Classic British Car Electrical Systems – Book Review

It is often said that one of our growing problems these days is that people don’t know how anything works, much less how to fix it. Honestly, I conClassic British Car Electrical Systems - Book Reviewstantly encounter people stymied by the simple mundane acts like changing a battery. Our smartphones, which of course I actually love, have done nothing to help this. Information, menus, maps and other details appear at our fingertips without us having any inkling of how it got there. Who in the audience can remember looking up books in the card catalog or magazines in the Readers Guide to Periodical Literature?

What I’m really talking about though is fixing things. When it comes to our British cars, and by this I am referring to the classics before say about 1980, the electrical systems are relatively simple. There are no computers, no complex circuits, no magic hidden in magical black boxes, and nothing to throw you off track. But, even a lot of seasoned mechanics refuse to attempt the most basic troubleshooting. That is where Rick Astley’s book on classic British car electrical systems comes into play. This book not only gives basic troubleshooting and diagramming but provides a solid basis in electrical theory and how these cars were supposed to work when they were first together. I will tell you, knowing that makes it a lot easier to figure out what is going wrong now.

This book has been out  for a while, and I have loved it from the start. So why are we covering it now? Because it is now available in ebook format which makes it not only a lot less expensive but a lot more portable. Plus, the irony of carrying around a book on old electrical systems on a shiny new iPad or Kindle is just too good to pass up.

Let’s face it, the electrical systems used in British cars in the period 1950 to 1980 have gained some notoriety, most of it unfavourable and much of it undeserved. This book shines a light on the subject, system by system, including the murkier corners. Whatever their foibles, the cars remain the cherished possessions of enthusiasts worldwide. This book’s contribution to making the electrical systems understandable and reliable will maintain the enjoyment the cars provide for many decades to come. n-depth colour illustrated guide to understanding, repairing & improving the electrical systems of British classics equipped with Lucas, Smiths Industries & SU components. 1950 to 1980.

Classic British Car Electrical Systems provides an in-depth colour illustrated guide to understanding, repairing & improving the electrical systems of British classics equipped with Lucas, Smiths Industries & SU components. 1950 to 1980.

Based on a formula proven in Rick Astley’s previous and much-acclaimed book, MGB Electrical Systems, this new book breaks down the electrical systems of classic British cars into separate and easily understandable sections. In each, the components and system as a whole are examined in theory and chronology, to show how and why they evolved the way they did. With hundreds of colour photographs and diagrams, together with fault-finding tables, the veil of mystery is removed, allowing the owner to understand, repair and improve their cherished classic.

Title: Classic British Car Electrical Systems
Author: Rick Astley
Pages: 176 (for printed edition)
ISBN: 1845842154
Publisher: Veloce Publishing Ltd
Publication Date: 2015 (2009)

Michael Carnell
Editor at Just British

Michael Carnell is the editor and founder of the Just British Online Motoring Magazine. As a lifelong British car enthusiast, he has owned or driven British cars of all ages from Austins and MGs to Jaguars and Triumphs. He currently owns a 1966 Vanden Plas Princess 1100 and a 1977 MGB. But there is always room for more - no matter what his wife says.

1 Comment

  1. I have both Classic British Car Electrical Systems and MGB Electrical Systems by Rick Astley. Both are excellent and essential for the MGB owner or classic British car owner

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