"Mercedes-Benz," by S. C. H. Davis 224pp,. 8in by 5 1/4 in. (Frederick Muller Ltd., Ludgate House, 110, Fleet Street, London, E.C.4. 16s.)
This is the third book about Mercedes-Benz which has appeared in recent months. First came Macmillan’s “Complete Mercedes Story,” by Robert Nitske, which was notable for the large number of inaccuracies it contained. This was followed by Cassell’s “Three Pointed Star,” by David Scott-Moncrieff. Now comes Sammy Davis’ book on the same subject. Whereas, however, the Cassell book sought to cover the origin and history of Daimler-Benz, inclusive of production and racing cars, and in consequence is a complicated, bulky but invaluable tome, Davis is concerned almost solely with what Mercedes-Benz did in racing, and in the major races at that. Compared to the Scott-Moncrieff work his story may be superficial, yet it is very easy reading, dramatised in places as no pure historian would venture to do, and gaining here and there little tit-bits of information because Davis was present at many of the races he describes, whereas “Three-Pointed Star” was written largely “secondhand ” from reference works.
There is no doubt as to which book is the better value, but if you have only sixteen shillings available you will get a lot of enjoyment and learn more than a little from Davis’ book. The author acknowledges his sources of reference, which many authors don’t, and the pictures are nicely produced, although all have been published before. The Davis style of writing is enjoyable but there is an impression that at times journalese overrules fact; one funny story which Sammy includes would have more weight had MOTOR SPORT’S Continental Correspondent possessed his beard in Brooklands days, which this reviewer is quite certain he didn’t!
And now, please, may we be spared another book on Mercedes Benz for at least a few months, and particularly any further references to the oft-told account of who was Karl Benz and who Gottlieb Daimler ?—W. B.
* * * It is interesting to see how the gaps in make-histories are gradually being filled. A.C. have produced a little book about their company. Much appears in book form about the Bentley, including a racing
history. The Bugatti Book” contains, information about almost every Bugatti ever made and is supplemented by the biography of Ettore Bugatti. We have just referred to three separate histories of Mercedes-Benz. Daimler and Wolseley have been covered in separate books. Rolls-Royce has its full story in “The Magic of a Name,” Vauxhall Motors issued a small account of their past some years ago, and there are biographies of Henry Ford and Lord Nuffield. Several of the commercial-vehicle makers have issued booklets about themselves, including Dennis, Guy and Leyland. Now we have ‘Motoring Entente” covering the S.T.D. group of Sunbeam, Talbot and Darracq. And an Aston Martin history is promised in the near future . . . Continued on page 619