Auto Review News: April 2016

By Rod Ward


The latest two Auto Review titles, now available, are 119 Atkinson, Seddon and Seddon Atkinson and 120 A car less ordinary. You can read more about these new publications below.

You can order any Auto Review book direct from us by email telephone or snail mail (payments by Paypal to – add £1.00 p&p per title UK, £2.00 EU, £3.00 elsewhere. Send mail orders to R & V Ward, 81 Main Street, Monk Fryston, Leeds LS25 5DU (for payments by cheque or via Paypal) or if you wish to pay by credit card you can order online via Oxford Diecast online at our new link: From May 2016 we hope to have a new and updated presence at:

If you have any material we can use for any of our future publications, please send it to me as soon as possible. A big thank you to all those who have recently supplied photos and other material, especially Fabrizio Panico, Peter Seaword, Harvey Goranson, Bruno Boracco, Tony Greaves and Dave Turner.

I am currently working on 123 Tiny Wheels, for publication in 2016. It is almost complete, so within the next week I will have moved on to 124 Volvo Album.

Auto Review 2016 titles

117 Cord Corporation: obviously Cord-Auburn-Duesenberg, but also Checker cab, Stinson aircraft, Vultee, American Airlines and much more, all owned by E L Cord at one time or another..
Available now
118 Borgward Album – including Pionier, Borgward, Hansa, Lloyd, Goliath, etc
Available now
119 Atkinson, Seddon and Seddon Atkinson
Available now
120 A car less ordinary: Retro, repro & pastiche cars, plus novelty vehicles
Available now
121 Made in Spain: Hispano-Suiza, Pegaso, Seat, Voisin, and many, many others
for publication in May-June 2016
122 Dennis Album: including cars, buses, trucks, fire appliances etc
for publication in May-June 2016
123 Tiny Wheels: micro cars, city cars, bubble cars, Aixam, Ligier, Keicars, Smart etc
for publication in August 2016
124 Volvo Album :  All cars, trucks, buses etc
for publication in August 2016
125 Gloster Aircraft: Including Nieuport etc, and Gloster-Saro
for publication in October 2016
126 Optare, plus Charles Roe, East Lancs, etc By Tony Greaves
for publication in October 2016

Your suggestions for new titles are always welcome; we have already pencilled in some titles for 2017, but we can replace any of them with a more interesting subject, if it is requested. We hope to release the full 2017 publishing programme this summer.

Here is a little introduction to each of the new Auto Review titles recently released:

Auto Review 119 Atkinson, Seddon and Seddon Atkinson
by Rod Ward
AR119 atkinson cover

Here we have the stories of two classic British commercial vehicle manufacturers, Atkinson and Seddon. Both firms had separate lives until 1970, when Seddon took over Atkinson, but only four years later the combined entity was acquired by a multi-national corporation.

The two firms came from different traditions; in Preston, Atkinson distributed Sentinel waggons, then began manufacturing their own steam vehicles during the Great War. Having tried to carry on with outdated steam technology for too long, the firm was reorganised in 1933 as a maker of diesel lorries, building up a fine reputation over the following decades for customer service.

Seddon ran a vehicle dealership and operated excursion buses in East Lancashire, before designing their own lightweight diesel lorries just before the Second World War. Good management and profitable products enabled Seddon to grow big enough to take over Atkinson in 1970.

The new Seddon Atkinson group went through a number of hands after 1974; first International Harvester, then ENASA and Iveco, before fading into non-existence in 2005.

ISBN 978-1-85482-118-1  £5.95

Auto Review 120 A Car Less Ordinary
by Rod Ward

AR120 a car less ordinary cover

It is often said that the choice of vehicle you drive is a reflection of your personality, or possibly of hidden personality traits. In an age of mass-production it is understandable that some people find off-the-shelf vehicles driven by everyone else are too ‘ordinary’. Those who want something less ordinary may choose to paint their car like a flower garden or a brick wall, but others try to find something even less ordinary, so included in this publication are unusual vehicles which enliven the conformist traffic on the roads of the world.
This is a wide and complex field of interest, so we can only include an arbitrary selection of the most important, the most interesting, or the merely odd. First, some notes on the broad groupings of vehicles covered in these pages.

Repro: reproductions of classic vehicles, sometimes known as ‘replicars’. We exclude cars which are continuations of classic models (ie Morgan or Caterham) or relaunches of a car almost unchanged (such as the Middlebridge Scimitars or the Jensen revivals). This category mostly covers attempts to make a replica as accurate as reasonably possible; vague approximations are regarded here as ‘pastiches’.

Pastiche vehicles are in an old style, but not copies of any specific car (Excalibur, Panther, Asquith etc).

Following public interest in retro design, major manufacturers got in on the act with Retro-style cars; the VW New Beetle, BMW Mini, Fiat 500 etc, in the spirit of earlier cars by the same maker.

Novelty vehicles are often ‘productmobiles’ for advertising purposes, where the bodywork is styled like some unlikely object; an orange, a bottle, a hot dog sausage etc. Also in this category are a few Parade floats and other novelties.

Often a give-away that a supposedly ‘prewar’ vehicle is actually a pastiche is that the radiator grille is set too far forward, due to modern engine locations. In the 1970s many US-made pastiches or replicars were VW-based, resulting in much scorn being heaped on them by purists, due to the rear-mounted engine. This meant, however, that the front end of the vehicle could more accurately replicate the grille and front axle set-up.

ISBN 978-1-85482-119-8   £5.95

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