Book reviews, March 1963, March 1963

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“United States Navy and Marine Corps Fighters, 1918-1962” Edited by Bruce Robertson. 248 pp. 11 1/4 in. x 8 5/8 in. (Harleyford Publications Ltd., Letchworth, Hertfordshire. 50s.)
This is another unique, very detailed, lavishly-illustrated Harleyford aeronautical book, perhaps of more interest to American than British aviation enthusiasts, but packed full of data, history, illustrations and scale drawings—when are we going to have equally comprehensive coverage of automobile history?

Produced by D. A. Russell, M.I.Mech.E., this reference work has 248 pages, over 100,000 words of text, nearly 300 excellent photographs, reproductions of 60 squadron badges and 70 scale 1/72nd two-tone scale paintings by W. F. Hepworth, M.S.I.A., based on original drawings by Paul R. Matt, J. D. Carrick and Frank Yeoman. The data table alone covers ten pages and for anyone anxious to learn all about fighters such as Curtiss, Douglas, Grumman, Lockheed, Ryan, Vought-Sikorsky, Wright, etc., etc., this is IT.—W. B.

***
“Motor Rallying” by Phil Drackett. 92 pp. 7 1/4 in. x 5 in. (W. & G. Foyle Ltd., 119-125, Charing Cross Road, London, W.C.2. 4s.)
This is a compact reference work to rallying, which, in spite of its small size and modest number of pages, leaves very little out. There is an Appendix of the rules governing modern rallies.— W. B.

***
“The Open Road” by H. J. Deverson. 41 pp. 8 5/8 in. x 11 3/16 in. (Oxford University Press, Amen House, Warwick Square, London, E.C.4. 15s.)
This is a children’s book and a very amusing, valuable, educational and entertaining one it is. It is essentially a picture book, which sets out to teach young people something about map reading, road-safety and motoring generally. They are invited to accompany Uncle George in his Hillman Minx on a journey from town to coast, in the course of which he explores the countryside, watches a motor rally, joins a gathering of vintage-car enthusiasts and so on. The young readers are asked to identify cars encountered on the road and as these are of all ages and types, on all manner of roads and lanes, the odds are that you grown-ups, who bought the book, will make the journey with the youngsters to whom you gave it.

The only criticism of this fascinating and not all that childish book is the very low standard of the vintage-car drawings. The Jowett 7/17 is too wide, the Lancia Lambda too short, the 30/98 on castors, we thought the Enfield-Allday was a Storey and the 1919 Sunbeam, Speed Six Bentley and Amilcar were unrecognisable, at all events by me. What a pity!

Parents should hasten to buy it (for their own benefit) and its companion volume, “The Map that Came to Life,” which the Sunday Times called “this enchanting book.”—W. B.

***
The Chevrolet Corvair is an interesting car and full details about it are contained in Floyd Clymer’s 342-page, soft-cover “Corvair Complete Owners Handbook.” It costs 4-dollars in the States, is obtainable here from Autobooks of Brighton, and is packed with pictures, diagrams, wiring diagrams, data on the Monza Spyder, special Corvair accessories, etc.

***
A book that sets out to introduce readers to many aspects of motoring, technical, test-passing, servicing, the Law, etc., is “The Car Owners’ Handbook,” Edited by Peter Roberts (288 pp., 6 7/16 in. x 4 3/16 in.) It is published by Paul Hamlyn Ltd., at the modest price of 5s.

***
Those who enjoy pre-motoring history, will be interested to learn that Hugh Evelyn Limited, 9, Fitzroy Square, W.1, have published another of their enormous picture books. This one is devoted to Felton’s (horse-drawn) carriages and costs 50s.

***
The first two volumes of a very detailed motoring history which Edita S.A., publishers of “Automobile Year,” are producing, have appeared in French, as “Ainsi Naquit l’Automobile” by Jacques Ickx. They are scheduled to be followed by additional volumes, taking the story beyond the mere birth of the motor-car, and it is sincerely to be hoped that these big, beautifully produced works will be translated into English.