100 Years Ago, Anniversary of the Armistice

by Tom Dine

Bentley Motors is 100 years old and this little book celebrates the company founder’s achievements—and that’s before he ever built his eponymous cars and winning Le Mans five times.

New York City Horsepower: An Oral History of Fast Custom Machines

by Michael McCabe

What makes a New York custom bike or car different from those made anywhere else? Or modern ones different from earlier ones? Meet several generations of builders and see their shops and their creations.

The Singer Story: The Cars, Commercial Vehicles, Bicycles & Motorcycles

by Kevin Atkinson

Everyone knows that Bugattis used distinctive flat-spoke aluminum wheels. So did Singer—but 20 years earlier. The curved front forks of a bicycle are a George Singer patent, and still in use today. If you don’t know Singer, you should.

One Formula – 50 Years of Car Design

by Gordon Murray and Philip Porter  

“Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” – the extraordinary legacy of oenophile, soap box racer, and Bob Dylan disciple Gordon Murray. He is the man who also created the road-going sports car that won Le Mans, who designed  F1 cars that won 50 Grands Prix, and who is still pushing every envelope he can find.

The Rootes Story, The Making of a Global Automotive Empire  

by Geoff Carverhill 

Rootes is about as British a carmaker/distributor as it gets but US connections abound, not least the Raymond Loewy one. This book is quite the deep dive and dispenses lots of detail in a very readable manner.

Stardust International Raceway

by Randall Cannon and Michael Gerry

Legendary drivers, the FBI, Howard Hughes…it’s a big story but the track was short-lived and pretty much forgotten until two local boys with racing interests put this fine book together.

Design Between the Lines

by Patrick le Quément, Stéphane Geffray

You’d have to have been sequestered on your private island for the last 50 years not to know the name of the author of this book. Simca, Ford, VW/Audi, Renault—some 60 million cars have Patrick le Quément’s fingerprints on them, and he reshaped his industry.

We Speak from the Air, WW2 Broadcasts from the RAF

by the Ministry of Information

Read this alongside some of Winston Churchill’s speeches and there won’t be a dry eye in the house. The over 1000 RAF and WAAF personnel that made these wartime broadcasts remained anonymous but the highly personal pictures they paint cut to the bone.

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.