Legendary Race Cars

There comes a time in the day to put down the Haynes or the Bentley repair guides. There is also a time to close the browser window and step away from the computer (though only for a little bit please). Do you have to fill that time with family? No! You can spend that time reading books about cars. We are launching a new segment here at Hooniverse, where we explore what is available and relevant in the literary world. You are in for a treat because the first book on the agenda is one that covers a topic any car nut can argue about for hours – Legendary Race Cars by Basem Wasef. Basem, who previously published the equally awesome Legendary Motorcycles and is the motorcycle authority at About.com, has traveled the world to photograph the true icons of the automotive racing world. These vehicles, which range from the 1911 Marmon Wasp (first ever winner of the Indianapolis 500) to the Audi Sport Quattro S1 (which redefined how the WRC and Pikes Peak could be run), are splayed out over the course of 175 large glossy pages that come and go far too quickly. Given up close access to the vehicles and the people who either now own or previously raced them Basem provides the wonderful history of each vehicle. He does so in a manner that provides an easy read due to the brevity of each passage yet provides glorious details into just what makes each vehicle special. His access to the machines and the people that knew them was so encompassing… that Sir Sterling Moss actually provides the foreword. As I said, the book itself is a quick read – but the part that you will keep coming back to are the excellent photographs. Basem was able to obtain some classic racing shots that help to establish just how crazy some of these drivers truly were. Shots such as the Ecurie Ecosse D-Type Jaguar in full drift, Walter Röhrl climbing higher into the sky, Jim Clark with all four wheels of the ground in the Lotus 49, or anyone who drove the Porsche 917. Alongside the classic photographs are the results of Basem’s own skilled lens work. Able to photograph most of the vehicles he selected as legendary, Basem got up and close and personal with some true masterpieces of racing. I am going to tell you all 25 choices that made the cut – not because I am trying to spoil anything for you, but because I think it will make you want the book that much more: -The Ford GT40s -The Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows -Ayrton Senna’s McLaren MP4/4 -The Lotus 49 -The “Million-Franc” Delahaye -The Greer-Black-Prudhomme Top Fuel Dragster -Juan Manual Fangio’s Maserati 250F -The Thomas Flyer -Parnelli Jones’ Big Oly -The Aston Martin DBR1 -The Audi Sport Quattro S1 -The Ferrari 156 -The Auto Union Grand Prix Cars -Carroll Shelby’s Cobra Daytona Coupe -The 1911 Marmon Wasp -The Porsche 917 -Richard Petty’s Plymouth Superbird (a personal favorite of course…) -Ecurie Ecosse’s Jaguars -The Lotus 79 -Michael Schumacher’s Ferraris -Maserati 8CM Number 3011 -Colin McRae’s “555” Subaru Impreza -The STP Turbine cars -The Porsche 962C -The Mercedes-Benz 300SLR No. 722 That list reads like a hoon’s who of ultimate fantasy vehicles. The best part is that there are vehicles you will know and already love, and then there are some you have never heard of that will blow you away. I highly recommend Legendary Race Cars and think it deserves the top spot on any car lover’s coffee table. Buy the book here: Legendary Race Cars is published via Motorbooks Intl. and is available for $35.

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