by George A Oliver. 39 pp. 14 in. x 19 in. (Hugh Evelyn Ltd., 9, Fitzroy Square, London, W1. 55s.)
“Just a moment—give me a hand up—heave !” These are the feelings you get when confronted with this remarkable tome, the only motor book you can use under the wheels of the car when you get it bogged down—look at its dimensions, quoted above !
To use it thus would be a shame and the true purpose of George Oliver’s manuals is to present his coloured pictures which you can extract and have framed.
Having dealt in the first of the series with Edwardian and veteran cars Oliver now writes and paints in a 1919 to 1930 context. There is the same sound Preface and a repeat of the sage descriptions that accompany each of the big colour, full-side-elevation illustrations, which cover the undistinguished Chevrolet tourer of 1919, the 1922 Peugeot Quad, a very nice 11.4 Humber All-Weather, Peter Hampton’s exotic Type 30 Bugatti doorless 4-seater, a 3-litre Bentley, a Rolls-Royce Twenty, a 30/98 Vauxhall, a 36/220 Mercedes-Benz, the ex-Hampton 45-hp Hispano-Suiza, a rare 1929 Stutz sports saloon, a very covetable Lancia Dilambda tourer and a 17/95 Alfa Romeo James Young coupe in a perfectly horrid shade of yellow.
This isn’t quite so acceptable as the first of these enormous drawing books, partly because the novelty has worn off a little, perhaps because the descriptions are not quite so well done, and because, instead of being selected from the Sword Collection, the subjects are a scattered selection, some in rather sombre colour schemes. But, when all is said and done, where else can you buy a dozen reproductions of beautifully detailed car paintings for less than £3 ? Incidentally, I have often thought that the immortal Austin Seven owed something to the Peugeot Quad but Oliver is the only author brave enough to state that Sir Herbert Austin “is said to have been considerably influenced by the Peugeot …”
Those who like accurate drawings of car radiators will find them on the cover of an ingenious hook that will share with “Automobile Year” the archives of the more discerning collectors of motoring literature.—WB.