Book Reviews, September 1968, September 1968

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“Jim Clark—Portrait of a Great Driver”, by Graham Gauld. 204 pp. 8 in. x 5½ in. (The Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd., Hamlyn House, Feltham, Middlesex, England. 21s.)

This is not so much a book about the late Jim Clark, as a tribute to him by various people who knew him well, among them being Ian Scott Watson (who set Clark on the motor racing road), and Colin Chapman (who provided him with the means to become the world’s greatest driver), along with various others who knew different facets of Clark the racing driver. Unfortunately most of the views were spoken into a tape recorder and transferred on to paper by Scottish journalist Graham Gauld, so that the writing does not flow and it is a difficult book to read, being a collection of jerky paragraphs on the great Scottish driver. The royalties, after publishing profits have been taken, are to go to the Clark memorial fund.—D. S. J.

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“The Grand Prix Car”, by L. J. K. Setright. 422 pp. 11 in. x 8½ in. (George Allen & Unwin Ltd., Ruskin House, Museum Street, London W.C.1. £7 7s. od.)

The late Laurence Pomeroy wrote two great tomes about the Grand Prix car, covering the scene from 1906 to 1953 from an intensely technical angle. These have been accepted as the standard works on Grand Prix racing cars, principally because no one else had the energy or time to produce greater works. Their value depends entirely on one’s personal standards, but none-the-less they are interesting book-collectors items. Setright has produced Volume III of this standard work, covering the years 1954 to 1966, though I would have thought he would have stopped at the end of 1965 when the 1½-litre Formula ended. As it is, the first year of the present Formula is covered, leaving the remaining significant years of 3-litre racing to be covered in Volume IV.

This Volume of “The Grand Prix Car” is every bit as detailed and thorough as the previous Pomeroy volumes, but the full-page photographs on art paper in the earlier volumes are sadly missed. There are some “wishy-washy” colour photographs, and due to the method of printing the many black and white photographs are not as sharp as they might have been. The sectional drawings and detail drawings are not up to the standards of the previous volumes, and the useful double-page drawings by L. C. Gresswell are missing. As the 1949 Volume I cost 5 guineas, the present Volume III at 7 guineas cannot be considered expensive, and those who have the earlier Volumes will insist on buying the latest one, while it will make new Grand Prix enthusiasts search for secondhand copies of the previous two books.—D. S. J.

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Chater & Scott Distributors Ltd., 524, High Road, Chiswick, London, W.4 have re-issued “Austin Racing History” by Roland C. Harrison in photolitho form. This book, which is rather superficial and the pictures in which have suffered under the new printing system, has been out of print for over 15 years. It deals mainly with the Austin 7 and is not so informative as Wyatt’s splendid study of these cars. It encompasses 76 pages, 11 in. x 8½ in., and costs 20s.

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A revised pictorial guide to the exhibits at the Montagu and Brighton Motor Museums has recently been issued, dated 1968-9. It costs 2s. 6d.

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Those readers who are interested in anything appertaining to the nineteen-twenties and associated, however remotely, with motor racing, should note that The Oakwood Press, Tandridge Lane, Lingfield, Surrey, has published a fascinating, illustrated history of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch 15 in.-gauge light railway which was founded by Capt. J. E. P. Howey and Count Louis Zborowski and received its Railway Order early in 1926. Neither Howey, with his Leyland Eight at Brooklands, nor Zborowski of Chitty-Bang-Bang fame, who was killed driving a Mercedes at Monza in 1924, will require any introduction to students of the 1920s. The book runs to 34 pages and costs 9s. 6d. Another work which should interest Brooklands enthusiasts will be a duplicated transcript with coloured cover of two local persons’ memories of the Locke-King family of Weybridge, Mr. H. F. Locke-King, who died in 1926, having built the famous Motor Course. This is being prepared by the Weybridge Museum, to sell for 2s. 6d. Postage is extra its both cases.