Admit it: there are few things in life that are more enjoyable than looking at a well-designed car.

For those who can’t afford a dream garage filled with these icons, however, a well-written coffee table book that’s also filled to the brim with stunning photography can be the perfect remedy to your mechanical and financial conundrum.

More than a catalog for beautiful rides, these best coffee table books on cars offer insider information, previously unreleased images, and a different perspective on automotive legends around the world, whether it’s via world-class architecture or miniature die-cast toys. 

This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore

(Hero & featured image credit: Image Credit: Lars Kienle/Unsplash)

1

Good design has a part to play in our everyday lives, and perhaps the biggest influences around us (quite literally) are cars and buildings. Authored by Bert Voet and Thijs Demeulemeester, Carchitecture marries the two with stunning images over 192 pages of automative eye candy and some of the most fascinating architecture, with snippets of facts and observations about how they co-exist and inspire each other. 

The cars are just as diverse as the properties too; expect to see cars like the Maserati Biturbo, Porsche 924, and Ferrari 250 GT SWB in front of mind-blowing architecture in locations like Palm Springs and the Alps.

Price
THB 1814
Get it here
2

The high-octane world of Formula One might be filled with intense rivalries and the heated scandals, but it’s also created some of the greatest moments in sporting history. This book is an exciting retrospective of what went down from the 1950s till present day, capturing the highs and lows of superstars like Alain Prost, Arton Senna, and of course Lewis Hamilton.

Expect stunning behind-the-scenes shots of pit stops and garages, dramatic highlights on the track, and beautiful portraits of drivers and personal moments in their career.

Price
THB 1528
Get it here
3

More than 50 years and over six billion miniature cars later, Hot Wheels still manages to stir excitement over children and grown adults alike  —remember Elon Musk’s Hot Wheels Tesla Roadster on his space expedition? This rubber-bound tome by Assouline is an ode to these tiny die-cast vehicles, which in addition to decades’ worth of product development imagery also includes vintage ads, a guide to some of the most collectible cars, and how it’s influenced the world with its larger-than-life personality.

Price
THB 1697
Get it here
4

Filled with strange but captivating images through the lens — and windscreen — of photographer Lee Friedlander, this compelling book showcases America like you’ve never seen it before. A constant juxtaposition between the country’s timeless landscapes and modern kinks, this road trip sees him driving across most of the country’s 50 states in an ordinary rental car, using his sideview mirror, windshield, and side windows as a frame within which to record the country’s eccentricities and obsessions. Nearly 200 of these mesmerising monochromatic visuals make the book.

Price
THB 15,277
Get it here
Shatricia Nair
Shatricia Nair is a motoring, watches, and wellness writer who is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, tourbillons, and the latest fitness trends. She is fuelled by peanut butter and three cups of coffee a day.