You could be forgiven for thinking that this will be the largest shelf of the Austin 7 Library. Well, there are a number of very good books but there are still a number of important issues which have not really been covered in the sort of depth many enthusiasts would like. So where do we start?

Most will start with Bob Wyatt's Motor for the Million which is still the most readable single volume history of the Seven. This invaluable book has been out of print for several years but the really good news for 1993 is that another edition is due out at Easter. Watch the specialised motoring press for details. Wyatt collaborated with Zeta Lambert to write the biography Lord Austin - The Man published by Sidgwick and Jackson in 1968, the same year that the Motor for the Million appeared. Both these give an insight on the car we all adore but to set the Austin in its proper context, Wyatt published his book The Austin 1905 - 1952 which chronicled the history of the factory from its opening to the time when BMC took over. In my view, all these are essential reading for any enthusiast.

Rather more esoteric is Roy Church's Herbert Austin - The British Motor Car Industry to 1941 which sets the business side in context, giving considerable detail on production, company finance and on the part Austin played in establishing the motor trade in this country. The book is not to everyone's taste because it treats its subject in "warts and all" way so there is some criticism of policy and decision making. This should be seen not as an exercise in de-bunking one of the few truly great figures of the industry but more an evaluation of his true worth.

Bryan Purves' Austin 7 Source Book has already been mentioned as a reference for technical detail so it need not take up further space here. There are a few books which analyse the place of the Austin 7 in British motoring history. One such is CF Caunter's The Light Car - A Technical History published by HMSO for the Science Museum. The book is not devoted to the Austin 7 but provides useful background on Austin as an innovative engineer, particularly in the early days of the industry at the turn of the century. Some of the illustrations are excellent.

Much of the early history of the Austin 7 is bound up with its racing exploits. There are many books which tell this particular tale but by far the most important is that written by Bill Boddy. The History of Brooklands Motor Course 1906 - 1940 is an all-time classic, dealing year by year with every race and every car which drove at the Weybridge course. The detail includes not only racing but also the record breaking activities which took place at the end of each season. If this is where your interest lies, you will not want to miss The 200 Mile Race in which Boddy chronicles the Junior Car Club's annual handicap race which provided many of the Works Team's wins - both class and outright. No look at sporting history can be complete without mention of Roland Harrison's Austin Racing History. One of the early MRP publications, this draws heavily on Motor Sport and Brooklands Reviews for its material as well as some good interviews with Ral Appleby, Sammy Davis, Lou Kings, George Coldicott and Charles Goodacre. It is still a fascinating read and a useful `Source of information despite the fact that it was first published in 1949 and has not been updated. Many of the photos are by Klemantaski. Other useful publications include the Ulster VCC's Ards TT booklet which covers the inception and history of all the pre - war TT races. This is where the Ulster gets its name and the information is particularly well presented.

Leaving racing but still on the sporting tack, there are many books which present aspects of Austin sporting history. My favourite is CAN May's Wheel spin about his experiences with the Works MG trials team. Austins are frequently mentioned and there is a photo of Bert Hadley in a Grasshopper. There is much more detail beside and you will understand why this was by far the most popular form of motor sport in the Thirties after reading it. Many of the characters who made up the teams of drivers for trials and for the racing teams are mentioned in Rodney Walkerley's Brooklands to Goodwood, the history of the first 50 years of the BARC. While not strictly an Austin 7 book, it is nevertheless well worth a look.

You will have seen that there are many sources of information about the history of the Seven, its sporting achievements and the people who made the marque great. I have only touched on a few of the most important books. Careful reading of the standard works will provide countless clues to other books, magazine articles or pamphlets so remember to take a notebook with you to the next Autojumble and begin to make notes on those which interest you. You can then build up a library of the topics which you find interesting. Next month I will take a brief look at some of the magazine articles and pamphlets which the student of Austin 7s may find of use.

So far we have looked at the various books devoted to Austin Sevens or about Lord Austin. There are many other publications which contain interesting or useful information about our sort of cars and the personalities they attracted over the years. So this month, I would like to take a short glance at some of these books, magazines and periodicals.

First of all, the magazine scene. There are so many specialist magazines available that it is difficult to know where to begin. I do not &et any on a regular basis, mainly because I feel most of what needs to be said about Austins, their racing history and their maintenance has already been said. I used to take MOTOR SPORT and my collection of bound volumes covers the period 1950 to 1987 when they changed the size and style. Now that Bill Boddy plays such a reduced part in the magazine, the coverage is superficial. PRACTICAL CLASSICS is OK but the production is too amateurish to be of use. I like THE AUTOMOBILE and have several years worth of it on my shelves but the coverage is too wide for me to get it on a regular basis. I used to like THOROUGHBRED & CLASSIC CAR and have the first ten years on the shelf. Jonathan Wood "discovered" Stanley Edge in that period and there were many really well researched and almost accurate articles to read. It has changed its readership from the old car owner to the classic owner so the material is not much to my liking nowadays. There were others such as Collectors Car and OLD MOTOR which were good to read but are sadly no longer with us. Before moving on, I should mention that both MOTOR and AUTOCAR covered many aspects of Austineering both before the War and since. Careful study of the bound volumes in the library at Beaulieu will show you which ones to hunt out at the next Autojumble.

Other books you should know about include St John C Nixon's WOLSELEY CARS. This is one of the classic tales of the motor industry, written by a great enthusiast who contributed a very great deal to the recording of the British Motor Industry. This particular volume covers the firm from the time it was set up in Australia, Austin's early experiments with motor cars and his departure to for the Austin Motor Company. Compelling reading and some good photographs. The sporting trialist will enjoy CAN May's WHEELSPIN and MORE WHEELSPIN which recount the days before and after the War when the author was a member of the MG Cream Cracker trials team. Our interest will be roused by the references to the Grasshopper Austins, Bert Hadley and Charles Goodacre. I also enjoyed reading Rodney Walkerley's BROOKLANDS TO GOODWOOD, the history of the BARC. Many of the personalities found around the Austin experimental shop are mentioned and it is interesting to see how many of them contributed to the running of motor sport in later life. .

The sports enthusiast should not miss Chris Gould's Guide to Building Replica Austin Ulsters. There is no-one more knowledgeable than Chris on any of the sporting models and the information in this short book is the best available anywhere. I acquired a copy of the Austin Ex-Apprentice Association's 50`h Reunion Dinner commemorative booklet which was written by Freddie Henry as a tribute to Lord Austin. A splendid booklet with much rare material. The Profile Publications No 39 covers the Austin Seven. Long out of print, new or mint condition copies keep appearing, I wonder if someone is reprinting them!

Brooklands books, now owned by Haynes, I believe, did several photocompilations in the 70s and 80s, each consisting of reprinted contemporary articles from Light Car, Motor, Autocar etc. All are good value if you can find them. titles include AUSTIN SEVEN CARS 1930 - 1935, Austin Seven in the Thirties and Austin Seven 1922 - 1982. Inevitably there is some duplication in coverage but the coverage is not available elsewhere. Another useful addition the bookshelf is Bob Wyatt's The Austin Seven, A Pictorial Tribute published by Connoisseur Carbooks. Again, there are many rare pictures in this little volume. I particularly enjoyed the sections on the sporting and racing versions.

Bill Boddy has written extensively on motoring history and his soft spot for the Austin is well known. He brings together much interesting material in the Motorsport Book of the Austin Seven. Again, this booklet is out of print and copies are expensive, even if you can find them at Autojumble. One book which has just been re-issued is the Ulster Vintage Car Club's book of The Ards TT. It is an example of the very best research done by amateurs for the sheer pleasure of it. There are full lists of cars, drivers, results and many fascinating pictures of the races. I had a copy on the driving seat when I retraced the route several years ago. The spot where Arthur Waite ended his racing career is easy to see, as is the reason for his crash.

Miles Shepherd