Father’s Day Gift Guide: Automotive Books

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automotive books
Porsche 959 Boxed Set

The Life: Steve McQueen
This hardcover book published by Motorbooks for their popular “The Life” series focuses on the life and times of Steve McQueen. It attempts to explain why the actor/racer/rebel is still considered “The King of Cool” 30 years after he died. Written by author and radio host Dwight Jon Zimmerman, the book is chock full of photos, posters and other illustrations that will bring the McQueen era back to mind.

A troubled teen from a dysfunctional family, McQueen seemed to be equally at ease playing a rebel on the screen or racing his Triumph motorcycle through the desert. He also loved flying and had assembled a fleet of planes before he died of a heart attack at 50. The book is available at amazon.com or other online book sellers for $30.

Muscle Car: Barn Finds
Ryan Brutt’s coffee table book features photos and information about “Rusty Road Runners, Abandoned AMXs, Crusty Camaros and More.” The photos alone are worth the price of the book, since (as the author explains) most muscle cars were “ridden hard and put away wet. Street and drag raced, pushed to their limits time and gain, Detroit’s performance cars of the 60s and 70s weren’t built for an easy life. Crashes, blown engines, endless speeding tickets, soaring insurance premiums (plus other reasons) put countless muscle cars on ice, some for months but many for years, even decades. But they’re not dead, just resting.”

Author/photographer Brutt, an automotive archeologist, looks under the tarps, behind garage doors and peers around fences to bring these long-lost road burners to light. Published by MotorBooks, “Barn Finds” is priced at $35 in the U.S. and $45 in Canada, available at QuartoKnows.com.

The Complete Book of Classic Ford and Mercury Muscle Cars (1961-1973)
Shelby Mustang, Boss 302, Cyclone GT, Spoiler, and many more made up Ford’s Total Performance program. They tested cars at drag strips, oval circuits, European rally events and road courses. The book, written by Donald Farr, focuses on high performance muscle cars from the 1960s to 1973, including some cars that weren’t as well known.
Farr has edited Mustang Monthly magazine over 30 years, and has written several books on the subject of his favorite muscle car. In 2012 he was inducted into the Mustang Hall of Fame. This 176 page hardcover picture book is a welcome addition to the library of any Mustang or Ford muscle car lover. It is published by Motorbooks, and sells for $45.

Porsche 959
This limited edition (only 2,500 copies printed) of the Porsche 959 is a jewelry box containing three books with photos from the development of thee Porsche 959. If you have a Porsche collector or wanna-be collector on your Father’s Day list, this set would make a great gift. The set is divided into three books: A 210 page picture book with 140 photos by Munich photographer/designer Stefan Bogner; a Story Book written by Jurgen Lewandowski, and a 144-page Fact Book. Porsche expert Lewandowski compiles data, figures and drafts that show the technical genius of the Porsche 959. The set contains 418 pages in all, including 158 illustrations and photos.

Lewandowski was awarded a contract by Prof. Helmuth Bott, technical director of Porsche, in 1985. This gave the writer access to behind-the-scenes development by the engineers and test drivers. He was able to pass this firsthand knowledge along to his readers. Priced at $128, the beautiful set is published by Delius Klasing; for information visit their website at delius-klazing.de/.
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The Life: Harley Davidson
A book for the motorcycle enthusiast, this hardcover picture book is written by Darwin Holmstrom. He focuses on the lifestyle and freedom associated with riding a powerful motorcycle like the Harley-Davidson. Celebrity Harley riders like Elvis Presley, Peter Fonda and Arnold Schwartzenegger are profiled. But so are such iconic machines as the Sportster, Electra Glide, and Fat Boy. Custom Harleys like Bobbers and Choppers are also featured, along with gear, tattoos, and movies like “The Wild One” and “Wild Hogs.”

The Harley Davidson book is published by Motorbooks for their series The Life, priced at $30, available at any online retailer. Visit QuartoKnows.com for more information about any of The Life books.

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