Unplugging and cozying up to a good book, away from Netflix binges and movie marathons, is a great way to relax and unwind. Here you will find 10 books that our KHACHILIFE editorial team has recommended for keeping your automotive enthusiasm revved while spending some time recharging your battery.
DREAM CARS: INNOVATIVE DESIGN, VISIONARY IDEAS
A sensuously designed showcase of covetable concept or limited-edition cars by the best American and European manufacturers. Dream Cars presents some of the world’s most breathtaking concept cars built between 1934 and 2001, a series of visionary designs that influenced the automotive industry and challenged notions of what is possible both aesthetically and technologically. Stunning all-new photography of design pioneers such as the 1935 Bugatti Type 57 Aerolithe, the 1951 LeSabre concept car, and the 1954 Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 7 accompany lush images of dream sports cars, including the 1970 Ferrari Modulo and the 1955 Ghia Streamline X “Gilda.” Meticulously restored and brought to life by all-new photography, these images trace a lineage of innovation in automobile design.
Comprehensive descriptions by celebrated automotive writer Ken Gross as well as drawings and scaled models further illustrate the imaginative force of individual designers and famed manufacturers. Surprising insights into familiar models like the minivan, based on the streamlined silhouette of the Stout Scarab concept car developed in 1936, are juxtaposed with startling new technologies such as the 2001 BMW GINA Light Visionary Model’s ingenious use of fabric as a retractable skin. An extended essay by Sarah Schleuning explores the effects of aerodynamics and aeronautics on car design and considers how groundbreaking events-such as General Motors’s Motorama-fueled the creativity of automobile styles.
FERRARI 250 GT SHORT WHEEL BASE – The Autobiography of 4119GT
This superb book tells the story of the finest example of a glorious breed of Ferrari, the 250 GT Short Wheelbase, which combined a great engine with a fine chassis and a beautiful body to become one of the most revered Ferraris.
The 2119 GT is a very special car because Stirling Moss drove it to a famous victory in the Goodwood Tourist Trophy of 1960. Here you’ll get detailed insight into this race, the competition debut of 2119 GT, as well as the seven others in which the car took part in period, all supported by a superb collection of photographs.
JAGUAR D-TYPE – The Autobiography of XKD 504
Another superb book tells the story of one of the most historically interesting of all Jaguar D-types, the XKD 504.
This is a car that has raced more than any other D-type across its long and varied life, and this life is recounted in full. From its role as a works car used extensively for testing fuel injection, to two seasons of racing throughout Europe with Ecurie Ecosse, to four busy years of national competition in the hands of first Mike Salmon and then Peter Sutcliffe, it’s all here.
This book provides fascinating insight into every aspect of this D-type’s history, supported by a fine collection of period photographs.
ALFA ROMEO 155/156/147 COMPETITION TOURING CARS
After saving Alfa Romeo from oblivion in 1987, it took Fiat nearly five years to debut the first new Alfa produced under its control. This is the story of how the competition versions of the 155/156/147 family of cars were developed and subsequently raced to many championship titles and race wins. Together, these models kept the Alfa Romeo name at the pinnacle of motor sport for many years, from 1992 to 2006, and will become future motorsport classics.
INSPIRED TO DESIGN – F1 cars, Indycars & racing tyres: the autobiography of Nigel Bennett
The differences between running an Indy car on a road circuit and an oval are covered, as is the struggle to get the best from a car for the Indy 500 – a task which is described with unusual clarity. Nigel also describes the story of the ‘Big Beast’ – the Mercedes pushrod engine that won the 1994 Indy 500.
Sharing in detail his own view of the importance of suspension geometry, and how it deviates from present practices, this book also includes personal views on the Penske years from a number of motor sport figures, and those of a rival Indy car designer Bruce Ashmore. A fascinating first-hand behind-the-scenes insight.
Included in the story is considerable detail of Nigel’s eight years spent with the Firestone European Racing Division, covering an area vital to racing car performance, plus the relationship between a tyre company and its leading contracted team. The 60s and 70s were rife with tyre wars, and many interesting stories unfolded during those decades. With descriptions of the importance of the Race Engineer to the driver, and to a team’s competitiveness, Nigel Bennett draws on his years of experience to offer detailed insight to how an engineer worked with a car and tuned its set-up in an era before computer readouts and telemetry came to dominate.
MASTERATI 250F IN FOCUS
Competing throughout the 2500cc Grand Prix Formula years of 1954-60, the Maserati 250F is one of the most famous and iconic racing cars ever built. Maserati 250F In Focus is one of the most detailed accounts ever written about a single model, and this superbly illustrated book features photographs by Tom March, one of the 1950s leading motor racing photographers, along with historic engine cutaways, chassis drawings, and technical descriptions of the 250F’s evolution and development. Anthony Pritchard’s lively and informative text includes reminiscences from some of the leading drivers of the day, including Sir Stirling Moss, Juan Fangio, and Mike Hawthorn – drivers who raced these historic machines during the halycon days when Maserati battled with Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Vanwall for Grand Prix supremacy. From the 1954 Argentine Grand Prix, to the 1960 US Grand Prix, a record of the chassis and race numbers of every 250F to have competed during this period is presented, along with detailed race histories and results, completing this most comprehensive and authoritative of books on Maserati’s racing legend.
WIDE-OPEN MUSCLE: THE RAREST MUSCLE CAR CONVERTIBLES
Climb inside these stunning muscle car drop-tops, straight from the classic era of American high-performance cars!
Today’s rarest, priciest, and most highly sought-after muscle cars are also the least practical. These are the striking convertibles of the 1960s and 1970s that were optioned out for drag racing. Wide-Open Muscle showcases these rare cars and proves that sometimes it pays to throw practicality out the window in order to make something purely cool and fun to drive.
At the peak of drag racing popularity, it was common knowledge that racers needed the lightest, most rigid-framed cars available. Convertibles represent the exact opposite of that description, so it’s amazing that these drop tops ever emerged amid the circle of full-throttle dragsters. While typical convertible drivers cruised around listening to the latest Lovin’ Spoonful release in the eight-track tape deck, these muscle-car convertibles were equipped for rock ‘n’ roll speed. These topless muscle cars are so rare because few people had the dedication (or money) to buy a vehicle this impractical. They’re valuable because they represent the absolute extreme of the entire muscle-car genre.
CONCEPT CARS: DESIGNING FOR THE FUTURE
Concept Cars is an illustrated guide to 70 of the most creative products of car design. From the science fiction inspired concept cars of the 1950s to the remarkably innovative designs of the present day, here are the cars that push the boundaries of automotive design to the limit. Featured are designs that opened the doors to future innovations, as well as the cars that actually made it to production, such as the new VW Beetle and the Porsche Boxster. Key car designers such as Norman Bel Geddes, the “father of streamlining,” and Peter Schreyer, the man responsible for the Audi TT, are covered as well. 190 color photographs and illustrations are included in this discovery of the fantastic, the extraordinary, and just plain outlandish creations of the automotive industry.
THE HISTORY OF ELECTRIC CARS
One hundred years ago electric cars were the most popular automobiles in the world. In the late nineteenth century and at the start of the twentieth century, they outsold every other type of car. And yet, within a couple of decades of the start of the twentieth century, the electric car had vanished. Thousands of battery-powered cars disappeared from the streets, replaced by the internal combustion engine, and their place in the history of the automobile was quietly erased. A century later, electric cars are making a comeback. Fears over pollution and global warming have forced manufacturers to reconsider the electric concept. A History of Electric Cars presents for the first time the full story of electric cars and their hybrid cousins. It examines how and why electric cars failed the first time – and why today’s car manufacturers must learn the lessons of the past if they are to avoid repeating previous mistakes all over again.
BUILT FOR SPEED: THE WORLD’S FASTEST ROAD CARS
Explore some of the world’s fastest cars from 1996 to 2019. Including the Shelby Series 1, Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, and McLaren Senna. A compilation of a 35 cars are included both foreign and dom
estic. From mid-engine supercars with pricetags north of a million dollars to Feisty compact sedans bred to compete on the Word Rally Championship circuit with a base price less than $30,000. As well as modern day versions of the “ponycar” and European sports coupes that rely on light weight and highly tuned four cylinder engines for speed.
An interesting retrospective of cars that are within our reach.