Read Any Good Car Books Lately?
Normally when a classic car buff has a book (or e-reader) in hand, they’re studying an owner’s manual for their favorite car. Maybe it’s time to branch out. We put together a list of great summer reading just for car lovers, with everything from automotive history to collectible photos. These books will even “read well” at cars shows and events!
10 Great Books for Car Enthusiasts
- Drive! Henry Ford, George Selden and the Race to Invent the Auto Age by Lawrence Goldstone – Every car buff is aware of automotive pioneer Henry Ford but many do not know how close a patent lawsuit between Ford and George Selden came to derailing an empire. Selden is the first person to receive a patent for an automobile design. Goldstone covers the early years of the auto industry as well as detailed accounts of races, auto shows and heroic cross country treks. He depicts the era when the car went from being a plaything for the rich to the new workhorse for the average American.
- Gentlemen, Start Your Engines! The Bonhams Guide to Classic Sports and Race Cars by Jared Zaugg – Leave it to Bonhams auction house to put together the ultimate wish list from the fabulous collections they have handled over the years. These are their choices of “best-of-the-best”.
- Behind the Wheel – The Great Automobile Aficionados by Robert Puyal – A look at 80 iconic figures of the automobile world (From Henry Ford and his Model T to James Bond and his Aston-Martin), who are forever linked to certain cars. Tell me you don’t think of James Dean when you see a Porsche Spyder?
- The Complete Book of Corvette – Every Model Since 1953 by Mike Mueller – For a comprehensive look at America’s sports car, this is your book. Mueller covers every model made including prototypes and experimental cars like the XP-892 (named the ‘Two Rotor’ for its twin Wankel engine). Created in cooperation with GM, the photos of these iconic cars are stunning.
- Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans by A.J. Baime – In the wake of Ford’s historical win at Le Mans this year (in their new 2016 GT 40 race car), this is the perfect book to help explain the long standing feud between Enzo Ferrari and Henry Ford II and their quest for bragging rights in the most grueling car race in the world. Baime covers everything from the owners and cars to race drivers and the tension in the pits
- The Impossible Collection of Cars by Dan Neil – The 100 most exceptional cars of the 20th Century from the 1909 Blitzen Benz to the 1997 Porsche 993 Turbo S are showcased in gorgeous glossy detail. Weighing (yes, we said weighing) in at 16 pounds, this tome is the ultimate in car collector eye candy and probably why it comes in a gift box.
- Vintage Cars by Ken Gross - The former Executive Director of the Petersen Automotive Museum in L.A. and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance judge for 25 years brings you this visual tribute (thanks to the photos of renowned photographer Laziz Hamani) to the timeless beauty of these classic antique automobiles.
- Giorgetto Giugiaro – The Genius of Design by Guiliano Molineri – For the art lover/ classic car collector, this man needs no introduction. Giugiaro is the talent behind the iconic designs of concept cars like the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta, the De Tomaso Mangusta, the Maserati Ghibli and the Lamborghini Calá. Named Car Designer of the Century in 1999 and inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2002, Giugiaro is someone that transformed car design into an art form.
- Art of the Classic Car by Peter Bodensteiner – Beautifully shot by studio photographer Peter Harholdt, Autoweek calls this book a “mini concours” of pre-war classic and antique cars. It focuses on the historical significance of these incredible cars and why they are currently such a hot commodity among collectors.
- Drive On! A Social History of the MotorCar by L.J.K Setright – This book covers the car’s influence (socially, culturally and technologically) one decade at a time. The author also explains the origin of many car terms used today and the car’s influence on fashion.
Get Inspired This Summer
With many great reads out there for the car enthusiast, why not take a break from the car manual this summer and reach for a book. It might inspire you to add another car to your collection. Happy reading!
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