Book Reviews, July 1964, July 1964

“1964 World Car Catalogue.” Compiled by the Automobile Club of Italy. 565 pp. 10-5/8 in. x 8-7/8 in. (Iliffe Books Ltd., Dorset House, Stamford Street, London, S.E.1. 90s.)

The favourable remarks we published when reviewing the 1963 edition of this great work apply equally to the 1964 edition, which covers improved technical and typographical presentation and details of many new models, while there is a map showing the location of manufacturing and assembly plants of manufacturers’ associated companies and concessionaires abroad.

There are detailed specifications of over 550 different cars, and some 1,100 photographs, many of the latter in full colour. The idea of having a picture of each car and a second picture depicting some outstanding aspect of it is retained, and for ease of reference the cars are grouped according to makes, in alphabetical order. In addition, there are four analytical indices according to nationality and manufacturer, list price, engine capacity and maximum speed, the last-named taking us from 46.6 m.p.h. of the Aichi Machine Cony 36.0 estate-car to the 178.3 m.p.h. attributed to the Ferrari 250 LM, which gives some idea of the extent of the contents.

Anyone who loves comparing the intimate details of different motor cars or whose business makes necessary access to technical intimacies of’ this kind will find the “World Car Catalogue” indispensable. Postage is 2s. 9d.


“The Shell Book of Epic Motor Races,” by Peter Roberts. 128 pp. 9-1/2 in.x 7-1/5 in. (Nicholas Kaye, 194-200, Bishopsgate, London, E.C.2. 12s. 6d.)

This is not a new theme and although there is plenty of meat in the motor-racing title in this Shell “Epic” series, and some nice photographs, particularly of the World Championship winners, this cannot be classed as a “necessary” or even as an especially desirable motoring book.

The races picked out as epics are the 1962 German G.P., 1961 French G.P., 1959 Monaco G.P., 1957 German G.P., 1953 French G.P., 1927 Le Mans, 1914 French G.P., 1908 New York-Paris, 1902 Gordon Bennett, and 1955 Mille Miglia. These were chosen as representing victory for B.R.M., victory by a new boy from Italy, street-corner epic, Fangio’s first, the greatest race, scrap-iron winner, the end of an era, the 6 months’ race, first British victory and the Moss Marathon, to quote the chapter titles, but as the last-named had D. S. Jenkinson to write of it, any other author’s contribution is tame in the extreme, and this one cannot even copy from the D. S. J. account without making mistakes!

There are 69 illustrations and the only virtue of this book is its low price, thanks to the Shell subsidy.


“The World’s Motorcycles – 1894-1963,” by Erwin Tragatsch. 192 pp. 8-3/4 in. x 5-3/5 in. (Temple Press Books, 42, Russell Square, London, W.C.1. 25s.)

This is a companion volume to G. R. Doyle’s and G. N. Georgano’s ” The World’s Automobiles,” which Temple Press took under their wing a few years ago and which is the springboard from which so much motoring history is launched.

Tragatsch uses the same treatment and format to cover a record of almost 2,000 makes of motorcycle, from Abaco to Z.Z.R., with their makers’ addresses and dates of production. But he improves on the Doyle/Georgano technique by including fascinating historical/technical notes beneath each entry, and by including over 60 illustrations of machines representing every major period and type.

The result is a scholarly work of reference of inestimable value to serious historians, but also a book in which less intense students can browse for hours with pleasure and profit.

This is one of the definitely worthwhile books in a saturated market.


G. T. Foulis & Co. Ltd., 1-5, Portpool Lane, London, E.C.1, have issued a new, revised edition of “The Ferrari,” by Hans Tanner, the first edition of which appeared in 1959. Subsequent Ferrari development in both the Grand Prix and sports-car/GT world is included in this new edition, which costs 35s. and is comprehensively illustrated. The appendices tabulate a wealth of Ferrari technical and race data, but it is a pity that most of the errors in the original edition have not been eradicated, that the author cannot make up his mind how to spell Castellotti – and make certain, before buying a copy, that pages 85-116 are there – they are missing from our copy!


Ford of Dagenham have issued a useful book, the “Ford Service and Motoring Guide,” primarily to list Ford Main Dealers and Ford Retail Dealers, with maps giving their location, but also containing eleven touring itineraries, mileage chart, through routes, motoring regulations, street plans of eight cities, a section on European travel, 16 pages of road maps in full colour, lubrication and maintenance, etc. It is available from Ford Dealers, and should be carried in every Ford car.


The Castrol European Grand Prix Book

Castrol Limited have made publication history by issuing a very beautifully printed and produced book to celebrate the coming of the European Grand Prix to Brands Hatch circuit on July 11th.

This comprehensive book will be given away free with the race programme but is available to those not able to attend the race if they send their name and address, mentioning Motor Sport, to Castrol Limited (European Grand Prix Book), Castrol House, Marylebone Road, London, N.W.1. .A very big print order has been given for this unique book, but to avoid disappointment we recommend you to apply for your copy at once.

The book, which is printed in modern style, contains scale colour drawings by Sydney Pemberton of famous Grand Prix cars, a potted history of the European G.P. from 1923 to 1963 by William Boddy, Editor of Motor Sport, an account, fully illustrated, of what it is like to lap the Brands Hatch circuit, how the race will be televised, by Raymond Baxter of the B.B.C., biographies of the drivers and trade personnel by Alan Winton, the whole laced with a great many historic and dramatic pictures. This is a book to keep long after the 1964 European G.P. has passed into history. Castrol are to be congratulated on their initiative and absence of blatant advertising in this fine publication.


Tyre News

North British: The multi-million-dollar U.S. Royal tyre proving ground at Laredo, Texas, is now in use. Located on a site of more than 6,900 acres, the Laredo proving ground employs more than 100 people, operates a fleet of 80 test vehicles and logs more than 25,000,000 tyre test miles annually. Its 140-m.p.h. track is so constructed that a 200-m.p.h. lane can be added when such speed is needed for tyre testing. Cobblestones, called Belgian blocks, which once used to pave a main street in Baltimore, have been embedded in concrete to form a mile-long roadway for testing the durability of tyre cords and carcasses. Three highly-polished skid slabs, each as smooth as a tile floor and kept wet for an even more slippery surface, are used to determine a tyre’s resistance to skid, its traction and its stopping power.

Two mile-long courses constructed of gravel dredged from the Rio Grande tell tyre technicians how well their products can withstand chipping and cutting, and how to design a tread which will not pick up stones in its grooves. There is also a two-mile unpaved road for off-highway testing and a unique “Maypole” circular track for testing farm and off-the-road tyres. Vehicles on the “Maypole” track are attached by controls to a central, automatically operated pylon. This enables them to ride round the track driverless under specific test loads and tyre inflation pressures.

Dunlop: “The outcome of this year’s Indianapolis 500-mile Race,” says a Dunlop handout, “may depend on eight tires and four men in a rented truck.

“Dispatched by Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corporation to Indianapolis with the conviction that two of Colin Chapman’s Lotus-Fords will run all 200 laps without a tire change, the quartet of tiremen have made their presence felt. Jim Clark of Duns, Scotland, who spells tyre with a “y,” and Dan Gurney of Cosa Mesa, California, will run on Dunlop track racing tires specially modified for the 2-1/2-mile Indiana oval. Dunlop racing specialists from the company’s home offices in Birmingham, England and the firm’s American tire plant in Buffalo flew to Indianapolis last fall and ran track tests on their R6 racing tire, a low-profile, wide tread, multi-grooved tire made of synthetic rubber compounds with nylon cord. The tests were satisfactory, reports H. Victor Barlow, the 50-year-old British bachelor.” [Perhaps Dunlop forgot to dot the i – Ed.]

Goodyear: A Goodyear publicity handout says:

“When Goodyear President Mr. Victor Holt told a news conference in Indianapolis in March that Goodyear would offer tyres for the 1964 Indianapolis 500 classic, the company’s participation in American racing was complete.” (In fact, no-one at Indianapolis used Goodyear tyres; but perhaps Colin Chapman wishes he had. – Ed.]