20/12/2010

"20th Century Cars"

by Hilton Holloway & Martin Buckley

Subtitled "The Complete Guide to the Century's Classic Automobiles", this book provides a brief history and photograph on each of almost 400 cars from Europe and the US over the twentieth century. The choice of cars is mostly straightforward, although there are some glaring omissions - for example, the Bentley 3 Litre that won Le Mans twice in the 1920s, or the original Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, in both cases the cars that established their makers' reputations. In fact, there are very few pre-Second World War cars in the book at all, something that makes me wonder whether this book is in fact just a quick update to Buckley's earlier book The Encyclopaedia of Classic Cars, which covers the period 1947 - 1975.

The photos are mostly good quality and the text is usually informative, although it could have done with better editing as occasionally it contradicts itself. Overall, it's a good overview of classic cars for someone with passing interest or a young person wishing an introduction.

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