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Cars: A Celebration Hardcover – September 1, 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

More than a "celebration," as the title states, this highly illustrated volume is an exhaustive automobile encyclopedia. Willson (Classic American Cars) obviously knows his way around a steering wheel. But the most arresting features of the book are its size (nearly 600 pages), heft (6.5 lbs.), and quality (heavy, high-gloss paper with a sturdy binding). Histories of 150 of the most famous cars ever produced are fully documented with over 1800 photos. Each car is photographed in high detail, including front, back, sides, plane view, interior, and engine components. The text is minimal, focusing on each car's history and significance. Still, the book is packed with historical details and commentaries on style and engineering. It includes profiles of cars produced in Europe, the United States, Japan, and Australia. No equivalent book exists with this sort of detail and presentation. Highly suited for transportation collections and public libraries. Eric C. Shoaf, Brown Univ. Lib., Providence, RI
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Oh, the hours that car lovers will pore over the bold, dramatic pages of this large-format celebration of automotive types and styles found around the world in recent decades. Arrangement is alphabetical by marque, from the AC Ace-Bristol (a British roadster of the late 1950s) to the Willys Jeep MB (the workhorse used by the military in World War II). For each kind of featured car, a complete profile is offered: a brief history and a rundown on statistics in chart form as well as a series of luscious, crystal-clear photographs taken of the car from the front, back, top, and--across two-page spreads-- side. Yes, the Edsel might have been a consumer failure, but its laughed-at styling nevertheless now seems very typical of the fifties. But laugh at the Lamborghini of the 1970s? And let's not even get started on how we ache to have owned a Corvette Sting Ray. And remember the neighbor in the 1970s who used to collect only 1959 Cadillacs? To dream . . . Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: DK ADULT; 1st edition (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789481553
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789481559
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1.7 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,878,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Cars: A Celebration is an alphabetical display of many of the most stylish, unique, memorable, fast, and powerful cars during the latter half of the 20th century. Mr. Willson wrote the book during the centennial of Karl Benz's first car.
In a brief essay, Mr. Willson says that cars have been important to us in terms of "freedom, speed, power, sex, and sensuality."
For the future, he sees a global traffic jam, pollution, and shortages of petroleum limiting future cars to those that are small and fuel efficient. He predicts that the classic cars in this volume will still be driven by collectors.
Over 150 cars are profiled in four-page segments. On the first two pages, you get a two-page spread of the car's side view, and small views of front and back with special features noted on the side view. There is an inset that shows the car's logo, model name, number produced, body style, construction method, engine, power output, transmission, suspension, brakes, maximum speed, 0-60 m.p.h. and 0-100 m.p.h. times, and average fuel efficiency. An overview of the car (about two paragraphs worth) is on the upper left hand page. On the second two pages, you get a half-page of the front and back again with special features noted on these views, a small side and top view, and very small views of the interior and engine. You also get a very small drawing of the car or in-motion picture. Most also have a very small photograph of the car's designer or famous owner with a little detail.
The cars start with the Ace-Bristol and go on to the Willy Jeep MB.
You have some of the small, odd cars here such as the AMC Pacer, Austin Mini Cooper, BMW Isetta, and Fiat 500 D.
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Format: Hardcover
So much has happened since the first Benz shuddered to life. We have become almost completely dependant on these machines and we often have an emotional connection with cars that no other mechanical invention has ever inspired. Except when we are sitting in gridlock, even I have wondered when the heck we are going to get some cars that really fly. Now, then you are talking freedom!

The 1959 Cadillac Convertible looked like it could quite possibly take off at any second. The fins were the ultimate design statement for the era. What I found fascinating is how the Mercedes A Class is almost a modern version of the BMW Isetta. The shape is strikingly similar.

Each car is displayed in all its glory and is show in various views. To the right of each double page you will find the Model, Production numbers, Body Styles, Construction, Engines, Power Output, Transmission, Suspension, Brake, Maxium Speed and A.F.C. information. And index provides an easy way for you to look up your favorite classic car.

"If we stand back and consider the Jaguar E-Type, surely the world's most beautiful car, we see a silhouette of outstandingly fine balance, proportion, and harmony of line. But more than its tremendous physical presence, it possessed an unprecedented emotional magic, radiating messages of speed, sexuality, power, and beauty. In fact, appreciating the proportions of an elderly Jag is the nearest most of us have ever been to the criticism and consumption of art." -Quentin Willson

No wonders that was my favorite car in this book!

~The Rebecca Review
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Format: Hardcover
I don't usually like these big coffee table car books, but a book from D-K is worth looking at. And D-K doesn't disappoint here as the pictures are fantastic. I am a DeSoto owner and thought that a general book like this would bypass that marque, but even a DeSoto is featured with a beautiful 1950 convertible! I also like the book because it has pictures of the hood ornaments, dashboards, interiors, and engines. It has the specs and history of the cars too!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The layout of the book is gorgeous but I wonder where the cars came from, England maybe, many are incorrectly or poorly restored or just rusty, the Brit author thinks he knows American culture and history but is pathetically out of touch with the Yanks. Some of his flip remarks are just plain stupid. I liked the layout and the format, DK publishes gorgeous books a shame they didn't have better examples of the American cars to showcase. The cars sourced from, England, France, Italy appear to be much better examples than the "foreign American" stuff. To be honest he is a bit cynical about all the makes but as usual the US stuff is a bit to flamboyant for this "expert".
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