The Philosophy and Psychology of British Car Restoration by Robert Morey- Header
Classic Cars

Robert Morey’s Philosophy and Psychology of British Car Restoration

Before reviewing Robert Morey’s delightful new book, The Philosophy and Psychology of British Car Restoration, allow me a moment of transparency and honesty:  I am a big fan of the Little British Car, henceforth known as LBC.  I’ve owned and lovingly cared for several Triumphs (two and four wheel) an MGB and played caretaker to a range of LBCs including an Austin Healey, TVR and even a V12 Jaguar (four carburetors!!)  So even if the book were the result of a dozen monkeys pounding keyboards for a month, I am likely to be favorably drawn to any book with the words British Car in the title. So with that mea culpa out of the way, Morey’s creation is a positive, cheery and satirically refreshing collection of reflections that perfectly mirror the author’s upbeat personality and automotive experience.  His use of […]

A Life in Car Design - Jaguar, Lotus, TVR by Oliver Winterbottom 3
Jaguar

Review – A Life in Car Design by Oliver Winterbottom

Note: We published an announcement of this A Life in Car Design – Jaguar, Lotus, TVR by Oliver Winterbottom last month, and now our friend John Clancy has contributed this review. In my opinion, the wedge era of the 1970s and 80s was the high point of automotive styling.  In particular, it was the sports cars from that period that really cut the mustard.  Among the British entries into the market, there was one man who was behind more sports car styles than anyone else, Oliver Winterbottom.  This is the autobiography of his career.  From his apprenticeship with William Lyons’ Jaguar in 1961, working for Colin Chapman at Lotus, TVR, General Motors and his period as a consultant in China, this book gives an insight into what it took to get his designs into production [or not] with an authority that can only be relayed […]

Graham Robson Writer Historian and British Sports Car Hall of Fame Inductee
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Graham Robson – Noted Author and Hall of Fame Inductee

Graham Robson is a distinguished motoring historian whose working life has always been connected with fine cars and advanced engines. After starting his career at Jaguar, then running the ‘works’ motorsport team at Triumph, he developed a passion for motoring heritage and for classic cars. He has been an independent writer, historian and motoring consultant for many years, and has written more than 130 books. Robson will be inducted into the British Sports Car Hall of Fame this June. In fact, we are pleased that he will also be MC of the event.

Jaguar XK120 - The Remarkable History of JWK 651
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Jaguar XK 120 – The Remarkable History of JWK 651

Jaguar XK 120: The Remarkable History of JWK 651, second in the publisher’s “Exceptional Car” series, is one of those books that is hard to classify. On the one hand, authors Chas Paker and Philip Porter have done such an amazing job detailing the story of this one particular Jaguar that the book is definitely a history book. On the other hand, this is documentation – documentation of one car, its provenance, and its current state. On on a third hand (we all have three hands right?), this is an art book. The photographs rival any automotive coffee table book on the market today. Regardless, however you classify it, this book is a delight that you can sit and read or just flip through and marvel at the images. The Remarkable History of JWK 651 tells the story of one of the six […]

Icon - The Official Story of the Series Land Rover and Defender 3
Highlights

Icon – Official Story of the Series Land Rover and Defender

As Land Rover begins the countdown towards its 70th-anniversary celebrations on 30 April 2018, the perfect gift for Defender lovers across the globe has been announced. Icon is the definitive official book celebrating Series and Defender models. It hits the shelves in July. Just over 69 years ago, on April 30, 1948, a legend was born as the first Land Rover was revealed to the world at the Amsterdam Motor Show. Over the next seven decades the rugged 4×4 visited all corners of the world as it wrote its name into automotive folklore.

Rover V8 Cover Banner
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The Rover V8 Engine by David Hardcastle

Due to my recent purchase of a Land Rover Discovery with V8 engine, and honestly due as much to my life-long lust for the Rover V8, I picked up a copy of the book The Rover V8 Engine by David Hardcastle. My desire for this engine and anything that might be powered by it go all the way back to my teenage years when I drug home a decrepit Rover 3500S just in hopes of securing the engine for my MG. Long story short – nothing about that entire adventure worked out. But, my hopes for the magnificent V8 continued. This work, on dust jacket and Amazon listing, is billed as, “A thorough technical assessment of the Rover V8 engine and all methods of tuning for increased power output. Filled with the V8s transatlantic origins and production, its competition career in rallies and in saloon […]

British Leyland: Chronicle of a Car Crash 1968-1978
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British Leyland: Chronicle of a Car Crash 1968-1978

For students of the history of Jaguar Cars, a book written by Chris Cowin, first 2012 and republished 2014 may be of interest. The book, British Leyland: Chronicle of a Car Crash 1968-1978 is simply packed with interesting history. This is the comprehensive story of a collection of once great and diverse British industries, primarily automotive, and their slow but relentless move toward destruction with only a few surviving pieces, Jaguar and Land Rover. For Jaguar only followers much of this book may be irrelevant as it deals in great detail about the downward spiral of the largest indigenous British car companies beginning about 1968 but this date is approximate.

SU - Skinner's Union Book
Corporate Business

S.U. History – Skinner’s Union Book

Congratulations to Mike Harvey who has been awarded the Pre-War Car Michael Sedgwick Award 2016 for his publication ‘Skinners Union – A History of the skinner family and S.U Company‘. The award, that takes the form of a plaque and £250 given by the Michael Sedgwick Memorial Trust, hopes to ‘encourage new research into motoring history and to make the finding available to the public’. The winner has to demonstrate excellence in research, presentation, readability and novelty, that will materially further our understanding of the subject. A short list of nominated books were assessed by a panel of judges, who are themselves respected authors and highly knowledgeable enthusiasts. The panel was headed by chairman Guy Loveridge, motoring author and broadcaster and Deputy Chairman of the Guild of Motoring Writers. ‘Skinner’s Union – A history of the Skinner family and the […]

RAC's Motoring Book of the Year is Brian Redman Daring Drivers, Deadly Tracks
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RAC’s Motoring Book of the Year is Brian Redman: Daring Drivers, Deadly Tracks

Brian Redman: Daring Drivers, Deadly Tracks, by Redman himself and Jim Mullen, has won the Royal Automobile Club’s 2016 Motoring Book of the Year Award. It was presented at an annual ceremony held at the Club’s Pall Mall clubhouse, attended by authors, leading publishers and discerning book collectors. It’s just the latest example of Redman – who evolved from boy racer in a Morris Minor Traveller to winning the Targa Florio road race and being three-times Formula 5000 champion – beating off stiff competition.

Highlights

Rootes Cars of the 1950s, 1960s & 1970s – Hillman, Humber, Singer, Sunbeam & Talbot by David Rowe

The Rootes Group, although only achieving a 10-12 per cent market share, were the sixth largest British car manufacturer: more importantly, during the 1950s, more than half the cars they produced were exported. Rootes Cars of the 1950s, 1960s & 1970s – Hillman, Humber, Singer, Sunbeam & Talbot by David Rowe is a new reference to these cars. With every model produced from 1950 onwards featured in full colour and with detailed information – including colour schemes, optional equipment, technical specifications, plus other manufacturers’ cars built using Rootes components – this is the ultimate book for all Hillman, Humber, Singer and Sunbeam enthusiasts. Cars produced by Chrysler/Talbot and Peugeot after their acquisition of the Rootes Group are also included. This book includes hundreds of original photographs, taken by the author at many car shows over a number of years, and […]

Stirling Moss - The Definitive Biography, Volume 1, by Philip Porter
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Stirling Moss: A Definitive Biography – Review

Stirling Moss is one of the greatest sportsman of all time. He was successful in all forms of motor sport but most particularly in Grand Prix racing. The ‘Beckham of his era’, Moss not only dominated the back pages of the newspapers but regularly made the front pages with his glamorous, jet-setting lifestyle in the ’50s. He raced hard; he played hard. He was the James Bond of motorsport. This new work is, to say the least, a serious biography. Author Philip Porter, a personal friend of Sir Stirling, has composed a detailed history of the man. From his parents and their automotive exploits down to the registration numbers of various cars, this new book is encyclopedic in its coverage. But it is no dry account. Just as his life, book is spiced with humour, tragedy and period flavour with liberal […]

Royal Automobile Club announces Contenders for Motoring Book of the Year
Bentley

Royal Automobile Club Announces Contenders for Motoring Book of the Year

Expert judges – including the UK’s leading reviewers and booksellers – have now met to debate the 2016 Royal Automobile Club’s Motoring Book of the Year, and a shortlist of finalists has been chosen and includes works on unsung racing drivers and individual historic racing machines; an extraordinary history on a marque which made just five cars; the life story of a vintage car detective involved in many important ‘barn finds’; and even an intriguing novel based on a real-life Bugatti. The winner of the annual Award, now in its third year, will be announced during a unique literary evening devoted to automotive and motor sport publishing, at the Club’s historic Pall Mall home on 2 November. The event will also welcome several world-famous writers to talk about their work and debate the future of automotive book publishing. There will […]

Bruce McLaren - From the Cockpit
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Bruce McLaren – From The Cockpit : New Edition

Originally published in 1964, Bruce McLaren’s autobiography From the Cockpit is a classic motor racing memoir. So scarce and expensive are original copies that Evro Publishing, in collaboration with McLaren, is reissuing a facsimile version for all fans to enjoy. In his own words, Bruce describes his inspiring climb up the ladder of motor racing success, culminating in the inception of Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd in 1963. Engaging to read, his book provides fascinating insight into not only his accomplishments but also his unique character, charm and tenacity. In his own words, ‘Life is measured in achievement, not in years alone.’ After overcoming childhood illness, McLaren began competing with a modified Austin Seven and in 1958 became the recipient of New Zealand’s first ‘Driver to Europe’ scheme. Driving for Cooper, he won the 1959 United States Grand Prix to […]

Sunbeam Alpine – All models 1959 to 1968
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New Book – Sunbeam Alpine: All models 1959 to 1969

Veloce Publishing has released a new buyer’s guide to the much loved Sunbeam Alpine. Rootes’ Sunbeam Alpine sports car was the flagship of its car range. In the Sunbeam Alpine: All models 1959 to 1968 by Chris Barker, all the various models and production changes are described and illustrated in detail, along with what it’s like to own, drive and live with an Alpine – one of the best engineered, stylish and practical cars of its time, and still satisfying to drive today. If you’re thinking of buying an Alpine, this book will help you decide which model you really want, and learn exactly what to look for when you go to view a car. By using a thorough points-based assessment, you can decide with your head – not your heart – so you can make the right decision, and pay the […]

ERA R4D - The Autobiography of R4D, by J. Mac Hulbert (2)
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ERA: The Autobiography of R4D, Great Cars Series

The famous cars made by ERA (English Racing Automobiles) epitomize British motor racing during the 1930s and have a very special place in the affections of patriotic enthusiasts. To honor those cars, J. Mac Hulbert has put together “ERA: The Autobiography of R4D” which is being published by Porter Press. This magnificent book tells the story of a uniquely historic example that has competed almost without a break for 80 years and achieved innumerable successes. R4D was campaigned extensively before and after the Second World War by Raymond Mays, the leading light of the ERA company, before passing through a succession of subsequent owners who have kept this famous car at the forefront of competition to the present day. The extraordinary life of R4D, a formidably powerful and charismatic racing car, is told in fascinating detail in this long-awaited book. […]

Jaguar XK DIY
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Jaguar XK DIY Restoration & Maintenance by Bob Exelby

Jaguar XK DIY Restoration & Maintenance by Bob Exelby is an impressive book. This is the story of how one man completely restored his XK 120 roadster, transforming it from dereliction into a thoroughly beautiful example of this iconic sports car.  Bob Exelby also took the time to investigate and incorporate numerous detail improvements, making the car even more usable and practical for today’s roads, some 65 years after it was built. All of the modifications were tasteful, though some might still argue with their applicability to a true restoration. Exelby wanted a useable and dependable car in addition to a valued classic.

Left Beyond the Horizon; or, eight years around the world 1
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Left Beyond the Horizon – A Land Rover Odyssey

Charting the amazing story of Christopher Many’s 125,000-mile, eight-and-a-half-year adventure, Left Beyond the Horizon chronicles his inspirational journey around the world in his trusty 1975 Series III Land Rover, Matilda. Between 2002 and 2010, Christopher’s unforgettable exploration off the beaten track took him from the Scottish Highlands, through Scandinavia and the frozen wastelands of Siberia, and then across Asia. That was before traversing the Pacific Ocean to North and South America, then over the Atlantic, allowing him to drive through Africa and back up to Europe – all to find out what makes the Earth ‘tick’. In the year that saw the wheels stop turning on the iconic Land Rover Defender’s production line, the unshakable robustness and durability of Matilda is a fitting tribute to the much-loved British vehicle. No stranger to tough expeditions herself, Matilda started life being thrown […]

Estate Car Named Desire by Martin Gurdon - Featured
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An Estate Car Named Desire: A Life on the Road by Martin Gurdon

An Estate Car Named Desire: A Life on the Road by Martin Gurdon, is a delightful collection of short memories of various cars and motoring folk. Or at least that is how the publisher describes it. I would say it is an amusing trip in a series of cars all connected by personality. The personality of the owners, the drivers, the passengers, and of course, the cars themselves. The personality of one of those cars was strong enough to be used in a video on “How to Irritate People”. Even as a toddler, Martin Gurdon was obsessed with cars. Before he could read or write he could distinguish a vehicle passing in the street from the purr of its engine. His first car – not strictly legally – was as a fifteen-year-old, parked round the corner from his boarding school, and driven […]

British Leyland Motor Corporation - The Story From Inside - Banner
Corporate Business

British Leyland Motor Corporation – The Story From Inside

The history of the British car industry is a fascinating one. From Britain’s the top-of-the-heap position through the 1960s down to a mere footnote by the 1990s, the rise and fall has been analyzed to death. But, most of that analyzation has been from the outside. Only recently have those actually involved in the industry begun to come forward and tell their tales. British Leyland Motor Corporation 1968 – 2005 The Story From Inside by Mike Carver, Nick Seale and  Anne Youngson is just such an insider story. This book tells the story of the constituent parts of British Leyland, later Rover Group, from the merger in 1968 to the end of production of the last MG Rover in 2005. The story has been told before, but this account is different. It is told by three people who were part of it, […]