SR-71 Blackbird: Lockheed’s Ultimate Spy Plane

by David Doyle

Do a literature search and you’d think the Blackbird must be hot stuff: every year more is being published about it but the thing retired long ago. Just about all those books play nicely with this one because it has something the others don’t.

Roger Williamson: A Collection of Memories from Friends, Mechanics, Rivals and Family

by K. Guthrie & D. Banks

The F1 cars of Williamson’s era were getting faster and faster but neither the tracks nor safety consciousness evolved at pace. His horrific death in a fire at the 1973 Dutch GP is a chilling example of Murphy’s Law at full tilt.

Le Mans 100, A Century at the World’s Greatest Endurance Race

by Glen Smale

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the three legs of the Triple Crown of Motorsports. What makes it so special? Smale has wrangled each and every race up to the 2023 running into the pages of one concise, nicely illustrated, and well-designed book.

The Put-in-Bay Road Races, 1952–1963

by Carl Goodwin

What is old is new again. For years now vintage sports car drivers have congregated here for reunions celebrating what is now called “the island’s rich road racing history” but that in period barely made the news. This book unravels the history.

The Man and Car that Circled the Globe

by G. N. Schuster and J. Mahl

Forget the 1965 movie The Great Race. This book tells and shows what it was really like back in 1908, when traveling 22,000 miles in 169 days was as untried as space travel to Mars is today.

Kim: A Biography of M.G. Founder Cecil Kimber

by Jon Pressnell

This epic book is less about the cars than the man behind them, and in this case especially you cannot appreciate the former without the latter. Pressnell leaves no stone unturned to present a multi-faceted picture of a complicated man who took the firm to the loftiest of heights—only to be fired.

Jock Lewes, Co-Founder of the SAS

by John Lewes

This early admirer of Hitler became so disillusioned with the Nazi regime’s methods that he volunteered for an elite British outfit specializing in counter-espionage, the Special Air Service and became its principal training officer.

Imagine too! Towards the Future

by Patrick G. Kelley 

It’s rare enough that a concept car makes it into production but just think of how many drawings never even make it to the modeling stage. Worse, concept drawings are by definition throwaways and get tossed as soon as their “job” is done. Good thing someone is saving them!

Max Hoffman, Million Dollar Middleman

by Myles Kornblatt

Pick up any book about European cars in the US after WWII and Hoffman’s name will be in it. Finally there is a book that looks at his manifold business activities even if the man himself remains as shadowy as some of his deals.

Tyrrell: The Story of the Tyrrell Racing Organisation

by Richard Jenkins

This team/constructor turned out the lights half a decade ago but has descendants of a manner in the modern era: Brawn GP who almost adopted the old name, and today’s Mercedes-AMG Petronas.
We’ve now added a second review—because the book is just that good.

Crusader, John Cobb’s Ill-Fated Quest for Speed on Water 

by Steve Holter

For what do you need 5000 lb of thrust? For breaking records. In a jet-powered boat. Air is relatively smooth, water is not. Will it all go right? The author is, among other things, a crash investigator—so probably not.

The Bomber Mafia

by Malcom Gladwell

Planning to watch the movie Oppenheimer? A nuclear bomb!? Why had other military strategies not broken Japan’s ability to fight? Because no matter what the strategists of the Bomber Mafia thought, pinpoint hits from high altitude were not achievable in those days.