Austin A40, Teslas and more: New Cars and Transport books

From old cars to the super technological Tesla and various expeditions through space. We have them all for this month’s new books.

Missions to the moon : the story of man’s greatest adventure brought to life with augmented reality / Rod Pyle ; foreword by Gene Kranz.
“With dozens of stunning photographs and fascinating memorabilia track the birth of the space race and Yuri Gagarin’s first space flight, to the many successes and failures of the Apollo mission, all the way to that boots-on-the-ground moment we have come to know so well.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

We had one of those too! / Barnett, Stephen
We Had One of Those Too! celebrates even more motoring memories from New Zealand’s golden age of motoring. Filled with a beautifully illustrated collection of cars, from the 1950s through to the 1970s, that Kiwis loved and drove during that period, this book is literally a nostalgic drive down memory lane.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Electric motorcycles and bicycles : a history including scooters, tricycles, segways and monocycles / Desmond, Kevin
“Since 1881, isolated prototypes of electric tricycles and bicycles were patented and sometimes tested. Limited editions followed in the wartime 1940s, but it was not until the lithium-ion battery became available in the first decade of this century that urban pedelecs and more powerful open-road motorcycles became possible and increasingly popular. The author covers the lives of the innovative engineers who have developed these e-wheelers.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Interplanetary robots : true stories of space exploration / Pyle, Rod
“Exploring the planets has been a goal of America’s space program since the dawn of the space race. This insider’s perspective examines incredible missions of robotic spacecraft to every corner of our solar system and beyond. Award-winning science writer Rod Pyle profiles both the remarkable spacecraft and the amazing scientists and engineers who made them possible.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Kaikoura job : rebuilding KiwiRail’s main north line / Merrifield, A. L. R.
“The sea-level mountain railway has a long story of dramatic moments and events. The men who completed it in the 1930s and 1940s always referred to it as ‘The Kaikoura Job’. This is the story of the scenic coastal line, from its early beginnings through to the reconstruction efforts following the devastating 2016 earthquake.” (Catalogue)

Insane mode : how Elon Musk’s Tesla sparked an electric revolution to end the age of oil / McKenzie, Hamish
“Tesla is a car company that stood up against not only the might of the government-backed Detroit car manufacturers, but also the massive power of Big Oil and its benefactors, the infamous Koch brothers. The award-winning Tesla Model 3, a premium mass-market electric car that went on sale in 2018, has reconfigured the popular perception of Tesla and continues to transform the public’s relationship with motor vehicles.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Don’t make me pull over! : an informal history of the family road trip / Ratay, Richard
“In the days before cheap air travel, families didn’t so much take vacations as survive them. Between home and destination lay thousands of miles and dozens of annoyances, and with his family Richard Ratay experienced all of them–from being crowded into the backseat with noogie-happy older brothers, to picking out a souvenir only to find that a better one might have been had at the next attraction, to dealing with a dad who didn’t believe in bathroom breaks.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Penguin book of outer space exploration : NASA and the incredible story of human spaceflight
“From Sputnik to SpaceX, the story of that journey is told as never before in The Penguin Book of Outer Space Exploration. Renowned space historian John Logsdon traces the greatest moments in human spaceflight by weaving together essential, fascinating documents from NASA’s history with his expert narrative guidance.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverWally Funk’s race for space : the extraordinary story of a female aviation pioneer / Sue Nelson.
“In 1961, Wally Funk was among the Mercury 13, the first group of American pilots to pass the ‘Women in Space’ programme. Wally sailed through a series of rigorous physical and mental tests, her scores beating many of the male candidates’, including those of John Glenn, the first American in orbit. But just one week before she was due to enter the final phase of training, the programme was abruptly cancelled. A combination of politics and prejudice meant that none of the women ever flew into space.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Driven : the men who made Formula One / Eason, Kevin
“This colourful and compelling account of the extraordinary flourishing of Formula One explores the quirks and extravagances of the men who converged – in one generation – to shape their sport; disparate characters with a common impulse: they were racers – and they were driven.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

New books on cars and transport

This month we have several new books on trains from Britain and New Zealand, some pretty cool cars, and an autobiography of motorcycle racer Guy Martin.

Syndetics book coverThe iron road : the illustrated history of the railway / Christian Wolmar.
“From the early steam trains to the high-speed bullet trains of today, ‘The Iron Road’ tells the hidden stories of railway history – the inspired engineering, blood, sweat and tears that went into the construction of the railways. Uncover the compelling tales of bold vision, invention and error, and social change behind the history of trains and railways, with famous railways such as the Transsiberian fully explored.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCool cars / Quentin Willson.
“This title features over 100 of the world’s best cars in a comprehensive guide. If you’re fascinated by Ferraris and mad about Mercedes, ‘Cool Cars’ is perfect for you, showing you all your favourite cars. Multi-angle photography shows you the true craftsmanship and beauty of classic cars, including interiors and engine close-ups, so you can see exactly how your favourite fast car gets its speed.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBelles & whistles : five journeys through time on Britain’s trains / Andrew Martin.
“Andrew Martin recreates five famous train journeys by travelling abroad their nearest modern day equivalents. Sometimes their names have survived, even if only as a footnote on a timetable leaflet, but what has usually – if not always – disappeared is the extravagance and luxury.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe kiwi hot rodder’s guide to life 2 / Steve Holmes.
“Hot on the wheels of the hugely successful KIWI HOT RODDER’S GUIDE TO LIFE comes its even louder, faster and shinier sequel. Getting right inside the garages, the engines and the minds of another bunch of die-hard Kiwi hot rodders, Steve Holmes lifts the hood on the passion and the sheer hard graft that drives them.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGuy Martin : my autobiography / Guy Martin.
“This is the story of life at the centre of the world’s most dangerous sport, by its brightest and biggest star. Guy Martin, international road-racing legend, maverick star of the Isle of Man TT, truck mechanic and TV presenter, lives on the edge, addicted to speed, thoroughly exhilarated by danger. In this book we’ll get inside his head as he stares death in the face, and risks his life in search of the next high, even as he agonises over the loss of close friends in horrific accidents. We’ll discover what it feels like to survive a 170mph fireball at the TT in 2010, and comeback to do it all again.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStop the train! I want to get on : rediscovering New Zealand railway journeys / Graham Hutchins.
“Graham Hutchins fell in love with trains at an early age. Living in the railway town of Te Kuiti, he often gazed on the steaming monsters as they thundered through the King Country. …In his new book he recounts a journey he undertook alone on the night train to Auckland at the tender age of 10. From then on he travelled as much as he could, and later as a young man searched out the smaller forgotten lines to experience what they had to offer. Stop the Train! I Want To Get On describes journeys throughout both islands of New Zealand, on regular passenger trains, railcars, freight trains and work trains. The routes covered include the Central Otago line, the Gisborne Railcar, the Southerner to Invercargill, a mixed train through rural Taranaki, a worker’s train from Greymouth on the Rewanui Incline, the Endeavour to Hawke’s Bay and the Silver Fern Railcar…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBritish Rail : the nation’s railway / Tanya Jackson.
“British Rail was a success. It carried millions of commuters to and from their jobs every day; organised its trunk route services to yield a profit under the brand name ‘Inter-City’; pioneered world-beating research and technological development through its own research centre and engineering subsidiary. It transformed the railway system of Britain from a post-war state of collapse into a modern, technologically advanced railway. This is the story of how all that was achieved, seen from a passenger’s perspective.” (Syndetics summary)

New planes, cars and transport books for June

There are an equal number of car-and-transport books and aircraft books this month. There are some very interesting plane books, including “Area 51 black jets”. Apparently, in July 2013, “CIA finally acknowledged the existence of Area 51 for the first time”.

Syndetics book coverView from the cockpit : flying military aircraft / Tim McLelland.
“Reviving a feature of old aviation magazines, this book’s detailed accounts give the reader an opportunity to place him or herself in the cockpit, sharing the what it is really like to sit inside a warplane. Few civilians and these days few journalists get the chance to fly in a combat aircraft; the author has been lucky enough to experience flying in a wide range of military planes ranging from the Chipmunk and Bulldog to huge multi-engine craft, front-line combat aircraft, such as the Jaguar, Phantom, Harrier, Buccaneer, Hawk, Hornet, and Tornado, and with the “Blue Angels” and Red Arrows. Combining narrative, interviews, and first-hand descriptions of handling aircraft–including each craft’s quirks and vices, this book offers a unique insight into military flying.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCar brakes : a guide to upgrading, repair and maintenance / Jon Lawes.
“Modern car braking systems are designed to a very high standard, but the need for the home mechanic to know how to maintain their braking system is as important as ever. Whether upgrading your brakes at home or for the race track, this title offers guidance on upgrading, repairing and maintaining car braking systems.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeyond flying : rethinking air travel in a globally connected world / edited by Chris Watson.
“Is flying an irreplaceable part of 21st-century life? Flying is never zero-carbon, so can we reduce it, or even do without it? Can businesses succeed in a globalized world without international air travel? What about ‘love miles’ – visiting friends and family overseas?” (book jacket)

Syndetics book cover100 top cars : the editor’s pick from the first 100 issues of NZV8 magazine / [Todd Wylie].
“New Zealand has some of the most impressive and desirable V8-powered muscle cars and street machines in the world. To celebrate the passion for these vehicles, NZV8 magazine’s editor Todd Wylie has selected what he feels are his top 100 from the first 100 issues of the magazine.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPaul Atterbury’s favourite railway journeys.
“For many people train travel is just a necessity, a quick and efficient means of transport that tends to be taken for granted, until it goes wrong. Yet, a train journey can be so much more, bringing together history, land scape and the particular but ever-changing view of Britain through the carriage window. Much of the network in use today, and its infrastructure, is a legacy of the 19th century, built by Victorian entrepreneurs and engineers… ” (adapted from book jacket)

Syndetics book coverExploring Britain’s lost railways / Julian Holland.
“Thousands of miles of britain’s railways were closed during the 20th century, many following the implementation of the ‘Beeching Report’ in the 1960s and early 1970s. Since then, many have been converted to footpaths and cycleways. Fortunately, both the keen wlaker and railway enthusiast can enjoy these well-worn routes and hidden byways in peace and tranquility. Follow the routes of over 50 long-closed lines across some of our most beautiful countryside and discover the lost railways of britain.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe big book of flight / Rowland White.
The big book of flight is a celebration of anything to do with flight and flying, packed with derring-do stories of aviation’s pineers as well as fascinating profiles of remarkable planes fron Spitfires to Space Shuttles – and a number of other wondrous projects that never quite got off the drawing board.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverArea 51 black jets / Bill Yenne.
“Since the mid-1950s, Area 51 (aka the -Nevada Test and Training Range, Homey Airport, and more), a desolate, dry lake bed in the southern Nevada desert, has operated as a clandestine CIA-U.S. Air Force–Lockheed Corporation test site for ongoing cutting-edge research in U.S. flight technology. In July 2013, following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed nearly a decade earlier, the CIA finally acknowledged the existence of Area 51 for the first time by declassifying documents outlining the mandate and history of the base. -Military historian Yenne’s (Aces High) insightful study provides an illustrated chronology of many of Area 51’s premier aircraft projects, which include Lockheed’s U-2 and SR-71 spy planes, a range of drones, from the early Lockheed D-21 to the contemporary Predator, and the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Cars and Transport Books

Strange but true tales of car collecting and the history of the London Underground are included here.

Syndetics book coverBRM : the saga of British racing motors / Doug Nye and Tony Rudd.
“Re-issue of an award-winning book which has been described as the most comprehensively researched and written history ever produced of a Formula 1 racing team. Doug Nye is the world’s most respected author and researcher on the historic racing scene and Tony Rudd’s distinguished motor industry career included many years as BRM designer and chief engineer. Little wonder, then, that their first volume of BRM v the Saga of British Racing Motors was hailed as the most detailed and authoritative history of a grand prix team ever published… Having unique access to the BRM company files, the authors have delved deeply into the emotion-charged background to the BRM team’s creation, its near-collapse and then its troubled survival prior to its final emergence as a front-running Grand Prix team. The team’s creator Raymond Mays and its great benefactor Sir Alfred Owen, as well as drivers like Stirling Moss, Juan Manuel Fangio, Froilan Gonzales, Tony Brooks, Jo Bonnier and many other stars of the past all figure prominently in this remarkable motor racing saga.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWorking the London Underground from 1863 to 2013 / Ben Pedroche.
“Used extensively and somewhat taken for granted by millions of commuters and tourists every day, the London Underground has long been a part of our national heritage and way of life. It was the first underground railway in the world, and is now central to lives of millions of Londoners. Here Ben Pedroche explores the realities of building the railway from the beginning, 150 years ago, exploring this dangerous, back-breaking job and how it culminated in the rail system we see today. He works his way through the construction and working history of this iconic system, until reaching modern day, including stories from London Underground workers and their real-life experiences. Backed up with sixty stunning archive and modern photographs, this is a book that anyone interested in the London Underground or London history cannot do without.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover“Strange but true tales of car collecting : drowned Bugattis, buried Belvederes, felonious Ferraris, and other wild stories of automotive misadventure / by Keith Martin and Linda Clark.
“Keith Martin and the staff of “Sport Car Market Magazine” recount the wildest car-collecting stories of all time, focusing on tales of the most eccentric and over-the-top collectors and collections. Have you heard of the fellow who squirrelled away dozens of Chevelles, Camaros, and other classic muscle cars in semi trailers? How about the president of Shakespeare fishing rods who in the 1960s sold 30 now-priceless Bugattis for a mere $85,000? The English nobleman who cut up and buried his Ferrari horde in an elaborate insurance scam? Or how about the Duesenberg abandoned in a Manhattan parking garage for decades and uncovered by “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno? These are just a few of the amazing stories explored in this entertaining book, a must-have title for any car enthusiast.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCars we loved in the 1970s / Giles Chapman.
“The 1970s saw some ground-breaking new metal in British showrooms – the Renault 5 established the new ‘supermini’ class, the Volkswagen Golf gave the average family car a hatchback and top quality, the Ford Capri made sporty cars available to everyone and, despite all of this, that old favourite the Ford Cortina continued to rule the sales charts. Yet it was a funny old time to be a driver, the 1970s. Britain started to experience a love/hate relationship with the four-wheeled machine that, previously, symbolised nothing but speed and freedom. The economic rollercoaster sent fuel prices soaring, while the country’s roads could barely handle all the cars jostling to use them. And those cars themselves… it seemed British manufacturers, beset by striking workers and falling quality standards, were stalling as Japan’s Datsuns, Hondas and Toyotas cruised off with contented customers. Britain’s new Rover 3500 was exciting and the Jaguar XJ12 an awesome engineering achievement, but the solid quality of BMWs and Mercs made more sense. Giles Chapman documents the whole turbulent decade in this fascinating and entertaining book through the cars that dominated our motoring lives and explaining how the much-maligned Morris Marina and Reliant Robin actually helped drivers out of a jam.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKiwi bike culture : unique motorbike collections / Steve Holmes.
“”Delves into the love affair New Zealanders have with their motorbikes. From Harley-Davidsons to Vespas, and everything in between, this book is about the men and women whose lives revolve, in some way, around two-wheeled machinery.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverArt of the classic car / photography by Peter Hardoldt [sic] ; words by Peter Bodensteiner.
“For folks who enjoy the automobile as art, here is another sumptuous coffee-table book from Motorbooks. Photographer Harholdt (The Allure of the Automobile: Driving in Style, 1930-1965) gives classic cars the full treatment, with an oversize spread shot of each automobile and smaller photos of the engine, the interior and upholstery, and any other attractive parts, such as the hood ornaments. The classic cars included range from a 1911 Mercer 351L Runabout to the 1941 Chrysler Town & Country, with the rest of the cars from the 1920s and 1930s. -Duesenbergs, Delahayes, and other rare vehicles only seen in museums or at prestigious car shows star on these pages. There is minimal text by Bodensteiner (founder, Stance & Speed Pub.), just enough to identify the car, a few specifications, and sometimes a tidbit of interest.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTop steam railways of the world / Anthony Lambert.
“Less than 50 years ago, trains were routinely hauled by majestic steam-powered locomotives. These magnificent machines still exercise a powerful hold on our imagination, conjuring up the romance of oldfashioned rail travel and the excitement of human ingenuity pitted against the challenges of narrow passes, tight bends and fearsome gradients. Although the heyday of steam has passed, it is still possible to travel on preserved lines, heritage railways and industrial lines where steam traction is still in use. Many of these journeys have been made possible by the dedicated efforts of steam enthusiasts, who have struggled to acquire, keep open and refurbish routes that railway companies had earmarked for closure. This book profiles 26 of these remarkable journeys, ranging from the popular Ffestiniog Railway in northern Wales to the Changa Manga Forest Railway of Pakistan. Each chapter sketches the story behind the journey and details the locomotives that are in use, illustrated throughout with spectacular photography.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDown to the sea in ships : of ageless oceans and modern men / Horatio Clare.
“For millennia, the seaways have carried our goods, cultures and ideas, the terrors of war and the bounties of peace – and they have never been busier than they are today. But though our normality depends on shipping, it is a world which passes largely unconsidered, unseen and unrecorded. Horatio Clare joins two container ships, travelling in the company of their crews and captains. Together they experience unforgettable journeys. In Clare’s vibrant prose a modern industry does battle with implacable forces, as the ships cross seas of history and incident, while seafarers unfold the stories of their lives, telling their tales and yarns.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)