Road & Track Illustrated Automotive Dictionary
by John Dinkel
When I told a friend of mine that I was going to continue my illustrious career by reviewing an automotive dictionary, he laughed. "What are you going to say, that it all is aplphabetical? What’s next, the phone book?" Well, my pal’s derision aside, I’d like to tell you that John Dinkel’s work is a worthy addition to any automotive enthusiast’s library.
To be a bit bolder, this Bentley Publishers (1-800-423-4595, www.BentleyPublishers.com) newly revised edition is a welcome reference source for anyone with an interest in cars. With over 1,300 detailed definitions and 437 illustrations you’ll probably get clarification on any automotive matter that you seek to have explained. Want to know the definition of "bump steer?" Have you always wondered what the difference between RON and MON octane rating are?
Here’s one of my favorites, quench area: "A zone in the combustion chamber of some engines in which the cylinder head is very close to the piston at top dead center. The piston and combustion chamber surfaces forming the quench area are collere than the end gas and conduct heat away from the end gas. Such cooling reduces (quenches) detoniation though the cooler metal surfaces also promote the formation of unburned hyrdrocarbons."
See it has nothing to do with beer. I told you so, Jay.
With a retail price of $19.95 Dinkel’s work makes a fine Christmas present, or something with which to treat yourself when you are looking for something different. Great character development, weak on plot.
Mike Covello lives in Storrs and writes about automotive topics for the Chronicle, The New York Times, Autoweek magazine, Popular Mechanics and other publications. He is a family man with a passion for Ford Mustangs, sports cars, motorcycles and rugged pick-up trucks. Write to him care of the Chronicle, P.O. Box 148, Willimantic, CT. 06226