Something about the pictures in The Art of the Classic Sports Car, written by Stuart Codling with photography by James Mann, makes the featured cars seem like so much more than transportation. They are works of art. For most of us, a car is a means to get from point A to point B. But when a special car drives by and catches your eye, the aesthetics and engineering and sheer fun make you forget about practicality.
Focusing primarily on mid-twentieth century sports cars, The Art of the Classic Sports Car covers makers you know and makers you might not (at least that I didn't know). Some of these might be seen prowling your neighborhood streets--I still see 240Zs from time to time--but most of them will only be seen in a museum or auction house. A couple of these have sold in recent years for millions.
The text is interesting, giving some history, anecdotes, and technical information about each model. But the stars of the show are the photos. The cars are pristine, and the photos bring out their glory. I love the fact that these cars, for the most part, are not "luxuirious" as we tend to think of cars today, with the bells and whistles that tend to be superfluous. The luxury is in the clear craftmanship and love of design that is reflected.
If you are a car lover, pick up this book, but before you do be prepared for your heart to race a little. You might also want your wife to change the passwords on your bank account, too, so you can't give in to the tempation to run out and try to find one of these beauties to buy.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!