BOOK REVIEWS, January 1956, January 1956




” Henry’s Wonderful Model-T-1908-1927,” by Floyd Clymer: 219 pp.. I 1 in. by 83 in. (McGraw-Hill Book (:ompany, hie.. 330. West 42nd Street, New York. 5.95 dollars.)

There have been various histories of the fabulous Item-y Ford. but now come works on the model-T it self. Floyd Clymer weighs in with a eomprehensive album of Ford model-T memories, stories. jokes, songs, speeifieations and accessories, the whole illustrated by 500 photographs and diagrams. This really is a complete study of this immortal automobile,. which is is in current production from 1409 to 1927. The. first picture in this great book is of a modebT truck Conveying

in overhanging load of hay along an American It which exactly captures the spirit of service that teas the. model-T. The story unfolds through all the manife-stations of this incredible car. and historians -and those who are restoring such cars will appreciate especially the third chapter, ” The Ubiquitous Model-T.” by Les Henry, the celebrated ‘T-historian, which details main and detail changes in spedficatiou and construction year by year, material which. we believe, appeared first in the Antique .lutornobile. The attractive dust-jacket is by H. Lawrence. Hoffman and the layout by Joseph J. Bin us. in typical Clymer fashion there are masses Of good pictures, of eattunervial model-Ts aa. well as the passenger ears, and reproductions of many early Ford advertisements, pages from the instruction manual. even the words and music of Old ” jitney has ” songs. This is an essential to all who Own and restore miidebTs.—W. 13: ” Into the Water Barrier,” by Donald Campbell, in collaboration with Alan W. Mitchell. 239 pp., II iii. by 51 in. (Orlhants Press Ltd_ (i7, Long Acre. London, W.C.2. 15s.)

This is the story of the post-war attackS on the World’s Water Speed Rettord by Donald Campbell, son of the late Sir Malcolm Campbell, which culminated in the speed of 202.32 imp:h. in his Vickers Beryl-powered jet hydroplane Bluebird K7. It is a story admirably told, and the book gives a very clear picture of the work. research and anxiety which such an adventure into the. unknown always entails. Vet the huntan side of the adventure is very happily portrayed, and Campbell fits in merely as one of a devoted anti skilful team, never stealing the limelight, for he is modest in the extreme.

Yet how fortunate that this book has been written ! For it clears up all manner of misconceptions about this sudden impulse of the son to carry on the fine work of his father. Some of us may have seen in Donald Campbell a good-looking, comfort-loving young man married to a pretty girl, who sought to ” cash-in ” on his father’s fame, saving that he was going to attack. the water speed record, then getting nothing done. How were we to know Of the experiment and research necessary to make even the old HMIs-Royce pistoix-engined Bluebird sufficiently fast, and of the lack of help from the British industry with which Donald Campbell had to contend after that Bluebird was wrecked and another had to be built. Cobb, like Segrave, was killed in trying to break thiS so dangerous of records, yet Campbell. without, their long experienee of high speed on land and water, never bulked testing the experimental Bluebird. He put some SA 5.000 of his own money into building his boat, even to mortgaging his house, after firms such as Rolls-Royce, Bristol. Armstrong,Siddeley, Saunders-Roe, C. C. Wakefield and others had turned down his appeals for assistance. Months of set-backs

followed, anti ” Into the Water Barrier translates the sordid wind-tunnel and water-tank tests, the endless calculations and redesigning which followed failures during trials,. into an absorbing account of a small team’s firm determination to win through.

To their everlasting credit. Joseph Lucas, Metropolitan Viekers. Aeeles and Pollock. Birmetals. 11Itra-Electrie and others • gave material help to Campbell’s Courageoos project, with the result that Britain now holds the World’s Water Speed Record at a speed of over 216 m.p.h. The book ends with Campbell’s earlier record if 202 m.p.h. at Ullswater. the first time. 200 m.p.h. had been exceeded offieially on water. Campbell. who. incidentally, is a professional racing motor-boat pilot. since he ahandoned his joli to devote all his energieS to Bluebird, describes vividly his sensations at this speed. Ile even details the eoelspit drill of both his Bluebirds, treats the divers nther fasentating aspects of his record attempts in similar vivid forrn. while !he hook gives an exeellent teohnieal appreciation of the

problems which had to be. faced, even to a differential equation used by the Norris brothers in working out the deflections of the tapered box spars carrying Bluebird’s main planing surfaces. Campbell reckons he motored 100,000 miles in pursuit of parts and work on Bluebird, but, alas, does not reveal what car he used.

In the generous tribute Campbell pays throughout his book to the men who worked with and for him, none, we are pleased to note, is warmer than the affection he expresses for Leo Villa, his chief engineer, who held the some position with Sir Malcolm Campbell before the war.

This is an excellent adventure. story which contrives to put in a very trite light a great eontribution to British prestige.–W. B.

” Against the Sun,” by Edward Lanehbury. 270 pp., 81 in. by 51 in. (Cassell and Co.. 37138, St. Andrew’s MR, 16s..)

This is the stirring biographyof Wiug-Coindr. II ilanil Beattiant, D.F.C.. test-pilot to English Electric, who tested the PI, Britain’s first. truly supersonic fighter and, before that, the Canberra jet bomber. The book follows the Liana! pattern —unpromising school reports, the burning desire to fly, the subsequent success story. pietures id pilot with wife (they always pick attractive ones !) and children, hints of hect ic motor ears. in this ease is tireengine-red M.G. Magna. It also tells in absorbing fashion Of Beamont’s fighter-pilot days, his contribution to the development of the Typhoon and of beating the VI by those heroic wing-tilting methods. using Tempest fighters.

From prisoner-of-war days Beamont returned to test. flying, of the fastest and finest of British aircraft, a story told with accuracy, insight and feeling by Edward Inneltbury.

If you like the air as well as the road, you won’t regret buying Against the Sun.”

” Rallying to Monte Carlo,” by. Mike Cooper. 196 pp., 83 in. by 51(1)si.7 . (Ian Allen Ltd.. Craren House, Hampton Court, Surrey.

This is a topical book and the fourth to deal with the Monte Carlo Rally sinee the late Humphrey Symons wrote his classic of that title in 1936. Mike Cooper. who needs no introduction to motor sportsmen, writes exceedingly well, as readers know who recall his contribution to our ” Car,. I liave Owned ” series, and we found it impossible to pause for play. let alone work, while following his fortunes in the rallies of 1439 and 1949-1955. mostly in luxurious British ears such as Bentley and Rolls-Royce with the Coneours de Cordon in mind. On four measiims he won the Grand Prix. highest award in the Cenfort eimtest. Moreover, the book i4 well printed and illustrated with reasonable photographs and three fine colour-plates. while it contains several clear maps. There is a foreword by Raymond Baxter. Mike Cooper deserves thuttl. for a weff-pre.sented. well-balanced book on a topittal subject. which t all Monte Carlo Rally crews and followers will wish to read .and from which they may derive. benefit —

Were this month’s RAY commences. We ean ileteet practically no errors. although Garrad•S name is: rendered throughout as Garrard. lie pays MOTOR Sown’ a Mee compliment for being fearless; we can return the compliment, for Mike atleil not minee his words and after you have. read his book you will understand why he isn’t driving an Armstrong-Siddeley this year !–W. B. ” The Story of Brooklands,” by W. Roddy. Three volumes (1901)1940). 800 pp., 73 in. by 5 in. (Grenville Publishing Co., Ltd. . 15117. City &wad, London, E.(:. I. 12s. 6d. car/m.) The late lamented Brooklands Track would have reached its fiftieth anniversary this year. and it is or interest that tho monumental history of B.A.R.C. racing, written by W. Bodily, has bee-mm reprinted, all three volumes now hieing again available. Not only the early Outer-Circuit races with their varied ” fields ‘• of cars but such long-distance classics as the 500-Mile Race.. International ‘Trophy, Double-Twelve-Hour Race, Empire Trophy. L.C.C. Relay

Race and 80 on are fully covered, while on one page or her every personality in British racing is eneoOntered. As with the personalities., so with the ears. the Editor of MOTon SPORT describes the less-well-known along with the fantoos. Edge’s 24-hour drive in the Napier in 1907, the fantastic opening meeting, the early struggles for the world’s hour-reened culminating in Talbot’s 100-in-theshonr. the. long-duration record attempts by vehicles as diverse as the 350-c.c. Vitesse and the big Hem.. detailed descriptions of ears like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. the VI2 350-1t.o. Sunbeam single-seater, the blower-q [firkin Bentley. the VI2 Delage, Don’s Sunbeams. Gardner’s M.G.,. the Barnato•

Hassan, the lap-record-holding Napier-Railton—all are there, with a wealth of dear photographs and masses of tables and statistics. There. is mention of almost every B.A.R.C. race and record-attempt which happened at Hrooklanas throughout its thirty-two active seasons, even down to the weights of cars attacking class records.

The forewords are by the late John Cobb, holder of the Brooklands lap record and Land Speed Record, and anyone who ever went to 13rooklands or knew anyone who drove there, and all who are interested in the story of British motor racing, can be recommended to read this work, probably the most comprehensive of all motorracing histories, running, as it does, to the equivalent of some six full-length novels.

The author is the accepted authority on Brooklands and he personally selected and captioned the 241 photographs in a technically-presented account which exudes the atmosphere of Brooklands. as it was before it became defiled by factory and housing estate.—J. D.

Apart from the book on the model-T Ford, mentioned on page 21, Floyd Clymer, of 1268, South Alvarado Street, Los Angeles, has. brought out No. 8 in his ” Historical Motor Scrapbook” series,. ” Motor Cars and News of 1899 “—which is yet another Scrapbook— his ” Catalog of 1955 Automobiles,” which contains 220 photographs and specifications of all U.S. production cars, and a full-length book reporting the 1955 Mobilgas Economy Run, which was won by a Studebaker Commander Custom V8. The Scrapbook costs 2 dollars, the others 1.5 dollars each; they are obtainable in this country from the usual sources.

The British Road Federation, 4a, Bloomsbury Square, London, W.C.1, numbers amongst its recent illustrated publications one dealing with “Urban Motorways” (Is.). The Standing Joint Committee of the R.A.C., A.A. and R.S.A.C. has brought out a booklet, “The Case Against Parking Meters.” which all motorists who visit the congested areas should study immediately. It is available free from these organisations. ******** ********