By Michael Radford. 200 pp. 11 in. x 8 7/8 in. (J. B. Associates, 52a, Bell Street, Henley-on-Thames. Oxon. £3.90, plus 35p postage)
There have been plenty of books about the Alvis, culminating in Peter Hull’s masterful history of the vintage and near-vintage 12/50 and 12/60 models. This is something different. It is a book devoted to the engine of the 12/50 Alvis, that stout-hearted yet simple power unit, scorning water-pump and fan, which still propels many pre-1933 Alvis cars with commendable reliability and willingness.
The author did the entire book himself, and it covers his own 12/50 experiences, and maintenance and interchangeability data, together with descriptions of the engine’s components and the subtle differences between the different years and types—a modern, far more comprehensive version of that article by the late John Cooper in a war-time issue of Motor Sport which introduced these older Alvis cars to a new generation of drivers and opened their eyes to the merits of 12/50 motoring.
Only 500 numbered copies of this unique “handbook” by an obvious enthusiast have been produced. It could be they have all gone. But those who seek real knowledge and useful advice about these great Coventry-built cars should make haste to enquire whether any are left.—W. B.
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