D20 racing coupe at Monza

(photo by Mailander, courtesy of the Ludvigsen Archives)


Car Lover’s Library

So what car books for a desert island? Here are some favorites, first on Lancias, then books on other cars. These are the keepers:    

Lancia - The best books

Here’s a listing of my favorite Lancia books. (It starts with some shameless self-promotion!)

  1. -Lancia and De Virgilio, At the Center, Geoff Goldberg (truth to tell - this is my book, recently published. Along with the others below, it completes a history of Lancia in the 1940s and 1950s)

- Lancia Aurelia GT, Bernabo (the complete Aurelia book, in Italian only, but all the detail)

  1. -Lancia, the Shield and the Flag, Nigel Trow (see below - a favorite...)

  2. -La Lancia, Wim Oude Weernink (now in 3rd edition, complete history)

  3. -D24 e le Lancia Sport, Rosani (research on factory racing and how he made the D cars. Specific, yet wonderfully done. Slight problems with color plates)

Lancia - the Trow books:

The best Trow book is his earliest one, Lancia, the Shield and the Flag, which covers early Lancias up to the Flaminia. Trow then did five other books on Lancia, including Lancia Delta, Lancia Stratos, and more importantly, Lancia Racing. His last book was The Illustrated Lancia (Palawan Press, pricey, fine artwork) more of a visual read than the others.

Others on Lancia:

  1. -Lancia Aurelia in Detail, Neils Jonassen (reasonably complete English language account, with some minor issues)

  2. -La Storia della Lancia, 1906-1969, ed. Amatori (complete history w/ key production data)

  3. -Lancia, l’armonia e l’invenzione, by Felicioli  (wonderful show catalog, good text, images)

  4. -Lancia Parts Books, esp. Appia and Aurelias (great illustrations)

  5. -55 Years of Dirty Hands, published by Australian lancista, small book of Lancia writings by the engineer and mechanical wizard, Clive Beattie, both amusing and a manual on Aurelias.

  6. -Le Carte Scoperta (a comprehensive analysis of Lancia, especially financial, in Italian. Only when all other Lancia books have been worn out)

The Italian Lancia Club has a very good booklist of all the published books on Lancia as well.

The key books on Alfa Romeo:

  1. -Le Vetture Alfa Romeo della 1910, Fusi, 1st Edition  (the early edition has better graphics)

  2. -6C 1750, Fusi  (a wonderful, early single model read)

  3. -Alfa Romeo 6C; and another on the 8C, by Angela Cherrett  (definitive books on the early Alfas)

  4. -Alfa Romeo Tradition, Borgeson  (summary book, well written, with good engine data)

  5. -Le Alfa Romeo di Vittorio Jano, by Fusi, Ferrari and Borgeson  (sheer intuitive genius, treasured)

  6. -Alfa Romeo Veloce, the Racing Guiliettas, Hughes and da Prato  (they were there...)

  7. -Alfa Romeo, The Essence of Beauty, Felicioli  (another winner by this author)

  8. -Alfa Romeo Ferrari, Murray Rainey  (an unusual 8C and a hot rodder, hard to find)

Other books on Italian cars not to be missed:

- 40 years of Design at Fiat, Dante Giacosa  (fascinating, inside story, lots on 8V’s)

  1. -Imagini dall’Archivio Fiat, 1900-1940  (first of three volumes from Fiat’s amazing photo archives,  

   quite rare)

- Ferrari, Hans Tanner  (the early editions have a nicer feel and are less precious)

- Origins of the Ferrari Legend, Columbo  (how it really got started...)

  1. -Gilco, by Moretti  (on Gilberto Columbus, who made most tubular frames in Italy)

  2. -Italian Racing Red, Ludvigsen (racing history of Italian cars, part of a larger series)

  3. -Ferrari by Mailander, Ludvigsen (lovely presentation of a photo archive, part of a series)

  4. -Rivals, Lancia D50 and Mercedes W196, by Chris Nixon (both cars at about the same time)

In general, other books on cars from other countries:

- The Grand Prix Car, two volumes,  Pomeroy  (THE BOOK TO HAVE on racing, up to 1950’s)

- Golden Age of American Racing, Borgeson  (American racing heritage)

- The Miller Dynasty, Dees  (complete history of Harry Miller’s genius, by ex B20 owner)

- Grand Prix Bugatti, Conway  (or anything else by Conway on Bugattis)

- Automobile Design, 12 Great Designers and Their Work, Barker and Harding (Steady...)

- French Sports Car Evolution, Blight  (most learned understanding of the 1930s, very complete)

  1. -Bahnstormer (on BMW Motorcycles), Setright  (passion and knowledge in this small book) 

(revised 8.2014)