Olson's Complete Motoring Guide to The British Isles circa 1967
From one traveler to the next...
In 1967, when you wanted to take a little getaway you packed up your Hillman Imp, your Bug-Eyed Sprite, or your Sunbeam Tiger with overnight bags, picnic baskets, your best pal, and your trusty guide book and you headed out on the open road. Thanks to Olson's Complete Motoring Guide to the British Isles - you pointed the car towards the coast of Ireland, the countryside of England, the cliffs of Wales with confidence and assurance that the trip was going to be a delight from start to finish.
Harvey Olson had you covered. What you should pack, where you should sleep, eat, visit, shop, golf. He reminded you how to drive (city vs. country), how to judge distances, and plan itineraries. He took you to nightclubs in London and fancy hotels in Paris. He took you to Edinborough, to the English Lake District, to Elton Hall near Stamford. He pointed out special events, and off-the-beaten-path places to see. He rated hotels according to three different standards (superior, good, simple). He explained currencies, etiquette, culture, and helpful communication. Basically, when Harvey Olson stamped his name on a travel guide, he made sure you knew everything (EVERYTHING!) about where you were going.
You might think that a vintage travel guide would naturally become obsolete as the world evolved from the 20th to the 21 century, and firmly embraced the internet in modern life. But we have it on good authority that a GPS means little still to this day when traveling around the UK.
Also, there's a great deal of charm in a vintage guidebook like this. Making trip planning unique from the get-go, read it like a book - page by page - and see the world through the lens of the 1960s motorist. What hotels are still around? Is a favored restaurant in Cardiff still open? How have the recommended vistas and excursions changed in the description from then to now? Does your guy really need to pack 4 neck-ties and 6 handkerchiefs? Is it still necessary for your gal to bring two hats, two girdles, and two cocktail dresses? It's a slice of vintage travel life for sure!
American-born, Harvey Olsen (1908-1985) was a consummate world traveler and bestselling author of over half a dozen travel books written throughout his life. He experienced his first international trip to Europe while in college and fell passionately in love with this area of the globe and the jet set life. Starting out as a tour guide for American students, he developed his writing career while scouting out the most interesting places for his clients. Beloved by travel enthusiasts, his books sold over a million copies, making him one of the most trusted authorities of the 20th-century travel industry.
Photo courtesy of the Canton Independent-Sentinel, 1955.
- 1970s edition
- 861 pages
- Hardcover but with a pliable soft cover feel
- Driving itineraries included for England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales
In lovely vintage condition. The inside cover bears the name of the previous owner, there's a small wrinkle on the front cover and there is the occasional underlined passage (less than a handful) in a few different sections of the book. There are also some rub marks along the top and bottom edge of the front and the outside spine. All these time-worn elements are as expected with a vintage travel guide that has motored its way around the United Kingdom. All pages are clean and bright and fully attached to the spine.
Measures 6.75" inches (length) x 4.75" inches (width) x 1' inch (thickness) and weighs just under 1lb.