Books for Christmas 2011

It’s that time of the year again. Soon comes round, doesn’t it? You can’t beat a good book as a pressie and these are some of the ones recently received in the editorial offices...


Car Design Europe by Paolo Tumminelli

Books for Christmas 2011

The first in a series on the history of the world’s automobile industry, this book, by Paolo Tumminelli, Professor for Design Concepts at the Cologne International School of Design, describes how car design has evolved from the 1930s to the present day. All the leading marques are there, showcased by top-class photography and including incisive interviews with the top designers, entrepreneurs and test drivers.

For further information, see www.teneues.com.


Deutsche Auto-Ikonen by Wolfgang Blaue and Michel Zumbrunn

Books for Christmas 2011

Although not to everyone’s tastes, ace Swiss photographer Zumbrunn’s well-known ‘black background’ photography (super-shiny, almost toy-like cars placed in a dark studio, his speciality) has its followers and is often featured in magazines and coffee-table books. This German-language-only book features 50 iconic (yes, that word again…) German cars photographed in the ‘Zumbrunn way’. They are shiny.

For further information, see www.delius-klasing.de.


Automobile Architecture by Chris van Uffelen

Books for Christmas 2011

Here’s a novelty: instead of a book on cars, it’s a book on buildings associated with the automobile. Whether it’s a petrol station, a showroom or a manufacturer’s HQ, if it’s of interest architecturally you should find it here.

For further information, see www.braun-publishing.ch.


Bugatti Veyron by Martin Roach

Books for Christmas 2011

Could we recommend a book that consistently spells the redoubtable ex-Volkswagen Group top engineer Dr. Ulrich Eichhorn’s name incorrectly? No. Other than that, go ahead, do, if modern Bugattis are your passion.

For further information, see www.waterstones.com.


The Bentley Brooklands Book by Classic Driver

Books for Christmas 2011

Now you’re talking. Modesty prevents us from saying too much about the definitive work on Bentley’s last ‘grand coupé’. Suffice to say there are still one or two copies left of both the 'Standard' and 'Special' versions of the book, which was launched to great acclaim in 2010. Oh, and it was shortlisted and then ‘Highly Commended’ at the 2011 British Book Design and Production Awards. Modesty be damned.

For further information, see www.bentleybrooklandsbook.com.


Formula 1 World Champions by Hartmut Lehbrink and Rainer W. Schlegelmilch

Books for Christmas 2011

Veteran motor racing photographer Rainer W. Schlegelmilch joins up with Hartmut Lehbrink to produce a weighty (10 5/6” x 13 3/8”) volume charting the 32 Formula 1 World Champions since Fangio.

For further information, see www.teneues.com.


Watkins Glen, The Street Years 1948 - 1952 by Philippe Defechereux

Books for Christmas 2011

The first of two books about the east coast USA race track that saw post-War American road-racing commence in 1948 and hosted its first Formula 1 Grand Prix in 1961.

Born in Belgium, US-domiciled Defechereux tells the story of what was originally a road course but, in 1956, became the location for a challenging permanent track in use up to the early 1980s.

The list of drivers featured in the book is a roll-call of 1950 American sports car racing: Phil Hill; Briggs Cunningham; John Fitch; Phil Walters; Jim Kimberly and Walt Hansgen et al. With many original photos, copious statistics and race results, the book is the definitive work on the subject. And if you are more interested in F1 at the ‘Glen’ in later years, there’s always...

For further information, see www.daltonwatson.com.


Formula One at Watkins Glen by Michael Argetsinger

Books for Christmas 2011

Argetsinger’s name should be familiar to readers in connection with Watkins Glen as it was the well-known family’s involvement in motor racing in general, and at the ‘Glen in particular, that helped bring truly international names to the USA.

Although the first Championship race was held in 1961, the permanent Watkins Glen circuit had held Formula Libre races from 1958 to 1961. So the sights and sounds of European cars and drivers mixing it with home-grown legends such as Hansgen weren’t exactly new.

In October 1961, though, the circuit hosted its first United States Grand Prix and the well-illustrated, carefully researched volume discusses each year in detail, right up to Alan Jones' victory at the track’s final GP in 1980.

With financial issues crippling the up-state New York venue (the teams were owed some $800,000 from the 1980 race…), it then ceased to be a Grand Prix track. The world of motor racing was probably poorer for that, but this book is a good testament to the glory years of F1 at the ‘Glen.

For further information, see www.bullpublishing.com.


ELVA - The Cars, The People, The History by János Wimpffen

Books for Christmas 2011

Wow, what an achievement. Wimpffen’s weighty tome (over 500 pages, 100s of photos, more than 13,000 records of Elva racing results and appendices listing more than 2000 people who have competed in Elvas) is not only THE book on the marque, it must also be a contender for ‘motoring book of the year’.

Although successes on the world stage for the small British manufacturer based in the seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea never ranked at the level of Cooper, or Lotus, say, the small-capacity sports-racing cars provided a starting point for many an aspiring racing driver. Some went on to much greater things (Mark Donohue), while many just enjoyed using a machine not so different from a modified road car, with handling characteristics not just for the pros.

And don’t forget Elva’s long-term impact on motor racing by building the first McLaren-Elvas and going on (under different ownership, a common theme for the book…) to build customer Can Am McLarens. Nor should the very quick, mid-engined ‘German Era’ Elvas powered by Porsche and BMW engines be ignored.

The Le Mans entry GT160 – Elva’s attempt to enter the closed GT market – gets in-depth coverage, as do the activities of the 100s of happy Elva owners (including many Classic Driver readers) still campaigning the cars today.

If you own an Elva of any era this book is a MUST. For enthusiasts of sports car racing, at an oh-so-reasonable price of $99.95, it can’t be recommended enough.

For further information, see www.bullpublishing.com.

Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: The publishers