Future Auto Review programme

Our latest news!

All our Titles for 2023 have now been published and are available to buy on our publications page here. Here we present our new titles for 2024.

2024 Auto Review programme

AR197 Oldsmobile Album. Including Reo, Viking and Saturn. Available NOW
AR198 Armour on WheelsThe story of wheeled armoured fighting vehicles. Available NOW
AR199 Cars produced in Latin America. Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and moreApril 2024
AR200 Plymouth Album. Plus DeSoto, Fargo, ValiantApril 2024
AR201 Commercial Vehicle Album 2Minor postwar UK ManufacturersJune 2024
AR202 They also made cars: Suzuki Album. Plus Isuzu, Hino and DaihatsuJune 2024
AR203 Pontiac AlbumPlus the story of OaklandSeptember 2024
AR204 MAN. Including Büssing-NAG and moreSeptember 2024
AR205 Not just Volvo, Saab and Scania: The Other Nordics. Vehicles made in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, IcelandNovember 2024
AR206 The White Saga. Including Autocar, Freightliner, Reo, Diamond T, Western Star, Cletrac, Indiana, Sterling, EuclidNovember 2024

Some more information about the first six books of 2024

AR197 Oldsmobile Album
Ransom E Olds set up the Olds Motor Vehicle Co in 1897, and for many years Oldsmobile was the oldest American car marque still extant. Oldsmobile closed in 2004, however after producing more than 35 million vehicles, almost half of them built in Lansing, Michigan.
Ransom Olds didn’t stay with his creation for long, however, leaving in 1905 to set up a company in competition, Reo, which is also described here. Oldsmobile survived reasonably well in the 1920s and 1930s, with only one hiccup; its Viking ‘companion car’ was launched in 1929, but it only survived for 18 months. Oldsmobile had a tradition of promoting its chief engineer to be general manager of the company, which meant that the brand was often at the forefront with new ideas and promising technologies. Hydra-Matic Drive, the first fully automatic transmission, was first seen in an Oldsmobile in 1939, two years before Cadillac adopted it. The postwar Rocket V8 engine made Oldsmobile the car to beat at the traffic lights grand prix, the 1962 Jetfire was the first US car to be powered by a turbocharged V-8 engine and front-wheel drive was introduced to big American cars in 1965 by the stylish Toronado. Oldsmobile was carefully positioned in the GM roster of marques at a lower price than a Buick, yet offering a better-trimmed car than a Chevrolet or Pontiac. Its reputation for offering more luxury for its price level in the mid-market, sometimes with more performance as well, gave Oldsmobile a loyal following. As these regular buyers aged, however, younger buyers were less interested, preferring to buy imported luxury cars. An entirely new GM brand, Saturn, created to compete with the imports, is also noted in this publication; it only lasted two decades. After years of fighting a losing battle against falling sales, General Motors finally closed Oldsmobile down in 2004.
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AR198 Armour on Wheels
In this publication we tell the story of Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) on wheels, so tracked AFVs and half-tracks are not described here. Early ‘armed cars’, without armour to protect the occupants, developed to become lightly-armoured reconnaissance cars and Scout Cars, capable of resisting small arms fire. Scout Cars usually had an open top, with vision slots in the armour-plated bodywork. Armoured Cars had all-enveloping armour and a gun, usually fitted into a revolving turret like a tank, but they were smaller and more manoeuvrable than tanks. All major powers developed many designs of armoured cars in the early years, though the USA preferred tracked vehicles. The armoured car all but disappeared in later years, as the IFV took over the role.
Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) were designed to transport troops safely with fixed armament or in a small turret. The APC was the principal AFV in most armed forces, defined as an armoured troop-carrier with a gun smaller than 20mm. On the other hand an IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) had a gun of 20mm or larger. Armoured Command Vehicles (ACV) resembled large APCs, fitted out as an office, to serve as a mobile command post for senior officers. Carriers were smaller vehicles carrying armament (machine guns, grenade launchers, mortars etc). These included Jeeps, Land Rovers and other similar vehicles not described here, because mostly they were ‘soft-skin’, or just lightly armoured. Some field cars with military-pattern bodywork may look ‘armoured’ but they were not, so they have also been omitted from our coverage.Armoured trucks usually only had armour fitted to the cab area as a reinforcement to an essentially ‘soft-skin’ vehicle, so, they are mostly not covered in this publication. Soft-skin trucks were vulnerable to mine and IED attack, however, so a new generation of MRAP cargo vehicles developed which were closer to APCs in their conception.
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AR199 Cars produced in Latin America
Latin America refers to countries on the American continent where Romance languages derived from Latin are spoken, mostly Spanish or Portuguese. This includes Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, most of Central and South America and many Caribbean islands. When researching the subject with our team of contributors, we discovered hundreds of car makers in Latin America, though most of them were tiny; sometimes only one car built. We can therefore offer here no more than an introduction to Latin American car marques, so we have selected the more important or more interesting stories. When imports or locally-assembled cars were expensive or non-existent, locally-designed cars were made in small numbers. Then a period of licensing the assembly of foreign products produced unusual variations on well-known cars. Eventually, however, most Latin American car factories were subsidiaries of major international concerns, their products similar to those made by the parent companies, but we have tried in this publication to describe some of the cars which were unique to Latin America, as well as other ‘personal vehicles’ such as pickups. The stories of ‘world cars’ as built in Latin America, and identical to those made elsewhere, have already been told in other Auto Review books devoted to specific marques, so they don’t need to be detailed here.
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AR200 Plymouth Album
Walter P Chrysler was a name to conjure with in the 1920s. He had rescued Willys and in 1921 he had taken over Maxwell-Chalmers. In 1924 he launched the Chrysler Six, and the old Maxwell became the Chrysler Four. In 1926 the range was reorganised as the Chrysler 50, 60 and 70, with a new top of the range luxury model, the Imperial 80 which had luxurious bodies by Fleetwood (see Auto Review 190). Sales of over 170,000 cars lifted the new firm to fifth place in US sales. This astonishing success for a fledgling company was largely dependent on Walter’s dynamic reputation in the auto industry. His skills were wide-ranging; he understood the engineering requirements of car production, but could also deal with marketing the product and keeping a firm hand on the financial side at the same time. These skills and his tremendous work ethic drove him forward over the following decades. In 1928 he decided to produce a couple of ‘companion’ brands in his portfolio, along similar lines to the General Motors structure. First he needed an entry-level four-cylinder car to compete with the big-selling Chevrolets and Fords, so he created Plymouth, successor to the Maxwell and the Chrysler Four. Next he wanted a mid-level brand, preferably a six-cylinder car, to compete with Buick. The respected Dodge Brothers operation was in the hands of bankers who wanted to offload it, but the price was too high for Walter, so he created the DeSoto brand. Then suddenly a deal was possible to take over Dodge without having to put any money up (see Auto Review 183). Work on DeSoto continued, however, and in 1928 it was launched into the same mid-segment as Dodge, where the two brands co-existed uneasily. Dodge brought with it the truck-making operation which had originated with Graham Brothers, but before the Dodge deal seemed to be possible Chrysler had taken over a small truck company called Fargo, a brand which lasted until 1976. In this publication we tell the story of Plymouth, which was axed in 2001, after the DaimlerChrysler ‘merger’. We also describe DeSoto, which closed 40 years earlier, in 1961 after struggling for years to find its place in the Chrysler hierarchy.

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AR200 Commercial Vehicle album 2

In Auto Review 189 we told the stories of some companies which made minor contributions to British commercial vehicle history, from the earliest days up to the Second World War.
In this publication we look at another selection of minor British manufacturers, this time mostly from those working in the postwar years. By the 1940s the motor industry was firmly in the hands of those companies which had been successful in the prewar years, followed by large and lucrative wartime contracts. It was very difficult for smaller firms to break into the commercial vehicle business in later years, having to compete with those large established manufacturers.
Mostly they had to find a specialised niche which the big firms had neglected, or which required a high degree of one-off custom building. These products were often, therefore, in areas such as off-road dumptrucks, heavy haulage of abnormal loads, or aircraft tugs. If they were successful, they ran the risk of being taken over by a bigger manufacturer, but if a small company was less successful they usually ceased production. This publication covers these brand names; Annis, Argyle, Baron, Bruce-SN, Beardmore (and Multiwheelers), DJB (and AWD), Douglas (plus Reliance and Mercury), Dennison, Haulamatic, Heathfield, HHT, Robert Hudson, Jensen (and Hindle-Smart-Helecs), Mack, Norde, Proctor, Quest 80, Reynolds-Boughton, Rotinoff, Rowe-Hillmaster, Rutland (and MTN), Stonefield, Thompson Bros, TVW, Unipower and the Wynns Pacifics. Some of these manufacturers have been mentioned in other Auto Review publications, but we give them a fuller description in these pages. The inclusion of some names may be questioned by enthusiasts, as their vehicles were ‘only’ conversions, or were solely intended for a company’s own use. They are included here because they have been seen on the road under their own badges, so their stories need to be told.
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AR201 Suzuki Album – Plus Isuzu, Hino and Daihatsu (’They also made cars’)

All of the Japanese companies described here made cars, but each of them was previously or primarily better-known for making other automotive products. Suzuki were best-known for their world-famous motorcycles, but the company built its first cars in 1955 and it was still in the car-making business into the 21st century. Isuzu and Hino were among the largest companies making heavy trucks and buses, and were both part of the same company until 1942. Isuzu took out a licence to build the Hillman Minx in Japan in 1953 before going on to produce its own designs, but the company ceased making cars in Japan in 2002, though production of pickups and related SUVs continued. Hino made cars for a shorter time, from 1953 to 1967, beginning with a Renault assembly licence. Thereafter Hino concentrated on truck and bus production, at which it was very successful. Daihatsu began life making internal combustion engines, and made its first three-wheeler in 1953. The company was still producing small cars in the 21st century, but in later years it was under the control of Toyota.

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