Book Reviews, June 1968, June 1968

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“World Car Catalogue—1968”, edited by Sergio D’Angelo. 670 pp. 10½ in. x 9 in. (Iliffe Books Ltd., 42, Russell Square, London, W.C.1 70s.)

This extremely useful reference work is out again, in current form, dealing with the cars of 1968. Not only does it contain specifications, performance figures and pictures of the World’s catalogue models, but covers also prototypes and cars with special bodies. There are no fewer than 1,046 photographs and 64 line drawings in this bulky tome and the technical data cover servicing information and details of variations and optional extras in addition to the usual facts and figures. The cars of Russia and Australasia are included and the aforesaid special bodies are illustrated in colour.

This book will be of great service to writers, engineers and libraries and should be in every car factory. It is indexed by name of car, and by country and make, maximum speed and price, to facilitate quick reference under these headings and there is a section devoted to the history, structure and activities of manufacturers, with useful addresses. This is a book which looks, feels and smells good.—W. B.

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“Motor Road Tests, 1967 Series”, 295 pp. 11 5/8 in. x 8¾ in. (George Newues Ltd., Tower House, Southampton Street, London, W.C.2  21s.)

The 53 road-test reports from the Motor are now available in one soft-cover volume, in the form of reprints. These form collectively an invaluable reference work and a happy browsing medium. The cars tested range from Fiat 500F to Jensen Interceptor and the pictures and data about each are extremely comprehensive. From the tabulated data it is apparent that this welcome volume runs to some high performance cars, the fastest being the 138½ m.p.h. Jensen, the most accelerative over a s.s. ¼-mile the TVR Tuscan SE, in 14.1 sec. The most economical car tested was the little Fiat, at 43.6 m.p.g. But buy this absorbingly informative book for yourself. It would be a great pity if these annuals ever ceased to appear and we are informed that since last autumn Autocar has discontinued publication of its sister interim and yearly road-test books.—W. B.

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“Ford versus Ferrari—The Battle for Le Mans”, by Anthony Pritchard. 176 pp. 8¾ in. x 5½ in. (Pelham Books Ltd., 20, Bloomsbury Street, London, W.C.1., 35s.)

This is a straightforward account of the battle by Ford of America to win the Le Mans 24-hour race against Ferrari from 1964 until their victory in 1966, repeated in 1967, after which they announced their withdrawal: Ferrari having won the race outright since 1960, and been victorious three times before that. Thank goodness an Englishman, not an American, tells the story!

Pritchard does so without drama, preferring a simple factual account of this recent and interesting period of Le Mans history. He provides a brief history of the race as a background and also gives the history of Ferrari, Ford and Cobra. The technical factors of the modern Ferraris and of the Ford GT40 are covered and then separate chapters describe the races of 1964 to 1967. The book has the merit of being right up to date, because a Postscript deals with the change in the capacity limits which have ruled out the participation of the 7-litre giants by stipulating a maximum of 3-litres for Group 6 prototypes and 5-litres for Group 4 cars and some of the politics behind this, which does not put Dean Delamont of the R.A.C. in a very favourable light.

There are also appendices listing the showing of “works” Ferraris in sports-car racing from 1964 to 1967, ditto for the “works” Fords, the specifications of Ferrari 275LM and P4 and Ford GT40, Mk. II and Mk. IV cars, and the winners on distance of all the Le Mans races from 1923 to last year. So this is a worthwhile specialist history, illustrated with 36 photographs, five of them by Motor Sport, of appropriate cars and drivers.—W. B.

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Pirelli Ltd. have issued a booklet “Car Tyre Care and Maintenance” to coincide with the new Laws relating to tyres. It is available free, on mention of Motor Sport, to Pirelli House, 343/345, Euston Road, London, N.W.1.

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To make sure the customer gets the right octane petrol for his engine, B.P. have issued a booklet giving the correct grades for different cars. It is not entirely comprehensive but covers most popular makes. The only ones listed as needing 100-octane are the Aston Martin DB4GT, all Bentleys, the Lotus Elan, the Ford Cortina-Lotus and the 2000TC and 3.5 Rovers, all Rolls-Royces and R.R.-engined Princess 4-litre Vanden Plas and the Triumph GT6 and 2-litre Vitesse. Those able to cope with 91-octane are given as Austin Metropolitan, Fiat 500s and 600s, Ford Popular, Prefect and Old Escort, Peugeot 403 and 403A, Renault R4 and R8, Rover 80 and 88, Saab 95 and 96, Standard Ensign and Vanguard IV, Vanden Plas Princess 4-litre but not, curiously, the VW 1200. For other makes ask for this booklet at your B.P. station—or the elephant sticker, apparently B.P.’s surely rather tame and belated answer to the Esso tiger.

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Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshalen A.G., better known as Z.F., have brought out an interesting 63-page soft-cover publication about their products and how they are made, called “Gears in Mesh”. It covers the history, from the days of when it supplied transmitting gears for Zeppelins and Germany’s giant aeroplanes’, to the modern products of the company, and contains many pictures of these, and of the factories in which they are made, and lists Z.F. service stations in the Federal Republic and abroad. Copies should be requested from Harold Ludicke (England) Ltd., 1a, Abbey Mews, N.W.8, mentioning Motor Sport.

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A booklet about the G.P. B.R.M. by A. F. Rivers-Fletcher is available free to Motor Sport readers if they apply to the Public Relations’ Office, The Owen Organisation, York House, Empire Way, Wembley, Middlesex.

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The latest owner’s manuals in G. T. Foulis’ series are “M.G.-B” by Stuart Turner and John Organ (36s.), “B.M.C. Minis—Maintenance, Tuning and Modification”, by David Marshall and Ian Frazer, revised edition (32s.) and “Electrical Equipment British Cars—How It Works, Maintenance and Fault-Testing and Remedy”, by R. A. Hall (36s.). The publisher’s address is: 1-5, Portpool Lane, London, E.D.1.