Car Books by Car and Driver Editors, past and present


Viewing books as a form of entertainment is a quick way to jump into the “lame adults” cesspool. With services like Netflix and YouTube, who on earth would rather turn the pages to pass the time? Well, with the right songwriter, a good book can be a real treat. In this list, the following authors may seem a little familiar, especially if you are a fan of Car and driver over the years.

We have had some truly legendary automotive journalists who have spent time here, cementing themselves as pillars of the profession. Larger-than-life names such as Brock Yates and David E. Davis Jr. have graced Car and driver columns, stories of pure automobile pleasure. It turns out that they can write some really good books too.

This list contains books written by current and former members of our staff, and some of the topics may surprise you. So kick back and relax with one of these old school fun. You might learn a thing or three.

Sixteen Books Every Car Lover Should Read


Don ‘Le Serpent’ Prudhomme: My life beyond the 1320s

Elana Scherr (Contributor)
Current Editor-in-Chief

Elana Scherr contributes to this autobiography on Don Prudhomme, one of the greatest legends of nitro racing.


Four miles west of nowhere

John Phillips III (Author)
Former chronicler

What happens when a new retiree decides to move to the dreaded West? John Phillips III describes his experiences with his marquee spirit.


God wants you to ride

John Phillips III (Author)
Former chronicler

John Phillips III compiles an excellent account of the ridiculous $ 21 million “Miracle Cars” scam, with several interviews and letters from people involved in the affair.


The Pickletown Highway

William Jeanes (Author)
Former editor-in-chief

This collection of articles by eminent journalist William Jeanes presents experiences, opinions and observations on a wide range of subjects from the Deep South.


Road Trips, Head Trips and other crazy car writing

Jean Lindamood (editor)
Former Deputy Editor-in-Chief
PJ O’Rourke (Intro)

Current Contributing Editor

This road trip anthology features snippets from the minds of seasoned (and not so) car-loving travelers, including Ernest Hemingway and Dave Barry.


Drive like crazy

PJ O’Rourke (Author)
Current Contributing Editor

PJ O’Rourke’s list of auto adventures has been going on for ages, and this compilation kind of squeezes 30 years of auto hooliganism between two covers.


Heck Holidays

PJ O’Rourke (Author)
Current Contributing Editor

Hailed as one of the funniest writers of our time, PJ O’Rourke chronicles a variety of road trips to very unexpected places, such as Kyrgyzstan and. . . to ski in Ohio?


Corvette 427 – Practical Restoration of a ’67 Roadster

Don Sherman (Author)
Former editor

This fascinating read details the restoration processes of an iconic Corvette; it has become the go-to manual to follow if you accept the challenge yourself.


Springsteen: album by album

Ryan White (Author)
Current Executive Writer

Not surprisingly, automotive journalists have interests other than cars. In the case of Ryan White, music is one of those interests. This Bruce bible is a must have for any The Boss fan.


Jimmy Buffett: A Good Life to the End

Ryan White (Author)
Current Executive Writer

Jimmy Buffet’s personality and career is legendary, cementing himself as an icon for 10-hour margaritas and sandy feet. Ryan White provides a wonderful chronicle of his rise to fame and beyond.


Colin Chapman: Inside the Innovator

Karl Ludvigsen (Author)
Former editor

“Simplify, then add lightness.” Colin Chapman innovated the weight reduction mindset to perfection, and Karl Ludvigsen digs deep to uncover the personality of the genius himself.


The V12 engine

Karl Ludvigsen (Author)
Former editor

The V12 engine creates visions of a growling Lamborghini or a screaming F1, but this book expands on the personalities and cars that made them so great.


Corvette – Star-studded American sports car: 1953-1982

Karl Ludvigsen (Author)
Former editor

It is by far the most comprehensive, informative, and entertaining Corvette book you can buy. Karl Ludvigsen brings his expertise and an easy-to-read style that any Vette fan should experience.


Mercedes-Benz: Quicksilver Century

Transport Bookman Publications, United Kingdom

Karl Ludvigsen (Author)
Former editor

Mercedes-Benz has had a place in automotive history, as well as motorsport, from the start, as Karl Ludvigsen details in this book.


Porsche: excellence was expected, 4-volume box set

Karl Ludvigsen (Author)
Former editor

Widely regarded as the masterpiece of Karl Ludvigsen, Porsche: excellence was expected is the definitive collection in the history of the Porsche brand. It is a must for any car enthusiast.


Cannonball! : The biggest outlaw race in the world

Brock Yates (Author)
Former editor

Good luck in mentioning Car and driver not including the name Brock Yates. He and Steve Smith designed the Cannonball Run as a test of coast-to-coast speed and navigation, which Yates details in these pages.


Enzo Ferrari: Man and Machine

Brock Yates (Author)
Former editor

The man behind those red-splashed racing cars was second behind the reverent Italian Pope. Brock Yates details the personality and silences of Enzo himself in this fascinating read.


Sunday Driver: Writer meets the road at 175 MPH

Brock Yates (Author)
Former editor

This book is an invitation to enjoy the speed that a racing driver relentlessly pursues. Detailing his driving experiences with his foot on the ground, Brock Yates encourages your inner speed demon to lift his head.


The decline and fall of the American auto industry

Brock Yates (Author)
Former editor

The decline of the American auto industry was in full swing in the 1970s, and Brock Yates did not mince his words about it. It continues to be among his most controversial works and, as such, one of his most fascinating.


So said David E.

David E. Davis Jr. (Author)
Former editor-in-chief

One of the truly great figures in automotive journalism, David E. Davis Jr. has turned the profession upside down. His collective spirit, his experience and his intelligence are brought together here in this text.


Moments of the Ferrari Grand Prix

Jesse Alexander (Author)
Former collaborating photographer

Jesse Alexander had a knack for capturing the sheer speed of racing like no one else, as this book on The Golden Age of Racing shows.

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