2020 Auto Review programme

AR157 International Album Available 

AR158 Opel Album Available

AR159 Mercedes-Benz competition cars Available April 2020

AR160 ERF Album Available April 2020

AR161 Isotta-Fraschini, plus Itala, Iso etc Available June 2020

AR162 Lincoln and Continental  Available June 2020

AR163 Austin-Morris-BMC commercials  Available September 2020

AR164 de Dion and other French ‘D’ marques  Available September 2020

AR165 British bus and coach builders  Available November 2020

AR166 Made in Switzerland  Available November 2020


Here is a taster of the first five titles of next year:


AR157 International Album

International Harvester (IH) was created in a 1902 merger between the McCormick Harvesting Machine Co and the Deering Harvester Co,
production concentrating on tractors and other agricultural machinery. IH became famous for their large Titan tractors, later adding smaller Farmall tractors. From 1907 IH made ‘high-wheeler’ motorised buggies for their farmer clients, and also developed a profitable range of motor lorries and buses. The company expanded into other fields, including construction equipment and domestic appliances. Smaller pickup trucks in the range prompted development of the popular Travelall utility vehicles and the smaller Scouts.
Following financial difficulties, the company sold off most of its subsidiaries, and then even its core agricultural division, which was acquired by Tenneco in 1985, along with the International Harvester name and the IH trademark. Tenneco combined the IH tractors with its Case division. The remaining truck, bus and engine manufacturing operation was renamed Navistar International Corporation, and it continued to produce commercial vehicles into the 21st century.
In terms of long-term assistance in regard to International Harvester and Navistar, we have to express our thanks to an old friend, David Palmeter. He had been a long-time employee of both concerns in the 1990s when he assisted us with an IH project, and helped us to obtain a lot of factory material at that time, some of which came in useful when producing this publication.





AR158 Opel Album

Adam Opel was born in 1837, and originally trained as a locksmith, then he turned to making sewing machines, adding bicycles to his product range in the late 19th century. His four sons were avid bicycle racers, and took the lead when the family firm made motor vehicles. After the Great War the firm made popular cars, and it was acquired by General Motors, to access the growing German economy. Its American ownership aroused the suspicion of the Nazi authorities, so Opel did not play as large part in the German war effort as some other companies. Postwar recovery of the German economy carried Opel along on a tidal wave of growth, producing vast profits for GM, who gave to Opel the lead role in their international expansion, rather than other overseas subsidiaries such as Vauxhall or Holden. Many interesting and world-leading car designs were produced from the 1970s to the 1990s. The strategy to build ‘world cars’ would eventually mean, however, that Opel’s home market position was weakened. GM seemed to have few ideas on how to solve Opel’s problems other than by cost-cutting, and they tried to sell Opel on a number of occasions, notably to Magna and to Fiat, but without success. Having allowed the leading British truck brand, Bedford, to die of neglect, GM seemed likely to oversee the collapse of Opel (and its UK arm Vauxhall). Luckily another motor manufacturer could see the potential. PSA Group acquired Opel in 2017, and within a year it was showing a profit, a good augury for the future of the 150-year old Adam Opel company.
I would like to dedicate this publication to an old friend, Chuck Jordan. In his career at GM Chuck designed the 1959 Cadillac. In his private life he was a keen Ferrari owner and fan. From 1967 to 1970 he was Opel design director, responsible for such stylish cars as the Manta coupe and the Opel GT. After his years in Germany, Chuck returned to the USA, and in 1986 he became Vice President of Design at General Motors, a role previously held by his heroes Bill Mitchell and Harley Earl.
Chuck Jordan retired in 1992, and he died in 2010.





AR159 Mercedes-Benz Competition Cars

When we looked into the question of adding the history of Mercedes-Benz to the Auto Review series, it was apparent that there would be far too much for a single volume. The story is therefore divided into four. The first part, Auto Review 143, covers Mercedes-Benz road cars, plus cars made earlier by Benz and Daimler. Auto Review 146 covers Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles and Auto Review 149 is devoted to the Unimog.
This volume, Auto Review 159 describes Mercedes-Benz competition cars. As described in detail in Auto Review 143 Mercedes-Benz road cars, the marque originated in two separate car makers, Benz and Daimler, who were both involved in competition events from early days. First we look at Benz, then we have the Daimler account,
followed by Mercédès, the name under which Daimler cars were known after 1901. The accents were dropped in 1909, after which the cars were called Mercedes. The combined story begins in 1926, when the two firms merged as Daimler-Benz AG (D-B) with the cars badged as Mercedes-Benz. There have been times when the marque was deeply involved in a number of different types of competition motoring at the same time, but in between there were often fallow periods with little or no activity, due to lack of funds or to other considerations. This means that sometimes there may be apparent ‘gaps’ in the story, with nothing much happening. At other times a number of simultaneous and overlapping accounts, perhaps sports-racing cars, touring cars and Formula 1, have to be treated separately. The overall holding company is now Daimler AG, and Mercedes-Benz continues to compete in Formula 1 and Formula E in the 21st century.





AR160 ERF Album

Here we have the story of a British manufacturer which was well-known for its no-nonsense dependable diesel lorries. There is much more to ERF, however; they also made fire appliances, municipal vehicles, and even buses. The descendants of Edwin Foden divided into two camps in the 1930s, some remaining at Foden, the others departing to set up ERF. Both factories were in the Cheshire town of Sandbach, where Foden underwent the painful transition from steam to diesel power (see Auto Review 140), while ERF produced ‘assembled’ diesel lorries from the firm’s inception in 1933. The company was named after Edwin’s son, ER Foden, and created by ER’s son Dennis, with assistance from other family members and ex-Foden staff. ERF soon built up a following among transport operators, who remained loyal through the vicissitudes of later years, including takeovers by Western Star and MAN, who eventually axed the ERF brand in 2007, not long before its 75th birthday.








AR161 Isotta-Fraschini, plus Itala, Iso etc

As we surveyed car marques still to be covered in the Auto Review series, there were two classic Italian marques near the top of the list, Isotta Fraschini and Itala. Then we realised that a number of other important Italian marques also began with the letter ‘I’. There was Iso and Innocenti, Intermeccanica, Italdesign, even Iveco… As we embarked on the task of fitting them all into one Auto Review volume, it was suggested to us that it would be impossible. But no, all these important names have found their way into these pages, along with some other stories as well.
The name Isotta Fraschini is often coupled with Hispano-Suiza when discussing classic cars of the inter-war period. The Hispano-Suiza was a superior car in almost every aspect, however, though the long and sturdy Isotta chassis provided a platform for many superb luxury car bodies, especially popular with American buyers. They were never ‘driver’s cars’, but that was unimportant to owners, who left that activity to their chauffeurs. Lord Montagu labelled the Isotta Fraschini ‘The Italian Aristocrat’, whereas his tag for the Itala was ‘Italian Traditional’. Italas were effective Mercédès-inspired racing cars in the Edwardian period, and one was chosen by Prince Scipione Borghese to enter the Peking to Paris ‘raid’ of 1907. Everyone knows that the Itala was the first to arrive in Paris by a wide margin, because Borghese, though he was regarded as a gentleman and a sportsman chose to regard the event as a race.
Innocenti, who were famous as the original
producers of Lambretta scooters, went on to licence-build BMC cars in Italy. Iso, also producers of scooters and Isetta bubble cars, made American-engined cars in later years, and Intermeccanica also favoured the Italian-American theme. Many cars were designed for major manufacturers worldwide by Guigiaro’s Italdesign studio, which also produced cars under its own name after being acquired by Fiat.
Iveco was the name chosen by a Fiat-led international consortium for its extensive range of trucks and buses. Then we have the other Italian companies whose name began with ‘I’…






Auto Review AR162 Lincoln and Continental
Lincoln became part of Henry Ford’s automotive empire in 1922, but its origins go back to a much earlier firm set up by Henry Ford in 1899, the Detroit Automobile Co, which collapsed in 1901. His financial investors relaunched the firm as the Henry Ford Co, but in 1902 Henry found different backers and left to set up another firm, the Ford Motor Co. The Henry Ford Co was ‘rescued’ by Henry M Leland, who renamed it the Cadillac Automobile Co, which was acquired by W C Durant in 1909 to become part of General Motors. In 1917 Leland left Cadillac to set up a company to produce Liberty aero engines. This was the Lincoln Motor Co, which turned to building cars after the Great War. When that firm failed in 1922, it was bought by Henry Ford, who put his son Edsel in charge. Large and expensive cars were produced in the 1920s and 1930s, but when that market weakened, Edsel produced the futuristic Lincoln-Zephyr and the Continental. Edsel died in 1943, and after the war his Lincoln marque was coupled with the Mercury brand as Lincoln-Mercury. Lincoln continued to compete with the luxury brand leader Cadillac, but it would never match the GM product for sales. Continental was relaunched as a separate brand with the Mark II in 1956, but it was soon re-absorbed into Lincoln. By 1999 Ford had set up the Premier Automotive Group to include Jaguar, Aston Martin, Land Rover and Volvo as well as Lincoln-Mercury. When all of the other PAG marques were sold, and then Mercury closed in 2010, Lincoln was left as the only luxury brand in the Ford group. Lincoln supplied Presidential limousines, until the White House turned to Cadillac in the 21st century, by which time Lincoln was making SUVs and crossovers, as well as sedans and limousines.

Auto Review AR164 De Dion and others
While we were developing the Auto Review books on Delage and Delahaye, it became obvious just  how many other important and interesting French vehicle marques began with the letter ‘D’. No doubt this is partly a linguistic phenomenon, due to ‘de’ and ‘du’ appearing so often in the French language, but that gave us another puzzle. French surnames have a small ‘d’ on the de or du, but once the name was applied to a car marque, it would often have a capital ‘D’, as in De Dion for example. We hope that we have capitalised the ‘D’ only where appropriate in this publication. Whatever the case, it was apparent that French ‘D’ marques would make an interesting subject for an Auto Review publication, gathering into one place some important marques. The famous automotive pioneers De Dion were among the largest car makers by volume in the early years of the 20th century. Then there is Delaunay-Belleville, described as the ‘best car in the world’ in the Edwardian era, especially by French enthusiasts. We also include in these pages Darracq, De Dietrich, Decauville, DFP and many other interesting companies. The stories of these firms are set in their historical context, with accounts of preceding or following entities. Some companies changed their identity; De Dietrich became Lorraine-Dietrich, then Lorraine, and the Darracq company was renamed Talbot, the name under which its cars had previously been sold in France. It is notable how many early vehicle manufacturers were based in Paris or its environs (Puteaux, Neuilly, Suresnes, Courbevoie, Ivry, Créteil, St Denis etc) with only a relatively few other makers scattered around the rest of the country. This pattern would change with the ‘modern era’, when cars would be manufactured all over France, not just in and around the capital city.


2019 Auto Review programme

The Auto Review programme for 2019 has now been published as listed below. Note that there will be two additional updated and reprinted books before the end of 2019.

AR147 Made in Austria Q1 Published
AR148 Lamborghini Album Q1 Published
AR149 Mercedes-Benz Unimog Q2 Published
AR150 Packard Album Q2 Published
AR151 Ferrari Album part two : Ferrari competition cars  Published
AR152 Leyland Trucks  Published
AR153 Porsche Album  Published
AR154 Leyland Buses  Published
AR155 Panhard Album Published
AR156 Porsche Album part two Published
NB In November 2019 the following two titles will be re-issued in an updated form
AR60A – DAF Cars
AR084A –  A concise history of Corgi Toys and other Mettoy products

Latest Releases

AR155 Panhard Album

  In 1887 Panhard & Levassor began making Daimler engines under licence, and in 1891 they conceived the automobile layout which would become standard worldwide. Under the Système Panhard a vertical engine was located at the front of a four-wheel chassis with sprung suspension, driving the rear wheels through a friction clutch and a series of gears. It may seem to be an obvious layout today, but up to that time there was no consensus of opinion about the ‘right’ way to design cars. Panhard was also the first car to have a windscreen, and the first car imported to Britain was a Panhard & Levassor, in 1895. They were the leading car manufacturers in the world in the early years of the motor car, but after the death of co-founder Emile Levassor in 1897 the firm became more conservative. The early image of the company as a race-winning dynamic force at the forefront of technical innovation was replaced by that of a maker of expensive luxury cars. To quote William Boddy, a Panhard would move ‘silently rather than swiftly’, leaving in its wake a faint blue haze from its sleeve-valve engine. Thanks to Commandant Krebs, who had replaced Levassor as technical head of the firm, Panhard was early in the field with armoured cars, vehicles which became more important to the survival of the brand in later years. Later generations of the Panhard family, Paul and Jean, helped to steer the company through difficult times. By the 1930s the large art deco sleeve-valve Panhards were expensive and dated, bringing Panhard to the verge of collapse, averted when the firm turned over to producing armoured cars for the oncoming war.
After the Second World War, demand was for smaller cars, so Panhard adopted an advanced aluminium-bodied twin-cylinder Grégoire design which became the Dyna. Its basic technology was maintained in all Panhard cars for two decades until Citroën, who had taken over the firm, put an end to Panhard car production in 1967. The Panhard name survived, however, because the armoured car side of the business continued as a separate division into the 21st century.


AR 156 Porsche Album Part Two
Sometimes the story we have to tell is too long to fit into one Auto Review publication, and Porsche is one of them. Previously we have split some longer accounts thematically; road cars and race cars in separate volumes, for example. At other times we have divided the story chronologically, choosing a point in time at which to end one Album, and thus to begin the other Album. In the case of Porsche we chose the latter course, but deciding the ‘split’ date was difficult. In the end the decision fell on 1980, give or take. Broadly speaking, all Porsche Types which had begun life by 1980 are described in Part One (Auto Review 153), and those that originated after 1980 are included here. Obviously some types spanned across the 1970s to the 1980s, so as far as possible the full story of any type which had gone into production by 1980 is told in Auto Review 153. That means that, although our ‘start date’ here is around 1980, some cars still in production in the 1990s are not described in this publication, having already been covered in Part One. The only major exception is the 911, the cornerstone of the Porsche range. Its early years were described in Part One, and the continued story of its long life from the 1980s onwards is told here. This is a long and complex tale to tell in just two Auto Review publications; down the years massive tomes have been devoted to just one Porsche Type. Due to our restricted space we have not been able to treat this extensive subject in great depth. Many descriptions have had to be compressed in these pages, and some material left out altogether, so we apologise in advance if your favourite Porsche sub-Type has been omitted, or just skimmed over.

AR 153 Porsche Album Part One

Porsche was another of those stories which just would not fit into one Auto Review publication. Previously we have split some longer accounts thematically; road cars and race cars in separate volumes, for example. At other times we have divided the story chronologically, choosing a point in time at which to end one Album, and thus to begin the other Album. In the case of Porsche we chose the latter course, but deciding the ‘split’ date was difficult. In the end the decision fell on 1980, give or take. Broadly speaking, all Porsche Types which had begun life by 1980 are included here, and those that originated after 1980 are in Part Two (Auto Review 156).
Obviously some types spanned across the 1970s to the 1980s, so as far as possible the full story of any type which had gone into production by 1980 is told in these pages. The only major exception is the 911, the cornerstone of the Porsche range. Its early years are described here, and the continued story of its long life from the 1980s onwards is told in Part Two.This is a long and complex tale to tell in just two Auto Review publications; down the years massive tomes have been devoted to just one Porsche Type. Many descriptions have had to be compressed in these pages, and some material left out altogether, so we apologise in advance if your favourite Porsche sub-Type has been omitted, or just skimmed over.





Auto Review 154 Part Two: Leyland Buses and Coaches,

Promised in 1996, but never delivered. John’s original text has been augmented and updated for this volume, with entirely new text for AR154. For further Leyland coverage, LDV and the Sherpa light vans are covered in Auto Review 061, and those Standard vans which were badged as Leylands are described in Auto Review 047a. The ex-BMC commercial vehicles which were adopted by Leyland will be described in Auto Review 163.








AR151 Ferrari Album: Part Two: the racing cars
ISBN 978-1-85482-150-1   •   £5.95
 Auto Review has often managed to cover an entire marque history in one volume which at first sight seemed too big for a single publication. At other times the task has been too difficult, so if there is a logical division, we try to split a story over two or more volumes. That is the case here; Ferrari has been divided over two Albums, AR141 is devoted to road cars, and this publication, AR151 to competition cars. As any enthusiast can tell you, this is not a totally clean and clear division.
Yes, monoposto Formula cars fall on to one side, and luxury road cars on to the other. But many Ferrari Grand Touring road cars were produced in quantity to qualify for GT sports car races, and on the other hand, many Ferraris intended to be road-going sports cars were subsequently raced. This means that the line between road cars and competition cars is more blurred than we might like, so some car models feature in both Albums. We do not repeat here the story of Enzo Ferrari’s early days as a mule farrier in the Great War, or the changes of shareholding of his company in later years. All of this is described in AR141, including the story of Scuderia Ferrari, which raced Alfa Romeos between the wars. We take up Ferrari competition history after the Second World War; Enzo wanted to race cars in his own team, but he was a businessman who knew that, to finance his dream, he needed to sell cars to others. Enzo Ferrari had no formal engineering qualifications; his engineering degree was honorary, and, conservative by nature, he was sometimes slow to take up technological advances. He even regarded the study of aerodynamics as ‘only for those who could not muster enough horsepower’.
Since 1950 when the Formula One World Championship was established, Ferrari was the only team to compete in every season, though not always with great success.

AR152 Leyland Album: Part One, Lorries and Vans

 In 1896 the Lancashire Steam Motor Co was set up in Leyland, Lancashire. In 1907 it was renamed Leyland Motors, the firm rapidly taking a leading position in the British commercial vehicle market, providing Subsidy lorries in the Great War and many different designs in the 1920s and 1930s. After a massive contribution to the war effort in the Second World War, Leyland became the largest exporter of trucks in the world. Industry consolidation in the 1950s and 1960s saw Leyland take control of many of its erstwhile competitors among British commercial vehicle manufacturers, then the government took a hand. Most of the British vehicle industry was amalgamated into British Leyland. When it became Rover Group there was no place for Leyland in this car-making organisation, so the truck and bus divisions were privatised in management buyouts. In the 1980s Leyland Trucks was acquired by DAF, which collapsed into receivership in 1993. Leyland once again was the subject of a management buyout, a much smaller operation, and dependent upon DAF (which had been rescued by the Dutch government) for its export sales. In 1996 Paccar of the USA acquired DAF, and two years later it also took over Leyland. The joint operation produced a full range of trucks, all under the DAF brand when the Leyland badge disappeared in 1999. The truck factory continued to make vehicles in Leyland in the 21st century, but all DAFs. Leyland Lorries and Vans by John Hanson was one of the first four Auto Review books, written in 1995, published in 1996. Nearly a quarter of a century later we have to update that early publication to 2019 and to current Auto Review standards, with almost three times as many illustrations, half of them in colour. There is a second new volume,


A look at the publications still to come in 2019

2018 Auto Review programme 

AR137 Delage Album Published
AR138 AEC Album Part 2 including Maudslay Published
AR139 American Motors Published
AR140 Foden Album Published
AR050a The Rootes Group series Humber Second edition Published
AR141 Ferrari Album Published
AR142 Jeep Album Published
AR143 Mercedes-Benz cars Q4 Published
AR144 Studebaker Album Q4 Published
AR145 Delahaye-Delage-Hotchkiss Published
AR146 Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles Published

If you are interested in buying anything, please contact us using the ‘contact’ button. We will reply to your contact to advise on availability and means of payment.