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7 New Automotive History Books for Your Winter TBR Pile

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Photo: Nenad Stojkovic via CC BY 2.0

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Need a good read to while away the long winter evenings? Check out these recently published automotive history books. Whether you’re into racing, tech, design, or even true crime, you’re sure to find a title to keep you absorbed as the temperatures fall and the snow piles up.

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The Car: The Rise and Fall of the Machine That Made the Modern World by Bryan Appleyard

Product Details: 320 pages (hardcover)

Publication Date: Sept. 6, 2022

Publisher: Pegasus Books

For better and for worse, the car has shaped our lives, changed our planet, and dominated our culture. Bryan Appleyard’s concise yet sweeping history hits all the highlights and lowlights of what motor vehicles have wrought, keeping readers engaged the whole way through with deep research and an eye for entertaining details.

Survival of the Fastest: Weed, Speed, and the 1980s Drug Scandal That Shocked the Sports World by Randy Lanier (with A.J. Baime)

Product Details: 336 pages (hardcover)

Publication Date: Aug. 2, 2022

Publisher: Hachette Books

Few thriller writers would dare make up the story that Randy Lanier actually lived. This can’t-put-down memoir tells it all: His origins as a marijuana smuggler and race car builder, his drug-funded rise to racetrack fame in the 1980s, his dramatic downfall and life prison sentence, and his eventual redemption.

Shelby American: The Renegades Who Built the Cars, Won the Races, and Lived the Legend by Preston Lerner

Product Details: 320 pages (hardcover)

Publication Date: Aug. 16, 2022

Publisher: Octane Press

If you’re seeking a single in-depth read about the exploits of Shelby American, look no further. Packed with details, exhaustively researched, and grippingly written, this book is a must for anyone wanting to go beyond the mythology and learn the facts about Carroll Shelby’s legendary team of auto designers, builders, and racers.  

Long Hard Road: The Lithium-Ion Battery and the Electric Car by Charles J. Murray

Product Details: 328 pages (hardcover)

Publication Date: Sept. 15, 2022

Publisher: Purdue University Press

The product of futuristic visions, dramatic scientific breakthroughs, and intensive business calculations, the lithium-ion battery holds the key to creating affordable long-range electric vehicles. Long Hard Road tells the dramatic story of how this technology was developed — and where it might go next.

50 First Victories: NASCAR Drivers’ Breakthrough Wins by Al Pearce and Mike Hembree

Product Details: 244 pages (hardcover)

Publication Date: July 31, 2022

Publisher: Octane Press

Ever wondered how your favorite NASCAR star broke through to success? This book takes a closer look at how 50 of the sport’s best drivers won their first races, going behind the scenes to tell little-known stories about icons like Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, and many others.

Glamour Road: Color, Fashion, Style, and the Midcentury Automobile by Jeff Stork and Tom Dolle

Product Details: 256 pages (hardcover)

Publication Date: March 28, 2022

Publisher: Schiffer

This beautifully illustrated book explores how automakers took cues from the fashion industry after World War II, using design and styling to create interest, follow trends, and market vehicles to the women who represented a powerful new consumer spending force in postwar America.


Auto America: Car Culture 1950s-1970s by John G. Zimmerman

Product Details: 224 pages (hardcover)

Publication Date: Oct. 25, 2022

Publisher: Rizzoli

As seen in America’s most popular magazines throughout the mid-20th century, John G. Zimmerman’s striking automotive photography helped define an era of classic vehicles and ascendant car culture. Many of his most iconic images are collected — and contextualized — in this handsome and informative book.