Motoring history reference books


A fine selection of informative and heavily illustrated motoring history reference 

Highly useful whether purchased individually or as an excellent complementary resource to the archive DVDs


Classic Cars -Celebrating the Legends



By Tim Slade. 160 pages. Hard back

A handy hardbacked reference book which profiles many of the finest cars in history and also includes approximately 200 revealing photographs. Fun, useful and in informative. Includes colourful profiles of many great cars including the Ford Model T, Mini, MGB, Volkswagen Beetle, e-type Jaguar and many others

Cars -The Early Years



Text by Brian Laban. 350 pages

Fantastic photographic record of the early years of motoring. The book contains several hundred outstanding and highly evocative black and white photographs from the very earliest days of motor cars on the road to the new "modern" cars of the immediate post-war era. Also included are very detailed and informative captions for each photograph, as well as an informative text chronicling the development of the motor car in the early years. This is an excellent coffee-table reference book which will be referred to on a regular basis.

The Motor Industry of Britain Centenary Book 1896-1996


By various authors. 249 pages  (Over 500 illustrations)

This sumptuously illustrated guide to Britain's motor industry was jointly produced by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and Autocar magazine to celebrate the first 100 years of Britain's motor industry. It is packed with facts, figures, revealing old press photographs and advertisements, as well as providing ten detailed chapters of all the main motoring events which happened during the first 100 years. With only a limited number of copies of this excellent book remaining, it should be a must for anyone who has an interest in Britain's rich motoring heritage.

The British Motor Industry

By Jonathan Wood 64 Pages. Paperback



Austin, Hillman, Morris, Standard and Wolseley were a handful of the myriad marques that once constituted Britain’s indigenous motor industry. Born in 1896 into the high summer of Victorian prosperity, the native British industry survived until the collapse of The Rover Group in 2005. Jonathan Wood chronicles its 109-year life, from its production of hand-made bespoke automobiles for the fortunate few to the arrival of mass production to provide cars for the many. He looks at the factories and the people who worked in them, and examines the role played by the component manufacturers that serviced the industry. Wood offers explanations as to why motor manufacturing followed the British motorcycle, bicycle and cotton industries into oblivion.

Veteran Motor Cars



By Michael Ware. 32 Pages. Paperback

Veteran cars are those made not later than 1918 and were thus the earliest motor cars to appear on the roads of Britain. The first models basically comprised the frame and bodywork of a horse-drawn carriage fitted with a petrol engine, but during the period up to the First World War they became much more comfortable and efficient vehicles. This book describes how the motor car developed from its unpromising origins in the 1880s and 1890s, when motoring was mainly a hobby for wealthy eccentrics, until it came to be seen as a serious means of transport.

Vintage Motor Cars


By Bill Boddy. 32 Pages. Paperback

Some fascinating car makes and models were manufactured between 1919 and 1930, from crude cyclecars and light cars like the Austin Seven to Rolls-Royce luxury limousines and sports cars such as the Frazer Nash. In this book Bill Boddy covers the changing road conditions, the developing design and construction techniques of these vintage cars, and the races and other competition events that their drivers used them for, including the high-speed events at the famed Brooklands track. 

Motor cars of the 1930s



By Ian Dussek 32 Pages

The car came of age during the 1930s. It ceased to be a successor to the horse-drawn cart and no longer was it a rich man’s toy. This book charts the development made in the decade prior to the Second World War, during which the means of construction, materials, engineering and the companies themselves became established. Variety was the essence of the period and the public could take its pick from hundreds of models. It is a story of engineering improvement, the rationalisation of sales and service in vehicles and components, and of change even to the roads themselves.

Austerity Motoring 1939-1950



By Andrew Lane. 32 Pages. Paperback

As Britain entered the Second World War in September 1939, so too it entered the bleakest period in the history of its motor car. The 1940s was a time of war, deprivation and austerity, and, for almost a decade, car development stood still. Wartime motorists faced petrol and tyre rationing, the hazards of the blackout and restricted areas, but they provided invaluable service to the community. Peace in 1945 brought further austerity measures and restrictions as the British economy was dominated by the need to export. Most new cars were sent abroad, petrol rationing continued and the black market thrived. The British public was eager for new cars, however, and the 1948 Motor Show marked a turning point; twenty-one new models were exhibited, including the Jaguar XK120 and the Morris Minor.

British Family Cars of the 1950s and 60s



By Anthony Pritchard. 64 pages

With the end of the Second World War it was not long before increasing wealth, cheaper cars, and social pressures made a family car the aspiration of thousands. Ford, Hillman, Standard, Morris and Vauxhall became household names, and the streets of Britain’s suburbs began to fill with modern-looking saloon cars, designed to transport mother, father and 2.4 children with ease, if not speed. This highly-illustrated book looks at the British cars that were available to the post-war family, and also some of the foreign makes that had an important place in the market, and which had a great influence on the British-made cars that followed

Classic British Sports Cars (Hardback)

By John Pressnell. Hardback, 290 x 240mm, 128 pages, 250 colour & 50 b&w illustrations


A treat for all fans of British sports cars. Fifty-six open-top icon roadsters feature in this authoritiative, highly pictorial celebration of classic British sports cars, from the AC Ace to the Wolseley Hornet Special. Individual histories will place each car in perspective, describing its appeal, significance and driving characteristics. Also detailed for each one are models and variants, year-by-year evolution, specifications and performance figures. "A nicely presented appetiser to a vast subject"  Classic and Sports Car

A to Z of British sports and thoroughbred motor cars 1919-1939


By Nick Walker. 304 pages. 270mm x 210mm

  The sports car has always held a warm place in the hearts of British motorists, and even more in the two decades between the wars than now. In those days motoring was still an exciting experience - very exciting for those who had just acquired their first car. And doubly so for those young men - and it was usually men - whose first car was a sports car, be it a gleaming new MG or a third-hand GN. This book gives encyclopaedic coverage of all British sports and thoroughbred cars made in that 20-year period. More than 250 models are dealt with and illustrated by some 400 archive photographs. There is a short history of each marque, then each model is given a full description and specification together with commentary on its place in the motoring scene. Some - Aston Martin, Jaguar, Morgan - are still household names, but many others have fallen by the wayside. "A very useful well laid out reference work which provides an initial understanding of the development of each model" The Automobile

100 Years of Motoring -20th Century in Pictures


  By Tim Knowles  300 Pages

A fascinating coffee table motoring history reference book which features approximately 300 high-quality press photographs from the past 100+ years to chronicle motoring life in Britain as more cars arrived on the road.

It features everything from strange cars to motor racing, city streets, famous drivers, classic motoring scenes, motor shows and much more, along with detailed captions of each. A great book to have around and dip into.

Art Deco and British Car Design


  By Barrie Down. 144 Pages

The rarely told story of British car streamline styling. The book identifies the influence Art Deco had on automotive design and includes biographies of 1930s British automotive designers along with many illustrations of their work, including many pictures not published before. The book is divided into two parts, with the first explaining and illustrating Art Deco styling elements and the second part portraying the British streamlined production cars made between 1933 and 1936. The book is well illustrated and is an instructive and visual feast for all car lovers, especially anyone interested in British motoring history. "Author Barrie Down was an industrial designer and it shows in his thorough and knowledgeable text. Readable, informative and good value." Classic Cars

A to Z of British coach builders 1919-1960 (Hardback)

By Nick Walker. Hardback. 224 pages. 280mm x 210mm. Over 420 archive photos. Revised & Enlarged Edition

The re-issue of what is commonly regarded as the definitive work on coachbuilding on motor car chassis in Britain, and on the coachbuilders who plied this trade. This second edition contains not only revisions to existing entries but also new entries on 122 additional firms about which details have emerged. The author sets the scene by describing advances in fashions and techniques of coachbuilding in separate chapters on the 1920s, 1930s and the postwar period. Then comes by the main A-Z section, giving entries on firms from Abbey Coachworks to James Young. This is followed by two new sections: first, A-Z entries on 58 additional firms active in the 1919-39 period; and second, alphabetical coverage of 64 companies which came into coachbuilding after 1945. "I would strongly recommend this volume to anyone interested in the product of this once significant British industry" The Automobile

Motor Racing -the pursuit of victory 1930 -1962 (Hardback)


By Anthony Carter. 176 Pages

This wonderful coffee table book contains many excellent and previously unpublished photographs from the 1930s and the post war years showing many evocative motor racing scenes. It features the emergence of Jim Clark, Lotus, BRM and other leading drivers and cars of the period. This is a beautiful book that examines the many facets of motor racing in a much more innocent era, before wall-to-wall television coverage. It will enthral enthusiasts who have a passion for this era.