Fathers’ Day gift ideas: car books for the Top Gear and EV fans

There’s still just time to get a next day delivery order in ahead of Fathers’ Day in the UK this Sunday, and what could be better than a book? Regardless of what greeting card designers may believe, not all Dads are massive car enthusiasts, but a couple of titles that have come into the E&T office recently should please either the petrolhead who’s into the nuts and bolts of race car engineering or the sensible, environmentally conscious family man who likes the idea of running an electric vehicle but suffers from ‘range anxiety’.

Anatomy of Works MinisFirst up is ‘Anatomy of the Works Minis: Rally, Racing and Rallycross Cars’ by Brian Moylan (Veloce, £19.99, ISBN 9781845848705), the inside story of how the giant-killing Minis of rallying, rallycross and racing fame were converted from standard Mini-Coopers in the BMC Competitions Department.

Moylan certainly knows his stuff. Having started working for MG in 1950 as a mechanic in the company’s service and repair shop, he was drafted into the racing department that was the centre for all competition work just five years later and during his time there worked on several rally winning Minis including the 1967 Monte Carlo Rally winner.

His book reveals the secrets behind the specification, build technique and development of cars that were particularly famous for their great adventures in the Monte Carlo rally, humbling many bigger and more powerful cars during the 1960s and 1970s. Fascinating, nostalgic stuff.

In contrast, electric vehicle owners are the pioneers looking ahead to the future of motoring and even racing. What’s holding many who’ve considered an EV though, is the worry about what happens when your battery gets low with plenty of petrol stations in reach but no charging points.

UK and Ireland EV Charge PointsAN Hurst comes to the rescue with ‘A Guide to UK and Ireland Electric Vehicle Charge Points’  (Joe Public, £5.99, ISBN 978-1519555755), a book that explores current infrastructure with a wealth of detail from the background history of charge points to different vehicle charge connectors and charge point types, together with a list of the main UK and Ireland charge point organisations.

Updated early this year, the guide weighs in at over 100 pages, and is based on over 18 months of research following Hurst’s purchase and use of an EV. It’s aimed at both EV drivers and those thinking of adopting , whetherfor personal or commercial use. The book concludes with a look at what future technologies might exists for both EV charging and alternative forms of low/zero carbon emission vehicles.

As a footnote, the latest and second edition of the IET’s Code of Practice for Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Installation  (ISBN 9781849198394)  is usually £60 but available to IET members at £39.00. Updated to align with the current requirements of BS 7671, it’s not for the casual reader but includes detailed guidance on this subject and is an excellent primer for anyone planning to install or manage electric vehicle charging equipment rather than just drive an EV.


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