Automobile Year 55 2007/08 reviewed

For so long the carpenter's friend, the work that's required more bookshelves to be extended than just about any other, Automobile Year has just been published. Now in its 55th edition, the tall, beautifully produced volume remains the standard work to chart the progress of all things four-wheeled over a 12-month period.

In its second year under the careful jurisdiction of publisher Christian Philippsen, the latest Automobile Year maintains the series' tradition of short, incisive descriptions of all major motorsporting events, new car launches and significant activity in the world of classic and historic cars.

Want to know who was in 7th place on lap 35 at the Bahrain Grand Prix? It was David Coulthard; and he pitted that lap, too. Likewise all the major sportscar championships are covered, as well as a detailed report on the Le Mans 24 Hours (always an AY strongpoint) and its major class combatants. Rallying, the significant saloon car series and racing in the USA; all have their chapters, too.

But, as we said last time, it's road car developments from the humblest Fiat (500) to mightiest Maserati (GranTurismo, all 4.88m of it) that are the reason you buy Automobile Year. As the decades pass, the contents mature, become more subtle and enticing. What may be a design exercise one year is trend-setting production a decade on.

Over time, the annual has charted the debut of cars such as the Ferrari Boxer, Porsche 911 Turbo, Volkswagen Golf et al. Magazines may come and go, and newspaper headlines are ephemeral, but if you want to dig deeper over the last half century of motoring there's one book guaranteed to have all the significant facts: Automobile Year.

Volume 55 is no exception.

Publisher: Christian Philippsen
More than 300 pages, more than 600 photos
Size: 235 x 310 mm - hard cover under dust jacket, 135gm paper and high quality printing.
Published in French, English, German
Suggested retail price £44.00, US85.00, EURO 69.00, CHF 99.00.

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Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Automobile Year 55

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