Five must-have books for your fireside coffee table

As winter draws in, you’ll be increasingly tempted to spend the long nights indoors by the fire, with a glass of whisky and a good book. These are the five automotive tomes currently on the Classic Driver coffee table…

Jürgen Lewandowski 'Porsche 959'

Given the persistent chatter about the Porsche 911, it’s easy to inadvertently sideline what was the most ambitious Zuffenhausen project in decades: the Porsche 959. The engineers’ mission was to create the most technologically advanced sports car the world had ever seen, and this book project that focuses solely on the ‘Über-Porsche’ is almost as ambitious. The limited and numbered trilogy comes in an elegant jewelry box and consists of a picture volume with stunning images from Curves photographer Stefan Bogner, a story-book with words from Jürgen Lewandowski and a fact book for the hardest-core Stuttgart devotees.

Bart Lenaerts und Lies de Mol 'WAFT 4'

Bart Lenaerts und Lies de Mol are the Belgian miracle children of the automotive scene. The fourth edition of their cult Waft bookazines – described as ‘a musical tribute to car culture’ – feature dream cars such as the Jaguar D-type, BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage and Mercedes C111, along with ‘old friends’ in the form of Karim Habib and Paolo Martin. The limited-edition ‘Friends of the House’ version comes with a luxury box hand-built from an original music album (making each unique), as well as a picture of the famous Rainbow Porsche signed by Rainer Buchmann.

Werner Eisele 'Motor Racing Photography'

In this magnificent (and rather large) illustrated book, racing photographer Werner Eisele grants the reader unprecedented access to his personal archive. Over 325 pages, the early years of Formula 1 are brought back to life, with Eisele’s unique perspective of the wild cars and the characterful personalities that drove them so heroically. Contemporary quotes and little-known stories about racing heroes such as Jo Bonnier, Dan Gurney and Niki Lauda give additional depth to the imagery.

Rainer W. Schlegelmilch 'BMW'

No photographer has so comprehensively documented the history of BMW as Rainer W. Schlegelmilch. Although this book is not new (it was released this time last year), it serves as a fitting centennial tribute to the Bavarian brand, encapsulating its entire history – from its pre-War sports cars to the latest electric supercar. Hartmut Lehbrink and Jochen von Osterroth also contribute to this comprehensive marque bible.

Jim Heimann 'Automobile Design Graphics'

The automobile inspired the imagination of advertising executives like no other product of the 20th Century. On behalf of the major manufacturers in Detroit, countless graphics were dreamt up for advertisements, brochures and manuals, which all decisively contributed to the legend of the motor car. With words from historians Jim Donnelly and Steven Heller, this book tells the tale of the era when cars were great – and their marketers didn’t have computers to do all the hard work for them.