Still they come—these two-bob car “Profiles,” edited by Anthony Harding. No. 17 covers the 40/50 Napier, by Ronald Barker. Although so little is known about the origins of this interesting British luxury car of the ‘twenties that there is rather a lot of conjecture about some aspects, with words like “it seems probable,” “according to,” “I suspect” and ” I would think” instead of facts in this “Profile,” it gains enormously because its author regularly drove a 40/50 Napier on the road after the Second World War, so he is able to give a first-hand account of its performance and idiosyncracies, supplemented by some intriguing facts told to him by H. C. Tryon of Napier’s. The illustrations typify this short-bonneted big car although the front-view colour illustrations by Gordon Davies make it look singularly ugly and top heavy. I was glad to see a picture of a light-alloy Cunard-bodied tourer, like the one I encountered in South London as a schoolboy. Barker refers to the 1925 Alpine Trial by one of these cars, its speed thereafter 72.38 m.p.h. over the Brooklands ½-mile, but omits reference to Alastair Miller’s Auto Speed Special, based on one of these chassis, which lapped at over 78 m.p.h. in 1929.
No. 18 is a learned study of the 1926-27 1½-litre Delage G.P. cars by Cyril Posthumus. There is not much new to say about them but Posthumus covers their history well, concluding with the famous Seaman/Ramponi rebuild. The five-view colour pictures by Kenneth Rush of the car in 1926 and 1927 guises are a significant feature of this ” Profile.”
No. 19 is about the 4½-litre S-type Invicta, by J. R.Buckley, and is notable for the variety of its illustrations, although I would have liked one of Donald Healey’s Monte Carlo Rally Invicta on its enormous outsize wheels to give increased ground clearance, and note that no reference is made to the ill-fated single-seater Brooklands Invicta. The larger pictures enhance this one and Rush has again done a good job, the five-view colour plate being of Gue’s 1931 tourer.
Finally; we have an erudite, concentrated study of the Le Mans Replica Frazer Nash by Denis Jenkinson, No. 20, which will be of great interest to fanciers of this, about the last true sports car in the stark vintage tradition. Walter Wright has done the colour pictures, the five-view one being of the car which Culpin and Aldington drove into third place at Le Mans in 1949—a splendid achievement. One notices it was painted red, not British racing green!
The next batch of “Profiles” is to cover the 1914 G.P. Vauxhall, Speed Six Bentley, Fiat 508 and Ford Mustang, and from October the dose will be six every month. They are obtainable at 2s 6d. post free (U.S.A. 35 cents) from Profile Publications Ltd., P.O. Box 26, 1a, North Street, Leatherhead, Surrey.