What are you going to get your car-and-motoring-obsessed loved one this Christmas? If you’re out of ideas, we reckon you could do worse than that old standby, the car book. It’s the ideal gift for them to cherish forever/drop some Christmas pudding on/have a quick look at, then store next to last year’s Christmas book [delete as applicable].
And to that end, we’ve researched the ideal books for five different types of car lovers. If you get your skates on, you can still get one before Christmas.
The car book for people who are proud to be boring
What makes someone boring? Is it instagramming pictures of yourself pouting at the phone, interspersed with inspirational quotes? Of course not, silly! Boring people are those who enjoy accumulating knowledge about things – apparently.
If someone you love is boring enough to want to know trivial facts about cars, then you need to buy them A Medium-Sized Book of Boring Car Trivia. Filled full of uninteresting facts about cars and driving, this low-priced little wonder will keep any self-respecting car nerd armed to the teeth with useless information.
The car book for people who’ve abandoned their dreams
So, it’s finally sunk into your loved one’s head that they’re never going to be swapping numbers with the A-listers, or partying on Branson’s private island, or buying a $25,000 dog kennel.
And more to the point, they’re never going to own that dream car. You know, the one they’ve salivated over on endless YouTube clips. The one that was on their bedroom wall as a kid.
But never mind, now there’s something almost as good – the Sports Car Coloring Book. For just £7.45 (and free postage if you’ve got Prime), your loved one can happily colour in accurately rendered pics of 45 iconic cars, including the Dodge Challenger, Aston Martin Superleggera, and Datsun Cherry*.
Now they can have almost all of the advantages of having their dream machine, without the real-life ownership hassles (like how they could fit all of J-Lo’s luggage in the boot).
*OK, the Datsun’s not really in there, more’s the pity.
The car book for people with more money than sense.
What book do you get if both you and your loved one have almost infinitely more money than sense? The answer is the Bentley Centenary Opus, produced in 2019 to celebrate 100 years of the luxury marque. You can read more about it here or here.
There is no doubt that it’s a jaw-dropping beauty of a book. It’s 800 pages are filled with sumptuous photos. Even the cheapo version gets a cover made from Bentley leather. Weighing in 66 pounds, your servant is going to have a job carting it around.
Three different versions of the book were published. The cheapest is the Centenary version, which was originally available for $3800. The Mulliner Edition, of which just 100 were made, was $16,000.
However, we recommend going the whole hog and opting for the diamond-encrusted 100 Carat Edition. This was originally priced at $255,000, but we expect that it’s risen in value since then. Only seven were ever released, so if you want one for Christmas, you’ll need to get a move on. Facebook Marketplace is your best bet.
The car book for easily pleased old codgers
If you’re knocking on a bit, you may remember a series of films entitled Confessions of a… (e.g. Window Cleaner, Driving Instructor, Pop Performer, etc.) These cinematic masterpieces offered 1970s movier-goers lots of boobs, bonking, and views of lead actor Robin Askwith’s bottom.
However, banish such images from your mind if you buy your loved one Under the Bonnet: Confessions of a 1970s and ’80s Car Mechanic. Within its 160 pages, you’re more likely to find anecdotes about mechanic-related pranks and unsafe working practices. As one Amazon reviewer tells us:
This is certainly a book for those who wondered what working in the motor industry was really like in the heyday of the 1970s and ’80s.
Meanwhile, a second reviewer comments:
Not bad. Easy read.
But bear in mind that more demanding readers may be disappointed, as we see in review no. 3:
thought there would be more workshop banter and humour but it was often just a dry description of how you remove a clutch etc.
Putting the three reviews together, we surmise that if you know an easily pleased old codger with a mild interest in 40-year-old tales of motor maintenance, this could be the book for them.
The car book for motorsport literary snobs
If your loved one likes motorsport, but hates terrible writing, getting a suitable Christmas book could be a challenge. After all, there’s so much for the discerning reader to turn his nose up at. Take this review on a Motorsport fans’ forum for The Formula One Young Guns:
…a piece of terrible hackwork attempting to make a bunch of contemporary identikit personality-free Formula Pushy Dad clones who’ve been karting since they were in nappies into “personalities”.
And poor old Nigel Mansell’s autobiography gets a slating too:
Surely Mansell – The People’s Champion by Nige and James Allen is worth a mention here [as the worst motorsport book ever]. Certainly as worst autobiography – EVER, and not just limited to F1 either…
Fortunately, there are also some good choices. We’ve looked through a bunch of review sites and these titles keep coming up as engaging and well-written:
- How to Build a Car – Adrian Newey
- Stirling Moss: My Cars, My Career – Stirling Moss with Doug Nye
- A Race with Love and Death – Richard Williams
- To Hell and Back – Niki Lauda
So there you go, a plethora of motoring Christmas books for the self-styled literary critic to choose from.
We know what you’re thinking… how can you ever repay us for this invaluable Christmas book advice?
Well, if you’re in the South Wales area, that’s easy! Just consider using our garage for your services, repairs and MOTs. We are an independent garage specialising in the VW group marques, including Audi, Volkswagen, Skoda and SEAT. WVS provides a main dealer level of care at affordable prices. To book your vehicle in, or for any enquiries, get in touch.
The WVS blog covers a wide range of automotive topics, from the contentious to the light-hearted. And by the way, have a great Christmas.