Jaguar XJ Series by Grahame Robson and BMW M-Series, by Alan Henry. Crowood Press, £19.95 each.

Crowood’s Autoclassics range is expanded again by these two subjects. Robson’s brief is to cover all variants of the long-lived XJ cars, from the original 6 to XJ40 via XJ-S, including V12 and AJ6 engines. On the way he looks at the Broadspeed XJC and TWR XJ-S racing programmes. Alan Henry stretches the M-label a bit to cover not only the cars bearing M-badges, but also most of BMW’s sporting activities from before the war, which means he starts with the racing, before tackling the M1 which crystallised the M-philosophy in 1979. His cut-off point is early ’91 , so the new shape M3 misses out, but the rest of the tale is all here. I can recall, from his days on MOTOR SPORT, Alan’s immense enthusiasm for all BMWs and his passion for the M535i, but he remains detached enough, for example describing the M1 ‘s “patchy” race record.

Both books benefit from the Autoclassic style of insert boxes on individuals and technical info, with lots of black-and-white and several blocks of colour photos. Comprehensive, and good value.