Father’s Day is June 19 this year and for fans of the automotive pursuits there isn’t a much better gift than a glossy, hardcover tome celebrating a favorite automaker. These books range from modern supercars to old classics, as well as design and fashion, sheetmetal and data.
Newsweek put together this list of new books for car-guy dads. All of them came out in the last few months and all would look excellent centered on a coffee table.
Best Car Books For Dad
For the supercar dad there are books on Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche. For the stylists we have design books looking at some of the most beautiful cars to come out of Detroit. There are even books for the motorsports fans and the data nerds. Restoring a Series I Land Rover isn’t easy.
Ford GT Anthology: A unique compilation of stories about these most iconic cars
by John Allen and Colin Graham Endeacott
This hardcover contains stories and pictures from the Ford GT40s early days of racing, though it’s not a history book, through individual stories on the design and development. It also looks at the rebirth of the supercar in 2005 and the naming controversy that followed. It dispels a few old myths, but creates a few more around one of Ford’s most important cars.
Glamour Road: Color, Fashion, Style, and the Midcentury Automobile
by Tom Dolle
This art and automotive book follows the story of how design and glamour became the focus of automotive styling and marketing starting in the 1940s. That’s the time period when the industry started changing the model design yearly, using the fashion concept of planned obsolescence. Some of the historic marketing material in the book hasn’t been published since it first came out.
Adventures in Ferrari-land Set
by Edwin K. Niles
For the Ferrari fan, this tome features author Niles encountering (and sometimes acquiring) rare vehicles from the storied brand, also touching on each car’s history. In one such story Niles recalls discovering a 1954 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe in an underground parking garage, getting a ride in it through Rome and immediately buying it. It has two volumes with the first being an inventory of Ferraris owned by Niles with photos, records and stories; the second volume is Niles’ writings about the brand.
Lola: The T70 and Can-Am Cars
by Gordon Jones
Motorsports enthusiasts will remember the Lola T70 as one of the most impressive race cars in one of the most impressive series in Can-Am. These cars featured big American V8 engines and were popular with the drivers and fans. It took Jones three decades to complete the book, which dissects not only the T70 but the models that followed.
MGB – The Superlative MG
by David Knowles
The British MGB was one of the most successful sports cars ever created and one of the inspirations for small roadsters like the Mazda MX-5 and Nissan Z today. The book features more than 620 archived and specially commissioned photographs including prototypes and sketches. It also follows the development of the Pininfarina-refined MGB GT, Ferranti MGB hardtop, MGB V8 and the MGC.
Lamborghini: At the Cutting Edge of Design
by Gautam Sen
This two-volume set is a love letter to the Lamborghini brand. It delves into the design history of the brand with previously unpublished documents and images, and looks at the people who made the brand what it is today. The set features more than 1,000 pictures of the beloved Miura, Espada, Urraco, Countach and Diablo, leading all the way to today’s Aventador and Huracan.
Fin Tales: Saving Cadillac, America’s Luxury Icon
by John Smith
This hardcover is a look into Smith’s 42 years at General Motors and how he helped inject new life into its Cadillac luxury brand. It also serves as a how-to guide for leading a business turnaround. Fin Tales is notable because it sees that turnaround not through the eyes of the top leadership, but from the middle.
The Volkswagen Golf Story
by Russell Hayes
This coffee table hardcover is for any Volkswagen fan and has been the definitive history of the Golf name for years. It features hundreds of pictures and stats, and this latest edition has been updated to include the full Volkswagen Golf 7 range, which ran from 2015 to 2021 in the U.S. It also previews the current Golf 8.
The Cars of BMC
by Graham Robson
The British Motor Corporation formed in 1952 as a merger of Morris Motors and Austin Motor Company. This 304-page hardcover starts there and doesn’t finish until its merger with British Leyland in 1968. It looks at the company’s legacy and achievements including deep looks at its many models.
Secrets of the Barn Find Hunter: The Art of Finding Lost Collector Cars
by Tom Cotter
Cotter has been looking for barn finds for decades, uncovering everything from pre-war classics to exotics. In the book he also offers tips for the newly minted hunter and shares the stories he’s found along his journey. The 208-page book offers loads of pictures from some of his favorite finds, along with some other collectors.
Porsche 550 Spyder
by Stefan Bogner and Glen Smale
Another coffee table art book, this one focuses solely on the Porsche 550 Spyder. In the ’50s the German company began building race cars, starting with the 1500 RS Spyder. It won the Targa Florio race along other several other major wins and podiums. The 550 Spyder was also the car actor James Dean was driving when killed in an accident, which is also looked at in this hardcover.
Audi RS: History • Models • Technology
by Constantin Bergander
The RS in Audi RS stands for Rennsport or “racing sport” meaning the vehicle has a focus on performance. This 256-page book meticulously tells the story of every RS model from the first Audi Avant RS2 in 1994, all the way to the electric RS e-tron GT of today. The book features more than 400 color photographs along with stories and characters from the RS brand.
The Mercedes-Benz: 300 SL Book
by Rene Staud and Jurgen Lewandowski
The 300 SL is one of Mercedes’ most famous sports cars, and its spirit still lives on today with the new SL Roadster wearing some of the same styling of the original. The book is based on author Staud’s famous automotive calendars and will feature the car in the context of stars like Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Alfred Hitchcock, all former owners.
Factory-Original Land Rover Series 1, 80-inch Models
by James Taylor
The Series I Land Rover is one of the world’s most chopped, repaired and customized vehicles on the planet, hence, finding an original is hard to do. This 160-page hardcover looks at the 80-inch models and features a detailed guide to the factory specs and equipment. The Land Rover was developed quickly, and updated regularly, this book dissects each piece for fans and owners looking to return a model to factory specification.
Detroit Steel Artists: How Edsel Ford, Ray Dietrich, Tom Hibbard, and Ralph Roberts Turned Motor City into a Styling Mecca Before Harley Earl
by Matthew Kilkenny
This 12-inch hardcover is about the stylists that put the Motor City on the map and the semi-custom car designs from makers like Le Baron and Dietrich, both of whom preceded the famous Harley Earl. Those designers butted heads with the brass over style, which is covered in this book whether they won or lost. It features more than 100 period photos of some of the most beautiful cars in the world.