top of page
eBook on USB-A drive (not for sale to EU)

eBook on USB-A drive (not for sale to EU)

SKU: 364215376135191

A Detailed History of the Straight-Eight Automobile Engine is a comprehensively researched eBook that provides the reader with facts and background stories to nearly 300 makers of straight-eight engines and cars.  

The book is not printed but is self-published by the author as a PDF on USB-A flash drive. This enables the price of what is a >300,000 word book over almost 850 pages to be kept within most enthusiast's budgets. Index searches can be performed quickly and easily using the Adobe Reader 'Find' function and pages can be magnified to suit the reader and home in on details in the many charts, illustrations and diagrams. The whole document is easily navigated using the Adobe Reader 'Bookmarks' in the left ribbon.

 Chapter 1: About this Book sets the scene and explains what a straight-eight is, what is included and excluded from the book and why, and describes challenges to achieving historical accuracy and how these have been overcome. Other authors have argued that two-fours-in-tandem engines are not really straight-eights but these are included in the book nevertheless so that readers may draw their own conclusions.

 Chapter 2: Historical Overview provides a look at how many straight-eights were made, where and in what years and includes graphs and pie-charts to make the information easy to interpret. The author laboriously compiled this information from myriad sources, and it is not available in anything close to such detail anywhere else.

 Chapter 3: History by Country explains the straight-eight in the context of the world of the automobile, its development and ultimate demise, down to the level of each country in which the type was built.  Each country section starts with the historical context and follows with production figures of the top manufacturers and entries on all others, from pioneers through short-lived makers to post WW2 survivors. Each includes a separate section on the country's straight-eight racing cars.

Chapter 4 Competition Success details the major racing successes of straight-eight powered cars, covering all the main races of the era in which straight-eights were victorious.

Chapter 5 Technical Development is a very detailed technical examination of the straight-eight engine, explaining the reasons for its adoption in the first place and its advantages and disadvantages.  Descriptions are given of all components of the engine design along with comparisons of competing formats, arriving at the reasons why the straight-eight eventually fell from favour.

Chapter 6 Makes and Models is an alphabetic listing of what the author believes to be every series-produced automotive straight-eight engine type as well as a great many prototypes and 'one-offs'.  Every entry contains a history of the maker, a descriptions of the straight-eight models made by them, plus specification tables where available and photographs wherever possible.  

Chapter 7 Not Straight-Eights briefly describes a number of engine examples often incorrectly described as being straight-eights.

Chapter 8 Straight-Eight Firsts is a timeline of straight-eight firsts, such as the first produced in each country and the first to use a particular valve operation.

Chapter 9 Glossary is given its own chapter due to its longer than usual length.

The book ends with a list of over 400 references to sources consulted in the writing of the book, followed by a brief autobiographical description of the author.


    This product is copyright. Copies of all or any part of its content must not be made for onward transfer or sale. If the USB flash drive is sold or transferred, any copies made by the first person for their own use must be deleted.


    The basic price of the eBook is NZ$ 65 plus post & packaging. To find the total cost in your currency at current exchange rates and including P&P, add the item to your basket and then follow the checkout procedure to enter your location. PayPal should indicate the total price before you commit to purchase. Postage is by standard mail within New Zealand and airmail outside New Zealand. Rates for postage and packaging vary depending upon the destination country and postal rates currently in force. 


    To use this product, you will need a desktop or laptop computer with an available standard USB Type A (USB-A) flash drive port and Adobe Acrobat Reader software. The latter can be downloaded for free using this link.


    Because the author's copyright in the product could be easily abused, it is necessary to have a restrictive returns and refunds policy, as follows:

    1. No refund will be given if the customer is unhappy with the format (PDF on USB flash drive) of the product.
    2. No refund will be given if the customer's PC, laptop, or other computer system is such that it does not enable the product to be used as intended.
    3. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy and clarity of the product's content, no refund will be given if the customer is not satisfied with the content.
    4. Due to the delivery methods offered by the seller and possible delays due to Covid-19, no refund will be given for goods remaining undelivered less than 12 weeks after purchase.
    5. Goods remaining undelivered  more than 12 weeks after purchase will be refunded or replaced, according to the customer's expressed preference.
    6. Goods found to be faulty must be returned to the seller at the customer's initial cost within 3 months of delivery or no refund or replacement will be due.
    7. Returned goods agreed on receipt by the seller to be faulty will be replaced or refunded at the customer's expressed preference. The cost of the return mail will also be refunded to the customer, at the rate of standard mail or airmail rates as applicable.
    8. No refund will be given for fair wear and tear of the product or if it has been damaged by the customer through misuse or neglect.

    s8history does not have the resources to manage sales tax registration and payment, therefore its annual sales are limited to values below those which would make sales tax registration and collection compulsory in any given country or state. Where a buyer's country or state has a nil sales tax threshold, or where s8history sales to that country or state have already reached the applicable sales tax threshold for the tax year, s8history reserves the right to decline your order. In such cases, any payment already made will be refunded in full. Note that this unfortunately means that orders will not be accepted from any countries of the European Union, among others. Orders from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and some states of the USA, among others, will generally be accepted. Prior to ordering, to enquire if your order will be accepted please use the Contact form on the Home page or email 

bottom of page