Archive for Items Categorized 'British', only excerpts shown, click title for full entry.

Lotus Elite: Colin Chapman’s first GT Car

by Matthew Vale

Some called it the best-looking car ever. The press lauded it. To break into the road car market Lotus kept the price so low they hardly made money on it. If you wanted it even cheaper, you could buy it as a kit. Still it took six years to sell just about a thousand. Sounds like a complex story.

Lawrie Bond, Microcar Man

by Nick Wotherspoon

Bond was involved with so much more than the 3-wheelers everyone associates with him. This expanded version of an older book offers even more detail and sheds light on the art and science of a small company building small vehicles.

The Spirit of the Age

by Davide Bassoli

Hardly the sexiest Rolls-Royces and Bentleys ever but for their buyers they were the only game in town at that segment of the market. Over their 20-year production run many modifications were made, not least the first-ever disappearing mascot.

Jaguar D-Type, The Autobiography of XKD 504

by Philip Porter & Chas Parker

You can still see this 1955 car being raced today, with abandon, and successfully. In its day it was the ultimate sports racer. Few have survived in this original a form which is why this is the one to which an entire book is devoted.

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.

The Land Rover Story

by Dave Phillips

Beginning with the 1970s Range Rover model, the Spartan, rugged Landy of yore has moved resolutely upmarket. It still goes, true to its motto, “Above & Beyond” but the firm has also just recorded its largest financial loss in history. A big story, told here by a marque expert.

Lotus Europa, Colin Chapman’s Mid-Engined Masterpiece

by Matthew Vale

From design and engineering to owners’ observations about running one of these things this is the only book dedicated purely to the Europa. The book may not change your mind about its looks but it’ll make you see it with new eyes and understand why it mattered.

Making A Marque: Rolls-Royce Motor Car Promotion 1904–1940

by Peter Moss and Richard Roberts

If a tree falls in the forrest. . .. What good is it to have a great product if no one knows it? Advertising to the rescue. Rolls-Royce spent colossal sums on it, and looking at it today we find it tells much more than meets the eye.

When Rolls and Royce Made History on Dover’s White Cliffs

by Paul Tritton

This small book adds useful detail to a lesser-known chapter of the history of not only the two cofounders of Rolls-Royce but two other important men in the firm’s, and Britain’s history.

Gentleman Heroes

by Giles Chapman with Clare Hay

If there is such a thing as “the most recognizable Bentley,” this may be the one. It didn’t win a lot, it didn’t hold up very well, but it played a singular and important role. And its price today is in the stratosphere.

The Goldfinger Files 

by Steffen Appel and Peter Wälty

The first Bond film to win an Oscar, Goldfinger was a financial success, recouping its budget in two weeks. It has become iconic for many reasons, not least the famous car chase in the mountains that is the subject of this lovely book.

Lotus Elan: The Complete Story

by Matthew Vale

Among British sports cars the nimble Elan occupies a place of honor. Not least, as the firm’s first truly commercially successful road car it did much to bankroll the racing operation. This book is about as complete as the title claims it is.