Cars in Books, October 1993

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Unless we writers receive a book for review we have to be very circumspect these days, because all manner of restrictions are placed on those who reproduce any of the contents, even those who had paid for their book. And even if such quoting by the press may well sell more books. However, I do not suppose author Jeremy Lloyd, actor and script-writer for Adam Faith, and of The Billy Cotton Show, Are You Being Served? and ‘Allo ‘Allo, will object to me registering pleasant surprise at the motoring references in his book “Listen Carefully, I Shall Say This Only Once” (BBC Books, 1993).

I hope not anyway, even though I have to admit that instead of buying it for £12.99, the local library lent it to me for 35p. Lloyd knew Derek Wooton, had 15 Austin 7s (six more than me), raced a Lotus 6 with tuned Ford 1172cc engine, bought from Colin Chapman, at Goodwood, was a very keen indoor modelcar race man, describes some fast drives and mentions, in passing, Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, and lames Robertson Justice. I am not sure that I believe every single thing in this very readable book about Show Biz, the stage and great actors and, especially, actresses. For instance, those Frog toy Hurricanes and Spitfires flew much better than mine and I do know that Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines (with the imitation wooden Brookland’s banking, on which Lloyd drove) was filmed at Booker, which is 20 miles from Bracknell. But never mind — lots about cars, including the author’s Lotus Elite, Iso Grifo, Sid Lawrence Bentley Special, £1000 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and the Ford Escort Mexico he overturned at Brands Hatch in a show-biz race after making fastest lap, etc. I thought you might like to know. . . W B