A wide selection this time, from bicycles to motorbikes, Land Rover to motor racing and speedway culture, Boeing to the RNZAF, and notable boats to product tankers!
Laucala Bay : the story of the RNZAF in Fiji 1939 to 1967 / Bee Dawson.
“As the prospect of a Pacific war with Japan became likely in the 1930s, a Commonwealth defence conference decided which countries would be responsible for which parts of the Pacific. New Zealand was given responsibility for air reconnaissance for part of the ocean centred around Fiji. It was considered that this would best be done with flying boats. The air base at Laucala Bay was developed as part of the strategy to carry out this work. This account tells of the wartime crises and life when peace arrived, from the tracking of both aircraft and submarine activity, to the tragedies and rescues inevitable in times of war.” (Publisher information)
Kiwi speedway culture / Steve Holmes.
“Speedway racing is a form of motorsport born in the USA, but one which was quickly adopted here in New Zealand, dating back to the early 1900s. Speedway has evolved into possibly this country’s most successful racing arena, and one which has become typically unique to us, and our very unique interests. With 24 Speedway New Zealand affiliated race tracks spread throughout the country, local loyalty among fans is as intense and passionate as rugby, or any other sporting code. Kiwi Speedway Culture is a new book that goes beyond the gritty quarter mile dirt bullring ovals dotted throughout our landscape, and visits some of the characters involved.” (Publisher’s description)
Tasman echo alpha : an account of the NZ airline industry in the 1960’s when flying was dangerous and sex was safe / Guy Clapshaw.
“Tasman Echo Alpha is a former Air New Zealand pilot’s imaginary recollections of aviation’s glorious days when pilots flew with navigators and flight engineers, and passengers dressed up to fly in those ‘magic flying machines’.” (Book jacket)
Classics : great motorcycles and people / words by Shane Kelly ; photography by Geoff Osborne ; foreword by Graeme Crosby.
“A coffee table book featuring images and histories of iconic New Zealand motorcycles, as well as the people who made them famous. Includes the history of the bikes as well as the people associated with them. Each chapter provides a background that tells why the motorcycles are special, looking at the story of the marque as well as the individual machine. It’s not just about the motorbikes but the experiences of the people associated with them.” (Syndetics summary)
The Kenny Smith scrapbook : a celebration of a Kiwi legend / Michael Clark.
“This biography covers Kenny Smith’s long career in motor racing, including the golden years of the late ’60s and ’70s when he raced alongside Bruce McLaren, Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Denny Hulme, Jackie Stewart and Chris Amon, the years he won New Zealand Grand Prix titles, and everything else he’s learnt along the way.” (Syndetics summary)
Land Rover : the story of the car that conquered the world / Ben Fogle.
“It is said that for more than half the world’s population, the first car they ever saw was a Land Rover Defender. It mirrors many of our national traits, stiff upper-lipped and slightly eccentric. The car has remained relatively unchanged for nearly seven decades and has spawned an industry that includes dozens of publications, car shows, clubs, associations and even model car collectors who dedicate their lives to the Land Rover. …After 67 years and 2 million vehicles the Land Rover Defender has ceased production, and this book is a fitting tribute to this most British institution which has stood as a beacon of durability and Britishness across the world.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Boeing : in photographs : a century of flight / Martin W Bowman.
“This mighty company evolved from the humble Pacific Aero Products Company, incorporated in Seattle in July 1916 and renamed Boeing Airplane Company in 1917. Boeing’s 100-year history spans decades of rich achievement and technological development, first with the manufacture of sea-planes, then fighters and, from the 1930s onwards, huge bombers, innovative transports and finally, gigantic airliners, missiles, rockets and vehicles for moon exploration. Boeing constantly evolved, setting out to develop an entirely new jet transport, and in 1954 the innovative 707 appeared.” (Syndetics summary)
Notable boats : forty remarkable craft, forty great adventures / Nic Compton with illustrations by Peter Scott.
“Whether used for transport, adventure, work, or sport, boats have played a vital role in human history and have inspired numerous stories. The 40 boats featured in Notable Boats will gently float you away with tales of bravery, adventure, and the odd moment of near catastrophe. The book skillfully balances intricate and beautiful visuals, attractively styled statistics, and gripping text…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Fifty bicycles that changed the world / Alex Newson.
“The bicycle is the world’s most popular form of transport, and its design has evolved over the decades both in terms of style and technology. From high-performance cycles to practical run-arounds, conceptual bikes to commercial models, the bicycle means different things to different people, from a means of transportation to a hobby, a way of keeping fit or for competitive sport.” (Syndetics summary)
Harley-Davidson Sportster : sixty years / Allan Girdler ; photography by Jeff Hackett, David Blattel, and Dain Gingerelli.
“From its difficult birth, Harley-Davidson’s Sportster went from being a mid-twentieth-century correction to a twenty-first-century icon. …Right from the start the Sportster faced challenges, both from imported competition and from design flaws the resulted from rushing the bike to market. But the Sportster perservered through all of this, outlasting all its rivals to become one of the top selling motorcycles of the twenty-first-century.” (Book jacket)
Product tankers / Nick Tolerton and Michael Pryce.
“Mention tankers, and most people think of the supertankers which trundle cargoes of crude oil to the world’s refineries. But the backbone of the world’s tanker fleet is made up of thousands of product tankers, familiar in ports all over the world, which distribute the cargoes of refined products as indispensable cogs in the wheels on international commerce. This book by New Zealand maritime writers Nick Tolerton and Captain Michael Pryce is the first detailed look at the history of these ocean workhorses, which evolved as a separate ship type abreast of the construction of larger and larger supertankers designed specially to carry crude oil.” (Book jacket)