The air-cooled VW Beetle, like the Model-T Ford and the original Issigonis Mini, will still be held in high regard by many of us. So it is opportune that Veloce Publishing have published a large-format book in the Beetle’s memory, Volkswagen — The air-cooled car in colour by Richard Copping. This 171-page book (ISBN 1-904788-92-0, £24.99) covers all the Beetle models, Karmann Ghia, Transporters, buses, ambulances, etc up to the Type 411, in an enormous selection of evocative advertising pictures.
The illustrations are mostly those of America’s Doyle, Dane and Bernbach and Bernd Reuters, but the clever British advertisement campaigns which I remember are omitted. This jolly look-back will entertain Beetle buffs for a long time; the production and colour are superb. The text describes VW history and there is a long list of brochures from 1938, and a VW bibliography. Enough to almost bring tears to the eyes of those who, as I did, enthused 100 per cent over Beetleing, and to those still doing so.
Another new Veloce book is Autodrome by SS Collins and Gavin D Ireland, about some of the lost race circuits of Europe such as Brooklands, Monza, Reims, the Nürburgring, and five other tracks as they appear now, some showing the effects of years of neglect.
Such rediscovery is an interesting exercise, originally started by the MG enthusiast Haywood in 1934 in The Autocar and continued by MotorSport in recent times. The Veloce book is hard cover, with very large, well-reproduced black-and-white and colour pictures, but I hope a ghost with head hanging off does not really haunt what is left of Brooklands Track, however much the Museum’s Torchlight Tours may expect to see it…
In 1970 Tim Nicholson’s Car Badges of the World (Cassell & Co Ltd), illustrated those of different makes the world over, and later there was a book depicting mascots. Now, to bring us up to date, Giles Chapman’s Car Badges — The ultimate guide to automotive logos worldwide has its 125 logos illustrated in small but correctly-coloured pictures, and each car from Abarth to Zagato described on a full page. The publishers of this massive, valuable and interesting 320-page reference work are Merrell of London and New York; the ISBN number is 1-85894-275-6. The book’s £12.95 price belies the top quality and fine pictures.