Citroen DS, book cover

Classic Car and Motor Racing Books

There are times when classic car enthusiasts cannot get into the garage and there are no shows so books will help them through such quiet times.

During the winter even the most committed garagiste will face times when it is too cold to work in the garage and with no shows to attend they will spend times as armchair enthusiasts.They will need something to tide them through those long, dark evenings. Now then is to look for books on to put on one’s Christmas list or to choose titles for that close special enthusiast.

In suggesting books as gifts the aim has been to find titles which are special in presentation or scope and cover a range of budgets. They need real substance to last beyond the holiday. All the books here will be revisited frequently to answer questions or simply to enjoy them again.

They are all well written, cover the subject in some depth and are well illustrated.

British Racing Green, Italian Racing Red - National Histories of International Motor Racing

Italian Racing RedBritish Racing GreenWherever allegiance lies these two books provide a comprehensive history of British or Italian motor racing from its inception in 1900. Each book explains and uses the national racing colours as their theme. They are structured by team or manufacturer and are pacy, narrative histories of builder, drivers and competition success for the respective country. Importantly they do not forget the designers and engineers without whom the technological innovations would not have happened.

Either or both these books would be well received as a gift for the enthusiast interested in the history of the car and motorsport. Two more: French Racing Blue and German Racing Silver are also available.

British Racing Green (ISBN: 978-0-7110-3332-0) and Italian Racing Red (ISBN: 978-0-7110-3331-3) are published by Ian Allan Publishing ( at £24.99.


Italian Auto Legends - A Pictorial History

Italian Auto LegendsAt first sight Italian Auto Legends looks to be simply a book of photographs but each car is supported by a page of text that describes its features and place in Italian automotive history. This book complements Italian Racing Red whose illustrations are contemporary and, in many cases, of racing actionwhereas the photographs in Italian Auto Legends’ are modern. Tthe cars are superbly lit but static and displayed as works of art.

It demonstrates that whilst the soul of Italian cars may originate with their racing cars it carries through to their road-going cars. Even the most modest cars, such as the Fiat Topolino or 500, share that pedigree.

Superbly photographed, Italian Auto Legends - Classics of Style and Design provides an opportunity to admire the best of Italian automotive design. The exquisite photographs are by Michael Zumbrunn and the supporting text is by Richard Heseltine.

Italian Auto Legends (ISBN: 13-978-1-8589-4431-9).is published at £12.99 by Merrell (

Citroen DS – Design Icon

From Italian legends to perhaps the most iconic car from France, the legendary Citroen DS. It is difficult to imagine the impact it must have made at the Paris Motor Show of 1955. Indeed if it had not been launched until the 21st century it would still have had a huge impact as no other car has taken forward a similar design approach. Compared with modern high-tailed euroboxes it is still striking and elegant.

Citroen DS – Design by Malcolm Bobbit is a detailed history of the ID and DS models and makes a great read for anyone interested in Citroens, DS, design or automotive technology – classic car enthusiasts and students of design.

It tells the story of a legendary car that probably only Citroen could have built. It is well illustrated with many contemporary working sketches, marketing materials and photographs . The paper and printing does it full justice especially as it is available as a luxury leather bound edition with gilt-edged pages and marbled end-papers at £350 with six weeks delivery – a very special gift.

Citroen DS ( ISBN: 1-904788-30-0) is published by Veloce Publishing ( at £34.99 ($64.95) with a small charge for post and packaging.

More Gift Book Ideas

There is a selection of more gift books here and further gift ideas here.



First appeared on Suite101

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