Fireship: The Terror Weapon of the Age of Sail

by Peter Kirsch

A fireship doesn’t put out fires, it starts them. This profusely illustrated book is the first to examine the role of this device, from antiquity to the early nineteenth century.

Lotus Esprit, The Official Story

by Jeremy Walton

The Lotus Esprit may have held a record among British sports cars for continuous production—28 years and almost 11,000 copies sold—but pick up an automotive encyclopedia today and you’ll find that this Lotus hardly warrants a footnote.

Lady Lucy Houston DBE, Aviation Champion and Mother of the Spitfire

by Miles Macnair

Picture this: an air force is fighting for its very survival. A private citizen offers to buy her impoverished government several squadrons of fighter planes. The government says—no. This snub kickstarted a chain of events that culminated in Britain developing one of the important aircraft of all time.

Porsche Werks Team

by Frank Kayser and Heike Hientzsch

Try doing any job for 24 hours straight, even as part of a team, and you know the toll it takes. Basically a photo essay, this book offers many unusual, clever, inspiring visuals to capture the mood.

Gulf 917

by Ray Gillottti

The 917 story told from a specific angle, that of the John Wyer team whose tech chief really made the car fly. You may have stacks of 917 books already but you’ll not want to miss this one.

Moonshots

by Piers Bizony 

Plenty of photos, yes, but this book is really more about the role of photography. Over and over it makes the point that you probably have seen these photos before, but probably not this way.

Abarth: Racing Cars – Collection 1949–1974

by Franz Steinbacher

This is a look at a highly curated Swiss collection of mostly racing Abarths, and in telling their story the book also gives a good idea of what made the cars and the company so special.

Rule Britannia, When British Sports Cars Saved a Nation

by John Nikas

No hyperbole, this. The cars may be small but the story is big. Without selling large quantities of relatively affordable cars in export markets after WWII, Great Britain would have remained broken for much longer. How they did it, and how they lost it is the story here.

The Aston Martin Book

by René Staud, Paolo Tumminelli

If it’s specs and serious history you want, this is not the book. But if a car’s shape makes you lightheaded and its “image” excites you, this is the book.

That Thin, Wild Mercury Sound

by Daryl Sanders

Bob Dylan’s first album was released in 1962. Since then he has recorded over three dozen studio albums. He is still actively recording and performing. With all that material, it would be difficult to pick a favorite, but there seems to be a general agreement that his 1966 Blonde On Blonde is the best of the best. Sander’s book tells a very detailed, very lively tale of its making.

Formula 1: All The Races – The First 1000

by Roger Smith

That this book about 1000 races is limited to 1000 numbered copies is of course merely to be cute—but it is a crying shame. Bristling with data but eminently user-friendly it deserves much wider circulation!

The Complete Book of the SR-71 Blackbird

by Richard H. Graham

A fantastic book about an aircraft everyone should know about, regardless of specialization or interest. You don’t know what you’ve been missing! It made history, and because there is still no substitute for it, may come back.