Synopses & Reviews
Whether you drool over their horsepower or decry their emissions, the car is an important and ubiquitous part of nearly all of our lives. And the history of their design and the innovations of their technologies can tell us a lot about how our values and attitudes have changed. In this book, Gregory Votolato shows us how and why the automobile has becomeand#151;since its rise in the late nineteenth centuryand#151;at once an object of unparalleled popular desire and a hugely problematic emblem of the modern world.
Votolato explores the ways that our love-hate relationship with the car has been intimately connected with car design. He tells the story of the rise of the private passenger car and all the psychological, social, and economic functions it has come to serve beyond mere transportation. Introducing readers to the automotive design process, he traces the lifecycle of the car from the drawing board to the scrapyard, offering insights from key figures in the industry, as well as a careful evaluation of the carand#8217;s enormous environmental impact. At the same time, he looks at the many cultures tied into the automobile, from drag racing and customizing to the luxury coachcraft of the classic era. Along the way, he takes us for a ride in some of the most famous cars ever to have had their tires inflated, from the Model T to the Tesla. The result is a top-down, thrilling burn through the history of one of our most belovedand#151;and lamentedand#151;inventions. and#160;
andldquo;Votolatoandrsquo;s Car is a well-researched, comprehensive, and global examination of our vexed infatuation with the auto that deftly combines the history and future of automobilism. It is a must-read for car idolators and detractors alike.andrdquo;
Tracing the history of the automobile, from the first prototypes to the super cars of today, Car covers the technological developments and manufacture of cars, the cultural backdrop against which the various models arose, and the enduring impact the car has had on society as an object of curiosity, symbol of luxury, and item of necessity.
The most lavishly illustrated treatment of the subject on the market, featuring the most noteworthy cars of each decade in beautifully photographed catalogs, Car is truly an international view of the automobile through time, with histories of the men and machines that created brands which are now household names.
DK's latest Car traces the history and role of the automobile, cataloging the diverse spectrum of cars from the first prototypes to the supercars of today. The book will not only cover the technological developments and manufacture of cars, but also the cultural backdrop against which the various models arose, and the enduring impact which the car has had on society as an object of curiosity, symbol of luxury, and item of necessity.
Love cars? Or hate cars? Our attitude to the cars is a social schizophrenia that affects an ever-expanding population as car ownership spreads globally. Yet the problems associated with car use become increasingly clear and present. Our love-hate relationship with the car has always been intimately connected with car design, and in this book Gregory Votolato examines this complex and persistent bond. If today many of us feel that our attachment to cars is a vice, how then does this manifest itself in the design of the cars we buy and use? And if cars per se are bad, why promote and#8220;environmentally friendlyand#8221; hybrid cars?
Over the past century the internal combustion engine, the lightweight steam engine and the electric motor proved their value to industry and commerce powering tractors, pickup trucks and delivery vans, while supporting civic order and public service in police vehicles and ambulances. Yet it was the private passenger car that became the most glamorous product of the industrial age, serving psychological, social, and economic functions well beyond its utility as a means of transportation.
In Car, Votolato traces the lifecycle of the automobile from the drawing board to the scrapyard, it evaluates the environmental impact of the worldand#8217;s current one billion cars and rising. Its explorations offer fascinating insights into the ways our attachments to cars may develop in light of environmental pressures, emerging technologies, and changing lifestyles.
About the Author
Gregory Votolato is a lecturer at the Victoria and Albert Museum and tutor in critical and historical studies in the vehicle design program at the Royal College of Art, both in London. He is the author of Transport Design and Ship, both also published by Reaktion Books.
Table of Contents
First automobiles up to 1920. Pioneer vehicles ; First cars for customers ; Great marques : the Mercedes story ; Early production-line cars ; Ford Model T ; Ford Model T straight-four ; Driving through Paris, 1908 ; Birth of the competition car ; Great marques : the Cadillac story ; Luxury and power ; Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost -- The 1920s. Competition cars ; Bugatti type 35B ; Cadillac Cadillac V16 ; Luxury and prestige ; Lancia Lambda, 1922 ; Hollywood coup