Rolls-Royce Motors: The Crewe Years
Size isn’t everything and this booklet in the “Classic Marques” series certainly packs a surprising punch in its coverage of the post-1945 Rolls-Royce story. Malcolm Bobbitt is no stranger to the subject, with a long list of larger books to his credit, but this condensed version has to be the best encapsulation of the Crewe story around.
To start there are many evocative images of Crewe’s 1938 origins as an aero “shadow factory” to build the Merlin engine, and several of these photographs were entirely new to me. Though space is limited the author also manages to evoke the human aspects with the legendary names from the business and engineering sides. The discussion of the Styling Department down the years is particularly good for example. The experimental cars get good coverage too; and it gets into its stride with the revival of the company through the range of variants that grew out of the Silver Spirit model as the V-8 engine was further developed for high performance. It all makes a wonderful story, with much to be proud of.
All in all this booklet is highly recommended, with much useful information to glean and with commendable balance. Affordable enough to buy in bulk as an ideal gift, and not just for the newcomer to the marque.
Now that Rolls-Royce has moved its “factory” from Crewe to Goodwood, Bobbitt reminds us that the company’s fine history in the town means it will there “be known as Royce’s for a long time yet.”
Copyright 2014, Tom Clarke (speedreaders.info).