I have to tell you I am in love with the new Speed Read series by Motorbooks/Quarto Publishing. I was offered the first two books of the series to review- and what you should know is that I will own the entire series (which as it stands now will include six books- but personally I am hoping for more). That is how much I love these books.
I will start with the first book- Speed Read Car Design by author Tony Lewin. It’s a lovely, no-nonsense, no extraneous fluff, information book that gives readers the history and concept of modern car design. The book is broken up into seven easily digestible sections (think chapters) starting with The Birth Of Car Design then moving quickly into a Century of Changing Shapes, then into Innovation, The Elements of Style, and then into Engineering, Interiors and Space. It then takes on The Creative Process and closes with What Comes Next, which as the title suggests is the future of car design. Each subsection with in the section has relevant and beautifully clean matte “old school” illustrations and each section ends with a topic glossary- which as a word nerd I absolutely adore. I admit that my favorite sections personally of car design is the Creative process- specifically the subsection “The Step-by-Step of Car Design” which literally breaks up the entire process of modern car design into six steps. I also rather enjoyed perusing both the subsections “Techniques and Tools” subsection which goes briefly into specific modeling tools used in the process of car design and the subsection on “Fashion, fads and Corporate Styles” which details the specific designs and styles that are expected by certain auto manufacturers. Speed Read Car Design was put together by Tony Lewin, writer and editor for Automotive News Europe, who it’s quite obvious has spent most of his life driving cars, analyzing them and reporting on the ups and downs of the manufactures that build them and global cultural factors that influence them. He has also authored several other books on automotive car design.
The next book in the series that I got to review was Speed Read F1 by Stuart Codling. Much like Car Design, F1 is also split into seven sections (chapters) and filled with beautiful matte illustrations and relevant sidebars in each subsection. Also each section also ends in that lovely glossary- which I love even more in the F1 book than I did in the car design book because sometimes racing terminology in F1 is different than I am use to and it helps this NASCAR and NHRA lover figure out what is being discussed. The sections F1 is broken up in order are: Technology, Drivers, Rivalries, Racing Circuits, Flag To Finish, Staying Alive, and Taking Care Of Business. As someone who has watched F1 on multiple occasions or but not closely enough to know all the intricacies this particular form of motorsport, I found this book refreshing as a crash course in the particulars of F1 and what makes it unique in the motorsports world. Much like Car Design, F1 is also written in a clear, easy to read manner. My favorite section in this book was Rivalries, which lists a several of the sports stand-out rivalries. Especially with some of the more historic rivalries, while I likely recognized the name of at least one of the drivers I was able to read through the particulars of what makes that specific rivalry contentious. My second favorite section was the Staying Alive section as it detailed safety and how it has evolved with F1 through the years. Speed Read F1 was written by Stuart Codling, who you may know as a broadcaster and F1 expert if you already follow the sport. He has also been featured before in Amy’s #NASCAR Reading list for his Lamborghini Supercar book. You can find out more about Stuart on his website StuartCodling.com.
The Speed Read series are kind of like a combination guide book and textbook (and I mean textbook in the most loving bookophile, booknerd way). They are beautiful high quality paperbacks that measure approximately 6.9 x 8.9 inches. Speed Read Car Design and Speed Read F1 are available now for purchase. I know I mentioned this before but I absolutely love these books and I am greatly looking forward to the future editions of Speed Read- which will include Speed Read Mustang and Speed Read Ferrari to be released soon and also will include Speed Read Supercars and Speed Read Porsche 911 to be released later in the year. I would like to see even more books in the series- including ones on different racing forms like NASCAR, NHRA, INDYCAR, etc but there is nothing in the works for that that I know of.
For Full-Disclosure purposes (I am looking at you FTC):
I received both books (Speed Read Car Design and Speed Read F1 from the publisher in hopes I would reveiw the books. As with all my reviews on BadGroove, opinions on this book are my own. The links to purchase the book provided in this review are NOT affiliate links and I do not earn anything off of this review.
Click here for other installments of Amy’s #NASCAR Reading List