48OE Blog  
Jun 9

Written by: 48OE Admin
09/06/2011 07:50  RssIcon

It is surprising how many books have been written about, featuring, or around Land Rovers. What is equally surprising is that very few of them are interesting and stand the test of time. I speak with authority on this point having forced myself to read most of them.

Some are incredibly detailed and have become seminal reference editions and find places in the homes of most true enthusiasts. However, even factual dissertations are not always what they seem. Try getting together a bunch of friends and ask them all to describe individually something that happened say 30 to 40 years ago. All our memories are weak and legend often takes over from fact; if the facts were ever actually recorded?

My office bookcase splits Land Rover material into four categories. First, it is everything published by the great marque. These include old sales brochures, catalogues, marketing material and anything from the source itself. I will not dwell on this - otherwise the sadness of my condition will well and truly show through.

The second section, which I will write about in today’s blog is a myriad of history and reference books both hard and soft back. There has been so much recorded but only a few books truly stand out. Some even appear very pedestrian with few pictures, (only in black and white) and reams of text, demonstrating an age before colour printing was the norm. (Before you say anything that is not so long ago!)
The books I think quite exceptional in this category are 'Fifty Years of the Best 4x4xFar' by Pfannmuller & Schmidt, published in 1998 to mark the 50th Anniversary of Land Rover. It seems strange that this book had to be written by two Germans and was published in Germany!
My second book and possibly my personal favourite because of my love for all things Series 1 is 'Original Land Rover Series 1' by James Taylor published in 1996. This must be one of the most comprehensive and readable books on the subject. He gets a good balance between text and informative pictures.

My last recommendation in this category is 'The Land Rover Scrap Book' by Mike Gould. This is a fantastic coffee table book, awash with pictures and one you can pick up, open on any page and find an interesting anecdote. This was published in December 2007 just in time for the 60th anniversary celebrations in 2008. Mike’s book is still in print available from Porter Press but the other two now attract good prices on auction sites.

I cannot with all conscience leave this section without a brief mention of a book published by the Land Rover Series 1 Club called 'Land Rover The Formative Years 1947 -1967' by John Smith. If you are a true disciple this is a fantastic book with many previously unpublished pictures and technical drawings. However it is not a holiday read! - but it will be enjoyed by true Series 1 fanatics.

More of my book selection to follow ...