Amongst the many interesting features in Motor Sport not least is that section devoted to “Cars in Books”. In last December’s issue you mention one book entitled “The Escape From Monotony”.
This title rang a bell and prompted me to hunt through a lot of old junk, where I found a copy of this book and derived a lot of pleasure in reading it again. I think you are a little hard on both Lovegrove and the Star people in suggesting that the book was an advertising stunt. It advertised the car certainly, but it was also an extremely well-written and amusing description of a journey to the Continent in a light car when such journeys were, at that time, still the prerogative of the wealthy in the genuine GT article.
My ownership Of Star cars goes back many years and at the moment I possess a 1908 12 h.p. Phaeton and a 1922 11.9 h.p. saloon. In 1922 I bought from the makers a car similar to that now owned by your “Star fanatic”—a mutual friend, by the way. It is hardly surprising that the latter had never heard of the book. It was printed long before he was born and could hardly be called a best seller.
Lovegrove’s car was a 12/25 h.p. two-seater, built in the latter end of 1923, and, if purchased at the Olympia Show of that year, would have been a 1924 model. The journey about which he writes was done in the spring of 1925. At the 1926 Olympia Show I bought the actual 14/30 h.p. coupé displayed on the Star stand. The point is that, although closely interested in Star cars, the first time I ever heard of Lovegrove’s book was when the makers bought a few score copies of it and distributed them to selected customers at the show.
Purely as a matter of interest and time permitting you might care to look up The Motor of March 4th, 1924, page 174-5-6, where John Gilpin gives his impressions of this identical 12/25 h.p. model together with illustrations. Gilpin appears to have impressed himself also to the extent that he bought one from Malcolm Campbell, the London agent.
W. W. Marsh.
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