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If there is one thing, and only one thing, that hanging around car enthusiasts has taught me, it's that gearheads love to learn about cars. Every aspect of them is fascinating, from the car companies that no longer exist to the little features that get added to each machine.
Nowhere is the thirst for knowledge stronger than in the classic car community. This is a community that prizes knowledge and will often have members flex about how much they know about cars.
In a community where knowledge is power, getting awesome books about classic cars is a great way to make sure you can talk with the greats. That's what makes books a wonderful gift for the classic car fan in your life—or for yourself!
The Complete Book of Ford Mustang by Mike Mueller
If there's one car that is cherished among classic muscle car fans, it's the Ford Mustang. It's the pony car that took America by storm with its gorgeous build and plentiful horsepower. Understandably, quite a few books about classic cars are dedicated to this illustrious line of machines.
The Complete Book of Ford Mustang is one of the best book series for Mustang fans. This series covers every single Mustang, ever since the first one rolled off factory lots. You will love seeing the models evolve and learning about the best pony car to ever exist.
The Ultimate Classic Car Book by Quentin Wilson
Quentin Wilson set out with a single mission when he wrote The Ultimate Classic Car Book. He wanted to create a fully illustrated guide to the most famous classic cars of all time. He succeeded, too.
From the breathtaking Mercedes Gullwing to the very first Porsche 911, The Ultimate Classic Car Book lives up to its name for people who adore reading up on trivia about the greatest cars of yesteryear. It's nothing short of a treasure trove of knowledge.
Over 100 different cars are featured in these pages, complete with all the details about their release and reception. If you love classics, chances are that you'll find your favorite car in this book.
Million Dollar Classics by Martin Derrick and Simon Clay
There's something super special about seeing a car that's worth a million dollars—doubly so if it's a classic car that has an amazing pedigree. Though rare, there are some classic cars that clock in at over $1 million in price at auto auctions.
Million Dollar Classics takes a look at the rarest, most innovative cars that have existed. The trivia is fascinating, but the photos inside this book are really what steal the show. If you're a fan of breathtakingly pretty pictures of extremely rare cars, you need to get this book.
My Dad Had That Car: A Nostalgic Look at the American Automobile, 1920-1990 by Tad Burness
Do you remember the station wagons your dad drove while you were young? Or, do you recall hearing about how he drove a Chevy in the 50s? Most car fans, at one point or another, have gone to a classic car show and said, "Hey, my dad had that car!"
It's just a thing that happens, and it's part of the reason why classic car shows drum up as much nostalgia as they do. Tad Burness does an amazing job of creating a book dedicated to "dad cars" from the good old days.
This book is all about the cars that guys drove back in the day, complete with stats. If your dad loves cars and loves to reminisce about the cars he's had, then My Dad Had That Car is the best gift you can give his grease monkey self.
Porsche 911: 50 Years by Randy Leffingwell
When it comes to exotic cars that remain popular among racers and rally fans, the Porsche 911 is in a class of its own. Its beautiful frame and massive power have become synonymous with sports cars. That's why you need to know some things before buying the Porsche 911, and why it's a car model that has lasted 50 years.
Porsche 911 is a massive compendium on all things related to the Porsche 911 make. Every year is displayed, every little tweak to its design mentioned, and every reason why Porsche drivers rule is celebrated at length in this massive tome.
The Porsche 911 has managed to last for 50 years and shows no sign of slowing down. Randy Leffingwell's homage to this famous car model definitely does it justice.
Lamborghini Supercars by Stuart Codling
Supercars can be classic cars too, you know! Though these probably didn't show up in your dad's garage, these gorgeous supercars still churn up huge amounts nostalgia in many gearheads' minds.
Stuart Codling compiled a book of the best classic cars Italian car designer Lamborghini ever made. Everything from the Miura to the Diablo can be found in this book—and their photos are in absolutely breathtaking color.
That being said, this isn't exclusively a book about classic cars. Modern models and the company's first hypercars also make a very welcome appearance here.
Art of the Hot Rod by Ken Gross
Hot rods and classic car fandoms go together like peanut butter and jelly. They're a part of classic car culture simply because they represent a time when shadetree mechanics could fix your car, or even build you a new one.
Hot rods are, for the most part, a dying category of cars. They are a product of a time that is quickly being forgotten, which is why they deserve to be immortalized the way they are.
If you want to look at books about classic cars built by hand, Art of the Hot Rod is a title you absolutely should grab.
Studebaker: The Complete History by Patrick Foster
When classic car fans hear of the name "Studebaker," they instantly have respect for what's going on. Studebaker is the name of one of the best car manufacturers that we all wish would come back into action. It was a car company that had class, excellent car design, and a serious run of bad business decisions.
Studebaker: The Complete History relives the inspiring and tragic story of the Studebaker car company from start to finish. You'll fall in love the cars, and feel your heart break as you learn all the things you didn't know about Studebaker.
Muscle Car Barn Finds by Ryan Bruitt
For reasons beyond human understanding, there have been a huge number of abandoned cars that have been found abandoned in barns and derelict buildings. These cars, once repaired, often sell at spectacularly high prices to collectors who will show them the love they deserve.
Muscle Car Barn Finds uncovers real muscle cars and sports cars that were found in barns across the globe. Whether it's interesting stories of how they came back to life, or the quirky ways they were discovered, Bruitt knows how to tell fascinating tales about cars that grip attention.
This is one of the best books about classic cars for people who love to see old cars get revived, and who doesn't love a feel good story when they're reminiscing?
The Art of the Automobile by Dennis Adler
There's something to be said about looking at the best cars ever made. It's an experience that gives you a sense of wonder about the magic of engineering—an inspirational experience for anyone who has yearned to have their own wonder car.
The Art of the Automobile is all about that feeling, and brings to light the 100 best cars ever made, complete with stories, images, and stats. If you love cars, you will adore this book.