Looking for good “car reads?” Try these

4 Jan 2011 | 1,786 views | No Comment
It's 2011, and time to get over the post-holiday doldrums by checking out some new books about cars. Some of the best to cross our desk at Automobile Journal are all about some of your favorite brands: Corvette, Porsche, and Jaguar.  Is that enough to light your fire on these upcoming cold winter days? Let's start off with a bang with the new "Jaguar: All the Cars" Second Edition" by Nigel  Thorley. Thick, substantial, packed with pictures of every description and invaluable information that frankly, we've never seen before, this is an indispensable guide that every Jaguar owner and fan will want to have on the old bookshelf.  And, we might add, it's a terrific reference book if, like us, you have the privilege of writing about Jaguars every now and then.    Great pains have been taken by the author to mention every possible diffferentiation between model years and series, even if they are small ones.  You'll never again have a problem figuring out which variation you have, or whether you have restored your beloved Jaguar to authentic factory specs and equipment.   There also are plenty of clues to help you identify interiors and components for each model year. Though the pictures are small in many cases, they are nonetheless, informative and fun to look at.   Intricate information such as color schemes for every year since the beginning, price and production figures also are included in the text. The book, published by Haynes Publishing, is availabe from Motorbooks, an imprint of MBI Publishing Company, and costs $42.95. Another book we loved is "Legendary Corvettes: 'Vettes Made Famous On Track and Screen," by famed auto writer Randy Leffingwell and photos by Dave Wendt Randy has an accessible, easy to read and enjoy writing style, and he's able to include technical inhformation in a way that doesn't come across too obscure or boring for people who aren't into the nuts and bolts end of the car hobby and there's plenty of detail and behind the scenes material that will be new for readers--not an easy feat when you consider how many books out there have been written about Corvettes. As for the cars, you'll see some that will be familiar, but even more that will pique your curiosity for the very first time.  Cars that are included in the book are the turquoise 1960 Vette driven by the stars of the "Route 66" TV show, a baby boomer favorit; the last Corvette made in St.Louis, the 1981  number 31611 coupe; the 2009 ZR1 "Blue Devil," the 1963 Corvetrte Sting Ray ZO6,  the 1959 Experimental Research Vehicle 1, and plenty of others. There are 18 profiled in all.  And a word about the photos: Gorgeous. Just gorgeous.  And there's a nice poster included inside the removable book cover. The book, is available from Motorbooks,  and retails for $35.00.  If you're anything like most of the staffers at Automobile Journal, you've probably dreamed of the day when you can afford a used Porsche.  Nice dream, huh?  But you may wonder if you have the information, the background and contacts to buy a good used one.  After all, each year of the make has its own personality, quirks, and style, and you sure don't want to buy one that's all wrong for you. "The Affordable Porsche: The Complete Guide to Buying and Running a Low Cost Porsche" by Iain Ayre is a perfect book for you for any number of reasons. It's comprehensive, yet a quick read, and eacha chapter includes an affordability rating and lots of useful information from owners of each particular year's models.  You'll  learn about maintenance and repairsproduction figrues "Hands On: The Expert's  View" which provides lots of invaluable pointers, and of course lots of lavish illustrations.   Just about all model years up through the 1990s are included and the variety of Porsches include 911s, Boxsters, 356s, replicas and plenty of other examples. And even though the book is a British one, U.S. prices are included as well.  There's also a great chapter with lots of helpful ionformation that applies to all Porsches.  Nothing is left to chance here; you'll walk away feeling pretty well informed if you are planning to buy a used Porsche--or even if you aren't yet in the market. The book is written in a breezy and conversational style by Iain Ayre, and retails for $34.95. It's available from Motorbooks as well.    You'll find more information on these and many other auto related books at the Motorbooks website, www.motorbooks.com.

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