To ease your Holiday shopping needs, here are our top ten selections for books on the history of racing. Though there are history related books on our other Top Ten Shopping Lists, this selection consists of books that either didn't fall into any of those categories or pertain to defining moments in the history of the sport whether they have to do with drivers, events, series, or technology. If nothing here grabs your fancy, use the search box at the bottom. When you're done here, see our other Top Ten Shopping Lists.
Amédée Gordini: a true racing legend by Roy Smith
This is the story of a man, a team, and their life and times, as well as a complete record of all their achievements and failures. It logs the financial and personal cost of racing in the prewar and postwar periods. It tells of how the mighty car company Renault became involved with them in the late 1950s, and how Amedee Gordini became known throughout the world as one of the greatest engine tuners of his time.
Hardbound, 8-1/2 x 10 inches, 288 pages, 410 color and b&w photos.
The 1912 Milwaukee Races: Vanderbilt Cup and Grand Prize by Joel E. Finn
Finn examines how the year 1912 was a pivotal moment in American racing, when it was becoming evident that it would be difficult to run races on open roads much longer. Problems with crowd control, liability, the unpredictable costs of staging the events on public roads, and of course, the difficulty in capturing revenue from the attending crowds, were making it more and more difficult for organizers and host communities to run these prestigious races.
Hardbound, 12 x 9 inches, 213 pages, 200+ color and b&w photos.
Frank Lockhart: American Speed King by Sarah Morgan-Wu
The compellingly self-confident, handsome, gifted race driver, and mechanical genius named Frank Lockhart has long captured the imagination and curiosity of generations of automobile racing fans as a classic example of the "What if he had lived?" enigma. There remains even today a certain mystery about Frank's amazing talent and fearless driving ability.
Hardbound, 12 x 9 inches, 256 pages, 190 b&w illustrations.
Auto Racing Comes of Age: A Transatlantic View of the Cars, Drivers and Speedways, 1900-1925 by Robert Dick
"The author set out to provide the history of the evolution of European and American auto racing from 1900 to 1925, examining transatlantic influences, early dirt racing, and the birth of the twin-cam engine and the straight-eight. From a technical standpoint, he succeeded." Read the full review on AutoRacingHistory.com.
Hardbound, 7 x 10 inches, 312 pages, 139 b&w photos.
Mad for Speed: The Racing Life of Joan Newton Cuneo by Elsa A. Nystrom
Covers Joan Newton Cuneo's life and her role (from 1905 to 1915) as the premier female racer in the United States and spokeswoman for women drivers and good roads. Beginning with her family history and marriage to Andrew Cuneo, it traces her life in New York society, the birth of her children, and Joan's growing interest in automobile touring and racing and partnership with Louis Disbrow, her racing mechanic.
Hardbound, 7 x 10 inches, 232 pages, 47 photos.
The Bluebird and the Dead Lake: The Classic Account of how Donald Campbell broke the World Land Speed Record by John Pearson
John Pearson's classic book about Donald Campbell is an extraordinarily compelling and moving portrait of a modern tragic hero, fighting a battle with inhospitable elements and the outer limits of technology - and, above all, with himself.
Softbound, 5-1/4 x 7-2/4 inches, 204 pages.
Motor Racing: The Pursuit of Victory 1963-1972 by Steve Wyatt and Anthony Carter
Moving year by year, this book is written from the perspective of a passionate motor sport enthusiast of the day. Exciting, dramatic, sometimes tragic events are described on the spot, as seen over the driver or mechanic’s shoulder. These are the events that often made headline news the following day, complemented by stunning, previously unpublished photographs.
Hardbound, 10 x 10 inches, 272 pages, 411 color and b&w photos.
History's Greatest Automotive Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed by Matt Stone and Preston Lerner
Rumors, myths, and fantastic stories have swirled around the automobile since the first car appeared over 100 years ago. This book compiles a juicy selection covering subjects from racing to automakers, crime to pop culture, and historical to modern day. The answers may not be what you think.
Hardbound, 6-1/4 x 9-1/4 inches, 256 pages, 68 color and 80 b&w photos.
The History of Motor Sport: A Case Study Analysis by David Hassan
This book examines the evolution of motor sport from its creation in central Europe, throughout the rest of the continent and elsewhere, including in both North and South America. It was published as a special issue of the International Journal of the History of Sport.
Softbound, 6-3/4 x 9-3/4 inches, 160 pages.
Doctor on the Grid by Tony Goodwin
Dr. Tony Goodwin's autobiography should be an inspiration for anyone who believes their quest to go motor racing has been thwarted by lack of funds or opportunity. His life story proves that a combination of passion, determination, adrenaline, relentless energy and endurance, while being prepared to suffer discomfort and at times to indulge in the life of a nomad, was all it took to indulge in the seemingly impossible.
Hardbound, 8-1/2 x 10-1/4 inches, 184 pages, 150 color and b&w photos.