Gordon Burford was Australia's most prolific model engine designer and manufacturer. Creating a coherent narrative describing the sometimes bewildering range of different models produced by Gordon under his various trade-names (GB, Sabre, Glo Chief, Taipan, Burford, etc.) was a daunting task, but author Maris Dislers has succeeded completely with this fine work. "Gordon Burford's Model Engines" is a self-published soft-cover 11x7 book containing 200 glossy pages packed with informative text, high-quality full-color photographs and numerous tables and graphs. A real gold-mine of information!
Gordon was always developing new models, the result being that his model engine range was constantly changing. In addition to the range of established designs which was on the market at any given time, he was continually introducing new or replacement models as well as making frequent changes to existing models. All very convoluted! Rather than attempting to describe the resulting rather complex and ever-changing sequence of models in a chronological sense, Maris has very logically chosen to use the seventeen chapters in the book to cover Gordon's creations in logical groupings based on types and styles rather than dates. For example, there are separate chapters dedicated to the 1.5cc engines, the 2.5's, the Marine variants, the Glo Chiefs, the large Taipan Glows, etc. Within each chapter, the reader is introduced to the progression of "official" models (to the extent that such distinctions can be made), including the "failures".
After describing the features and construction of a given engine, Maris describes his experiences running it, with tables of prop/RPM figures together with derived torque/BHP curves. He also shares his observations on the performance and handling qualities with different fuel blends, contrasting his findings with those of published tests. Where significant discrepancies exist, he looks for reasons and ranks them against the performance and price of equivalent competing engines of the day.
There are also several Appendices of considerable value to the collector and restorer. In the first of these, Maris describes and tablulates the fittings for glow and diesel engines, including color photos of all needle valve assemblies and compression screws. In the second Appendix, he includes photographs of the different packaging and box styles.
All of this represented a huge investment in time and money on Maris's part. Accordingly, the book was not cheap - it set you back A$75, plus postage. However, in my possibly biased opinion, it was well worth every nickel!
The original 2009 edition sold out quite quickly, being available thereafter only on eBay or Amazon, where it was highly sought after. In November 2015 Maris responded to the ongoing demand for this book by publishing a limited second edition which is 8 pages longer than the original since it contains some additional tests which have been undertaken since the original publication date. As of December 2015 this was available from Maris at an unchanged price of A$75, plus postage. However, this edition too will doubtless sell out quickly, so don't delay - contact Maris to secure your copy ASAP!!