\Catalogue of British Cars

Winter is a time for classic car fans to catch up on their reading. Here are comprehensive catalogues of British cars and histories of the very British Jaguar marque.

There is a British theme to the current selection of books. They will all make great gifts for the fan of British classic cars.

Key References for Historian

The first two books provide a key resource for anyone interested in British motoring history. Individually or together they form a starting point for research or to resolve questions relating to particular car manufacturers or models.

The Complete Catalogue of British Cars 1895-1975

The scope of this book is impressive and it is difficult to imagine that any relevant car has been missed. It includes a reference to the 1904 Celer, only one of the three made survives, and covers the specialist cars of the 1950s, 60s and 70s such as Rochdale, Unipower and Davrian.

Inevitably with such wide coverage detail on each model is constrained but each manufacturer has a brief history, a table of models with technical and production details and black and white photographs. The authors acknowledge that in this revised edition “completeness” may not be as readily established as it was for the original edition in 1974. This is due to the globalisation of car manufacturing but this catalogue is still an impressive piece of work.

For any car enthusiast or motoring historian this book would be a valuable initial reference or as resource to settle arguments.

The Complete Catalogue of British Cars 1895-1975(ISBN: 978-1-874105-93-0) by David Culshaw and Peter Horrobin is published by Veloce Publishing (www.veloce.co.uk) at £30 (plus carriage if bought direct)

The Enthusiasts Guide to Buying a Classic British Sports Car

Buying British Sports Car by Peter HingstonThis book starts by describing an extensive five point plan for choosing, buying and negotiating for a classic post-war sports car.

It has descriptions of all the British sports car built before 1982 including the small-run specialist models. All are supported with descriptions of typical problems and how they can be checked or whether specialist support is advisable.

A detailed 100-point checklist guides the buyer through the inspection process. With the model specific checks this will enable the purchaser to make an informed choice or, for the novice or more complex car, lead them to use professional support. Either way it will help the buyer avoid expensive mistakes and should be treated as essential reading.

The Enthusiasts Guide to Buying a Classic British Sports Car (ISBN: 978-0-906555-25-5) by Peter Hingston is published by Hingston Publishing (www.hingston-publishing.co.uk) at £22.95.

Histories of Jaguar: from Sidecars to Le Mans and Formula One

These next two titles feature Jaguar but they adopt different and complementary approaches to describing the history.

The Rise of Jaguar

The Rise of Jaguar by Barrie ProceBarrie Price covers the early years of Jaguar as it developed from a motorcycle sidecar builder, through coachbuilding, to an established maker of complete cars. The Rise of Jaguar covers the period from 1928 to the move to the new factory at Brown's Lane in 1951; the so-called “Standard Years" . The book is a detailed history of that period and chronicles the rise of Swallow and its metamorphosis into Jaguar.

The technical detail may make this book a bit esoteric for the general reader but for Jaguar enthusiasts with an interest in the pre-1950 cars it will be fascinating insight into the people, the design process and relationships with other companies.

The Rise of Jaguar (ISBN: 978-1-874105-93-0) by Barrie Price is published by Veloce Publishing (www.veloce.co.uk) at £37.50 or $69.95 in USA (plus carriage if bought direct). Like all Veloce books it is available in a leather bound collector’s edition at £350 with six week delivery.

Jaguar, The Complete Story

Jaguar, the Complete Story by Heiner Stertkamp This is a massive work, both content and size, and is lavishly produced in full colour and reflects the author’s passion for Jaguar. It is a definitive and readable history of the marque.

Jaguar, the Complete Story covers the history from the earliest day in the 1920s through to 2007. It includes the people, the engineering and the development of the models. The highs and lows as Jaguar passed though changing ownership are covered as are motorsport successes, in rallying and at Le Mans, and the less successful foray into grand prix racing between 2000 and 2004.

The final part will satisfy the most pedantic historian as it tabulates all the models from Austin-Swallow to the current range with technical details and chassis numbers/VIN. Also provided are project codes, paint codes, trim colours and interpretation of Vehicle Identification Numbers.

This book will be appreciated by any enthusiast long after receiving it as a gift.

Jaguar, the Complete Story (ISBN: 978-0-7603-3447-8) by Heiner Stertkamp is published at £40 ($75 USA) by Motorbooks (www.motorbooks.com)

Gifts that Last

All these books will be used well beyond the holiday season as all have substantial and definitive content to satisfy the enthusiast and historian.

There other reviews of potential gift books and more gift books on these links.


Fist appeared on Suiote101

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