Frogs and four-by-fours chronicled - Andrew Noakes - Motoring Writer

The new book is Born in Lode Lane which combines an autobiography of 'Mr Land Rover', Roger Crathorne, with a history of the vehicles with which he is so closely associated.

It's an interesting mixture of Crathorne's fascinating career story – from a Solihull childhood with a Land Rover Dinky toy to Land Rover engineering to the company's ambassador and off-road demonstrator – with the curiously British story of Land Rover itself.

As a tribute to the great British marque on its 60th birthday, it could not have been done better.

The other tome is Spritely Years, which dedicated enthusiasts of the 'Frogeye' Sprite will recognise as an extraordinarily sought-after book, by rally man John Sprinzel and Sprite specialist Tom Coulthard.

Dealing with Sprinzel's race and rally career, and focussing on his creation of the 'Sebring Sprites', it's a book which has become one of the essentials for a Sprite enthusiast's library.

Sadly it has been out of print for years, but to celebrate the Sprite's 50th anniversary in 2008 Coulthard has unearthed the repro film (thanks to the book's original publisher, Haynes) and has produced a limited number of new copies.

Spritely Years remains a treasure trove of detailed and diligent research which every Spridget owner should possess. It's available direct from the authors, but in strictly limited quantities: email me for details.

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