Cars in Books, May 1990

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

This once regular feature refuses to go away. Three readers have kindly written to draw my attention to appropriate books. The first is A Mountain of Light by Austin Coates, the history of The Hong Kong Electric Company, which is thought to be the oldest power company in the world using its original name. The company secretary in Hong Kong has kindly sent us a photocopy of the relevant pages, which deal with a fleet of Trojan cars bought in 1925 for the Company’s representatives. These solid-tyred cars are accurately described and earn much praise. At the time when they were acquired, only a few cars belonging to high ranking government officials or company directors were seen in China and in Hong Kong the first car was that of Dr Noble, a dentist, who lived in Pokfulam and bought it in 1915.

The war delayed car sales up to 1920, but within two years 1000 were sold. The opening of Stubbs Road in 1923 enabled cars to reach the Peak if they did not overheat on the way. Some 5000 cars were owned by the well-to-do by 1928 but in Hong Kong motoring was mostly done in a fleet of badly battered Citroen taxis, until, as the drivers were wont to turn back the taximeters and pocket the change, the firm running them went bankrupt! The Trojans served extremely well and the book contains some amusing stories relating to them.

The other book to which our attention is drawn is Sea and Sardinia by none other than D H Lawrence, published in 1923. It describes a bus journey undertaken by the famous author in 1921, from Sorgono to Nuoro. The make of the bus isn’t mentioned but it is obvious that it went very much in its own time, to suit the passengers, as country buses once did in England, and that Lawrence enjoyed it; he praised Italian automobiles and one wonders what cars he used himself.

Finally a 3 1/2-litre Bentley figures in The Courier by Derek Kartun (Century Press, 1985) and although this is fiction, about smuggling bullion from Paris to Lisbon, the author says the Bentley was an actual car, and it is apparently accurately described, although, says our correspondent, Bentley Motors might not have approved the fictitious alterations made to It for carrying heavy objects over the Pyrenees! We thank these readers for their interest and are always glad to hear of real cars in books. WB