Automotive books? Actual printed reading material? Yeah. We’re old school like that. Sure, we know most of you would rather be outside wrenching, but when it’s cold outside or the bank balance is low, we find reading about cars fills our garage-free hours. Here are some of the books released in 2016 that we either have read or are looking forward to reading soon. They provide a mix of classic muscle, classic personalities, and classic storytelling that should have something for everyone. Best part? Pretty cheap entertainment, so pick one up at a local bookstore if you are lucky enough to have one near you, or get ’em sent to you or a friend whose holiday gift you forgot.
The Complete Book of American Muscle Supercars: Yenko, Shelby, Baldwin Motion, Grand Spaulding, and More (Written by Tom Glatch, Photos by David Newhardt)
Tom Glatch’s new book, released in October, tells the tale of the greatest cars from the greatest era of American motoring. Muscle cars are a big reason we do the things we do here on Roadkill and this is a great compendium to understand the coolest of the cool. Bonus, the little hoods on the cover open to show little engines. It’s like a grown-up pop-up book. (Amazon)
Landy’s Dodges: The Mighty Mopars of “Dandy” Dick Landy (Geoff Stunkard)
If you have any interest in drag racing during the 1960s, in Mopars, or in the way that racing legend Dick Landy went about his business, there’s no way you can miss this one. The Dodge-sponsored racer went toe-to-toe with so many greats in classic drag-racing battles. This book also features photos from the Petersen Archives and includes Roadkill’s own editor Elana Scherr and her husband Tom Yeager in it, since they are currently restoring Landy’s Dodge D700 car hauler. (Amazon)
Selling the American Muscle Car: Marketing Detroit Iron in the 60s and 70s (Diego Rosenberg)
The Muscle Car era in the United States would have been nothing without Detroit’s willingness to push things to their extremes. From the chase for ever more prodigious horsepower figures to the catch names and even killer color options, little of it would have been possible without push from the automakers’ marketing departments. Diego Rosenberg, former HOT ROD editor, gives us a tour of what helped push the cars into the limelight in the late 1960s and early 1970s. (Amazon)
Cuba’s Car Culture: Celebrating the Island’s Automotive Love Affair (Tom Cotter, foreword by Sterling Moss and photos by Bill Warner)
Cuba remains one of the lost outposts of American car culture, having been frozen in time (at least in automotive term) since Fidel Castro’s revolution closed the island to American importers. The resulting culture and ingenuity required to keep 1950s American cars on the road to this day have become legendary. Cotter and Warner tour the island and its car culture, providing context and history (as well as amazing photographs) in this volume. The photos make up for the occasional automotive ID error, and honestly, with the mistakes we make, we can hardly complain about such things. (Amazon)
Can-Am 50th Anniversary: Flat Out with North America’s Greatest Race Series 1966-74 (Written by George Levy, Photography by Pete Biro; Foreword by Pete Lyons)
If you don’t know the history of the most bonkers road-racing series on the planet, this should be a good starting place. The Can-Am series attracted the biggest names in race cars builders (McLaren, Chaparral, Porsche, Ferrari) and drivers (Andretti, Jackie Stewart, Parnelli Jones, and Dan Gurney to name just a few) on to drive some of the most insane race cars, many of which made more than 1,000 horsepower. Levy covers the history of these snarling, brutish race cars in this book. (Amazon)
Linda Vaughn: The First Lady of Motorsports (Rob Kinnan and Linda Vaughn)
Former HOT ROD editor Rob Kinnan tells the story of Linda Vaughn, perhaps best-known as Miss Hurst but also representing many other racing companies and series. At the height of her career, Vaughn attended more than 100 racing events annually. Naturally, being around so many races, drivers, and fans, Linda has stories for, well, a whole book. Autobooks-Aerobooks
Confessions From Quality Control: Stories Of Bodges And Balls-ups Of Car Factories In The Nineties (Rich Duisberg)
Motorpunk editor Rich Duisberg wasn’t always an automotive writer. In his previous life in the 1990s, he worked for an English company that sold quality control equipment to automobile manufacturers, mostly in Europe. From his years traveling to and through auto factories, Duisberg picked up dozens of great stories about car companies, the cars they built, and the people who built them. He’s compiled them in this short paperback with stories written concisely and informally; this one reads like good chats at the local pub. (Amazon UK)
What’s on your reading list for 2017? Any old favorites we should pick up when we’re done with these?