Jack's Memories of Wheels

Jack's Memories of Wheels, by Jack Pouncy. John Aley/ MCC, £12.50.

Here is something different, and fun: a jolly account of competition motoring, mostly on two or three wheels, by one who rode in his first MCC trials in 1926, discovering Brooklands in 1927, and who at 93 still thinks nothing of manning MCC trials' check-points at night. He recalls the pioneer days of motorcycling from 1908 with a personal vividness and clear memory.

He describes MCC trials on various machines, like a two-stroke Dunelt, and how with only a First Class Award in an MCC High Speed Trial on his first ride at Brooklands, he had the audacity to tackle long distance records with a 172cc Baker-Villiers, lent by the makers.

Pouncy rode in his first Exeter trial in 1928, on a Model-K Dunelt, having spectated before the First World War. His trials memories, competing with solo and sidecar machines, are very interesting, as is the production of Pouncy motorcycles. Equally so are his hilarious war-time recollections. This enthusiast's story, published privately, is rather like a long (101 pages) "Motorcycles I Remember" magazine article. Famous riders are described, not forgetting Pouncy's AJS and well-remembered Dot sidecar outfit. Cars, too, mainly Trojans, of which Pouncy had three. The 27 pictures in the book echo the spirit of the text, and a pull-out Awards' List for the 1934 Smith Scramble is included. So if you want a change from the mundane run of motoring books, get this one from John Aley. Mayflowers, Hessett, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. WB

Shire Publications of Princes Risborough has a very long list of motoring titles in its excellent "Shire Album" series. The latest is on "Electric Vehicles", by Nick Georgano. It covers concisely, with clear and fascinating illustrations, the history of such vehicles, from 1882 to recent revivals, those of Harrods van and LEC bus included, for the modest sum of £2.25. The content is rather American' biased (over 300 makes of electric car were made there). WB