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Author Topic: The Book - "Lancia in the UK" - Thoughts and Reviews  (Read 16525 times)
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Dilambdaman
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« Reply #45 on: 28 March, 2014, 12:48:13 PM »

I heartily endorse David's comments (I'm up to about the same page as he) - it is a fascinating read and the mind boggles at the amount of research that Jack must have put in to come up with so much detail. I notice that Jack's name does not appear on the frontispiece and I think that it should. The introduction on the inside of the dust jacket signed by Jack seems scant acknowledgement of his immense role in the exercise.

Page 26.  Sir Stewart Gore-Brown.

His name lept off the page as I have just finished reading the biography of his life as told in 'The Africa House' by Christina Lamb.
In it there is no mention of his motoring exploits nor of his racing a Lancia. However, it is a compelling read written largely with the help of copies of his correspondence found in a trunk at the now abandoned house in Africa. The life of a true English Gentleman of that era, eccentric to the core!

Well worth a read and to encourage you to do so two tasters. 1. His obsession with his aunt (the wife of the man who built the Brooklands race track)referred to was born out by his writing a letter to her practically everyday of his life until she died regardless of where he was at the time. 2. He couldn't pluck up the courage to ask the other love of his life to marry him but 20 or so years latter married her daughter! How bizarre is that?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Africa-House-English-Gentleman/dp/0140268340/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396010784&sr=8-1&keywords=the+africa+house

Robin.







« Last Edit: 28 March, 2014, 11:36:42 PM by Dilambdaman » Logged

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chriswgawne
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« Reply #46 on: 02 April, 2014, 11:48:43 AM »

I have just got round to looking through this book and I am very pleasantly surprised at its readability and presentation. Of course I knew I would enjoy it because of its title but it is a very good read.
Huge congratulations to all who were involved in its production.
Whilst going through the book, I came across my few words on Harry which I sent to Jack in the very beginning and which I had almost forgotten about. He has put them in verbatim to my surprise.
And then on page 239 there is an image of the Scuderia Manning transfers which Harry applied to cars he worked on. I have one on my racecar by the ignition switch and I think of Harry  whenever I see it.
Which then reminded me that I also have a pair of Harry's secret weapon for attracting girls! He had some dreadful folding sunglasses printed up as shown in the attached (awful because of reflections) photos. What a character!
Chris


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Chris Gawne
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« Reply #47 on: 05 April, 2014, 07:55:00 PM »

Well, book dually digested and read over twice ( for typos mind you).

It seems the life of things motoring and Italian, never ever run smoothly, ever.

The politics, a variety of organisations, both governments played huge parts in shaping the success or otherwise of all things Lancia oriented.

I thoroughly enjoyed my read, perhaps not as car model heavy as I'd anticipated but no real issues there, at times commercial vehicles were much more important than cars and indeed the endless restructuring of the sales networks seemed a bit of a nightmare at times. The part the media played in destroying Lancia's reputation and then how Lancia handled the problem, seemed inextricably linked in its downfall in little more than a decade. A very sad denouement.


My favourite parts were the people.....my favourite piece of writing was by Howard Moon on P.255.


Lancias are officially extinct in the UK..............how do we now keep the flame alive into the next century?


A few things I'd like to ask the old hands -

Are Barry Crowes annual LMC videos available? Likewise footage of Julian Janes driving in the 1940s, mention of Gerald Batt having some?

Are Roger Perry's Stratos photos at Orta available anywhere?


P



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Frank Gallagher
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« Reply #48 on: 07 April, 2014, 04:57:18 PM »

Congratulations on a very entertaining book. The early history I found fascinating and I can only agree with the earlier comments on the thoroughness of the research that Jack has done. I did like the word and pictures of the pre-Lambda cars - and commercials - they were obviously very regarded here.
And Jack has made the book interesting to a wide range of readers by making it very much a people book that involves many members past and present.
I'm very pleased to have my copy!
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chriswgawne
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« Reply #49 on: 08 April, 2014, 11:45:27 AM »

Ref Howard Moon, I believe I met this gentleman in the mid 1970's at a LMC AGM - possibly at Danny La Rue's hotel, Walton Hall? I seem to remember he was quite a character and I bought a blue American Lancia Club T shirt (which I still have ) from him.
And funnily enough, just last week there was  a copy of his lovely 1971 60 page tome on Lancia Aurelias for sale on ebay.
Chris
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« Reply #50 on: 08 April, 2014, 11:48:45 AM »

Saw the book by him on ebay Chris, just thought it was a tad expensive


P
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Frank Gallagher
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« Reply #51 on: 15 April, 2014, 10:52:58 PM »

Alan Cooper has found a picture on Facebook of a Blue & White Beta Coupe pickup, that might possibly be the Norman Stewart one referred to a the bottom of P259 and carried onto P260, does anyone know what colour it was?
Alan is hopefully going to try to get permission for me to post the photo here.

Brian
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« Reply #52 on: 16 April, 2014, 02:42:05 PM »

Norman Stewart's pick-up was based on an HPE, it was blue and cream. He called it the 'HPP'  High Performance Pick-up!
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« Reply #53 on: 28 April, 2014, 08:55:09 PM »

Going through some paperwork at the weekend I found a letter from Ted Bates , I forgot about this as it was a long time ago . I bought a book about Betas off him in 1992 . It was nice to see the picture of him in the book as I never met him but we corresponded back then it's just nice to remember him with the book. Smiley
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« Reply #54 on: 29 April, 2014, 07:40:28 AM »

Alan Cooper has found a picture on Facebook of a Blue & White Beta Coupe pickup, that might possibly be the Norman Stewart one referred to a the bottom of P259 and carried onto P260, does anyone know what colour it was?
Alan is hopefully going to try to get permission for me to post the photo here.

Brian
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theres a few pictures I put up in the LMC legends about norman and our last visit there, j


* lancia 290.JPG (74.92 KB, 640x480 - viewed 528 times.)
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« Reply #55 on: 30 April, 2014, 12:05:19 PM »


Looks well finished.

I'd suggest it for Simon Ingman to get his grapes in - but having just been I understand it would need taller springs and a sump guard.  He MAY still need ideas as I'm looking forward to hearing how a trike copes with the middle wheel down the lumpy bumpy grassy middle of the tracks.

David
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« Reply #56 on: 02 May, 2014, 03:18:11 PM »

Hi All

Just finished The Book whilst on holiday, only real time I get to do a lot of reading. Have to say it is most enjoyable and especially given essentially a voluntary effort by the individuals concerned, I would be happy for it to stay the way it is if reprinted. I especially liked the early years and the write ups on individuals, being a newcomer to the club etc, none of them were known to me.

Purely in the interest of improving it however I would suggest the following

1) Mentioned before, but resolve the where brought and bought should be used correctly.
2) Especially in the early years write up, there were a 'repeats' of events which could be removed.

Finally, just to say well done to all involved, a really interesting car book with no mention of any car specifications.....

Peter
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« Reply #57 on: 05 May, 2014, 06:04:41 AM »

I finally have my copy, having rescued it from the tenants who now live at my previous address, who had opened it (by mistake...) but at least not read it...  I'd echo earlier comments about wanting a little more acknowledgement of Jack there for posterity - it was undoubtedly his magnum opus and in retrospect it would have been only fitting that there was something about the author.  Still, at least we all know who did the work.  My other comment is just how big a format it is - I'd not imagined anything so substantial.  Not read it yet (only got it late on Saturday and I've been violently ill since, what they call 'gastro' in Aus), but it will join the queue of books awaiting my attention.  Chuffed to see that I am actually on the cover (albeit that you have to know where to look...).
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« Reply #58 on: 05 May, 2014, 12:14:13 PM »

Fittingly, my copy arrived the day before I set off for the Great Northern Weekend, so I was able to take it with me and start my read in the pleasant surroundings of the Crown Hotel with many fine cars parked below the windows of my room.

The book took me a couple of weeks to read, mainly because I often re-read some of the passages, particularly the excellent portraits of the ‘Great Characters’. What fascinating lives some of them lead, and what a shame I only knew but two of them (Barry Waterhouse & Mike Matthews, via respectively, Barry’s VL articles, one of the great joys of my first stint in the club, and a fleeting talk at an AGM I think). A pity that there wasn't time/room for more. It struck me also how similar some of their lives were to some who were not mentioned; Allyne Body’s massive store of Beta parts probably rivalled Harry Manning’s and John Maltby’s stashes, all of them living in a similar manner, on, or on the edge of obsession.

When I re-joined the Club in 2007 the ‘Book’ project was already rolling, and, particularly as time rolled on, like others no doubt, I began to question whether this was a good use of Ted Bates’ money, especially for a club facing a difficult financial future. However what an achievement this book has been, once again showing just how much the LMC can punch above its weight when we put our mind to it!

Well done Jack, Will, David and others. A fitting monument to Ted, your efforts and the Club. In the end I simply couldn't put it down.
« Last Edit: 05 May, 2014, 12:16:36 PM by neil-yaj396 » Logged

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« Reply #59 on: 05 May, 2014, 03:38:48 PM »

I am pleased to see more posts here in recognition of the enormity of the voluntary work put in by Jack to make the book a reality for all of us. In reading the book as a single narrative it is easy to overlook the scale of the task Jack had in pulling together different aspects of the story. One aspect that I think deserves more recognition is the unravelling of the complicated story about W L Stewart.

It was a pleasure for me to join up with Jack in the early days of research for the book, when in November 2009 I accompanied him on the first visit to the National Archive at Kew. At that time Jack had scant knowledge of Stewart other than he was known to have been important in the early days. The National Archive is seriously deficient and patchy in the documents that have survived, but we were fortunate in finding some early stuff on W L Stewart and his first company. The attached photos taken that day show Jack, with some apprehension, about to tackle the first box of papers and the first sighting of WLS’s signature.

It is a huge tribute to Jack that he pursued many dead ends and false trails to piece together the Stewart story, which could have become a biography in its own right. In 2009 there was no way of knowing how that story would unfold and would lead to Jack eventually meeting WL’s grandchildren. From what I have heard, and from recent posts on the Forum, it is clear that there is more of the enigmatic story of Walter Leonard Stewart still to be compiled. Perhaps Jack can be encouraged to start writing again?

Colin


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