Book Reviews, July 1956, July 1956

” ‘Motor Cycling’ Road Tests – 4th Series.” 60 pp. 10 1/2 in. by 8 1/4 in. (Temple Press Ltd., Bowling Green Lane, London, E.C.1. 5s.)

This annual reprint of road-test reports from Motor Cycling is a valuable reference work, full of facts, figures, illustrations and graphs. The fourth edition, covering motor-cycles, mo-peds, three-wheelers and combinations tested during 1955, goes from Lambretta model LD to Triumph Tiger 110, and covers the Gilera B300 and Bond, Gordon and Messerschmitt three-wheelers, etc. There are also abbreviated reports on Triumph Tiger Cub and Panther 10/4. The test figures are summarised in a table, from which we learn that highest speed achieved was 112 m.p.h. over the flying 1/4-mile on the 649-c.c. Triumph Tiger 110, and the best fuel consumption was 165 m.p.g. at 30 m.p.h. with the 146-c.c. B.S.A. Bantam Major. – W. B.

“The True Book About Motor Cars,” by Charles Fothergill. 144 pp. 7 1/2 in. by 5 in. (Frederick Muller Ltd., Ludgate House, 110, Fleet Street, London, E.C.4. 7s. 6d.)

This is a comprehensive book about most aspects of the motor car, by Charles Fothergill, late motoring correspondent of the News Chronicle. This book in the “True” series really does cover a lot of ground, including a history of racing, although we have read it all before in various places. The illustrations are rather crude line sketches by Gordon, with a dust-jacket colour picture of an improbable Le Mans. Get it for Junior and keep it as a personal referenee. – W.B.

“The Chequered Flag,” by Douglas Rutherford. 223 pp. 8 1/2 in. by 5 3/4 in. (Collins Ltd., 14, St. James’s Place, London, S.W.1. 25s.)

Thinking up new gambits when writing motoring books is the difficult part of the art these days, when motor cars and motor racing are universally popular, but Douglas Rutherford, author of the novel “Grand Prix Murder,” manages the uncopied by taking us, after a brief piece of motor-racing history, on a tour of the Continental circuits during last season’s motor racing.

He ably gets over the atmosphere of this greatest of all sports and spectacles, although at times tending to remember he is a novelist and dramatise his prose accordingly. On the whole, though, this is a job well done, with plenty of descriptive matter on what racing is like and all about it, on the drivers and so on. Moreover, the story Jenkinson wrote for Motor Sport on winning the Mille Miglia with Moss in the Mercedes-Benz, “perhaps the greatest scoop of motoring journalism,” is reproduced very fully. As this is a personal account of a holiday following the Continental “circus,” the graphic account of the Le Mans disaster could not very well have been omitted, but the photographs of the accident are in poor taste. Otherwise, good photographs, and diagrams augment the text of a book which captures the true spirit of present-day motor racing and one which will allow many to relive the races they, too, attended as spectators. – W. B.

“Auto 1956,” by Carlo Biscaretti. 144 pp. 10 in. by 7 1/4 in. (Motor Racing Publications, Ltd., 13, Conway Street, Fitzroy Square, London, W.1. 30s)

This is a beautifully produced annual reference work covering the cars of the world, from A.C. to Zis 110, not forgetting sports, racing and Grand Prix models. A picture, usually a publicity hand-out, accompanies each specification, and each manufacturer’s address is included. Some of the pictures, including those of the advertisers, are in colour, and text and specifications are in English and Italian. There is some historical matter, accompanied by rather suspect dates, and the curious remark that Lancia “judiciously adopted such novelties as electrical equipment” in 1914. Carlo Biscaretti rode an 1898 Phoenix-de Dion tricycle in the Verona-Mantova race.

“Rally Navigation,” by L.N. Needham. 16 pp. 7 1/4 in. by 4 3/4 in. Soft cover. (Rally Equipment, 279, Edgware Road, London, N.W.1.)

Tbe purpose of this book is evident from the title and it will no doubt be in demand by those who seek proficiency in rally navigation.

“British Sports Cars,” by Albert Douglas. 63 pp. 6 in. by 4 in. Soft cover. (Ian Allen Ltd., Craven House, Hampton Court, Surrey. 2s. 6d.)

This book covers current British sports cars, including those of small-output factories, in descriptive text, picture and specification tables. The Turner is not included.

“Ford Cars,” by T.B.D. Service. 236 pp. 7 1/2 in. by 5 in. (C. Arthur Pearson, Ltd., Tower Service, Southampton Street, Strand, London, W.C.2. 10s. 6d.)

This is a useful practical guide to the maintenance and repair of Ford models from 1934 onwards, complete with wiring and other diagrams, although it doesn’t cover tuning for increased performance. – W. B.

“Motoring on a Small Income,” by William H. Hartley. 128 pp. 7 1/4 in. by 4 3/4 in. Soft cover. (Hutchinson and Co. (Publishers) Ltd., 178/202, Great Portland Street, London, W.1. 2s. 6d.)

Another book in a series, this gives the usual hints and tips for obtaining economy from your car. Elementary, my dear Watson

*   *   *

Modern Caravan has published a very useful book, “Caravan Sites,” which lists, under counties and with details, the approved sites taking five or more caravans in Great Britain and Ireland. It is available for 2s. 6d. from Heathcock Court, Strand, London, W.C.2.

*   *   *

“Roads Matter – Lancashire, Cheshire, Staffordshire” is the title of the latest book, containing those fascinating illustrations of current road congestion, issued by the Roads Campaign Council, 15, Dartmouth Street, London., S.W.1, in its crusade for better British roads. Copies are obtainable free, on mentioning Motor Sport.

*   *   *

Red Rose Publicity Services, Back Regent Street, Blackpool, have introduced a little book called “The Average Speed Computer,” compiled by Ronald Taylor, which should prove invaluable to rally competitors and others. It consists of tables in easily read form whereby the time required to complete a given distance at a stipulated average speed, distance to be covered in a set time to give a stipulated average speed, or the speed to maintain in order to cover a set distance in a specified time, the tables covering every speed from 10 m.p.h. to 35 m.p.h. and “special” speeds, such as 26.666 m.p.h., often set by rally organisers. Claimed to be easier to read and more accurate than the usual calculators, the book, wire bound for easy manipulation, costs 5s. 3d. post free. – W.B.