These 10 car books should be on every Christmas wish list

We might live in a digital world, but at Christmas time, we’d rather revel in magnificently designed and illustrated books and plunge into the stories of our favourite car brands and racing drivers. These are our favourite car books from 2017…

Autophoto

Sometimes you just have to think outside the box to rediscover the automobile — or look through the lenses of some of the best photographers in the world. The Autophoto exhibition at the Cartier Fondation in Paris was one of the highlights of 2017 for us, and its splendid accompanying book shouldn’t be missing from any well-stocked bookshelf. 

Porsche Milestones

Porsche has been building sports cars for 70 years now. In this new tome, titled Porsche Milestones and published by TeNeues with support from Ramp magazine, author Wilfried Müller reflects on the greatest successes from Zuffenhausen. The spectrum ranges from the first Porsche 356 from 1948 to the latest GT3 RS. 

The Bristol Aeroplane Company Car Division

When the great British publisher Palawan Press reveals a 400-page book dedicated to the history of British aircraft and automobile institution Bristol, you don’t even need to think twice before placing your order. Hurry — the 400 limited issues at the end of the edition are getting more and more expensive. Or, alternatively, why not opt for the leather-bound collector’s edition?

Mille Miglia Portraits

The cars that claimed victory on the original Mille Miglia are among the most famous in the world. But the countless drivers, mechanics, organisers, and volunteers who made the ‘Mille’ the most fascinating road race of all time are almost completely forgotten. This charming new book, Mille Miglia Portraits by Leonardo Acerbi, documents the Mille’s human side — taking you on a unique journey through time.

Erich Strenger and Porsche

The market is saturated with Porsche books, but this one is different. Over 186 pages, which includes some previously unseen image material, designer Mats Kubiak tells the fascinating story of creative talent Erich Strenger, who helped shape the appearance of the Porsche brand as we know it. If we could buy one car book in 2017, Erich Strenger and Porsche would be our first choice. 

Ferrari Under the Skin

The Ferrari Under the Skin exhibition at the London Design Museum is the talk of the town. In addition to the show, which runs until April 2018, Phaidon has published a richly illustrated catalogue in which the most famous car brand in the world is shown from a whole new perspective. 

Stelvio

The Passo dello Stelvio is considered the king of the alpine passes, and those who have experienced the cornering staccato on a road bike or behind the wheel of a sports car will certainly never forget it. Curves photographer Stefan Bogner has dedicated an extensively illustrated book to the legendary road, in which he includes some of his impressive aerial photographs. While the history texts, route descriptions, and interviews are from Classic Driver’s own Jan Baedeker. This is the ideal preparation for the next alpine season. 

Inside Track

 

Phil Hill was one of the greatest racing drivers of the 20th century — and now, a biography has been published that lives up to his status. Inside Track – The Racing Biography chronicles the American Formula 1 World Champion’s illustrious career with intimate and candid photos taken by Hill himself on his trusty Leica. It’s a glorious look not just at Hill’s life but also the most romantic of motorsport eras. 

Aston Martin DB: 70 Years

Few cars conjure up the idea of quintessential British style and taste like the DB series of models from Aston Martin. From the Le Mans-winning DBR1 and James Bond’s iconic Silver Birch DB5 to the drop-dead gorgeous DB9 and the new twin-turbocharged DB11, the influential range is lovingly documented in Aston Martin DB: 70 Years by Andrew Noakes and Roger Carey.

Fast Forward

It’s wise to be economical when it comes to self-promotion. But this year, we’ve invested so much work, along with Maximilian Funk and Robert Klanten of Gestalten Verlag, into Fast Forward that we’d like to recommend our co-produced book once again to anyone with an interest in history’s boldest concept cars.