Profile Publications 2s.
The second batch of Profiles has been issued, namely Nos. 5-8, for May. They cover the Lanchester 38 h.p. and 40 h.p., by Anthony Bird, Tim Nicholson on that controversial American car, the Duesenberg J & Sj, George Oliver writing of the 3 and 4 1/2-litre Bentleys and a model presentation of the G.P. Vanwall, with lists of successes, drivers, specifications, analysis of entries and identification colour pictures of the 1954-58 variants, together with a cut-away drawing and five-view colour plans of the 1957/58 cars, with text in the capable hands of D.S. Jenkinson. These Profiles are great stuff, although, because each author is an enthusiast for the car he deals with, there tends to be some bias or “sales talk,” sometimes detracting slightly from the accuracy of the piece. For example, while Bird admits that the Lanchester Forty, a car of sophisticated design able to out-perform the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost in almost every respect, suffered from whine from its epicyclic gearbox when stationary [Enough, surely, to jeopardise sales, for this trait while disgorging its human cargo onto the red carpets of ceremonial occasions was more undignified than the contemporary Daimler’s smoke-screen as it drove away.-Ed.], he excuses the sudden termination of S.F. Edge’s long-distance record attack at Brooklands in a 2-seater Forty as due to “slight wheel wobble, which he did not notice, but which caused George Lanchester to order the car in.” The true facts are that the car proved under-geared, and as making a special high-ratio axle would have been expensive with the Lanchester worm-drive, bigger wheels were resorted to, which caused had wheel wobble, which stressed a steering-arm so severely that it fractured, Edge fortunately pulling up without mishap-don’t ask me why smaller front wheels were not used. However, Bird’s discourse is extremely interesting, as are all these Profiles. Four more are to be released this month, covering the Auburn s/c. 8, Type 35 Bugatti, Alvis Speed 20 & 25, and Ferrari 625 and 555; the August batch will include the Le Mans Frazer Nash, by D.S. Jenkinson, which we omitted to mention last month, and after September six Profiles will appear every month. They represent excellent value at a couple of bob each, especially when compared to a certain superficial Rover History we had a pre-view of the other day, which is to sell for 30s.-W.B.