Category Archives: Auto Review News

Auto Review Books – Latest news April 2017

By Rod Ward

The new zeteo.com website is now live, though the order system is still not perfected.  All current (and some future) Auto Review titles are there, but if you want to order anything, please use the ‘contact’ button and form, and I will reply to you with costs and payment instructions.

AUTO REVIEW NEWS

The latest two Auto Review titles, now available, are 129 The Air-cooled Volkswagen and 130 Micro Caravans by Andrew Jenkinson. In addition a second edition of 47a Standard Album is now available. You can read more about these publications below.

Auto Review 129 The Air-cooled Volkswagen and 130 Micro Caravans have just arrived, along with a new edition of 47a Standard Album with many new illustrations, a new cover, and minor evasions to the text. A brief introduction to the books can be read below.


Auto Review 129 The Air-Cooled Volkswagen by Rod Ward
In the 21st century Volkswagen AG is one of the largest car-making groups in the world, but it began as a political gesture by the Nazi Party to offer cheap motoring to the German public. Designed by Dr Ferdinand Porsche in the 1930s, the KdF (Kraft durch Freude; Strength through Joy) car introduced to the world the ‘Beetle’ shape, which was retained for many decades. KdF production had hardly begun when it was interrupted by the Second World War, when military variants were produced, including the Kübelwagen and the Schwimmwagen. Early cars were given Porsche ‘Type numbers’, but after the Second World War the British Army, who controlled the Wolfsburg factory, began a series of Volkswagen
‘Type numbers’ which continued through the air-cooled era. Broadly they were:
Type 1: Beetle saloons and cabriolets, Karmann Ghia coupes and convertibles, plus other vehicles including the Type 147 Fridolin van and the Type 181 ‘Thing’. That designation shows the sequence; Type 1, eighth model, first version = 181.
Type 2: vans, microbuses, campers, estate cars, pickups and ambulances. This ‘Transporter’ series ran through three evolutions, T1, T2 and T3, with air-cooled rear-mounted engines.
Type 3, also known as the ‘1500’, including saloon (aka Notchback), estate car (aka Squareback or Variant), and Fastback versions, plus a larger Karmann Ghia coupe on the Type 3 platform.
Type 4 included the series of larger 411 and 412 saloons and estate cars and the VW-Porsche 914.
We have generally followed these Type number groups in the structure of this publication.
Various Volkswagen experts have contributed to our publications down the decades, including Beverley and Stephen Hardy, and Jim McLachlan.  I have to thank them for sowing the seeds which eventually led to the conception of this little book Hundreds of learned tomes have already been published on every aspect of Volkswagen history. In our compact format we cannot compete with such scholarship; here we can only summarise some of the significant milestones and provide an introduction to a very extensive subject.
Note: This publication does not describe Volkswagen vehicles with water-cooled engines, nor are we concerned here with acquisitions by the VW Group, such as Audi, Seat, Skoda etc. Those are covered in other existing or future Auto Review publications.   ISBN 978-1-85482-128-0  £5.95

Auto Review 130 Micro Caravans by Andrew Jenkinson
This is the third publication in the Auto Review series to be devoted to caravans. In Auto Review 07 John Hanson detailed the History of the Motor Caravan and in Auto Review 34 A Century of Caravanning the history of how the caravan industry developed was explained, with potted histories of the major British manufacturers. In this publication Andrew Jenkinson examines ‘micro’ caravans. These are the smallest touring trailers on the market, capable of being towed by the smallest contemporary cars (or even motorcycles). The micro caravan dates back to the early 1920s, and the earliest days of cars towing caravans. Generally speaking the ‘micro’ definition refers to lengths of ten feet or less, when average-size caravans were usually between 12 feet and 16 feet long. There was a micro caravan boom period in the 1960s to early 1970s, and a resurgence in the 21st century. Andrew also looks at micro motor-homes, built on lighter chassis than the average sized van more often used for conversions. Many of these caravans, both trailer and motor, were very small indeed, as makers strove to fit the users’ requirements into the smallest volume. Andrew says, ‘I hope readers will enjoy this aspect of the history of caravans and motorhomes, which brought their use to a wider public. Researching the many ingenious designs, some of which failed, though others were successful, made this book one of my most enjoyable to write. Happy reading!’
The Author

 

Andrew Jenkinson has followed the UK caravan industry for over 45 years, ever since he spent his childhood caravanning with his parents, and he has a vast archive stretching back to the early 1920s on caravans and motorhomes. Andrew has written eight books on caravan and motorhome histories, and he also writes on a regular basis for several specialist magazines testing new or used caravans and new motorhomes. He also has writes for the park and holiday home industry, and tests new cars for two magazines. In addition Andrew has also written seven company histories for caravan manufacturers, and he has appeared on television and radio down the years as an industry expert. He tours with his own caravan, when he is not testing. Andrew also publishes caravan greeting cards, and since 2003 he has produced a classic caravanning calendar.  ISBN 978-1-85482-129-7   £5.95


Auto Review 47a Standard Album – second edition by Rod Ward

In the early years of the 20th century few of the young engineers getting started in the motor industry had the advantage of R W Maudslay, whose wealthy backer financed a factory and a top designer. This gave Maudslay’s new ‘Standard’ cars a head start. Maudslay was one of the first to participate in the light car boom before the Great War, during which Standard landed many profitable aircraft building contracts, and the legacy of a new government-funded factory at Canley. Thus in 1919 Standard was in a better position than most of its competitors, with improved versions of its prewar light cars, built in a modern factory. Like everyone else, however, Standard suffered as markets collapsed in the 1920s, but the firm found a white knight. John Black revived the firm’s fortunes with new models in the 1930s, lifting Standard to sixth in the industry. During the Second World War Black was a leading participant in the Shadow Factory scheme, for which he was knighted, and he also bought the defunct Triumph marque. New cars from Standard and Triumph sold well in the postwar years, but it was the tractors built for Harry Ferguson which paid the bills. When that contract ended the firm had no future and it was acquired by Leyland, who killed off the Standard marque, as not having a suitable image for a modern car maker.   ISBN 978-1-900482-44-8   £5.95


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page,  or email us at maronlineeditor @ gmail.com.


Auto Review Books – Latest News March 2017

By Rod Ward

Rod Ward is our Consultant Editor and Founder. His series of Auto Review books are monographs full of pictures and information which are often of considerable interest to model collectors as well as those with an interest in transport in general.

Auto Review 127 Kaiser-Frazer-Willys and 128 Sentinel Album have just arrived, along with an extensively revised and updated 45a Jowett Album (with an appendix on other vehicles made in Yorkshire) which has around 40 new illustrations, a new cover, and revised text, following input from readers of the first edition.

The next three titles are now completed; 129 The air-cooled Volkswagen and 130 Micro Caravans by Keith Jenkinson (covering small trailer and motor caravans). For release at the same time, in April, is the second edition of 47a Standard Album which has around 40 new illustrations and a new cover. Stocks of a number of other early Auto Review books are now running low, so there are likely to be more reprints in 2017 and 2018.

Also now completed, for release later this year, are 131 Maserati Album, 132 Delahaye Album (the first in a mini-series of three books devoted to the triumvirate of Delage-Delahaye-Hotchkiss) and 133 Scammell Album. I am currently working on 134 Westland Album, which will include coverage of Petters of Yeovil, the engineering firm which owned Westland, and Teddy Petter who designed some great Westland aircraft, then left in 1944, taking the design for the Canberra jet bomber with him to English Electric. I hope to complete the two remaining 2017 titles by the Summer, 135 AEC part 1 and 136 BMW Album. Then I begin work on the 2018 titles…

If you have anything (photos, advertising material etc) we can use for these publications, and/or for any of our other future publications, please send it to me as soon as possible. A big thank you to all those who have recently supplied photographs and other material for future titles.


Here is the 2017 Auto Review publishing programme:

127 Kaiser-Frazer-Willys: including Henry J, Graham-Paige, Whippet, Jeep and much more available now
128 Sentinel Album: motor buses, trucks, steam vehicles, locos, TVW, Doble, HSG, Garner, Straussler etc. available now
45a Jowett Album, plus an appendix on other Yorkshire-built vehicles. available now
129 VW air-cooled: Beetles, Transporters, Karmann-Ghias etc
for publication in April 2017
130 Micro caravans: Tiny trailer and motor vans. By Andrew Jenkinson for publication in April 2017
131 Maserati Album: including road and racing cars etc for publication in June 2017
132 Delage, Delahaye, Hotchkiss: including US, French and British Hotchkiss firms etc. for publication in June 2017
133 Scammell Album: Steam wagons and motor trucks, heavy haulage, mechanical horses, trailers, dumpers etc, plus the story of Unipower for publication in August 2017
134 Westland aircraft: including the story of Petters of Yeovil
for publication in August 2017
135 AEC Album: Part one – from the beginning to the 1940s
for publication in October 2017
136 BMW Album: to include the stories of BMW, Dixi, Isetta, Glas, BFW etc. for publication in October 2017


Auto Review 2018 titles

A sneak peek at the titles currently pencilled in for 2018 release. They are almost definite, but not quite:

137 Delage Album (Delage-Delhaye-Hotchkiss part 2)
138 AEC Album Part 2 including Maudslay and ACV
139 American Motors Album including Nash, Hudson, Rambler, etc
140 Foden Album
141 Ferrari Album
142 Jeep Album
143 Porsche Album
144 Fairey Album
145 ERF Album
146 Studebaker Album


Here is a little introduction to each of the new Auto Review titles just released:
Auto Review 127 Kaiser-Frazer-Willys
by Rod Ward
This is a story packed with strong characters. First there is Henry J Kaiser, the dynamic and forthright industrialist responsible for the Hoover Dam, the Liberty ships, the Hughes Hercules flying boat and much more; he set up over 100 companies in his lifetime. Kaiser next wanted to diversify into making automobiles for the postwar market. His chosen partner for this venture was a gracious Southern gentleman and born salesman, Joe Frazer, who had spent his life in the industry reviving moribund car firms. Frazer had ended up at Graham-Paige, which he retitled under his own name, then combined it with Kaiser in the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation. Earlier in his career, one of Frazer’s berths had been at Willys-Overland during the wartime Jeep years.

After Frazer left the partnership with Kaiser, the great industrialist took over Willys-Overland, which had been created by another super salesman and auto industry hero, John North Willys. Their story includes walk-on parts for other characters, including Walter Chrysler, Howard Hughes, Joe Graham, Brooks Stevens, Howard Darrin, Charles Sorensen and many more. These personalities populate an account of 20th century industrial and automotive history with some diversions into unexpected byways. ISBN 978-1-85482-126-6 £5.95


Auto Review 128 Sentinel Album
by Rod Ward


The existence of the Sentinel marque is thanks largely to two men, both called Stephen Alley, father and son. Stephen senior went into a partnership as Alley & McLennan in Glasgow in 1875. This engineering company was very advanced for its time, producing prefabricated ships and even prefabricated buildings, including its own factories, all under the Sentinel trade name. Stephen Alley died in 1898 and his 26-year old son took the helm, diversifying into steam-powered vehicles by taking over a Manchester firm called Simpson & Bibby. During the Great War steam waggon production moved to Shrewsbury, in a new company separate from the Glasgow engineering concern. During a period when many steam vehicle manufacturers fell by the wayside, Sentinel and Foden were the two biggest firms left in the business, Sentinel with its advanced ‘undertype’ engine layout. It could not last; even a licence for the advanced Doble steam patents led nowhere, and Sentinel had to consider motor vehicle manufacture. In 1933, therefore, Sentinel took over Garner Motors. Sentinel fell into receivership in 1936, however, and Garner had to be sold. Sentinel still produced railway locomotives, and the firm also dabbled in producer gas plants by taking over HSG, which had taken over the old Gilford factory in London.

By this time the Second World War had broken out, and Sentinel were fully employed on war work. When peace returned the railway locomotives were revived, and a new range of Sentinel diesel-engined lorries and buses was launched. Sentinel employed advanced techniques for the period; Ricardo-designed horizontal underfloor diesel engines and unitary bus body construction. These vehicles only lasted in production at Shrewsbury until 1956, however, though TVW extended production until 1960, when the component stock ran out. Rolls-Royce took over Sentinel, in order to build diesel engines in the Shrewsbury works, and they continued Sentinel railway locomotive production, in conjunction with THR. The last Sentinel-badged railway locomotive was produced in the early 1970s, almost a century after the brand first appeared. ISBN 978-1-85482-127-3 £5.95


Auto Review 45a Jowett Album – second edition
by Rod Ward

Introduction by Rod Ward
First I should say that I am not a Yorkshireman, though I’ve lived in ‘God’s own County’ for many years. I first arrived in Yorkshire in the early 1960s. Many of my friends (and later, my Yorkshire in-laws) turned out to be current or past Jowett owners, and I even owned a Mark Ia Jupiter myself for a short time. I had not been in Yorkshire long when a friend described seeing a Bradford van climbing the steep track up from a well-known cove heavily-laden with a catch of fish, its two-cylinder engine chugging manfully. This led to much car talk, in which I wondered aloud why Jowett had chosen to make horizontally opposed engines, which by the 1960s were usually only seen in Volkswagen Beetles. The response from my Leeds-born friend was, ‘Jowetts came from Bradford; they were horizontally opposed to everything. They even built Javelins upside down, just to be different’. That may be so; if you read the famous Jowett advertisements in motor magazines in the 1920s and 1930s, written by Gladney Hai, you could be forgiven for thinking that they sometimes took their ‘music hall Yorkshireman’ act a little far. There is no doubt, however, that their little engine with the big pull kept the firm in business for half a century, powering no-frills reliable cars and vans. With this no-nonsense heritage, it is all the more remarkable that after the departure of the founding brothers this tiny company embarked on the design and production of the Javelin, one of the most advanced family cars of its era. The Javelin, with its Jupiter sports car derivative, is the car by which most enthusiasts know Jowett today, rather than 50 years of flat twin motoring. The British motor industry mostly developed in certain areas of the country. The West Midlands, South East and North West between them accounted for most vehicle production. Yorkshire had different industrial traditions; mostly in heavy engineering, steel and coal. Apart from Jowett, few enthusiasts could name more Yorkshire vehicle makers, but there have been others. Many of them are listed in the extensive appendix to this book. For amendments and additional information included in this second revised edition we must thank Noel Stokoe, Press Officer & Librarian of the Jowett Car Club, Edmund Nankivell of the Jupiter Owners Auto Club, and Phil Green, the renowned authority on Jowett, who added comments on the postwar years of Jowett from his personal experience. ISBN 978-1-900482-44-8 £5.95


You can order any Auto Review book direct by email, telephone (01977 682948) or snail mail (payments by Paypal to rod-ward@tiscali.co.uk) – 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)

Please visit our new website at: zeteo.com

If you can only pay by credit card you can order online via Oxford Diecast online at : autoreviewbooks.co.uk


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page,  or email us at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Auto Review News Q4 2016

By Rod Ward

Our new Auto Review printers, Wood Richardson of York, have just delivered the fifth batch of two new Auto Review titles for 2016 (see below).

We are hoping to at last set up a new zeteo website for Auto Review in the near future. The old zeteo.com website which used to host Auto Review and MAR Online has not been updated for two years, as we have been unable to get into it since our last web providers collapsed. When we are back online with a new Auto Review website you will be able to access all the last news. But for now…

The latest two Auto Review titles, now available, are 125 Gloster Album and 126 Optare Album. 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 rod-ward@tiscali.co.uk) – 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: autoreviewbooks.co.uk

Auto Review 125 and 126 have just arrived, and the next three titles are now completed; 127 Kaiser-Frazer-Willys and 128 Sentinel Album, the first two new publications for release in early 2017. I have also completed an extensively revised and updated 45a Jowett Album (with an appendix on other vehicles made in Yorkshire) which has around 40 new illustrations, a new cover, and revised text, following input from readers of the first edition. Stocks of a number of other early Auto Review books are now running low, so there are likely to be more reprints in 2017 and 2018.

129 The air-cooled Volkswagen is also now completed, for release in spring 2017 and I am currently working on two other titles. Keith Jenkinson has sent the images, and is in process of completing the text, for 130 Micro Caravans. I have begun writing the text and accumulating images for 131 Maserati. As soon as these two are finished, i will be tackling the complex tale of 132 Delage, Delahaye and Hotchkiss. I hope to have all these completed by the end of 2016.

If you have anything (photos, advertising material etc) we can use for these publications, and/or for any of our other 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.


Auto Review 125 Gloster Album
by Rod Ward

 

gloster-album

The Gloucestershire Aircraft Co was set up in 1917 to assemble warplanes in the Great War. H P Folland began his career at the Royal Aircraft Factory in 1912, where he was responsible for the FE.2B, SE.4 and SE.5A. Nieuport & General Aircraft at Cricklewood had been set up in 1916 to licence-build the French Nieuport 17 fighter. When the 1917 Burbidge Report said that the RAE should cease designing and building aircraft, N&G snapped up Folland, and he designed the Nighthawk fighter. When Waring closed N&G in 1920, he moved to the Gloucestershire Aircraft Co Ltd, taking the Nighthawk design with him. He went on to produce the Bamel racers and Schneider Trophy seaplanes.

In 1926 the firm’s name changed to the Gloster Aircraft Co. Folland designed the famous Gloster single-seater biplane fighters, Grebe, Gamecock, Gauntlet and Gladiator. In 1934 Gloster was taken over by Hawker, then Hawker merged with J D Siddeley’s empire in the Hawker Siddeley Group. In 1936 Folland left Gloster,. In 1939-42 Gloster built Hurricanes for Hawker, but in 1940 a contract was awarded to build Britain’s first jet, its engine designed by Frank Whittle. The E.28/39, which first flew in 1941, led to the twin-engined Meteor, the only jet used in combat by the Allies in the Second World War. The delta-wing Javelin of 1952 was the last Gloster aircraft to be built.

At this point we look at Saunders-Roe, formed in 1929, when A V Roe left Avro and with John Lord took a controlling interest in the famous Isle of Wight boat-builders S E Saunders (see Auto Review 44: Fast Boats). The firm was renamed Saunders-Roe (Saro) and produced flying boats in the 1930s, combining Sam Saunders’ hull technology with Roe’s aviation expertise. After a number of ill-fated designs, including the enormous Princess flying boat, in 1951 Saro took over the Cierva Autogiro Co and went on to produce the Skeeter helicopter. In 1959 Saro built the SR.N1, the first practical hovercraft, for the NRDC. Also in 1959 Westland took over Saro’s helicopter and hovercraft activities. Another abortive design was the SR.53 rocket-propelled fighter.

After the Second World War, Saro had turned its Beaumaris flying boat factory to bus body manufacture. This became very successful, many buses were built there. In later years the plant was used by Cammell Laird to produce refuse collection vehicles, and to build more bus bodies. The Laird Centaur half-track Land Rover was built at Beaumaris, then the plant was acquired by the German Faun concern. Back in Gloucestershire, at the turn of the 1970s Hawker Siddeley Group merged Gloster with Saro, to make fire appliances and tanker bodies. Gloster-Saro was based at the Gloster Hucclecote plant. Most of their emergency tenders were built on Reynolds-Boughton chassis. In 1984 Gloster-Saro acquired Chubb’s fire appliance operation, then in 1987 the company merged with Simon Engineering to form Simon Gloster Saro. So in this publication we combine the stories of two pioneering British aircraft companies with bus and fire appliance manufacture. ISBN 978-1-85482-124-2 £5.95


Auto Review 126 Optare Album
by Tony Greaves

 

optare-album

In this publication Tony Greaves looks at the history of Optare of Leeds, for whom he worked in a design capacity in its first decade. Optare arose in 1984 as the rebirth of an old-established and respected Leeds coachbuilding company, Charles H Roe. The story of Roe is told here, as an overture to the Optare years. Optare led a chequered existence with various changes of owner and successive management buyouts.

In 1990 Optare joined the short-lived United Bus Group, along with DAF and Bova. In 2000 Optare had a new owner, Hungary-based North American Bus Industries, but it returned to independence in a management buyout in 2005. In 2008 Optare was acquired by the company which also owned East Lancashire Coachbuilders, whose heritage is also described in these pages. In 2010-2011 a majority stake in the newly combined company was taken by leading international bus manufacturer Ashok Leyland of India, whose background is also described in this publication.

The author

Tony Greaves, a life-long bus enthusiast and resident of Leeds, qualified as a graphic designer in 1971, (‘In those far-off days before the widespread use of computers, when the ability to draw was required’, he says). Tony then worked in graphic design in a freelance capacity from 1981 onwards. When Russell Richardson became managing director of the new Optare company, Tony contacted him to offer his services. This resulted in Tony Greaves supplying advertising material, designing company and vehicle logos, stationery, doing print, photography and (very unexpectedly) bus design for Optare. From 1985 to 1996 Tony was therefore in a unique position at Optare, working closely with Russell Richardson. Most of Tony’s photographs in these pages were intended for publicity purposes, some of them posed, or ‘action shots’ with the operator. Since ceasing his personal involvement with the company, Tony has watched more recent developments at Optare with close interest. ISBN 978-1-85482-125-9 £5.95


Auto Review 2016 titles: all now available
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
Available now
122 Dennis Album: including cars, buses, trucks, fire appliances etc
Available now
123 Tiny Wheels: micro cars, city cars, bubble cars, Aixam, Ligier, Keicars, Smart etc
Available now
124 Volvo Album : All cars, trucks, buses etc
Available now
125 Gloster Aircraft: Including Saunders-Roe, Nieuport and Gloster-Saro
Available now
126 Optare, plus Charles Roe, East Lancs, etc By Tony Greaves
Available now


Here is the 2017 Auto Review publishing programme:
Auto Review 2017 titles
127 Kaiser-Frazer-Willys: including Henry J, Graham-Paige, Whippet, Jeep and much more
for publication in February 2017
128 Sentinel Album: motor buses, trucks, steam vehicles, locos, TVW, Doble, HSG, Garner, Straussler etc.
for publication in February 2017
45a Jowett Album, plus an appendix on other Yorkshire-built vehicles.
for publication in February 2017
129 VW air-cooled: Beetles, Transporters, Karmann-Ghias etc
for publication in April 2017
130 Micro caravans: Tiny trailer and motor vans. By Andrew Jenkinson
for publication in April 2017
131 Maserati Album: including road and racing cars etc
for publication in June 2017
132 Delage, Delahaye, Hotchkiss: including US, French and British Hotchkiss firms etc
for publication in June 2017
133 Scammell Album: Trucks, mechanical horses, trailers, dumpers, plus other UK heavy haulage marques: Unipower, HHT, Rotinoff, Annis, Pacific etc
for publication in August 2017
134 Westland aircraft: from the Great War to date
for publication in August 2017
135 AEC-ACV-Maudslay including AEC, Associated Daimler, Maudslay marine engines, rail locos, cars, trucks, buses, Ruston, Sunbeam, BUT etc
for publication in October 2017
136 BMW Album: to include the stories of BMW, Dixi, Isetta, Glas, BFW etc
for publication in October 2017

 

Auto Review News

By Rod Ward

The latest two Auto Review titles, now available, are 123 Tiny Wheels and 124 Volvo Album. 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 rod-ward@tiscali.co.uk) – 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:  autoreviewbooks.co.uk

Auto Review 123 Tiny Wheels
by Rod Ward


#123 Tiny Wheels

What ‘microcars’ did we include in this publication?

We could argue for hours about this, and many folk have done. Some people define a microcar by size, perhaps three metres (ten feet) in length. But that would include hundreds of ‘proper’ small cars, such as the original Mini and the Fiat 500. Others say the definition should be by engine size, perhaps setting the limit at 500cc. Again this would include the Fiat 500, as well as cars such as the original 325cc Citroën 2CV, not a ‘tiny’ car by any measure. Also not included, though regarded as microcars by some enthusiasts, are most of the early cyclecars, which were light in weight, with small engines, but did not necessarily have a small footprint. In those days it was not a priority to save space on the road, as there were fewer vehicles around. Many of the smallest cars and cyclecars produced by major manufacturers are described in other Auto Review publications, so we decided not to take up too much of our restricted space in these pages with them.

So, what ‘microcars’ are included?

For a car to be included here, we have mostly accepted the designer’s intention; to make a tiny car which is still practical in normal use, ie the designer could have made a larger vehicle, but instead set himself the goal of making a tiny car. Sometimes such small cars were developed to cope with a straitened economy, such as in France under wartime German occupation. Also, after the Second World War in most countries (and much longer in Spain under the Franco regime) buyers could only afford very small, very cheap cars. Sometimes external economic constraints forced buyers to consider tiny cars, such as the various oil crises, which spawned the bubble cars and many other microcars.

Other tiny cars were produced to comply with government regulation, such as the Kei-cars in Japan, and other quadricycles in countries where very small engines required no driving licence.
In more recent years, congestion in cities has led to development of city cars with a small footprint.

Smallness is relative, however, Some compact American cars sold poorly, because they were perceived by buyers as being far too small. Certain of those US cars are described in this publication, though they would not be regarded as ‘microcars’ anywhere else in the world.

Thanks to all who offered text and illustrations for this publication. We must thank our international network of contributors for their valuable input. Special thanks to Fabrizio Panico, Harvey Goranson, Bruno Boracco, Dave Turner, Maz Woolley, Hans-Georg Schmitt, and John Hanson & Peter Seaword of the H-S Transport Collection. Vehicles were photographed at many museums and collections, including the Louwmann Museum, the Lane Museum, the Weiner Microcar Museum (Harv got there on its very last day before the collection was sold), and at the Retromobile and Techno Classica shows from various years.

ISBN 978-1-85482-122-8 £5.95


Auto Review 122 Volvo Album
by Rod Ward


#124 Volvo

Volvo was founded in 1927 in Gothenburg by the Swedish ball bearing manufacturer SKF.

Volvo Cars was owned by AB Volvo until 1999, when it was sold to the Ford Motor Co, who only retained the brand for a decade before selling it to Geely of China in 2010. AB Volvo continued to make its world-renowned trucks, buses and construction equipment, taking over other companies, including White, Mack, UD, Euclid and many more. By the 21st century Volvo was the largest bus manufacturer in the world, with assembly plants in a number of countries.
In this publication we tell the story of the original company, the separation of the car division, and the parallel development of the car and commercial vehicle firms in subsequent decades.

It is a long and complex tale, in which not every individual model can be described in detail here.

The Volvo brand and logo continued to be used under a 50-50 ownership agreement between the Chinese-owned firm which made the cars, and AB Volvo, which made everything else.
The two firms also co-operated in running the Volvo Museum in Arendal, Sweden.

On a personal note, I have only owned a couple of Volvos, both 200-series estate cars, chosen as being suitable for our business in the 1980s. The 245 was robust and reliable, but short on power when heavily loaded and towing a caravan to outdoor shows, so we were persuaded to replace it with a 265. It was more luxurious and powerful, but it was also very unreliable. We had so much trouble persuading the PRV V6 engine to start every morning that we traded in the Volvo 265 for a Range Rover. Sorry, Volvo fans!

ISBN 978-1-85482-123-5 £5.95


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.

Auto Review News – June 2016

By Rod Ward

 

Latest Releases

Here is a little introduction to each of the new Auto Review titles just released:
Auto Review 121 Made in Spain
by Rod Ward
Auto Review Made in Spain
Here we cover all of the Spanish vehicle manufacturers, from the exclusivity of Hispano-Suiza, though the economy era of the Voisin and David microcars, to the fabulous Pegaso cars. Commercial vehicles by Sava, Barreiros and Enasa, and tractors by Ebro and others are also described and pictured, along with Spanish-made buses and coaches. The biggest story of all the various Spanish marques is that of SEAT, from licence-builders of Fiats to becoming a cornerstone of the Volkswagen Group.  This book has been well-received by experts on the subject, and will fill a gap on many enthusiasts’ shelves. ISBN 978-1-85482-118-1  £5.95

Auto Review 122 Dennis Album 
by Rod Ward
Auto Review Dennis

Dennis Brothers set up in business in 1895, making bicycles in Guildford, but they soon added motor tricycles, quadricycles and cars  to their product range. After the Great War cars were discontinued, the firm concentrating on lorries, buses, fire appliances and motor mowers. The Dennis name became ubiquitous on the streets of Britain from the 1920s to the 1960s, on every kind of commercial vehicle, but most notably on fire appliances and municipal vehicles. The last Dennis bus was made in 1967 and in 1972 Hestair Group took over the firm, renaming it Hestair Dennis. In 1989 it was sold to Trinity Holdings, then in 1998 to  Mayflower Corporation. in 2001 TransBus International was set up, but in 2004 it went into administration and Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) was set up in its place. In 2007 ADL acquired Plaxton, creating the UK’s biggest bus and coach manufacturer.  ISBN 978-1-85482-119-8   £5.95

We have also reprinted Auto Review 80 Dinky Toys and other Meccano products, which is not really a ‘second edition’, as there are only minor changes to the text, but we sold out of the original print run, and demand for this title continues. It is our policy to produce new and revised editions, or reprints, of any Auto Review title on the verge of selling out. right now we are monitoring half a dozen titles where there is only a limited stock left. Unlike the Dinky Toy book, these will all probably need extensive revisions and additions, as they are all marque histories. watch this space!

You can order any Auto Review book direct from us by email, telephone or snail mail (payments by Paypal to rod-ward@tiscali.co.uk) – 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: autoreviewbooks.co.uk

From late 2016 we hope to have a new and updated presence at:

zeteo.com


 

Auto Review 121 and 122 have just arrived, and the next three titles are now completed (123 Tiny Wheels, 124, Volvo Album and 125 Gloster album) for publication later this year.

I am currently working on the two next titles, 126 Optare Album, for publication in 2016, and the first 2017 title 127 Kaiser-Frazer-Willys**.  If you have anything (photos, advertising material etc) we can use for these two, and for any of our other 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.

** Photos etc wanted of Kaiser cars (including Henry J), Frazer cars, Willys cars and trucks, Whippet, Graham-Paige, Paige-Detroit, Jewett, Jeep and Kaiser-Jeep (up to 1970), and other Kaiser products, including Liberty ships, Kaiser-Fleetwings aircraft etc. AND production of the various marques in South America. Yes, it’s another big story, with lots of byways, predecessors and successors!


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          Available now
  • 122 Dennis Album: including cars, buses, trucks, fire appliances etc         Available now
  • 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 Saunders-Roe, Nieuport and Gloster-Saro        for publication in October 2016
126 Optare, plus Charles Roe, East Lancs, etc By Tony Greaves
        for publication in October 2016

 

Here is the 2017 Auto Review publishing programme (subject to change, but probably pretty solid):

Auto Review 2017 titles
127 Kaiser-Frazer-Willys: including Henry J, Graham-Paige, Whippet, Jeep and much more
        for publication in February 2017
128 Sentinel Album: motor buses, trucks, steam vehicles, locos, TVW, Doble, HSG, Garner, Straussler etc.  
        for publication in February 2017
129 VW air-cooled: Beetles, Transporters, Karmann-Ghias etc 
        for publication in April 2017
130 Micro caravans: Tiny trailer and motor vans. By Andrew Jenkinson
        for publication in April 2017
131 Maserati Album: including road and racing cars etc
        for publication in June 2017
132 Delage, Delahaye, Hotchkiss: including US, French and British Hotchkiss firms etc
        for publication in June 2017
133 Scammell Album: Trucks, mechanical horses, trailers, dumpers, plus other UK heavy haulage marques: Unipower, HHT, Rotinoff, Annis, Pacific etc
        for publication in August 2017
134 Westland aircraft: from the Great War to date
        for publication in August 2017
135 AEC-ACV-Maudslay including AEC, Associated Daimler, Maudslay marine engines, rail locos, cars, trucks, buses, Ruston, Sunbeam, BUT etc
        for publication in October 2017
136 BMW Album: to include the stories of BMW, Dixi, Isetta, Glas, BFW etc
        for publication in October 2017

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.

Auto Review News: April 2016

By Rod Ward

AUTO REVIEW NEWS

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 rod-ward@tiscali.co.uk) – 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: autoreviewbooks.co.uk. From May 2016 we hope to have a new and updated presence at:
zeteo.com.

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

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.

Auto Review News: February 2016

By Rod Ward

Auto Review is a series of compact, concise, affordable monographs on subjects related to transport, collecting and popular culture.

Auto Review Update

Our printers, Duffields, were wiped out by the floods in Yorkshire over Christmas. They were in Kirkstall Road, Leeds, next to the River Aire, which flooded the entire printing works, destroying all the machinery and paper stock. it was insured, but there was no chance of getting insurance in future. Martyn Duffield, who got us started with MAR back in 1981, is now in his sixties and didn’t fancy starting again from scratch in new premises elsewhere, so he sold up to a printing company in South Yorkshire, too far away for us. We therefore had to go through the process of finding other printers, getting quotes, assessing their abilities, and finally we chose a York company called Wood Richardson. They have just delivered the first two new Auto Review titles for 2016 (see below), and we look forward to a good relationship with them in future.

The latest two Auto Review titles, now available, are 117 Cord Corporation and 118 Borgward Album. 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 rod-ward@tiscali.co.uk) – add £1.00 p&p per title in UK, £2.00 EU, £3.00 elsewhere. Or you can order online via Oxford Diecast online at our new link: autoreviewbooks.co.uk. From April 2016 we hope to have a new and updated presence at: zeteo.com

Auto Review 2016 titles

117 Cord Corporation:

AR 117 cord cover

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

AR 118 borgward cover

Including Pionier, Borgward, Hansa, Lloyd, Goliath, etc

Available now

119 Seddon and Atkinson: lorries and buses, including Seddon-Atkinson etc.

for publication in April 2016

120 A car less ordinary: Retro, repro & pastiche cars, plus novelty vehicles

for publication in April 2016

121 Spanish cars: Hispano-Suiza, Pegaso, Seat, Voisin, David and others

for publication in June 2016

122 Dennis Album: including cars, buses, trucks, fire appliances etc

for publication in 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

for publication in October 2016

Latest Releases

Auto Review 117 Cord Corporation

by Rod Ward

Errett Lobban Cord, born in 1894 in Missouri, was a super-salesman brought in to rescue the ailing Auburn car company. He soon took control of the firm, then he acquired Duesenberg, the top US luxury car maker of the period. He also took over Lycoming, who made the engines, plus coachbuilders and makers of other car components from axles to springs. EL Cord seems to have been very personable; not only did potential buyers find his approach irresistible, his employees were loyal, though he paid poor wages. He recognised his own lack of specialist expertise, always choosing to employ the best person for the job: managers, designers or engineers.

This publication moves from one personality to another, among the many gifted people to whom Cord chose to give his support. He launched a car marque under his own Cord name, took over the firm which made and operated Checker cabs, and diversified into aircraft manufacture with Stinson, Vultee and Avco, then into airlines when he created American Airlines. Not satisfied with cars and aviation, EL Cord also acquired a major shipbuilding firm and became a principal shareholder in a railway company. At one time or another, Cord was said to have controlled over 150 companies, but we don’t go into detail about them all here, only those of most interest to Auto Review readers. When his original empire collapsed in the late 1930s, EL Cord went on to own radio and television stations, and to invest in property, coal mines and even livestock.

Opinion was divided as to Cord’s character; a visionary, a charlatan, a financial genius, a stock manipulator? During the Great Depression Cord lost interest in his transport-related empire, which was subject to restrictions by the US authorities, so it was dismantled in 1937.

He never believed in looking back, always forward, and he went on to build another fortune and to become a respected legislator as a State Senator in Nevada. EL’s principal legacies in the 21st century are the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Automobile Museum, located in his old art deco headquarters in Auburn, Michigan, and the hundreds of Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg cars lovingly preserved around the world.

ISBN 978-1-85482-116-7 £5.95

Auto Review 118 Borgward Album

by Rod Ward

Carl Borgward is one of those characters who fascinate automotive historians. He was, like so many entrepreneurs, single-minded, autocratic and often disagreeable. His only interest was in his cars, not in the details of running a business, especially where money was concerned, and that blind-spot would ultimately spell his downfall. Carl Borgward’s achievements, and his lost opportunities, are described in this publication.

Borgward owners attested to the high standard of design, construction and materials used in their cars; much higher than one could expect for the price, especially in the case of the Isabella.

In fact the standard was too high for the prices charged, so it would always be hard for Borgward to make a profit. Owners were very loyal to the Borgward brand, keeping their cars much longer than those made by competitors. Little things like fully-adjustable seats, counterweighted bonnet and boot lids, reversing lights and selectable parking lights may be standard issue in the 21st century, but in the 1950s they were exceptionally rare in a middle-priced car.

My strongest personal memory of a Borgward was when I was a student of architecture. One of my tutors owned a white Isabella, which seemed to be an impossibly exotic car to own in early 1960s Yorkshire. I think that Trevor, who was a talented musician as well as an architect, must have developed his taste for Borgwards while playing with bands in Germany.

I have never owned a Borgward, but I now own a Mercedes-Benz C-Class estate car, which was built at the Sebaldsbrück plant in Bremen, the factory originally erected by Carl Borgward in 1938. I don’t think of the Mercedes-Benz as a Borgward, but I am aware that in a minor way it continues Carl Borgward’s legacy.

ISBN 978-1-85482-117-4 £5.99


 We welcome your comments and questions.  Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page

 

Auto Review News December 2015

By Rod Ward

Auto Review is a series of compact, concise, affordable monographs on subjects related to transport, collecting and popular culture.

The latest two Auto Review titles, now available, are 115 Saab Album and 116 Horse Power.
You can read more about these new publications below, and you can order any Auto Review book via Oxford Diecast online at our new link: autoreviewbooks.co.uk
Auto Review publications are also available on eBay, or direct from us by email, telephone or snail mail. From February 2016 we hope to have a new and updated presence at: zeteo.com

Auto Review 2015 publishing programme

107 Fiat Album Including commercials and aircraft
       Available now
108 Austers and other other classic British light aircraft
       Available now
109 Leeds in steam (rail and road steam machinery made by the classic Leeds engineering companies).
       Authors: Derek Rayner, Kris Ward and Andrew Johnson
       Available now
110 Honda Album including Acura, motorcycles, Formula 1 and aircraft
       Available now
111 Thornycroft Album including ships, boats, steam vehicles, cars, buses, trucks etc
       Available now
112 Auto Union (DKW, Horch, Audi, Wanderer, Framo, Auto Union, NSU)
       Available now
113 Scottish vehicles including Albion, Arrol-Johnston, Argyll, Galloway, Grampian and many more makers
      Available now
114 Guy Album Including cars, buses, trucks etc, Star vehicles and Sunbeam trolleybuses
      Available now
115 Saab Album, including aircraft, and Scania buses and trucks
      Available now
116 Horse-drawn vehicles: all kinds of vehicles, with some identification aids
      Available now

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, Tony Greaves and Dave Turner. I am currently working on AR120 ‘A car less ordinary’ for publication in 2016.


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..   for publication in February 2016
118 Borgward Album – including Pionier, Borgward, Hansa, Lloyd, Goliath, etc.         for publication in February 2016
119 Seddon and Atkinson: lorries and buses, including Seddon-Atkinson etc.         for publication in April 2016
120 A car less ordinary: Retro, repro & pastiche cars, plus novelty vehicles.         for publication in April 2016
121 Spanish cars: Hispano-Suiza, Pegaso, Seat, Voisin, David and others.         for publication in June 2016
122 Dennis Album: including cars, buses, trucks, fire appliances etc
        for publication in June 2016
123 Micro and city cars: mostly those not already covered in previous AR publications: 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
        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 .

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

Auto Review 115 Saab Album: the cars, the aircraft and the story of Scania

by Rod Ward
First, should it be spelled SAAB or Saab?
Like the names of Daf and Fiat, previous Auto Review subjects, SAAB began as an abbreviation, expressed in capital letters, but it later became formalised as a word in itself, as Saab. The ‘Saab’ title was in general usage after the Second World War, so we use ‘Saab’ throughout this publication for matters after 1944. Here we tell the story of a Swedish company which had its roots in the aviation industry. The first part of this publication is devoted to Saab aircraft from the 1930s to more recent years. Then we go on to Saab cars from 1946 to the 21st century, with all the twists, turns and changes of ownership en route. For almost three decades, from 1968 to 1995, Saab was merged with the Scania-Vabis commercial vehicle company. In the third part of this publication, therefore, we also look at Scania; before, during, and after the period in which it was connected to Saab.
Saab cars have always had their keen adherents, though in more recent years colleagues in the motor trade declared that Saab convertibles were ‘hairdressers’ cars’. That was not a image shared by makers of British televison cop shows, however. They saw a Saab as a tougher proposition; Detective Superintendent Pullman drove a Saab 9-3 convertible in New Tricks, Detective Superintendent Dalziel drove a Saab 900 turbo in Dalziel and Pascoe, and Detective Inspector Rebus in the eponymous novels and tv series drove a Saab 900, though it was rather old and tired, like its owner. We will see what the perception of Saab cars becomes in future years.
ISBN: 978-1-900482-114-3    £5.95

Auto Review 116 Horse Power: horse-drawn vehicles of all kinds

by Rod Ward

It may seem quaint and archaic to recall this in the 21st century, but as a small child in Lancashire in the late 1940s the author would see more deliveries by horse-drawn vehicles than by motor vehicles. Donny Green delivered milk in churns with a two-wheeler float. The Co-op had two four-wheel horse vans; one from the bakery, the other delivering the weekly grocery order from the local shop. Coal came in sacks on a flat ‘lurry’, the rag and bone man had a similar cart, and beer was delivered to the local pub by a horse dray. Only 30 years earlier the author’s grandfather made deliveries from his butcher’s shop with a ‘little mare and a trap’ (though in fact his ‘trap’ was a Liverpool Gig). On the other side of the Pennines, Ringtons still delivered tea with small horse-drawn vans. Householders looked out for manure dropped in the road by all these horses; it would be immediately scraped up and added to the compost heap. Other horse-drawn vehicles which persisted for longer than one might expect included the Governess Cart, which was still produced into the 1930s, because few ‘nannies’ could drive a car when taking their small charges for outings. Whenever there was a fuel shortage or petrol rationing, horse vehicles would reappear on the streets; in 1939, in the 1956 Suez crisis and even during the 1973 Arab oil embargo. Here we collect together descriptions of vehicles drawn by horses (and some other animals). We have mostly concentrated on the British Isles, with some mentions of the USA; apologies to readers elsewhere; horse-drawn vehicles have been used in almost every country in the world. Some of their stories are also told in thematic contexts in other Auto Review publications, notably taxicabs (Auto Review 36), Hearses (Auto Review 71), holiday coaches (Auto Review 33), and caravans (Auto Review 07 and 34).
ISBN: 978-1-900482-115-0   £5.95

We welcome your comments and questions.  Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.