Book reviews , July 1960, July 1960



“British Civil Aircraft-1919-59, Vol. 2,” by Jackson. 595 pp.  8 7/8in. x 5 1/2 in. ( Putnam & Company Ltd. 42, Great Russell street, London, W.C.1. 63s.)

When we reviewed olturre One of ” ‘British Civil Aircraft ” we found it decidedly I; ItI -o C.10(1st` wordI hat would express a ?1,1 ott tely the enjoyment We had derived Iroil it and the appreciation c felt for Mr. J.,ekson’s painstaking indostry and research. His second volume. printed on high-chi., art paper and containing over 550 very clearly reproduced photographs, matty of them unique and previously unpublished, iaiNers 78 ek il aeroplanes in a most fascinating manner. with history, description, performance data, service records and even the fate of famous individual aeroplanes, laced together by excellent photographs and three-view scale drawings.

This second volume runs from E to Z, covering aeroplanes ranging front the Edgar Percival E.P. 9 to the Westland Sikorsky S-55 helicopter. To aviation students the material provided must be breath-taking in its interest value and the book of lasting worth as a work of reference. Even to this reviewer, the, contents are both informative and extremely nostalgic. Fur instance, Brooklands’ days in the summer sun are recalled by reference to E. A. 0, Eldrido’s Sopwith Gnu, R. G. J. Nash’s Klemm of the later 1931 period and a fine picture of dear Dudley Watt, in his famous black and yellow check helmet, sitting in the cockpit of the D.W.1, which he developed from an S.E.5.. We are also reminded that L. C. G. M. Le Champion Hew from Brooklands in 192415 in a Martinsyde Viper F.6 single-seater, while the reviewer’s good friend Rae Griffin is recalled as owning a special Flying Flea (Mignet II.M.14) with Bristol Cherub engine from the old Avro Avis and’ Supermarine Sparrow and wheels from the defunct Gadfly.

You see, it is all there—the great pioneer airliners, the record. breakers, the King’s Cup racing aeroplanes, the private-owner aircraft, all meticulously described and illustrated. They are indeed all there—the great Miles family, the many Percivals, the famous Old Handley Page pioneer airliners and their later developments, the various big twin-engined Vickers biplanes, the Fekkers, Fords, Supermarines, rare birds like the Gosport, Graham Whites, Marcodaz. and, of course, all the recent civil transport and private-owner aircraft you see daily. Not -content with this the author includes appendices of a further 238 prototype or small-production civil aircraft and 87 military aeroplanes adapted for civilian use or flown under civil marks. These, too, are illustrated. Finally, there is a further appendix containing the most complete documentation yet published on individual aircraft registration, names, dates of C of A issue and disposal of individual aircraft–and so the price of the book comes into perspective.

Anyone who likes, even remotely, aviation history should buy this book, which. ‘only seems expensive until you delve into its packed pages. neatly 600 of them ! If A. J. Jackson’s great work has given so much enjoyment to a motoring enthusiast, how much more will it be appreciated by those who have been closely associated with the aeroplanes with which ” British Civil Aircraft” deals. We hope that aircraft companies, air lines and flying schools will ensure that this quite splendid survey is placed on their library shelves. No aviation enthusiast, or reference library, ran afford not to have it close at band.—W. B.

“Wake Up In Europe,” by Colin Simpson. 400 pp., 91in. 6+ in. (Angus & Robertson Ltd., 105, Great Russell Street, London, 35s.)

This may seem an expensive book but to anyone who intends to take Continental holidays and touring seriously it is going toadd very considerably to their sense of anticipation and ultimate enjoyment, so from this aspect ” Wake Up In Europe” is a wise investment. It is also a book which will recall visits already made to places Colin Simpson so graphically describes and which are sa beautifully illustrated, frequently by colour plates, so again this can be regarded as money well spent.

The book gives impressions—very vivid and refreshingly written impressions—of an Australian visitor in Holland, West Germany and Austria, Italy and Sicily, Switzerland, France, Britain and the two Berlins. Illustrated by 113 photographs, 30 in colour, 10 maps, and with decorations by Claire Simpson, this fat volume is one to keep in the bookcase for reference before each new Continental journey you propose to undertake. Simpson does not mind expressing candid opinions, of places, people. customs and night-spots. Ile proffers a fascinating guide’ book as well -as a travel stinly and manages so well not to over write that one finds oneself sorry he did not contrive to see.. the Grand Prix when he was in Monte Carlo or a Mille Miglia iii Italy. But there are sonic passages of purely motoring interest, such as seeing Rome -in Princess Carla’s “sleek black low-slung Fiat sports Coupe’ ” and reference to t he two WoIscliI 5nOs and a Riley 1.5 (in which he did 90 m.p.h. for the first time) hire ears in which the author covered over 2.500 miles and the Volk,wagen used in Berlin. There is ‘also reference to an ” oldtmidel ” car owned by an

Oxford -authoress’s him -Ira ii a PolkRoyce on a taxi-rank in Edinburgh and to Bolls’ monument in Monmouth. Minor errors are. reference to a red double-devker ‘bus running liet,Aeen London and Tunbridge Wells and Pulhorough spelt nil ii two ” I “s.

” Wake UP In Europe ” is a book that should stir the reader to get out the car and travel—in England or abroad, 1it iii age of too many shoddy publications this one is to be highly commended.— W.I3.

” Monza 1960.” The Official Year Book of Monza Autodrome. 147 pp.. II in. /q in. (Autodromo Nationale di Monza, Monza Italy. 2.50o lire.)

This large, beautifully illustrated Monza Year Book covers every possible aspect of racing at the famous autodrome near Milan. History, future fixtures; last year’s results, the construction and development of Monza, all are fully covered, and there are plans and a pull-out circuit diagram of the ‘course as it is new and was in past years. The book is extremely well written and compiled, with no attempt at a publicity boost.

Many historic photographs are included of the autodrome built in 1922 in the beautiful park near Milan, the foundation stone for which was laid by Vincenzo Lancia and Felice Nazzaro that February. The Government stopped work which it thought would interfere with the amenities of the landscape (how badly Britain needs a Government of this mind today !) but after the course had been replanned work proceeded and in five months Nazzaro and Borclino carried out the first run on the new Speed course in a Fiat 501. Racing carsfirst used Monza on August 20th and both speed and road circuits were officially opened on August 28th, 1922. It is claimed that nearly 100,000 people (arriving in 10,000 cars) watched the first race meeting. The speed Course was designed originally for speeds up to 190 m.p.h. but the intervention of the Government called for bankings of reduced height, limiting speed theoretically to about 115 m.p.h. There is great interest to students of racing-track architecture in the opening chapters, which describe the construction and development of Monza, which can be compared to the description of the building of Brooklands in W. Boddy’s ” History of Brooklands Motor Ceti rse.-1906-1940.”

Model car racing and motor-cycle racing at Monza are covered and the 500-mile Two Worlds’ Trophy races are described. Many English enthusiasts will want this absorbing record of racing as it is conducted at the Italian track, especially as it is available with English translations of the Italian text; an excellent way, incidentally, of learning the’ language. “The Technique of Motor Racing,” by Piero Taruffi. 125 pp. 9 in. x 7* in. Translated by D. B. Tubbs. Foreword by Juan Manuel Fangio. (Motor Racing Publications. Ltd., 62, Doughty Street, London, W.C.1. 35s.)

Somehow this book, comprehensive as it is, is not so convincing, nor, incidentally, so well produced as one had anticipated. Every aspect of becoming a racing driver (or trying to become one—a very different thing !) is included, even to phySietil training before races, the clothing to wear, how to change gear, how to “heel-and-toe,” and the effect of varying road surfaces on tyre adhesion, etc., all of which is embellished with rather crude diagrams.

The chapter on cornering is exceedingly technical, with much formulae and graphs, the latter even showing how to take particular corners on individual circuits. This leaves one with the feeling that Taruffi is explaining theoretically what a skilled driver does subconsciously after some experimentation but which a driver -cannot readily emulate merely by reading the text and memorising the diagrams. Tarufft’s book is heavy going, enlivened by personal anecdotes of how the great racing drivers work. The illustrations are curiously out-dated, in many instances, although others are excellent. Mostly they depict the methods of champions now departed. which is not quite what present-day students of the art would wish to study. Ascari, Serafini, Tardini, Farina, Nuvolari, Varzi. Sormner and

Gonzales were great drivers in their day hut under different eoruhtions and in diGrent ears than prevail in 1960. The translation may have been diffieult, for this is a very technical work. but it does ant scent to do Tarufli full jlnitiVe.. and he appears to brush off the implications of und,ersteer too lightly and to use such

terms as ‘• drift when not implying the true four-whetd-drift. Some of the captions appear to have been written to meet old pictures rather than to sopport, the text and the circuit diagrams which eonchnle the book would have greater valise if’ reproduced to a larger scale. Historically there are some splendid pictures of Tana in the family Fiat :MIS tourer (with three Hat tyres !) he drove in hi, first race, the 1923 Rome-Viterbo, of him on his Norton motor,yele on which he lapped Monza at over 100 m.p.h. in 1931 and others that remind us of Piero’s prowess on skis aml on the 1.101,,,steiinh run.

Thisis a profound Mit somewhat disappointing book. but one serious-minded would-be racing drivers will tteverthekss read with avidity. Fangio contributes a ehartning Foreword. W. B.

Floyd Clymer has published a useful and comprehensive Volkswagen Owners’ Service Manual and Fact Book which costs ‘3 dollars in America. In this one paper-back 180-page book you get VW history, Clymer’s, test of a VW in Germany and his 20-minute interview with Heinz Nordholt, samples of V W advertising, a bilingnal motoring dietionary as well as the servicing data by Staton Abbey, A.M.I.M.I. • • •

She shall Not Have “rim ” (P„ R. maeraillatt. I 11. fid.) is a lighthearted novel with a motoring IlaVtIllr. written ily C. Georgion and ‘T. Waldron. who are employees of V au xba 11 Motors Ltd.

Shell Sneeesses,” a very fine pictorial record of races and rallies, record attacks, motor-cycle contests and stunt runs till Shell X100 oil, is issued Ree. There are short articles by B. I). Turtle, Shell’s Raving Manager, Tony Brooks, Cu tic Harrison, Francis Heart and other celebrities. The book is picture-packed, five of the many phatographs being from MoTou Sroirr.

Last month we inadvertently gave the priee of Morgan Workshop Manna! itmoireetly. The correct priee i I3s. 3d. post paid. (;RANI) PRIX DES FRONTIERES-Chimay, Belgium (June 5th) The old-established road race at Chinmy. on the Belgian-French border was held on its traditional day of Whit-Sunday, and this year was for Formula 2 cars with a sub,eategory for a number of Formula Junior ears. As usual, the organisation was in the hands of Jules linis::eret. the owner of the Casino at Chimay, and all the usual festivities and gala atmosphere centre around his establishment. Improvements, to the road surface and widening of the bridge on the back kg of the eircuit resulted in very high speeds being attained, without detract Mg from the true roatl-eircuit character of the. race,

Young J. R. I.C16$ won t he race after tieing ehallenged by Flockhart, both M Coopers, while possible opposition from LucienBianchi with one of the Equipe Beige Coopers was datopened at the start of the race when he as to’ his young brother. making his debut in Formula 2, have a tangle with Twisk and Inns ha. It. was ILO/. until the next lap. When he. sa so him walking back to the pits, that he wa,.: able to convent rate on the. race, but by then Lewis and Flockhart weft well away. Also in this event. Annie Soishault. the French rally girl, had a go in a Formula Junior Lola of the Fitzwilliam team, and after lying second on the opening lap, among, the juniors, she was put out of the mooing by engine trouble.


Held on a rectangular circuit on the edge of the French Lac du Bonrget. this race saw a regrettable accident on the fOurth lap, when a footbridge over the circuit collapsed and Chris Threlfall was killed as his .Elva-D.K.W, ran into the wreckage. At the time he Was in third position behind T. T.00, (LotusFor(l) and Heels (CooperO.K.W.). In view of the disaster the meeting was abandoned. LA GINESTE HILL-CLIMB-France (May 26th)

At this hill-climknear Marseilles the Swiss driver Zweiffel Wa8 the winner, driving a Cooper 1″.2 fitted with a 3-litre Monza Ferrari engine. The record, which lucid stood for two years, wisp broken many times.

SPA GRAND PRIX-Belgium (May 29th) The sports-car ;Mil G.T. races held on the. Spa-Francorehamps circuit saw Paid Irene’ have an easy win thriving the RS60 Porsche Of de Beaufort. The day started with G.T. races run in foggy conditions, and by the time the sports-car raee started rain wain falling and

coil Ii throughout the event. The G.T. races were for I,300,e.e., and 1.600-em. ears combined and the Team Elite Lotus Elites of Wagstaff and Allen had made fastest practice times. beating the Carrera Porsches of Koch and Braun. However, the Elites made poor starts and the.Porsehes got away, only to be caught Oct the-last lap. but having got the lead Wagstaff had as slide approaching the last bend and with Braun and Allen close behind there was a mix up in wind] the two Elites crashed, leaving the Porsche to win the race; 110 (17W was hurt. This left the 1,300-em, class to the Italian thrivenLeto di Priolo in a Giulietta.