In the 1980s, Ladybird Books capitialised on the success of children's cartoons and TV shows, by publishing books based on them
Autobots Strike Oil was the final book released in the 1987 series of books. It was written by John Grant and illustrated by Barry Rowell. There was also a version released under Ladybird's "Tell-A-Tale" imprint, that came with the book and a cassette tape. The tape was narrated by Peter Marinker.
The plot to this book is A dwindling supply of lubricants puts the Autobots on the trail of a legendary lake of oil which was lost beneath the surface of Nebulos in a geological upheaval. Hot Rod dispatches Chromedome and Hardhead to search, with Stylor and Duros employing geo-sensors to scan the surrounding territory. Eventually, Duros strikes it lucky and the Autobots unearth the subterranean lake. To hide their discovery from the Decepticons, the entrance to the lake is collapsed, and rather than transport the oil in tankers and drums, Brainstorm conceives a pipeline system to pump the oil direct to the Autobot base. Slowly but surely under cover of night, the Autobots successfully assemble the pipeline, and begin the flow of oil into their tanks.
The Decepticons, meanwhile, have been aware that something has been going on, but, unaware of precisely what, have waited until the completion of the project to strike. Discovering a small section of the pipeline lying exposed in a slender ravine, Cyclonus summons the Horrorcons, who shred the pipe.
Investigating the halted flow of oil, Kup and Highbrow quickly and easily repair the pipe, and Kup collapses a portion of the ravine to hide it from view. But the Decepticons have been lying in wait, and the two Autobots quickly seek cover to avoid their pursuers – unfortunately, the pair stumble into a magnetic desert, where the dust clings to their bodies and weighs them down, and Kup is trapped when he is held fast against a boulder. Heading back to base to get help, Highbrow encounters Crosshairs, who takes the simple approach, blowing up the boulder imprisoning Kup, but this delay allows the Decepticons to pick up their trail. The day is won when the Autobots lure the Decepticons back into the ravine with the pipeline, still coated with oil from when it was severed; the Decepticons lose control on the slippery surface and crash in a tangled heap, allowing the Autobots to escape.
Thanks to RetroRobotRadio for uploading the book and scans. This story is much better than the last one and deals with the Autobots trying to survive with dwindling supplies. Definitely worth checking out.