Book Reviews, March 1968, March 1968

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“Automobile Year, No. 15” Edited by Douglas Armstrong. 268 pp. 12½ in. x 9½ in. (Patrick Stephens Ltd., Brooks House, Upper Thames Street, London, E.C.4,. 75s.)

This luxury annual appears again in its accepted form, full of fine action pictures, colour plates, 33 of these, four as two-page spreads, the results of 1967’s important races and rallies, John Davenport, covering the latter. These reports are backed up with 81 pages of charts, diagrams and technical tables. The advertising is complementary to the rest of the book, most of it being in high-class colour, and the leading article in this 1967/68 edition is a history of B.M.W. by Gunther Molter.

The Cars of the Year are also presented but the technical tabulation is not to our taste, taking up much space with pictorial symbolism more suited to under-tens.—W. B.

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“Sun on the Grid,” by Ken Stewart and Norman Reich. 232 pp. 11¼ in. x 8½ in. (Hugh Keartland (Publishers) (Ply.) Ltd., P.O. Box 9221, Johannesburg. R7.50.)

This is a complete history of the Grand Prix and endurance races which have been held in S. Africa. The coverage is complete and the text is backed up by some very fine illustrations. The chapters cover the formative years of racing in S. Africa, which brings back some pungent memories of Seaman, Howe, Straight, the Auto-Union team, and Kay Petre and Fay Taylour, etc., the serious racing of 1960-67, the lady drivers who competed there and endurance racing. An appendix lists the results of races from 1934-67 and there are outline maps of 11 of the circuits used.

The pictures are especially good, both of modern racing and of the old days, the latter including a full-page study of a Buick tourer (with fold-flat screen) sliding a corner during a hill-climb and Kay Petre chatting to members of the Auto-Union team, I think on the occasion when she tried one of these cars. This is a useful addition to the motor-racing archives.—W. B

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“Early Commercial Vehicles,” by David J. Trussler. 22 pp. 13 5/8 in. x 18¾ in. (Hugh Evelyn Ltd., 85, Lower Sloane Street, London, S.W.1 . 70s.)

This is the latest of those enormous tomes of colour plates with accompanying text, in which this publishing house specialises. The vehicles covered are some horse-drawn commercials, an 1898 Daimler truck, 1908 Unic taxi, 1914 Dennis fire-engine, 1914 Ford van, 1916 Vulcan covered lorry, 1917 Berna lorry and 1919 Leyland R.A.F. van. The pictures are ideal for the decoration of studies and TV sets, etc.—W. B.