war Monte Carlo Rallies, the very tough Austin Sixteen demonstration of 1947 when seven capitals were visited in seven days of extremely severe weather (the cars were afterwards given to the movie men, Reuter’s correspondent and photographer who accompanied the run, with a brand new one for Davis !), Alpine Trials, the unique Rallye Gastronomique and the Veteran Runs to Brighton. There is also a chapter on rally preparation; and adequate illustrations.
So many motoring books are pouring off the presses these days that it is inevitable that there is over-lapping. Thus, the bulk of Davis’ book deals with the Monte Carlo Rally which was the subject of a classic by HE Symons before the war (now out of print, however) and another little book since. And Alan Hess wrote up the Austin Sixteen adventure long ago. But for all that this book is of great importance. Davis gets in a concise history of the Monte Carlo Rally and packs in a fund of delightful anecdotes and incidents. Just at present intending rally competiters will want to read everything about the “Monte” on which they can lay hands and, long after it is over, Sammy’s book will be in demand by newcomers to the sport and friends of existing competitors who want to learn, without seeming to be absorbing a lesson, what rallies and trials are all about—just as, in fact, his “Motor Racing” is read every year by new disciples.—WB.