Every person’s library should have a list of great books, especially on topics that they don’t usually relate to. This is a great way to expand your mind, and as petrolheads, we’re always a fan of expanding our minds. How else could we absorb so much information about the inner workings of a vehicle, and reliably maintain one? The following list details the best books written about cars, motorcycles, or the generalized automotive experience. What better way to pass the time while waiting for your engine to be refitted?
The DeLorean Story: The Car, the People, the Scandal. – Nick Sutton
The name ‘DeLorean’ brings up memories of Back To The Future and the adventures through time of Marty McFly, but this book is more focused on the actual history of the car model and company behind it. Unfortunately, it’s a tragic tale, as the DeLorean, despite its striking looks and interesting materials used to build it, such as a stainless steel body, the company sold less than 10,000 units and went into bankruptcy. The actual figure of DeLorean was also accused of drug smuggling and fraud allegations, which didn’t help serve his business aims. This book includes content that has yet to be seen elsewhere and provides a brilliantly engaging if tragic historical journey through the history of the iconic car.
Form Follows Function: The Art of the Supercar – Stuart Codling
Supercars are and always have been a statement of excess. They’re not incredibly road-worthy, some don’t even drive particularly well, but what they lack in practicality they make up for in pure speed, architectural design, and the simply named ‘wow factor.
This book features beautiful photography by James Mann and includes some of the most evocative and intriguing perspectives of these supercars, that those who don’t look closely could miss. Truly a book for the supercar aficionado, or just someone who just generally enjoys celebrating bold statements, of which a supercar is a prime example.
Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M. Pirsig
Notoriously rejected by multiple publishers before it grew to fame, Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is both a philosophical and quasi-spiritual text about meaning and pure logic and the causality that links them both. With a deep knowledge of the fundamental workings of classical mechanics and how they relate to Motorcycles, the book will satisfy anyone with a philosophically inclined mind, alongside the most involved motorcycle users.
Pirsig was the cause of much media celebration thanks to this novel, and his recent death has only reconfirmed the importance of this book. A truly great read if embarking on a road trip, as the motorcycle road trip between Pirsig and his son is the narrative through with the incredible narrative is framed. Travelling with adverse weather conditions would also lend significance to this novel. To see how to navigate those weather conditions with a practical outlook, check thyblackman.com
These three books will help anyone gain an insight into the beauty, tragedy and pure interest of which automotive vehicles and travel experiences are capable of. Read them on holidays, read them while getting your car’s roadworthiness checked, and keep them in your car storage. You’ll never know when an impromptu service stop will allow you to reflect and relax in the vehicle you love you much.