BOOK REVIEWS, May 1962, May 1962




“Sleepless Knights,” by John Sprinzel. 123 pp. 81 in. x 5.4 in. (Motor Racing Publications Ltd., 62, Doughty Street, I.ondon, W.C.I. 21S.)

This is John Sprinzel’s light-hearted account of his rally experiences, with plenty of pithy annecdote which captures admirably the spirit behind this branch of motoring sport. But this slim volume also serves as a guide to European rallying, and, indeed, concludes with an Appendix giving details of the R.A.C., Monte Carlo, Tulip, Acropolis, Alpine, Midnight Sun, Viking, and Liege rallies, not overlooking information about the parties to be expected at the prize-giving!

Sprinzel dedicates his book to his mother “for, amongst other things, lending me her Austin A3o.” But in a fascinating chapter about the cars he has used for competition work he admits that he prefers a hot Sebring Sprite, says he had the most fun from the little A35 and writes in warm praise of the Mini Minor that he uses for personal transport in London and odd club events.

I enjoyed this book very much and so will other present and potential rally drivers. There are splended “pen portraits ” of the ” greats ” of the game and useful illustrations of pages from maps and road books used in modern rallies.—W. B.

“Combat Aircraft of the World,” by F. G. Swanborough. 122 pp. 71 in. x 91 in. (Temple Press Ltd., Bowling Green Lane, London, E.C.x.

This landscape-shape book describes and illustrates all major aircraft now in production which have designed to engage in combat with an enemy. This fascinating account of futuristic-looking, phenomenally fast and more then faintly disturbing winged projectiles covers nearly 60 types of eight nations.

There is a great deal of specialised information in this book, for the development history of each type is related, with reference to first flight dates, quantities produced and operational employment and dimensions, weight and performance figures are quoted for each aircraft, and design changes from prototype to the latest Service variant are traced through a series of illustrations An excellent reference work in every way to modern fighters, bombers and anti-submarine aircraft, but the pictures would have benefited from glossier paper.—W. B.

Some extremely useful holiday-guide volumes have come to hand from Arthur Barker. Written by Alison Lascelles, these brightly written and informative guides comprise “Motoring Holidays in France” (16s.); “Motoring Holidays in Spain ” (t6s.); and “Motoring Holidays in Switzerland ” (15s.). Routes, resorts, and much very useful information about hotels, food and wine are included.


An entirely new series of five road maps of Europe have been added to the range of Dunlop touring guides. In addition, the fourth in the series of ” Width of Road ” maps of Great Britain and a new extended edition of “Motoring about London” have been introduced. The European set have been arranged to cover, as far as practicable, the most popular touring grounds of the different countries and these are grouped together over the five separate sheets. For instance, No. x comprises Spain, Portugal and Southern France. Map No. 3 consists of France, Belgium and Switzerland, Austria and Northern Italy. In addition to these countries the complete set of sheets covers Germany, Holland, Poland, Scandinavia and the Yugoslav Adriatic coast. Special features of these maps, which cost 3$. 6d. each, are an index to place names, the marking of roads and places of scenic and historical interest, car air-ferries and international airports.

The latest “Width of Road ” map (No. 4) is of Wales and West Midlands and, like the previous releases in this series, provides the reader with a clear picture and choice of modern highways or less-frequented roads. New and projected by-pass roads and motorways are included, together with town plans and an index to place names. Cost is 5s.

The new (third) edition of “Motoring About London” has been extended to Windsor at its western edge. Amongst the many improved features are the inclusion of the Piccadilly Underpass, the Hammersmith and Chiswick flyovers and a number of other major road projects both under construction and planned for the future. An index of district names is printed on the reverse sheet. The price remains unchanged at 4s. All the maps are in washable covers and are obtainable from most booksellers or direct from Geographia at 114 Fleet Street, London, E.C.4.


The 31 in. long Dinky Jaguar E-type (No. 120), with detachable hard-top and substitute folded hood, costs 6s. It has smaller wheels than the same size Corgi E-type. Dinky Toys also have a 41 in. Ford Fairlane R.C.M.P. patrol car (No. 264), at 6s. 6d. Corgi’s latest is a 31 in. long Aston Martin DI34, with a replica of the 3.7-litre engine under its lift-up bonnet. In green, with number discs and crossed-flag emblem, this fine miniature (No. 309) sells for 5$. 6d. The real car costs over ,C4,000!

Lesney have brought out an 00-scale Bedford-Lomas ambulance with opening double doors and interior stretchers, etc., for is. 9d. (Matchbox Series No. 14), and an HO-scale American Hendrickson Relay tractor unit with multiple box-car trailers, for 6s. I Id. (Matchbox Major Pack No. M-9).


In our issue for April 1961 we published a review of that year’s edition of “Who’s Who in the Motor Industry” in which we stated that we could not remember Mr. Nockolds ever having been editor of MOTOR SPORT. Mr. Nockolds has asked us to explain however that in July 1932 he joined the editorial staff of MOTOR SPORT and took an active part in assisting Mr. Moore, the then owner of the magazine, in writing and compiling it. The title of editor was not used at this time either by Mr. Moore or Mr. Nockolds hence our not remembering it, but by virtue of the functions they carried out the effective editorial position was that between July 1932 and December 1933 Mr. Moore was managing editor and Mr. Nockolds editor and between 1934 and 1935 Mr. Moore was managing and joint editor and Mr. Nockolds joint editor. * * •

Britons should endeavour to look smart when abroad. A handy pack of Johnson’s shoe polish, containing z fluid oz. and very suitable for stowage in car, is now available and with polishing pad under the lid, helps materially to this end.


Those who enjoy big one-make occasions should note that the Alvis 0.C. will stage another Alvis Day at the Crystal l’alace on May 20th, proceedings commencing at 10.30 a.m. Anyone who has a rare or famous Alvis is invited to contact the Secretary of the Alvis O.C. with a view to being invited to participate.


Co-operation between the Police and sporting motorists is essential and it is nice to find that the former have their own Club, the Federation of British Police Motor Clubs. Last month the Southend Police M.C. held the Four Clubs driving tests on behalf of the Federation, at which five Police Forces were represented, which Southend won, and on May 6th this Club, which is the Southend-on-Sea Group of the Federation, has a Closed Rally starting at 2.30 p.m. from the very fine new Police Headquarters at Southend.


We happened to see a Mobil film recently of a coach journey made last year, the subject of which should intrigue all drivers who pride themselves on being fast long-distance motorists. A standard Bedford 41-seater diesel coach covered over 5,000 miles in just over a week at well over 5o m.p.h. average, including London-Moscow-London. The latter run comprised 3,823 miles in 721 hours, a running time average of 51.6 m.p.h. Consumption of Mobil fuel-oil was 17.2 m.p.g. Relief drivers travelled in the coach, which weighed over 7 tons. The return journey occupied 4 days 16 hours, inclusive of several hours’ customs delay out and home at the Polish frontier. The Channel was crossed by boat and the crew rested in Moscow from 9.07 p.m. on the evening of arrival to 12 noon the following day. The tyres used were 8.25 x 20 Michelin ” X.” Not bad ?

The date of the Beaulieu Veteran and.Vintage Car Auction has been changed from July 14th to July 7th.

This year’s National Gliding Championships take place from June 2nd to Whit-Monday at R.A.F. Station, Aston Down, Glos. Joy rides, aerobatics and an air show will be held on the final day.