Book Review: Haynes Max Power Vauxhall Nova: the definitive guide to modifying, by Bob Jex and Emmeline Wilmott

The cruelty of the max-power brigade
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Indy Lifestyle Online

This is not a book for the faint-hearted. It's the automotive equivalent of reading one of those gut-wrenching mailings from the RSPCA featuring explicit scenes of animal cruelty.

Haynes Publishing, £19.99 For rarely has the car industry produced a product as bland and inoffensive as the Vauxhall Nova, and seldom has a vehicle been disfigured by the max-power gang with such unalloyed cruelty.

This guide to "modifying" the Nova, (a "cool classic" with "solid-gold cult status" according to the text), goes into almost sadistic detail about the best and most economical ways to achieve the desired (but not necessarily desirable) results.

One good thing about the book is its attention to safety, both in terms of the modifications and of those carrying out the work, who are often relative novices. It has always been a puzzle as to why someone with £100 in their pocket and a hacksaw to hand thinks they can do a better job of designing a suspension set-up than the giant multi-nationals who spend £1 billion a go developing a car.

The most telling words in the book are the driest: "JH Haynes will not accept liability for any economic loss, damage to property or death arising from use of this manual."

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