Book Reviews, June 1959, June 1959

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“Indianapolis 500-Mile Race Official Year Book.” 133 pp., 11 in. by 8½ in.; soft covers. (Floyd Clymer, 1268 S. Alvarado Street, Los Angeles 6, California. Two dollars.)

Once again from Floyd Clymer, the prolific American publisher, comes a full story of last year’s Indianapolis 500-Mile Race and the 1958 Monza 500-Mile Race, an annual publication lavish in illustrations and coverage, which gives the full story of these two classic long-distance track races. Clymer leaves nothing out — all seems to be there, with plenty of historical material as well as coverage of last year’s races. Those who wish to get a very full picture of what this specialised American track racing is like need look no further than this unique book, which goes step by step through everything that happens at Indianapolis, up to the moment when the 1958 winner, Jimmy Bryant, drove his Belond Special into victory lane to receive his kiss from charming and attractive, rather than glamorous, Shirley MacLaine. What is a Belond Special? — Clymer tells you, as he tells you everything else about the Indianapolis 500 including pictures of all the 33 cars that started last year. He pays England a tribute by reprinting Monza 500 reports from two of our motor journals and gets neatly out of the furore he caused with his Fangio challenge with new praise for the World Champion. — W.B.

“R.A.C. Guide and Handbook-1959.” 620 pp. plus 64-page atlas. 8¼ in. by 5¼ in. (R.A.C., Pall Mall, London, S. W.1. 12s. 6d.) This fantastically complete motoring encyclopaedia, containing a million words, nearly 200 maps and town plans and data on some 4,000 towns and villages in the British Isles, is excellent value, especially as it sells for 8s. 6d post free to R.A.C. members.

Especially valuable is the 64-page Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland which is incorporated in the book. Printed in three colours on a scale of 10 miles to the inch, it numbers amongst its innovations the Preston Motorway and the line of the London-Birmingham Motorway now under construction.

There are many special features in addition to the always popular Directory of Hotels and Restaurants and details of more than 7,000 R.A.C.-appointed Garages. Motorists visiting or living in the London area will appreciate the list of British Railways and Underground Railway Stations which offer parking facilities. There are also lists of street and bomb-site parking places.

A specially-written legal section; caravan and camping sites; a list of R.A.C. telephone boxes; and details of car-by-train services are other valuable features which motorists and motor-cyclists will appreciate.

And for those contemplating a day by the sea, the times of high tides in 154 coastal resorts are given! — W.B.

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A third edition of Temple Press Ltd.’s valuable reference work, “The World’s Automobiles — 1880-1958,” by G. R. Doyle, is now available, price 15s. It runs to 174 pages and gives the name, place and period of manufacture of over 4,000 automobiles, with occasional notes on their characteristics or circumstances of manufacture.

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Dunlop have introduced a new road map, to a scale of five miles to the inch, showing the approximate width of roads in the S.E. of England.

New and proposed by-passes and motorways are shown, along with mileage distances, steep hill gradients, vehicular ferries, principal sandy beaches, and wooded areas. There is a complete alphabetical index to place names, and small sectional maps show main routes through 14 major towns. An enlargement of the London area shows exit routes, but these are not classified by width owing to the complex nature of the London road system. This map is priced at 5s. and is published by Geographin Ltd.

*

Those engaged in “hotting-up” production engines will find “Valve Timing for Maximum Output,” by Ed. Iskenderian, the well-known camshaft manufacturer, of great interest. It contains a great deal of specialised information about valve timing, cam forms and port sizes and formation, together with details of commercially-available special Iskenderian clamshafts for many European and American engines. A soft-cover 71-page book, it is priced in America at one dollar.

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Versatile VW!

As versatile in its way as the model-T Ford once was, a Volkswagen in Sweden lives up to this tradition — its farmer-owner uses it for milking cows that are grazing away from the cowshed, by using the vacuum in the induction manifold to operate the milking unit.