Books pro­duced by Richard M. Lang­worth. (Out-of-print titles can often be found by search­ing on Ama­zon or Book­find­er.) The count through 2018: sev­en­ty-two books, six­ty-one auto­mo­tive and eleven Churchill, of which five are books of Churchill quotations.

“Anoth­er damned thick book! Always scrib­ble, scrib­ble, scrib­ble! Eh, Mr. Gib­bon?” (Duke of Glouces­ter to Edward Gib­bon, 1781) 

“Dear Win­ston, Thank-you for your lat­est book. I have put it on the shelf with all the oth­ers.” (Duke of Wind­sor to WSC, 1938 (Clemen­tine Churchill thought this hilar­i­ous, and dined out on it many times.)

Latest Books

TriumphTri­umph Cars: The Com­plete Sto­ry (with Gra­ham Rob­son). New revised and expand­ed edi­tion. Com­ing in Sep­tem­ber, pre-pub­li­ca­tion orders accept­ed now. Gra­ham and I have revised and updat­ed the sto­ry, with new infor­ma­tion since the pre­vi­ous edi­tion in the 1980s, and adding dozens of fine new col­or pho­tos. This is the most elab­o­rate and lux­u­ri­ous edi­tion ever. It relates Triumph’s sto­ry from the spindly road­sters of 1923 through the great rac­ing and ral­ly cars of the 1930s-70s, to the last TR8, to the 1984 Tri­umph Acclaim.

Ama­zon: “Not mere­ly a tur­bu­lent trawl through the his­tor­i­cal record, it includes first-per­son com­men­tary by impor­tant Tri­umph design­ers, engi­neers and dri­vers. Cars as famous as the Glo­rias and Dolomites of the 1930s, the Renowns, Spit­fires and TRs of the post­war years, pro­duced head­line-grab­bing exploits in rac­ing and rallying—a sto­ry which no fic­tion­al writer could have created.


Win­ston Churchill, Myth and Real­i­ty: What He Actu­al­ly Did and Said. The out­ra­geous attacks on Churchill in the wake of the movie Dark­est Hour makes this book indis­pens­able. This ground-break­ing book refutes​ attacks on Churchill’s actions and char­ac­ter. Among them:  that he opposed votes for women, was an ene­my of Irish inde­pen­dence, cost lives on Gal­lipoli, pro­mot­ed poi­son gas, hat­ed Gand­hi and the Jews, admired Hitler, praised Mus­soli­ni, knew about Pearl Har­bor before­hand, allowed Coven­try to be bombed to pro­tect secret intel­li­gence, fire­bombed Dres­den, refused to bomb Auschwitz, and want­ed to nuke the Rus­sians. (For a start.)

This book defends Churchill’s good name over issues still on our minds today. Why is Churchill so wide­ly quot­ed and admired? Because he stood for some­thing. His devo­tion to free­dom, his mag­na­nim­i­ty toward for­mer foes, solved many intractable prob­lems. Churchill was not infal­li­ble. But his faults were eclipsed by his virtues, and his record stands undi­min­ished. Also avail­able for Kindle.



Churchill and the Avoid­able War: Could World War II have been Pre­vent­ed?  World War II was the defin­ing event of our age—the cli­mac­tic clash between democ­ra­cy and tyran­ny, lib­er­ty and the all-dom­i­nant state. It killed more peo­ple, mil­i­tary and civil­ian, than any war in his­to­ry. It led to rev­o­lu­tions, reli­gious and sec­tar­i­an strife, the demise of empires, a pro­tract­ed Cold War. Churchill main­tained that it all could have been pre­vent­ed. Was he right? Yes, poss­bibly, at one junc­ture in par­tic­u­lar. But it could not have been done with­out great difficulty.

This book exam­ines Churchill’s theory—not in ret­ro­spect but at the time—his pre­scrip­tions, his actions, and the degree to which he pur­sued them. I con­clude that Churchill was both right and wrong: right that Hitler could have been stopped; wrong that he did all he could to stop him. The result is a kind of “re-revi­sion­ism”: a cor­rec­tive to tra­di­tion­al argu­ments, both of Churchill’s crit­ics and defend­ers. It is based on what real­ly happened—evidence that has been “hid­ing in pub­lic” for many years.


Screen shot 2013-10-05 at 1.52.11 PMThe Churchill Com­pan­ion: A Con­cise Guide to the Life & Times of Win­ston ChurchillSec­ond Edi­tion, 2012. The ulti­mate Churchill facts book is now in its Sec­ond Revised Edi­tion, with a cov­er by Richard Deane Tay­lor and high-gloss-lam­i­nat­ed to pro­tect from fre­quent use. The spi­ral-bound Com­pan­ion lays flat at any page and is very handy for researchers.

A score of expert authors and his­to­ri­ans put every use­ful fact about Churchill at your fin­ger­tips, from the names of his race hors­es to the dates of his great wartime broadcasts—with numer­ous inter­net links to words, music and texts. The Time­line, which goes from the year Churchill’s par­ents met to the death of Clemen­tine Churchill, marks every sig­nif­i­cant date in Churchill’s life. Chap­ters on trav­el pin­point his move­ments in Cana­da and the U.S., in World War II, and at all his sea voyages.

Con­tents: 1873-1977 Time­line, Books by Churchill, Books About Churchill, Wartime Broad­casts, Pound-Dol­lar Val­ues 1874- 2014, Film and Tele­vi­sion, elec­tion Results 1899-1959, Fam­i­ly Tree, Best Finest Hour Arti­cles, Funer­al Ser­vices, Glos­sary of Par­lia­men­tary and Polit­i­cal Terms, Gov­ern­ments, Sov­er­eigns, Prime Min­is­ters, Nobil­i­ty, Churchill’s Orders Dec­o­ra­tions and Medals, Favorite Hotels, Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sions and Units, Lead­ing Churchill Myths, Offices Held by WSC, British Polit­i­cal Par­ties, Churchill’s Res­i­dences, Pri­vate and Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­taries, Sum­mit Con­fer­ences in World War II, Thor­ough­bred Hors­es, Trav­el by Sea, Trav­el  to North Amer­i­ca, Trav­el in World War II, and the Chartwell Visitor’s Book. Cor­rec­tions and addi­tions, entered with the kind assis­tance of Ronald Cohen, include new entries for Churchill’s first speech ever (1895), his first polit­i­cal speech (1897), and his three speech­es to the U.S. Con­gress. Here is a foun­tain of infor­ma­tion you can’t find in any oth­er sin­gle source, indis­pens­able for know­ing or research­ing Churchill’s life and times.

Churchill Quote Books 2008-12

Churchill in His Own Words: New Revised Edi­tion. This is the lat­est edi­tion of Churchill by Him­self (see below), with numer­ous cor­rec­tions and res­o­lu­tions of con­flict­ing quotes and sources. A boon to researchers, it is also avail­able as a Roset­ta elec­tron­ic edi­tion. The jum­bo soft­bound print edi­tion is avail­able from Ama­zon UK, and from pri­vate sell­ers on Ama­zon USA.  If you want a hard copy, this is the one to buy. It con­tains the lat­est cor­rec­tions (not to say I have a few more for the next edition—if there is one. More impor­tant­ly, both the e-book and this edi­tion con­tain a new “Phrase Index” to over 400 com­mon­ly sought Churchill quips and quotes, mak­ing it much eas­i­er to find the one you’re look­ing for.

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All Will Be Well: Good Advice from Win­ston Churchill. Lon­don: Ebury Press/Random House, Spring 2011. A feel-good book encap­su­lat­ing the Great Man’s more upbeat mes­sages (which we can cer­tain­ly use at the present time), the third spin-off from Churchill By Himself. 

In trou­bled times who bet­ter to turn to for advice and reas­sur­ance than the man who led Britain through her most dif­fi­cult days—and believe me, things were worse in 1940. Col­lect­ed here are the upbeat words of the the Great­est Briton. By turns wit­ty, dry, rous­ing and wise, it’s an anti­dote to the stress­es and strains of our times.Typifying the quo­ta­tions in its 160 pages: “Strength is grant­ed to us all when we are need­ed to serve great causes….Sometimes when For­tune scowls most spite­ful­ly, she is prepar­ing her most daz­zling gifts….We shall not be judged by the crit­i­cisms of our oppo­nents but by the con­se­quences of our acts.” As Churchill often remind­ed fam­i­ly and friends in chal­leng­ing times: “KBO”—Keep Bug­ger­ing On.

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The Patriot’s Churchill. Lon­don: Ebury Press/Random House. A hand­book of Churchill’s inspir­ing words on Britain, Amer­i­ca and their tra­di­tions of lib­er­ty, quo­ta­tions gleaned from books, arti­cles, speech­es, pri­vate papers and con­ver­sa­tions, com­piled with the assis­tance of schol­ars, fam­i­ly mem­bers and those who knew him. In an age of wide­spread cyn­i­cism toward pol­i­tics, The Patriot’s Churchill shows that Churchill knew things can be different—emphasizing his pre­cepts of col­le­gial­i­ty and friend­ship toward polit­i­cal oppo­nents, mag­na­nim­i­ty in vic­to­ries, and wry reflec­tions after defeats. Chap­ters include The Flag; Visions of Britain, Amer­i­ca and the Com­mon­wealth; Equal­i­ty; Free­dom of Speech and Reli­gion; Free­dom from Want and Fear; Polit­i­cal Con­duct; Great Britons and Amer­i­cans; Inde­pen­dence; the Indi­vid­ual; Peace and War; Rule of Law; Ser­vice to the Nation.

* * *

The Defin­i­tive Wit of Win­ston Churchill. Lon­don: Ebury Press/Random House; New York: Pub­lic Affairs, Autumn 2009. Dis­tilled from Churchill by Him­self and about one-sev­enth of its length, this book cap­tures Churchill’s wit and wis­dom on a broad vari­ety of top­ics. Over 100 new quo­ta­tions are added which are not in Churchill by Him­self. Forth­com­ing in Autumn 2009 at a price you can afford, hope­ful­ly des­tined for the “pop­u­lar titles” coun­ters, where we hope it will stay in print for­ev­er. The jack­et for the Pub­lic Affairs edi­tion is what Churchill would call a “Wow.”

BooksChurchill by Him­self: The Defin­i­tive Col­lec­tion of Quo­ta­tions. Lon­don: Ebury Press and Ran­dom House; New York: Pub­lic Affairs, 2008. “What a drill sergeant of words he was, and what an out­rage it was to let some­one like him loose to embar­rass and humil­i­ate the rest of us mere mor­tal users of the language!….As a trea­sure trove of pro­found obser­va­tions, rolling peri­ods, amusing—often hilarious—one-liners, it threat­ens the hege­mo­ny of Bartlett’s Quo­ta­tions. Leg­end has it that when Milton’s Par­adise Lost was pub­lished, John Dry­den said to fel­low poets fre­quent­ing a cof­fee house, ‘This man cuts us all out, and the ancients too.’In the same way, all the col­lec­tions of the ‘Wit and Wis­dom of Churchill’ are now ren­dered auto­mat­i­cal­ly obso­lete.” —Man­fred Weidhorn.


booksGen­er­al Motors: 100 Years. Lin­col­nwood, Ill.: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al, 2008. Just in time for GM to get into trou­ble, but it sur­vived. I’d rather depend on GM man­age­ment than our rulers in Wash­ing­ton to run the com­pa­ny, which is now prof­itable again. I left the post-1980 sto­ry to the edi­tors of Con­sumer Guide because I didn’t want to relive it. Each decade-long chap­ter begins with a quote. For 1970-79, I chose one by my old friend the late Tony Hogg, one­time edi­tor of Road & Track: “GM is so big that if you start­ed man­ag­ing it very bad­ly right now, you wouldn’t see the dif­fer­ence for ten years.” (Tony said that in 1973. Hmm.) Con­sumer Guide pro­vides a beau­ti­ful array of col­or photographs.


Anno­tat­ed Bib­li­og­ra­phy of Works About Sir Win­ston S. Churchill (anno­ta­tions for the book by Curt Zoller). Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, 2004. Over 700 books have been writ­ten specif­i­cal­ly about Churchill, and hun­dred more are in part devot­ed to him. To Curt Zoller’s com­pre­hen­sive list includ­ing sep­a­rate sec­tions con­tain­ing  major arti­cles and dis­ser­ta­tions. I sup­plied cap­sule reviews of the 700 books about him, to help you know whether the a book is worth your time. Curt Zoller dili­gent­ly com­piled numer­ous sub-sec­tions: books about Churchill, books kind of about him, arti­cles in press and peri­od­i­cals, reviews of WSC’s own books, dis­ser­ta­tions and the­sis. There are indices by author and title. My cap­sule reviews, updat­ed to more recent titles, are also avail­able online.


Connoisseur’s Guide to the Books of Sir Win­ston Churchill. Lon­don: Brasseys, 1998, rep. 2001. No rival to Ronald Cohen’s majes­tic and schol­ar­ly Bib­li­og­ra­phy of the Writ­ings of Sir Win­ston Churchill, this was designed for book col­lec­tors, to illus­trate, describe and eval­u­ate from the stand­point of col­lec­tor desir­abil­i­ty and aes­thet­ics the many dif­fer­ent edi­tions of Churchill’s near­ly fifty books. Cohen Bib­li­og­ra­phy num­bers are cross-ref­er­enced. Although hard copies are still avail­able from Chartwell Book­sellers, there is now an online Collector’s Guide from the same company.

Great Cars of the 20th Cen­tu­ry (with Arch Brown). Lin­col­nwood, Ill.: Pub­li­ca­tions Intl. 1998. Ger­man edi­tion: Trau­mau­tos des 20. Jahrhun­derts. Muller: 1998. This one is so rare that I can’t find an image of the dust jack­et on the web. Nev­er­the­less, the pub­lish­er had a good run out of it. There’s more than one way to skin a cat: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al just vac­u­umed all the arti­cles Arch and I had writ­ten for them and threw this togeth­er with their usu­al­ly excel­lent col­or pho­tos. If you think of some­thing as a “great car,” chances are it’s in here.

Illus­trat­ed Chrysler Buyer’s Guide, Osceola,Wis., Motor­books Inter­na­tion­al, 1996. The last (Thank God, you’re say­ing) of my paper­back Buyer’s Guides, in which you must now ignore every­thing I said about prices and invest­ment poten­tial back in 1996. Two cars dom­i­nate inter­est in the post­war Chryslers: the Town & Coun­try “lum­ber wag­ons” (con­vert­ibles in par­tic­u­lar) built short­ly after the war; and the 300 “Let­ter Series” which ran from 1955 to 1965. But Chrysler built many less­er mod­els of great appeal to col­lec­tors, and the best of them are con­sid­ered here.


Illus­trat­ed Dodge Buyer’s Guide, Osce­o­la, Wis., Motor­books Inter­na­tion­al, 1995. The penul­ti­mate Buyer’s Guide for Motor­books Inter­na­tion­al. Pay no atten­tion to what I said about the cur­rent val­ues. Was there a Dodge worth buy­ing before the Red Ram V-8? Possibly…I think so, but don’t hold me to it. Dodge built some great cars in the Fifties, Six­ties, and Sev­en­ties. The best of them are here, with specs, pro­duc­tion fig­ures and photos.

Chrysler and Impe­r­i­al: The Clas­sic Post­war Years. Osce­o­la, Wis.: Motor­books Inter­na­tion­al, 1993. New updat­ed edi­tion of my sec­ond book (1976), but not extend­ed to more recent mod­els. Here’s the sto­ry of what hap­pened to Wal­ter Chrysler’s empire after World War II, when he wasn’t around to run it. Tracks the post­war renais­sance under K.T. Keller (Chrysler was num­ber two after GM until 1952), the near-fail­ure in 1953-54, the Vir­gil Exn­er rebirth with the “For­ward Look” of 1955, the age of tail­fins and land yachts, the era of the Cor­do­ba. Won­der­ful quotes from design­ers, styl­ists and executives.

Hud­son: The Clas­sic Post­war Years 1946-1957. Osce­o­la, Wis.: Motor­books Inter­na­tion­al, 1993. New edi­tion of the 1977 orig­i­nal. Only one man, George Mason of Nash-Kelv­ina­tor, real­ized after World War II that the Big Three (GM, Chrysler, Ford) would even­tu­al­ly wipe out the small inde­pen­dents. Mason start­ed court­ing Hud­son in 1948, final­ly got them in 1953. Mean­while he was encour­ag­ing Packard to merge with Stude­bak­er, hop­ing to put them all togeth­er. He didn’t suc­ceed, and the big Hud­sons and Nash­es van­ished after 1957; but Hud­son in those years pro­duced unique cars by engi­neers who weren’t behold­en to any­body, and Hud­son also dom­i­nat­ed NASCAR rac­ing from 1952 to 1954.


Stude­bak­er 1946-1966: The Clas­sic Post­war Years. Osce­o­la, Wis.: Motor­books Inter­na­tion­al, 1993. New edi­tion, updat­ed, of Stude­bak­er: The Post­war Years (1978). A twen­ty-year obit­u­ary, dis­cussing how and why Stude­bak­er went bad, lost mon­ey, merged with Packard, dragged Packard down with it, tried again with the Avan­ti and GT Hawk in the 1960s, but ulti­mate­ly went bel­ly up, after a sad two-year rump oper­a­tion at its sub­sidiary plant in Hamil­ton, Ontario. In the process, Stude­bak­er nev­er­the­less cre­at­ed some mem­o­rable cars. See “Why Stude­bak­er Failed” on this website.books

Col­lectible Cars Price Guide 1993. Lin­col­nwood, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; New York: Signet, 1992. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but unless they were will­ing to go the full peri­od­i­cal route (a field that’s already over­pop­u­lat­ed), the pub­lish­ers were doomed to find this book out of date almost from the moment of pub­li­ca­tion. It hap­pened to arrive with a tem­po­rary defla­tion in col­lec­tor car prices, which fur­ther affect­ed the prices we so dili­gent­ly researched from sales and auc­tions. Nice try but no cigar.

Great Amer­i­can Auto­mo­biles of the 60s (with James Flam­mang), Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al, 1992. I don’t remem­ber this book, but the pub­lish­ers had a way of vac­u­um­ing the work of their authors and reis­su­ing it, and I’m sure Flam­mang and I were the vic­tims in this case; but maybe we were paid for it, I don’t remem­ber. The pub­lish­ers are respon­si­ble for the pho­tographs, and they set a very high stan­dard; look upon our writ­ten com­men­tary as accom­pa­ny­ing boilerplate.


Illus­trat­ed Packard Buyer’s Guide. Osce­o­la, Wis.: Motor­books Inter­na­tion­al, 1991. The prices are out of date now, but the inter­est­ing fea­ture about this Packard entry in the Motor­books Buyer’s Guide series is the “mis­ery index” of trou­bles to watch for, which was cre­at­ed most­ly by indi­vid­ual own­ers of the cars con­cerned. I think it’s still on the mon­ey as far as the most col­lectible Packards are con­cerned. Out of print but avail­able online. Fol­low the link.

wsc-india3India, by Win­ston S. Churchill, India (pub­lish­er). First Amer­i­can Edi­tion, Hop­kin­ton, N.H.: Drag­onwyck Pub­lish­ing, 1991. In the speech­es here­in, Churchill led the die-hards in oppos­ing the India Bill of the 1930s, which set India on the path (by no means assured) to inde­pen­dence. The bill passed and he lost with his usu­al good humor, send­ing a mes­sage to the Great Mahat­ma: “Tell Mr. Gand­hi to use the pow­ers that are offered and make the thing a success….I am gen­uine­ly sym­pa­thet­ic towards India….make a suc­cess and if you do I will advo­cate your get­ting much more.” A fire destroyed our remain­ing stock of 200 copies, and this book is now scarce, albeit much more afford­able than the 1931 Eng­lish edition.

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Illus­trat­ed Stude­bak­er Buyer’s Guide. Osce­o­la, Wis.: Motor­books Inter­na­tion­al, 1991. A sur­vey that begins in 1902 with the Stude­bak­er Elec­tric and runs through the great pre-WW2 Pres­i­dent Eights, the post­war Starlights and Star­lin­ers, the Hawks, Larks and on through the Avan­ti. With basic spec­i­fi­ca­tions, prob­lem areas, his­to­ries of each mod­el, and plen­ti­ful photographs.

51kOEgHKyALCol­lectible Cars (with Chris Poole). Lin­col­nwood, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; New York: Cres­cent, 1991. Anoth­er vac­u­um job by the Lin­col­nwood Lino­typ­ists, accom­pa­nied by excel­lent pho­tographs. Ran­dom House said (and there­fore must be right): “What makes a clas­sic car? Why are some cars in demand while oth­ers are for­got­ten? Which cars are smart invest­ments? These and oth­er ques­tions answered in this strik­ing, expert, beau­ti­ful­ly illus­trat­ed and up-to-date guide. 500 full-col­or pho­tographs.” I enjoyed doing this beefy col­or tome with Chris Poole, one of the best edi­tors I eve worked with.


The Corvettes 1953-1988: A Collector’s Guide. Croy­don: Sur­rey: Motor Rac­ing Pub­li­ca­tions, 1989. A run­down from the collector’s stand­point of the sev­er­al Corvette gen­er­a­tions dur­ing the first thir­ty-five years of pro­duc­tion, list­ing the highs, lows, joys and woes of own­er­ship from Stove Bolt Six to Sting Ray to the mod­ern era.

512pH9+yhWL._SX200_Fifty Years of Amer­i­can Auto­mo­biles 1939-1989. Lin­col­nwood, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; New York: Beek­man House, Cres­cent Books, 1989. A huge, 786-page tome cov­er­ing every Amer­i­can make from 1939 for the next half cen­tu­ry. Near­ly half of the book com­pris­es spec­i­fi­ca­tions from my Ency­clo­pe­dia of Amer­i­can Cars, but the strength of this heavy book is its hun­dreds of col­or pho­tographs from the edi­tors of Col­lectible Auto­mo­bile. The pub­lish­er put this togeth­er from my pre­vi­ous work, not think­ing it nec­es­sary to reward me with tup­pence; I should have asked to be paid by the pound.

Corvette: Por­trait of a Leg­end. Lon­don: Smith­mark Pub­lish­ers, Mac­don­ald, 1989. Ger­man edi­tion: Heel, 1989. My Corvette his­to­ries are all built one on anoth­er. The dif­fer­ence with this one was 288 pages of land­scape for­mat, very heavy coat­ed paper, and spec­tac­u­lar large for­mat pho­tog­ra­phy by the Lon­don pub­lish­ers. Copies are plen­ti­ful on eBay: fol­low the link.


Great Amer­i­can Auto­mo­biles of the 50s (with Chris Poole). Lin­col­nwood, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; New York: Beek­man House, 1988. Ger­man edi­tion: Amerikanis­che Auto­mo­bile der 50er Jahre. Heel, 1991. Ital­ian edi­tion: Auto­mo­bili amer­i­cane degli anni Cinquan­ta. Nada, 1990. If you think the ’59 Cadil­lac rock­et­ship is not a Great Amer­i­can Auto­mo­bile, then I’m with you, but this is an exer­cise in reprint­ing the best pho­tos of Fifties cars from Col­lectible Auto­mo­bile, and Chris and I wrote the sto­ries to go with the pix they select­ed. Its 320 pages are packed with color.

The Great Amer­i­can Con­vert­ible. Lin­col­nwood, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; New York: Beek­man House, 1988. A sur­vey of the con­vert­ible, from its devel­op­ment out of the road­ster and phaeton in the 1930s to the sup­posed end of pro­duc­tion in Amer­i­ca in the 1970s. A British review­er com­plained that it was too tech­ni­cal, and too giv­en to pro­duc­tion fig­ures, a legit­i­mate com­plaint. There wasn’t time to write a lyri­cal his­to­ry, though one should be written.

Illus­trat­ed Buick Buyer’s Guide. Osce­o­la, Wis.: Motor­books Inter­na­tion­al, 1988. For amus­ing reviews (and retorts by the author) click the link and then click the review link. Hell hath no fury like a buff whose favorite is left out! But the fun­ni­est is by a guy who doesn’t know me but knows my son, and since my son is admirable, he’s sure the book is! A more seri­ous Buick col­lec­tor recent­ly not­ed that I pre­dict­ed the best Gran Sports would break $50,000, and they’re not even at $25,000 today—which is one more proof that you nev­er want to look at prices or pro­jec­tions in decades-old buy­ers guides.


The Com­plete Book of Corvette. New York: Beek­man House, 1987. Takes the sto­ry up through 1988, with a new assort­ment of fine Corvette pho­tos from the auto edi­tors of Con­sumer Guide. My sec­ond Corvette book; they came thick and fast after this one, but I think Con­sumer Guide did an excel­lent job with the lay­out and photography.

Illus­trat­ed Oldsmo­bile Buyer’s Guide. Osce­o­la, Wis.: Motor­books Inter­na­tion­al, 1987. Ama­zon offers an inter­est­ing cus­tomer review: “Although an inter­est­ing read, this book has very lim­it­ed appli­ca­tion for me. [But I’m glad it was inter­est­ing.] The years and mod­els reviewed have been sub­jec­tive­ly select­ed [You think?] and the amount of infor­ma­tion on each is uneven and, in my opin­ion, inad­e­quate. As a cur­rent Oldsmo­bile own­er [Cur­rent?] I am much more inter­est­ed in what options were avail­able…” [You want a tech­ni­cal man­u­al, not a buyer’s guide.]

The Com­plete His­to­ry of Ford Motor Com­pa­ny (with Gra­ham Rob­son). Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; New York: Beek­man House, 1987. A prod­uct his­to­ry of Ford, Mer­cury and Lin­coln cov­er­ing the first sev­en­ty-five years of pro­duc­tion. Exten­sive text with large sec­tions of col­or pho­tographs from Col­lectible Auto­mo­bile mag­a­zine.

$(KGrHqV,!k8FBmfboWR4BQpl2z8it!~~60_57The Com­plete His­to­ry of Gen­er­al Motors 1908-1986 (with Jan P. Nor­bye). Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions International,1987. Cap­i­tal­ized with one thou­sand dol­lars, it grew into the might­i­est indus­tri­al leviathan, only to come a-crash­ing down. A prod­uct his­to­ry of Buick,Cadillac, Oldsmo­bile, Oak­land and Pon­ti­ac, doc­u­ment­ed by an exten­sive decade-by-decade text and large sec­tions of col­or pho­tographs from Col­lectible Auto­mo­bile. Yipes: some­one is offer­ing a copy for $840!


51A8snCWorL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Corvette Road­ster: A His­to­ry of Chevrolet’s Open Sports Car from 1953-1986. Lon­don: Haynes, 1986; Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al, 1986. A 64-page hard­back prov­ing that you don’t have to say every­thing to sell a book on Corvettes. In this case we con­cen­trat­ed on the open mod­els, which were not strict­ly road­sters but con­vert­ibles, but nobody much wor­ries. Eas­i­ly acquired, but expect no new information.

The Com­plete His­to­ry of Chrysler Cor­po­ra­tion 1924-1985 (with Jan P. Nor­bye). Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; New York: Beek­man House, 1986. This book was fun to write, chiefly because my co-author was the late, great tech writer Jan Nor­bye, whose engi­neer­ing exper­tise proved indis­pen­si­ble to the sto­ry of the engi­neer-dom­i­nat­ed com­pa­ny. Cov­ered all mod­els from the first, and all makes from Ply­mouth to Impe­r­i­al, in col­or and black and white photos.

* * *

Illus­trat­ed Cadil­lac Buyer’s Guide. Osce­o­la, Wis­con­sin: Motor­books Inter­na­tion­al, 1986. Sec­ond edi­tion, 1993. This guide cov­ered post­war mod­els only, with the help of Bud Juneau and oth­er Cadil­lac col­lec­tors, who sup­plied first­hand infor­ma­tion of prob­lem areas and what to look for in buy­ing an old Cadillac.

Chevy V-8s 1955-1986: An Enthusiast’s Guide and His­to­ry, by Ter­ry Boyce (pub­lish­er). Hop­kin­ton, N.H.: Drag­onwyck Pub­lish­ing, 1986. Sec­ond and last of our “Nation­al Her­itage Series” of deluxe pho­to-doc­u­men­taries. What’s more pop­u­lar than a Chevy V-8? Ter­ry Boyce pro­vid­ed expert com­men­tary and cap­tions to the hun­dreds of pho­tos, but the sub­ject was too gen­er­al, not spe­cif­ic enough. It was not as suc­cess­ful as The Stude­bak­er Cen­tu­ry (below).

Chevro­let 1911-1985 (with Jan P. Nor­bye). Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; New York: Beek­man House, 1984. Nobody sur­passed the late Jan Nor­bye for tech­ni­cal exper­tise, and writ­ing this his­to­ry of Chevro­let with Jan was a joy. From the ear­ly machi­na­tions of Louis Chevro­let to the Ford rival­ry, the Stove­bolt Six, the “clas­sic” 55-57s, the super­cars, and the land whales of the 1980s; 384 pages with col­or pho­tog­ra­phy of hun­dreds of mod­els from the pages of Col­lectible Automobile.

The Mus­tangs, 1964-1973: A Collector’s Guide.Lon­don: Motor Rac­ing Pub­li­ca­tions, 1984. Sec­ond edi­tion, paper­back, 1992. Jon Bluns­den of MRP took a fly­er on a Mus­tang book for the British mar­ket, in his high-sell­ing Collector’s Guide series. The book did well over two edi­tions, cov­er­ing the “clas­sic” Mus­tangs of 1965-69 thor­ough­ly. Con­trary to what is end­less­ly repeat­ed, there was no “1964 1/2” Mus­tang, though the ’65 was intro­duced in the Spring of 1964.

* * *

Ency­clo­pe­dia of Amer­i­can Cars 1930-1980. Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; New York: Beek­man House, 1984. Mul­ti­ple revised and extend­ed edi­tions through 2007. Cov­ers every major and minor make; the majors have detailed tables of spec­i­fi­ca­tions, orig­i­nal prices and pro­duc­tion fig­ures; the text cov­ers their his­to­ry. Ama­zon review­ers rate it 4 1/2 stars: “…the ulti­mate book for the ulti­mate car lover. It has it all, best of its kind, I have sev­er­al of these car books and this by far is the best”….My hus­band had to buy two of them because our son stole his last time he came home And he wouldn’t give it back.”

Mer­cedes-Benz: The First Hun­dred Years. Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; New York: Beek­man House, 1984. Abridged edi­tion: Con­sumer Guide Clas­sic Car Series, Octo­ber 1984. Ger­man edi­tion: Ser­ag, 1986. I loved writ­ing about the great rac­ing cars, par­tic­u­lar­ly the sil­ver bul­lets that dom­i­nat­ed Grand Prix rac­ing in the 1930s. Nei­ther a com­pre­hen­sive nor a huge book, but the pho­tos do jus­tice to a grand mar­que that earned its rep­u­ta­tion over the past century.

Porsche, a Tra­di­tion of Great­ness. Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; New York: Beek­man House, 1983. Abridged edi­tion: Con­sumer Guide Clas­sic Car Series, March 1984. Ger­man edi­tion: Porsche: Die Geschichter ein­er Denk­fab­rik. Pfaf­fikon, Ger­many: Ser­ag, n.d. [1984]. Every oth­er Porsche book stands in the shad­ow Karl Lud­vigsen (Porsche: Excel­lence Was Expect­ed). With­in only 250 pages, we had nowhere near the depth of Karl’s deserved­ly famous stan­dard work on Porsche.


The Stude­bak­er Cen­tu­ry: A Nation­al Her­itage (pub­lish­er and co-author with Asa E. Hall). Hop­kin­ton, N.H.: Drag­onwyck Pub­lish­ing, 1983. The late Asa Hall’s com­pre­hen­sive col­lec­tion of pho­tos from the cov­ered wag­on to the Avan­ti was the inspi­ra­tion of this deluxe pho­to-doc­u­men­tary, print­ed on fine cream enam­el, with illus­tra­tions by Russ von Sauers and a gilt stamped cov­er. A lim­it­ed edi­tion, now rare, was offered in padded leather with gilt page edges and silk page mark­er. Cov­ers Studebaker’s entire 114-year his­to­ry with detailed cap­tions for the hun­dreds of pho­tos pub­lished here for the first time.

Great Cars from Ford. Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al, 1982. Proof pos­i­tive of “endur­ing worth” is that one of these 96-page pot­boil­ers is offered for over $80. It was just a worka­day sur­vey of the obvi­ous Ford greats (most of them post­war) over the years, assem­bled with some nice pho­tog­ra­phy. Noth­ing to write home about.

Mus­tang Ency­clo­pe­dia (with Bar­bara Lang­worth, Greg Wells, Rick Kopec). Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­naiton­al, 1982. A com­pendi­um of Mus­tan­giana, incud­ing a restorer’s guide, a guide to the mul­ti­ple acces­sories that made the Mus­tang so many dif­fer­ent cars to so many dif­fer­ent peo­ple; and a source guide for fur­ther infor­ma­tion. Detailed mod­el spec­i­fi­ca­tions through the 1980 model.


tigeralpine2Tiger, Alpine, Rapi­er: Sport­ing Cars from the Rootes Group. Lon­don: Lon­don, Osprey, 1982, rep. Lon­don: Mer­cian Man­u­als, 1999. The Rootes Group (Hill­man, Sun­beam-Tal­bot, Singer, Hum­ber) was an odd bunch from the start and their sport­ing cars were some­times bizarre: a sports car with tail­fins, anoth­er with a Ford engine sold by Chrysler, a hard­top paint­ed Neapoli­tan ice cream col­ors (Rapi­er). The odd­ly named Hum­ber Super Snipe, said Michael Sedg­wick, “induced mal de mer on the motor­way” but did great things on the East African Safari. A jol­ly tale of rac­ing and ral­ly­ing in the days when you could do it on a shoe­string. (Stir­ling Moss told Gra­ham Rob­son: “You wouldn’t believe how slow my Alpines were.” Gra­ham replied: “Yes I would!”) See also the Har­ring­ton Harangue.

Hi-Per­for­mance Chevro­let. Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al, 1981. A 96-page pot­boil­er on “the fastest and hottest Chevys built from 1953 through 1970. From the devel­op­ment of the orig­i­nal Chevy V-8 through the age of the SS 409, with 16 pages in color.

Camaro. Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; Secau­cus, N.J.: Cas­tle Books, 1981. Clas­sic Car Bimonth­ly, July 1983. The Cor­vair couldn’t com­pete with the Mus­tang, so Chevro­let turned its atten­tion to a con­ven­tion­al lay­out with the Camaro, which saw some of the hottest Chevys dur­ing its ear­ly years. Nine­ty-six pages with 16 in color.

Cars That Nev­er Were: The Pro­to­types. Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; New York: Beek­man House, 1981. Pro­posed, still­born, and show car spe­cials by the Amer­i­can  Big Three and the inde­pents, the usu­al 96-pager with 16 pages of col­or. From the Packard Pre­dic­tor and still­born line of big ’57 Packards, to the umpteenth facelift of Dutch Darrin’s 1951 Kaiser, to GM Motora­ma cars and swoopy Mopar one-offs: the book proved eclec­tic a mix to gen­er­ate much sales, and is today rare.


Great Cars from Chevro­let. Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; Secau­cus, N.J.: Cas­tle Books, 1980. This book looks at the most inter­est­ing Chevro­lets from the begin­ning in 1911, but empha­sis is on the post­war: the fab­u­lous ’55 V-8, Corvette, Cor­vair, Camaro, Mon­te­car­lo, Super Sports and ear­ly Impalas. Nine­ty-six pages with 16 in col­or. Now scarce.

Com­plete Book of Col­lectible Cars 1940-1970 (with Gra­ham Rob­son). Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al, 1980. Revised and extend­ed edi­tions: 1940-1980 (1982); 1930-1980 (1985, revised 1987); 1930-1990 (1992). Gra­ham and I chose sev­er­al hun­dred high­ly col­lectible Amer­i­can, British, Ger­man, Ital­ian and oth­er cars and sup­plied thumb­nail his­to­ries, pros and cons, brief spec­i­fi­ca­tions, pro­duc­tion fig­ures, pithy cri­tiques and even cur­rent val­ues (they were cheap then). Gold stan­dards like Corvette, Packard, Rolls-Royce, Porsche and Fer­rari mixed with odd­balls like Hum­ber, Fraz­er, Gogo­mo­bil and Amphicar. Con­sumer Guide paid us (once), issued reprint after reprint, and the book is still around, now extend­ed to cov­er cars through 1990.

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imagesCadil­lac: Stan­dard of Excel­lence 1903-1980. Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; Secau­cus, N.J.: Cas­tle Books, 1980. A mar­que his­to­ry in the Con­sumer Guide 96-page series, with a broad-brush treat­ment of the Cadil­lac sto­ry. In the days when I pur­sued the Detroit beat, it was always fun to vis­it the grand old plant at Clark Avenue, where an aura of per­ma­nence was accom­pa­nied by a gra­cious asser­tion of suprema­cy. Those were the days.

Cars of the 30s. Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; New York: Beek­man House, 1980. Despite a thread­bare econ­o­my, the Amer­i­can indus­try reached its finest flow­er­ing in this final decade of the clas­sic era. Last-ditch efforts from firms such as Auburn, Cord, Due­sen­berg and Pierce-Arrow vied with some of the bet­ter mod­els of sur­vivors such as Cadil­lac, Packard, Lin­coln and the Chrysler Imperial.

Per­son­al Lux­u­ry: The Thun­der­bird Sto­ry. Osce­o­la, Wis.: Motor­books Inter­na­tion­al, 1980. Bill Boy­er, who large­ly cre­at­ed the orig­i­nal two-seater, told me where the famous port­holes came from: off the boat of Gene Bor­di­nat of Ford Styling, when Bill hap­pened to take a cruise on Lake Michi­gan. “It seemed like a neat solu­tion to the vis­i­bil­i­ty prob­lem of the option­al hard­top.” That was how things were done in those days! Large scale for­mat and hun­dreds of pho­tos char­ac­ter­ize this book which goes through 1980 but main­ly con­cen­trates on the 1950s and 1960s models.


Tri­umph Cars: The Com­plete Sto­ry.  (with Gra­ham Rob­son. Link is to the new 2018 edi­tion). Lon­don: Motor Rac­ing Pub­lish­ers, 1979, rep. 1998, togeth­er with a deluxe leather­bound lim­it­ed edi­tion. A won­der­ful under­tak­ing with my dear friend Gra­ham, in which I took the pre­war his­to­ry and a few post­war chap­ters, and Gra­ham the rest. The late Michael Sedg­wick, God bless him, wrote: “I should have thought Lang­worth was Eng­lish; no Amer­i­can could know so much about the way it was here in the years between the world wars.”

Cars of the 60s. Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; New York: Beek­man House, 1979. The inde­pen­dents were gone, but the Six­ties saw a blos­som­ing of the Big Three and Amer­i­can Motors. This book tells the sto­ry of the decade from the new Detroit “com­pacts” through the sporty com­pacts, the Mus­tang and Camaro, the mus­cle cars and lux­u­ry makes from the Impe­r­i­al Southamp­ton to the four-door-con­vert­ible Con­ti­nen­tals and Cadil­lac Eldorados.


The Amer­i­can Sports Car. Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; New York: Beek­man House, 1979. We begin with the orig­i­nal Yan­kee sports cars: the Mer­cer Race­about and the Stutz Bearcat. The sto­ry moves through the sports car revival after World War II, the birth of the Nash-Healey, Wood­ill Wild­fire, Kaiser Dar­rin, Corvette and Thun­der­bird, and on through the great Shel­by sports cars of the Six­ties and Seventies.

Mus­tang: The Car That Start­ed the Pony­car Stam­pede. Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; New York: Beek­man House, 1979. “Sure I invent­ed the Mus­tang,” Lee Iacoc­ca. I’ll tell you that any­time. But ask around for who invent­ed the Edsel. That’s like old Dio­genes with his lantern, search­ing for an hon­est man! Dozens of styling phots that show the evo­lu­tion of each Mus­tang. Includes Shel­by Mus­tang, Boss 302, MachI and com­pe­ti­tion cars, with dri­ving impres­sions of the best models.

Cars of the 40s. Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; New York: Beek­man House, 1979. Sur­veys the decade, includ­ing pre­war orphans (LaSalle, Hupp, Gra­ham) and post­war shoot­ing stars (Fraz­er, Tuck­er, Kaiser), along with the Big Three and major inde­pen­dents. The most ver­sa­tile For­ties make was Willys, who began the decade as a cheap econ­o­my car and end­ed up with civil­ian ver­sions of the wartime Jeep.


Stude­bak­er: The Post­war Years. Osceola,Wis.: Motor­books Inter­na­tion­al, 1978. A twen­ty-year obit­u­ary of how and why Stude­bak­er went bad, lost mon­ey, merged with Packard, dragged Packard down with it, tried again with the Avan­ti and GT Hawk in the 1960s, but ulti­mate­ly went bel­ly up, after a sad two-year rump oper­a­tion at its sub­sidiary plant in Hamil­ton, Ontario. In the process, Stude­bak­er nev­er­the­less cre­at­ed some mem­o­rable cars. See “Why Stude­bak­er Failed” on this website.

Packard: A His­to­ry of the Motor­car and the Com­pa­ny (co-edi­tor, with Bev­er­ly Rae Kimes and author of two chap­ters). New York: Dut­ton, 1978-date. Cug­not Award, Soci­ety of Auto­mo­tive His­to­ri­ans. A mam­moth, mul­ti-author under­tak­ing, the joy of which was spoiled some­what by in-house quar­rel­ing, but we all fig­ured out the source and were friends in the end. By far the most com­pre­hen­sive his­to­ry of Packard; the lat­er bind­ings hold up much bet­ter than the flim­sy original.

Corvette: America’s Only True Sports Car. Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; New York: Beek­man House, 1978. The first of a long string of Corvette books, each build­ing upon the oth­er. Traces the Amer­i­can sports car back to the Mer­cer Race­about and Stutz Bearcat. At Carlisle, when my wife asked a cus­tomer if he would like his copy signed, he asked: “By whom?” Ah, fick­le fame.

* * *

Cars of the 50s. Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al; New York: Beek­man House, 1978. Con­sumer Guide issue, April 1980. I think the pub­lish­ers have pro­duced a half dozen dif­fer­ent books by this title. Mine sur­veyed the ranks of Detroit in a decade marked by the horse­pow­er race, the hard­top con­vert­ible, the all-steel sta­tion wag­on, tail­fins and tor­sion bars, and the advent of high style in 1955.

hotoneThe Hot One: Chevro­let 1955-57, by Pat Chap­pell (pub­lish­er). Hop­kin­ton, N.H.: Drag­onwyck Pub­lish­ing, 1978, five reprints. Pat Chapell backed reluc­tant­ly into “clas­sic” Chevys because her hus­band was crazy about them, and got to like them so much that she researched their com­plete his­to­ry. Her book had five print­ings, and is sought after today. The one to look for has a sil­ver bind­ing, which marked the twen­ty-fifty anniver­sary of the ’55 Chevy in 1980. We are now work­ing on a Kin­dle edition.


Hud­son: The Post­war Years. Osceola,Wis.: Motor­books Inter­na­tion­al, 1977. Only one man, George Mason of Nash-Kelv­ina­tor, real­ized after World War II that the Big Three (GM, Chrysler, Ford) would even­tu­al­ly wipe out the small inde­pen­dents. Mason start­ed court­ing Hud­son in 1948, final­ly got them in 1953. Mean­while he was encour­ag­ing Packard to merg­er with Stude­bak­er, hop­ing to put them all togeth­er. He didn’t suc­ceed, and the big Hud­sons and Nash­es van­ished after 1957; but Hud­son in those years pro­duced unique cars by engi­neers who weren’t behold­en to any­body, and dom­i­nat­ed NASCAR rac­ing from 1952 to 1954.

1957 Cars (with Jeff God­shall, Hal Watts). Skok­ie, Illi­nois: Pub­li­ca­tions Inter­na­tion­al, 1977. Con­sumer Guide issues of Novem­ber 1977 and August 1980. “I know you are a playboy…And you got a new Fifty-sev­en too!” The Ever­ly Broth­ers sing along to this run­down of the fab­u­lous ’57s from Detroit. My first project for Pubs Inter­na­tion­al, the begin­ning of a long rela­tion­ship that still goes on through their mag­a­zine Col­lectible Automobile. 


Chrysler & Impe­r­i­al: The Post­war Years. Osce­o­la, Wis., Motor­books Inter­na­tion­al, 1976. Here’s what hap­pened to Wal­ter Chrysler’s empire in the first two decades after the war, when he wasn’t around to run it. Tracks the post­war renais­sance under K.T. Keller (Chrysler was num­ber two after GM until 1952), the near-fail­ure in 1953-54, the Vir­gil Exn­er rebirth with the “For­ward Look” of 1955, the age of tail­fins and land yachts, through the era of the Cor­do­ba. Won­der­ful quotes from design­ers, styl­ists and executives.


Kaiser-Fraz­er: Last Onslaught on Detroit. New York: Dut­ton, 1975; Kutz­town: Bitz & Frost, 1980. “Author’s first book.” Based on dozens of inter­views with for­mer engi­neers, styl­ists and exec­u­tives, packed with rare pho­tos from pro­to­types to per­son­al­i­ties, it won the Antique Auto­mo­bile Club of Amer­i­ca McK­ean Tro­phy and the Soci­ety of Auto­mo­tive His­to­ri­ans Cug­not Award for the best auto­mo­tive book of 1975. But Kaiser-Fraz­er was a blip in auto­mo­tive his­to­ry, and some said its cars were the answer to a ques­tion nobody asked. You pays your mon­ey and you takes your choice, but if you want to hear the rec­ol­lec­tions of peo­ple who made Detroit what it was in the 1950s, this book is for you. Look for copies on book­find­er.


TriumphAQFifty Years of Tri­umph. (Link is to the orig­i­nal appear­ance.) New York: Auto­mo­bile Quar­ter­ly Pub­li­ca­tions, 1973. A soft­bound dis­til­la­tion of my Tri­umph piece in Auto­mo­bile Quar­ter­ly, reprint­ed for dis­tri­b­u­tion by British Ley­land Motors to help pro­mote the cur­rent line. There were a some his­tor­i­cal gaffes and a few howlers. Tri­umph his­to­ri­an Gra­ham Rob­son kind­ly cor­rect­ed me, and that led to our col­lab­o­ra­tion, and a great co-authored book, Tri­umph Cars (above).

Oldsmo­bile: The First Sev­en­ty-five Years (with Bev­er­ly Rae Kimes). New York: Auto­mo­bile Quar­ter­ly Pub­li­ca­tions, 1972. Co-authored with my old col­league (she did the pre-World War II his­to­ry, I wrote the post­war). Issued for Olds deal­er dis­tri­b­u­tion as a paper­back (illus­trat­ed) as well as a hard­back with dust jack­et. Fair to mid­dlin’ pho­tog­ra­phy, only 72 pages: a cap­sule history.


World of Cars. New York: Dut­ton, 1971. An inter­est­ing first assign­ment after I joined Auto­mo­bile Quar­ter­ly in 1970. Dut­ton want­ed a slick cof­fee table car book using AQ pho­tog­ra­phy; art direc­tor Ted Hall did the lay­outs (no desk­top pro­gram in those days), giv­ing me a few breaks by allow­ing large for­mat for cars I liked. My job was to write the copy to fit in the space Ted had left. The copy was the work of many authors. The fin­ished book, print­ed on very heavy enam­el, weighed near­ly three pounds. Too bad they didn’t pay us by the ounce.

11 thoughts on “Books

  1. Thanks for that inter­est­ing sto­ry. I nev­er heard of the car but when I wrote my Thun­der­bird book I main­ly inter­viewed design­ers and engi­neers, so it was unlike­ly I’d run into it. Quite possible–anything was pos­si­ble in those days. I have pub­lished your note and phone num­ber in case any read­er can help. Have you tried the Inter­na­tion­al Thun­der­bird Club ?

  2. I have a 1958 Tbird alleged­ly made for Ford for the state police of Penn­syl­va­nia. My father bought the car in 1961 and lat­er when he need­ed sus­pen­sion parts, noth­ing fit. Ford came to see what the prob­lem was and revealed the car was built for the state police and the sus­pen­sion and motor were cus­tom. We did not get any doc­u­men­ta­tion, but its per­for­mance revealed it was not stock. I recent­ly had the engine rebuilt and the rebuilder said he had nev­er seen a Ford engine like this one. Can you help me doc­u­ment this cus­tom-built car? My phone is 330 604 6165 and I would great­ly appre­ci­ate hear­ing from any­one who could help. The car is all orig­i­nal and in good con­di­tion, and I nev­er reached top speed as I abort­ed at 140 mph.

  3. Click on the links pro­vid­ed for most book titles. They are to Ama­zon USA. Ama­zon has oth­er out­lets world­wide. If you can’t find a title on Ama­zon, try

  4. Gen­tle­men I would like to order Vin­tage Car Books
    would you tell me the procedure.


  5. Tom, thanks for the kind words. I’m reson­si­ble for all those cars? (I blush, but not for long.) If you can put up with Win­ston Churchill instead of old cars, I will be mak­ing my first-ever vis­it to Nashville in Octo­ber. See the post under “Appear­ances.”

  6. Thank you Mr. Lang­worth for many won­der­ful hours read­ing your auto­mo­tive his­to­ries. You are the rea­son I own a ’48 Chrysler,’54 Chrysler Wind­sor and ’47 Packard Clip­per Super. Have read your post­war his­to­ry of Hud­son at least twice. I nev­er trav­el with­out a copy of one of your books. My newest car is a 50K mile 1952 Lin­coln Cos­mopoli­tan hard­top that I take deliv­ery of in a day or two. Have always want­ed to meet you and this is the a close sec­ond get­ting to speak to you.Nashville is get­ting so hec­tic, not as much fun to dri­ve a vin­tage car but try to when I can.

  7. Thanks very much for the kind words, Hall­geir. Charles Nash, George Mason, George Rom­ney and Roy Chapin built a great com­pa­ny with many inno­va­tions: Twin-Igni­tion, the great Ambas­sadors, the first post­war com­pact (Ram­bler), the unique Met­ro­pol­i­tan, the Nash-Healey and more. Try Charles K. Hyde’s Sto­ried Inde­pen­dent Automak­ers: Nash, Hud­son and Amer­i­can Motors.

  8. I am a Nor­we­gian who has stud­ied 50,000 pages of Amer­i­can auto­mo­tive his­to­ry. Richard Lang­worth is the man. He has tak­en the sto­ry of the Amer­i­can cars to a new lev­el, not only for me but the world. I want you in the future to write a sto­ry of the under­dog in the Amer­i­can car sto­ry. Please make a great book about Nash. Thats miss­ing in the pic­ture I see of the Amer­i­can cars. But thank you for all you have done to inform us about the biggest Indus­try in the world. —Hall­geir

  9. G’day Richard, I recent­ly picked up a well worn copy of Per­son­al lux­u­ry, the Thun­der­bird Sto­ry, and I was thor­ough­ly wrapped that some­one has writ­ten a book on T-birds includ­ing to the Bunkie [Knud­sen] Birds of 1970-71. I pur­chased a 1970 Lan­dau 2010 and whilst the car needs restora­tion it only set me back $5000 which is not bad con­sid­er­ing it came from LA to Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia! A real­ly great read mate, and skip­ping through the cov­ers of your oth­er works I have noticed that I four more, all real­ly enjoy­able. Thanks again, Lorne Stur­dy, Emer­ald, Mel­bourne, Vic­to­ria. (Cheers, Lorne, good luck with yer Bonz­er Bird. RML)

  10. My first auto­mo­bile ride was in a 1950 Stude­bak­er Cham­pi­on with the green­house rear win­dow. My first long vaca­tion trip with my par­ents was in a turquoise 1954 Stude­bak­er Con­esto­ga Wag­on. The first car I ever drove was a 1965 Stude­bak­er Lark sta­tion wag­on with the slid­ing roof. Such mem­o­ries. Since then it has been strict­ly Volvos and a Sub­aru Forester. (Nobody’s per­fect, Doug! RML)

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