If you could write a book about a classic, which one would it be?

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James Elliott
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In case you are not familiar with 33 1/3, it is a great little exercise from publisher Bloomsbury in which (mosty) normal people submit proposals to write short(ish) books on their favourite album. Some are incredibly well-researched and packed with interviews, others are more lengthy personal accounts of why it is great.

Click here to learn all about it.

Anyway, with this premise in mind, I thought it might be fun to do the same thing with classic cars.

So submit your proposal – the make and model of car you would write about and a summary of why and how you would want to do it – below (I'll add my own later).

You never know, it might become a reality!

n/a
Hannah Shakespeare
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Hi James, perhaps unfair of me to muscle in (I'll go off with my tail between my legs if needs be)--shamelessly, just to say as a commissioning editor of classic car books, I'll be watching this thread with interest...

Hannah Shakespeare
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Hi James, perhaps unfair of me to muscle in (I'll go off with my tail between my legs if needs be)--shamelessly, just to say as a commissioning editor of classic car books, I'll be watching this thread with interest...

Mario Laguna
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Pegaso, of course, this time should be a long overdue English version.

 

martin thaddeus
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Hello James

 

What a good idea for a thread.

For me it would have to about more than one model.   I like the idea of a big coffee table book about 'People's Cars'  Starting with the model T, and looking at the cars which were aimed at the everyman across the world.  So it would give a nod to the micro cars of france, the Raleigh 3 wheelers here and the tuk tuks of the east along with the more obvious, Austin 7, Minor, mini, 2CV, VW Beetle, Trabant etc, But we also need to consider the less obvious ford transits, fiat pandas - maybe evern the Sachs moped in scandinavia.  It could be laid out to run from the start of the last century up until the present day tata.

I would want profiles of each car featured and stories from their heyday

Each countries social history is reflected in its acceptance of the motor car to a great extent, just compare Britain with America.  Here motoring was for the super rich and shackled by legislation.  In the states it was embraced quite differently.  And as economies grow so the mass ownership of vehicles follow.  Just look at India and China in the last decade.

THADDEUS

James Elliott
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martin thaddeus wrote:

Hello James

 

What a good idea for a thread.

For me it would have to about more than one model.   I like the idea of a big coffee table book about 'People's Cars'  Starting with the model T, and looking at the cars which were aimed at the everyman across the world.  So it would give a nod to the micro cars of france, the Raleigh 3 wheelers here and the tuk tuks of the east along with the more obvious, Austin 7, Minor, mini, 2CV, VW Beetle, Trabant etc, But we also need to consider the less obvious ford transits, fiat pandas - maybe evern the Sachs moped in scandinavia.  It could be laid out to run from the start of the last century up until the present day tata.

I would want profiles of each car featured and stories from their heyday

Each countries social history is reflected in its acceptance of the motor car to a great extent, just compare Britain with America.  Here motoring was for the super rich and shackled by legislation.  In the states it was embraced quite differently.  And as economies grow so the mass ownership of vehicles follow.  Just look at India and China in the last decade.

 

I'd buy it!

n/a
Chris Martin
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Mario's Pegaso book in English should be encouraged, but I am not sure Mr Thaddeus's sociological history of the migration of the automotive big dealers, aka the changing markets of supply and demand, though I am sure a worthy subject, carries any cred in the 'Classic' field. Yes, of course the Model T, VW and Mini have their place in history as true mould breakers and icons that showed the way forward, but just because there are now newer fast growing consumer markets buying other cheap and basic home grown models to replace their donkeys, asses, goats or Honda 90 mopeds does not mean all working class cars are either classics, or indeed of any interest at all.

I do however remember there used to be a showroom in the Goldhawk Road, just west of Shpherds Bush green that imported and sold Hindustan Ambassadors for around six grand I think it was, and for a brief while there in the eighties they became trendy pleb's wheels in London. Probably used by the same hip scenesters that moved on to the Citroen DS.

Here in Australia the new wonder wagon at a bargain price, a typical Ute in the Toyota Hilux mould, is the Chinese copy sold as the........wait for it................the

Great Wall.

Yep, that was the best they could come up with for a Chinese brand name.

Anyway, back to James's question,

Mr Buckley has already done the definitive work on the Facel Vega, and likewise Borgeson and Malks have both done Cord proud.

I am currently researching and collating info on the history of the Model T Ford in Australia, but there seems to be a cult of secrecy amongst some who have rare cars and parts, and an unwillingness to share info, so that may never happen unless all parties grow up and co-operate for the common good.

Or......... 

I have long had an interest in Formula Ford racing and now it is celebrating it's 45th anniversary (see, I said this whole anniversary biz was getting out of control) the upcoming fiftieth may be a good time to look back. Through other links and research I have started researching the history of fairground rides and there may yet be a book in the history of the Dodgem.

Checking across my alphabetised book shelves I see there is a gap between Alvis and Armstrong Siddeley, but even though I have an interest in the Arkley SS, I doubt there are enough fans out there to justify a print run that would exceed Scrooge's Christmas card list. Farther along I see the B shelf sagging under too many Bentley and Bugatti books and at H even worthy makes like Holden, Humber and Hudson are well served already too,

I will keep busy either way, but in terms of Classics in the way C&SC means it, I think most have already been done, but I will keep an eye on this thread to see if anyone does come up with a new take on the subject.

Chris M.

 

James Elliott
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I answered this (finally) and then it logged me out so it was lost. Lucky for you lot because it was a rambling treatise on wanting to do something about Citroen - The Maserati Years and the Whitney/Straigh Dick Seaman MG K3

The one that fits the brief though would be the Straight Eight Triumph Dolomite, the pre-war Alfa 8C clone. I'm not sure there would be enough on it for a whole book though.

 

 

n/a
Mike Hayward
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I would love to have a book of my motor sport images published. With over 5000 on my website covering all categories of British motor racing from 1962 to the 90's. Drivers include Jim Clark, Graham Hill, John Surtees, Pedro Rodriguez and Dan Gurney up to Mansell and Senna. I've tried publishers but they want something more specific than a broad cross section of the sport through the lens of one man. Without wishing to blow my own trumpet, they are good!  http://www.mikehaywardcollection.com/

Mike Hayward

Gruffalo
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For me it would have to be:

Alfa Romeo:
The Alfetta years - 1972 to 1992.

This would be a book documenting the
transaxle platform from its debut in a modest saloon, through its various
incarnations to its ultimate swansong, the SZ. It would also plot the course of
Alfas slow decline throughout the '70's and '80's; a tragic Latin drama

I believe the often overlooked Alfetta was doomed form the begining as the car it was designed to replace, the much loved 105 series Giulia, was held in such high regard. That Alfa chose a radical piece of design engineering and clothed it in a very modern body, showed they had a lot of courage. Let down by poor build quality, suspect reliability caused by some basic design flaws and the well documented corrosion issues, it didn't matter how the car drove for many owners.

I would therefore love to see a book, or even a decent article in magazines such as C&SC, of this wonderful car and its subsequent offspring.

tomstimemachine
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I would love to fully research the story behind the Panther Six, and the construction of the original prototype that utilized so much of the handbuilt quality and craftsmanship that went into their exquisite J72's and DeVille's. Amongst the established exotica that ruled the mid-Seventies, the unique design created by Wayne Cherry and Geoff Lawson truly stood a chance of "out Countaching the Countach" in a way that Aston Martin and Jaguar failed to achieve post DB5 and E-Type - plus, the car had the feel, and class, of a Bentley, and a presence and claimed speed to rival any other dream car. It would also be nice to sort out, once and for all, the myths behind the history of car number 1 and car number 2 and more about the factory at Canada Road, Byfleet. I feel very little is known of Robert Jankel's small car company and ultimately the fall of Panther Westwinds, amidst the Delorean affair as the Government was pumping so much into an American-based car when we had a small British manufacturer in need of just a small rescue package. I am hoping to put together a Web-page devoted to the Six - it's just a shame that the man behind it's creation is no longer with us.