Books

Collectable classic car books

Few subjects garner more passionate aficionados than classic cars. Both book collectors and automotive enthusiasts recognize the cultural and historical significance of vintage maintenance manuals, promotional pamphlets, serious analyses of the automotive industry in its infancy, and riveting biographies of early race car drivers and the cars they drove.

Vintage car books

By Franklin Pierce
1912
By J.S. Zerbe
1915
By Hugh Rochfort Maxsted
1904
By Howard Vincent O'Brien
1936
By Thos. D. Murphy
1908
By Laurence Pomeroy
1964
By A.B. Filson-Young
1904
By Professor Spooner
1906
By Sir Henry Thompson
1902
By T.C. Bridges
1936

Though the automobile had been around since the 1880s, and assembly line production of cars was started by Oldsmobile in the U.S. in 1902, it wasn't until 1908 that Henry Ford's Model-T introduced the first affordable, mass-produced motor car to North American consumers. Ford began expansion to Europe in 1911, igniting competition with manufacturers such as Wolseley Motors (later Austin) in Britain and Benz & Cie. in Germany, reducing prices even further. It was then that our love affair with the automobile and the open road truly began.

Some of the earliest automotive books were serious analyses of that burgeoning industry - not to mention its abysmal safety record - but before long, the romance of the road captured the imagination of drivers and writers all over the world. Guidebooks for drivers in both Europe and North America began to appear alongside early accounts of what would become a 20th century rite of passage - The Road Trip.

From rumble seats to tail fins, from speedways to highways, we've found some of the most fascinating classic car books available on AbeBooks.

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