The motoring cartoonist has been active since the end of the nineteenth century, when the number of artists prepared to work at rapid speed, reflecting topical issues, and for modest compensation, comfortably satisfied the needs of the most discerning editors.

Many of these early motoring cartoonists captured the sentiment of the moment, and offered entertainment to readers, but relatively few of them would have argued that their creations had significant artistic merit. There were, of course, exceptions to this judgement. Ronald Searle, Russell Brockbank, Robert Sherriffs, Norman Thelwell, and a few others, firmly established themselves as favourites among the readers of motoring publications, a direct consequence of their ability to merge fine draughtsmanship with an acute understanding of the human condition.  

The work of Tony Phillips-Smith, christened ‘Apsley’ by David Thirlby when Editor of the Vintage Sports Car Club Bulletin, sits comfortably with that of Brockbank and his ilk, masters of their craft that Tony has admired for more than half a century. Tony’s work has been widely published in local and international motoring magazines, the regular bulletins of one make car clubs, as well as the Cosy Park Garage books. As Tony mentions in the introduction to this book, “ the prime subjects were really the cars themselves.  The human beings were types, especially the men, with a limited range of expression under a flat cap. For me, motor cars have always been alive, idiosyncratic, stylish, awkward, stubborn, but never boring. And always true to themselves, expressing themselves through their headlight eyes.” 

Readers of Apsley and Old Cars will see exquisite line drawings, wry humour and commentary on the motorist’s life. This volume provides a ‘retrospective show ‘ of the best of ‘Apsley’’s work.

Apsley and Old Cars 

Hardback - 230mm x 230mm, 140 pages with 200 hand drawings by Anthony Phillips-Smith.
Publication first published in 2019 by Surrenden Press. Publication printed and bound by Geoff Neal Group. Editor Michael Edwards, Graphic Design by Natasha Edwards and with contributions from David Burgess-Wise and John Warburton
230mm x 230mm


  1. End papers
    End papers
    Apsley and Old Cars
  2. Car Drawings
    Car Drawings
    Apsley and Old Cars
  3. How Britain put ‘car’ into ‘cartoon’
    How Britain put ‘car’ into ‘cartoon’
    by David Burgess-Wise
  4. Car Drawings
    Car Drawings
    Apsley and Old Cars
  5. Up Hill work written by Tinnitus and Car Drawings by Apsley
    Up Hill work written by Tinnitus and Car Drawings by Apsley
    Apsley and Old Cars
  6. Car Drawings
    Car Drawings
    Apsley and Old Cars


Michael, I received my copy of Apsley and Old Cars this morning, and I'm afraid it has caused a problem.
 Having relieved the postman of the package and opened it at the breakfast table, I popped a croissant into the Aga, set a little clockwork timer for four minutes, and opened the book for a brief scan before breakfast. Her Ladyship was elsewhere engaged, so not in the usual supervisory role.

 Forty minutes later I remembered the croissant. I had been so engrossed by the book that I had forgotten my breakfast and had been quite oblivious to the timer going off. Croissant burnt to a cinder - Agas don't give warning of burning as the smell goes straight up the flue.
 Expecting just a book of Apsley cartoons, I found this to be very much more than that. Articles, reminiscences, and of course the general perceptiveness and hilarity of Tony's drawings make this the best £20 I've spent for some time. A quality publication; I shall certainly be ordering a few more copies as presents for special friends!
 It deserves to do very well indeed!

Many thanks for sending the book.  Very nicely produced and presented.

I love his drawing style, particularly since the front inside cover has a drawing of a Speed Twenty I owned for a short while!

  1. Alvis Owners Club 2019
    Alvis Owners Club 2019
  2. Alvis Owners Club 2019
    Alvis Owners Club 2019