by Stanley Sedgwick. BT Batsford, £23.99.
I enjoyed this book very much when it was published in 1976. It was largely about his Bentleys, as you would expect from a former President (and now Patron) of the Bentley DC, but it also described those long distance runs in this country, on the Continent, even across America, at very high average speeds, which Stanley has made something of a habit of. In fact, many other makes of cars figured in his book, apart from Bentleys and Rolls-Royces, and his Edwardian 45/50 hp Mercedes, and if it was a book to make one immediately envious, it was also a great dose of motoring interest and nostalgia.
I recommend you to obtain a copy of this revised edition right away, in case demand again puts it out of print. When I say that Stanley Sedgwick had revised his enthralling motoring diary, perhaps it would be more accurate to say he has enlarged on it, to cover his later driving experiences. So you can have the book originally published, with those many fine pictures, but now with additional material like Stanley’s factual, detailed accounts of using his 8-litre open Bentley to follow in the footsteps of Napoleon, drive an R type Continental Bentley to inspect other cars in Germany, sample “one Turbocharged Bentley after another” from 1983, and can read of his Mercedes, Jaguar-Daimler V12, and R-R Silver Shadows, and of how this avid enthusiast, who not only loves cars but letting them loose, very fast, over very long distances, drove from coast to coast in America in an Oldsmobile Cutlass V6 in 1981.
The extended edition of Motoring My Way also takes in many cars, clubs, museums and personalities visited all over the world, and it concludes with a new addition, About Me, which lets you into the life of this friendly chap with an accountant’s mind, who clearly lives for driving, has done so much for the BDC, and who provides logs of many journeys he has done, which might have set a target for you and me, if today’s speed limits had not rather erased that kind of fast motoring. The author was born in 1914, and he has owned a great many mouth-watering motor-cars, has passed the IAM and New York driving tests, had flown in Sunderland flying-boats, has flown across the Atlantic over 80 times (thrice in Concorde), does his own photography and developing (his own prints illustrate this book, of which more than 30 are new) and has served on the RAC Competitions Committee, tried rallying in a Jowett Javelin, and been painted by Cuneo — see the last two pictures in the book. In fact there is not much that Stanley hasn’t done. His book may make you envious, but it will also enthrall you. WB