Gift Books for Car Junkies

Shopping for holiday gifts (Christmas gifts AND Hanukkah gifts, thanks to my 21st-century blended family) is always a source of stress for me. This year, though, you’ll find some great gift choices for your favorite car buffs in your local bookstore (or on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and the like)!

Jerry Burton, a familiar name in auto journalism, particularly of the coffee-table book variety, has come out with a lavish new picture book on Corvettes. Corvette: America’s Sports Car: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow is a must-have for any ‘Vette-heads on your list. Gorgeous photos accompany Burton’s thoughts on the iconic American muscle car. It’s a nice-looking, well-produced volume from Hugh Lauter Levin Associates.

Another splashy new picture book that should make that hard-to-shop-for gearhead happy is Muscle: America’s Legendary Performance Cars, from authors Randy Leffingwell and Darwin Holmstrom, with photographs by David Newhardt and Mike Mueller. Leffingwell is one of the great chroniclers of American automotive history, and he knows the muscle, performance, sports, and racing models like few others. Holmstrom, too, is a seasoned motorsports writer. The biggest selling point of this volume, though, has got to be its pictures. They are mouthwateringly gorgeous and beautifully reproduced. You can find this Motorbooks volume in all the usual outlets and (surprisingly enough) through the Restoration Hardware catalogue.

Super hardcore car geeks will be delighted with Stephen Newbury’s latest edition of The Car Design Yearbook (#5). As always, the folks at Merrell Press have put together a great-looking, well-produced book. It’s Newbury’s take on concept cars and new designs that’s the real treat, though; his perspective as a longtime industry insider makes his Yearbook a revelation.

And just in case you want to tease someone with the automotive equivalent of coal in a stocking, let me recommend the 2007 Crap Cars Calendar. Spun off from the 2005 Bloomsbury USA book by Richard Porter, this year’s calendar features some of the automotive industry’s most hilarious missteps, with snarky text and vintage pictures.

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