I found the new Brooklands Books Golden Portfolio of reprinted road-test reports on the 1955-65 Rolls-Royce Silver Clouds and S-series Bentleys a lot of fun. Some will read it for research purposes, others perhaps before buying a used Cloud. But as the present economic climate is not conducive to investing in an old Royce, I regard it mainly as a fun book. The R-R magic comes over from the 59 articles lifted from leading motor papers and it was fun to see what noted motoring writers said of these fine motor-cars. Some took them long distances, like Laurence Pomeroy who wrote a characteristically scholarly report after going to Rome and back in 1955, 3360 miles, on a Cloud; the test which R-R hired racing driver Tony Brooks to make, round Goodwood and then to Le Touquet, is recalled; and I confess I re-read my piece for Motor Sport about a Cloud III, titled “Not So Much A Motor Car, More A Way Of Life”. (Price of car then, £5632!).
The Autocar’s Maurice Smith drove a Bentley Continental from Le Touquet to Tossa, Gordon Wilkins motored a Royce 2,500 miles in Europe, and we of Motor Sport drove an S-series Bentley quickly through London to Edinburgh, traffic hampered, so averaging only 47.6 mph with two brief stops; Tony was also traffic-strung but on French roads his pace was 52.8 mph, or 46.2 mph with a two-hour lunch pause. (We were not so lucky and drove home from Scotland through the night). So, with a used-Royce test report, an American appraisal, buying tips and a comparison between Bentley-S and Jaguar Mk X, etc, this 180-page book is useful as well as fun. It costs £11.95, or £13.45 from PO Box 146, Cobham, Surrey KI11 1LG. I was surprised that so many magazines permitted Brooklands Books to re-print their material. But thank goodness they did!