Profile Publications continue to pour out their unique and very acceptable offerings. The September foursome comprises the late Laurence Pomeroy on the 1914 G.P. Vauxhall, Darell Berthon on the 6 1/2-litre Bentley, Michael Sedgwick on the Fiat Tipo 508S, and, to show that modern cars are not going to be ignored, William S. Stone on the Ford Mustang—not bad value for 8s.
Pomeroy’s pleading for his father’s racing Vauxhall is not only quite frank over its complete failure as a road-racing car but contains so much hitherto unpublished material, even to naming the hotel to which his father and a draughtsman retired to design these cars, that one regrets, not for the first time, that this great engineer/historian passed away before telling the true and complete story of the 30/98 and other classic Vauxhalls. Apart from shedding fresh light on the G.P. Vauxhalls in typical style, Pomeroy explains the reasons for certain, suspension specialities of these cars which is of general interest. One error in proof reading cannot mar the great pleasure to be derived from Profile 21, the colour illustrations in which, by James Leech, are superb. I find it odd, however, that while the author concludes with the fate of these Vauxhalls, again providing fresh facts, he ignored the accident at Brooklands in 1922 to the G.P. Vauxhall containing the Gibsons, which presumably wrote off this car.
Berthon on the Bentley obviously cannot be faulted and I will content myself by remarking simply that much of the information to be gleaned from Profile 22 could have been found in Motor Sport in 1949 and that most of the photographs are old friends; also the author misquotes an old saying, “There’s no substitute for litres,” obviously intended, reading it as “There’s no substitute for power,” whereas smaller engines, made to run fast, often gave as much power as larger ones but not always reliably, hence the reference to litres, which is certainly applicable to Bentleys!
One would not presume to look for errors in anything Sedgwick writes about Fiats—his full Fiat History is eagerly awaited—so, apart from the introduction of the Triumph Super Seven, which also had hydraulic f.w.b., being quoted a year late, no quibbles, although why is Fiat rendered in the text as FIAT but not in the heading. Also the title should surely he “Tipo 508,” because one does not encounter the 508S until page 7 of this 52-page booklet. This is a very detailed and complicated story including comparisons of the 508 with contemporary cars of other makes, so that the illustrations are mainly of postage-stamp dimensions, although it is interesting to see several pictures of the Fiat Balilla in important races and one of Westwood’s odd-looking hard-top in the 1938 R.A.C. Rally. The main five-view colour illustration is of Lady Montagu’s own 1935 Balilla—didn’t we remark the other day that these are girls’ cars!
The Ford Mustang Prefile benefits from the excellence of Leech’s colour pictures, which show different badges, insignia, etc., as well as five-dimensional views of this year’s Mustang GT.
Six Profiles a month will appear from next month, the first batch covering the 1900-04 de Dion Bouton, the Leyland Eight, the Talbot 90, 105 and 110, the Napier Railton, the 4½-litre and Rapide Lagondas, and the Tipo 158/159 G.P. Alfa Romeos.