The Jaguar Scrapbook by Philip Porter. 168pp. 1034" x 8". Haynes Publishing Group, Spark ford, Yeovil BA22 7JJ. £17.95
Not another Jaguar book? Haynes themselves have 17 others! But on examination I decided that this must be the best browsing book of 1990. What Philip Porter has done is to make up a truly browsable book from all manner of SS and Jaguar items, letters, tear-sheets, reproductions of masses of documents, cemented together by interviews and quotes from those associated with these cars.
He divides such material into six periods, from pre-war to the Eighties, with quotes from people like S H Newsome, Cyril Mann, Eric Findon, William Wormsley, Stirling Moss, Jackie Stewart, Roy Salvadori, Duncan Hamilton, John Coombes, Tommy Sopwith, David Murray and many others — including Sir William Lyons and Bill Heynes.
There are Norman Dewis' test reports, not only on Jaguars but on the Daimler SP250, the latter unfavourable, all the amusing, nostalgic and very good pictures, some in colour, from Jaguar material of all kinds. Moreover, some very interesting things emerge — how Moss was paid £100 and expenses plus prize monies and car uses when he was winning very important races for Lyons, HM the Queen's congratulatory telegram after Jaguar's 1953 win and Rankin's infamous quote "In the course of 27 years as PRO with this company, I have had to put out (often under protest) stories that were, shall we say, slightly exaggerated, to such an extent that they were little less than downright inventions." Has it changed one wonders!
Heynes' retirement letter to Lyons is included. This is a book of personalities. Jaguar technical development comes into it, but mainly it is for browsing. One notes that sometimes lukewarm reception given to the SS1 when it was a new car — yet today auction bids for them run up to over £35,000! 1 enjoyed the picture of Clark Gable sitting in his new XK120 up on a delivery lorry, with the caption: ". . but perhaps he went everywhere like that!" There may be some repetition (the very first item seems familiar) but primarily this is a FUN book. The author, owner of a Swallow, every type of XK, and three E types, balloon pilot and active member of the Sherlock Holmes Society, appears to have put in only one false clue or had one heavy landing, on page 55. It was in 1952 that the Le Mans works Jaguars overheated and retired, not in 1953. WB Those who appreciate Ian Bamsey's technical books about racing cars and their engines will be pleased to know that he has written A History of the Turbocharged Racing Car, which clearly explains the working development and history in the remarkable 1964-1989 period of racing with such engines. The illustrations are magnificent. Haynes have published this 159 page book for £24.95. WB