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Ultra-Rare Auto Books Up For Grabs at Geared Auction

Bid on Some Seriously Cool and Ultra-Rare Automotive Books and Literature

One Formula Fifty Years of Car Design by Gordon Murray
(photo/Mike Maez, Copyright and Courtesy of Gooding & Company)

We think it’s safe to say that if you’re reading this site, then you love a good car story. Over the years, many of the best such stories were published not on the web but in hard-to-find books. Limited editions, small publishers, collector’s editions — all full of incredible stories and meticulously detailed research.

Now, some particularly interesting car stories are up for auction at Gooding & Company’s Geared Auction.

The Geared Online Spring Automobilia auction is full of fascinating bits of automotive history. From Ferrari racing car toolboxes from the 1950s to wall signs for Mobil and Bugatti and toys for children. We won’t tell anyone that “for children” really means for you. There are even racing harnesses and belts from the 1960s if you’re feeling period correct and not overly worried about safety.

It’s the motoring books that have our attention today. It’s a gloomy day with signs of snow here, meaning it’s just about perfect for sitting down with a good book. And maybe some bourbon. So here are some of the rare books on offer at the sale that caught our eye.

Gordon Murray’s Motors in His Own Words

One Formula Fifty Years of Car Design by Gordon Murray
(photo/Mike Maez, Copyright and Courtesy of Gooding & Company)

“One Formula: Fifty Years of Car Design” by Gordon Murray and Phillip Porter is a two-volume collection. Porter has also written four books with Sir Stirling Moss and collaborated with some of the most iconic racers of all time.

The books cover every single vehicle Gordon Murray designed. From the start of his career at Brabham F1, through the McLaren F1 and his other projects until 2017.

Number seven of just 25 two-volume copies will be up for auction and includes some highly collectible goodies. Blueprints, a scale model of Murray’s first-ever design, two signed prints, a DVD of a BBC documentary on Murray. Even reproductions of passes and lanyards from Murray’s F1 career.

Both authors signed the set and should bring $2,000-$4,000 at the Geared Auction.

The Lamborghini Book and Register

The Lamborghini Miura Register and Book Geared Auction
(photo/Mike Maez, Copyright and Courtesy of Gooding & Company)

“The Lamborghini Miura Register” and “The Lamborghini Miura Book” cover the history of the first supercar. In the Miura book are unseen photographs and interviews with “all the men behind the Miura.” Even a look at some of the original owners of the cars and the Miura’s appearances on-screen.

Included in the more than 300 pages of The Lamborghini Miura Register is a list of all 726 copies of the Miura. Production number, body number, engine number, and date of production. Even the selling dealer, first owner, and the paint and interior colors. For the person who wants to know everything about every Miura, this might be the only source.

While The Register is still available new, the Miura book is not. And just 762 editions that combined the two were produced. One for each car. This is number 92, with a Geared auction estimate of $2,000-$4,000.

Start Your Own Library

Assorted Books on Alfa Romeo
(photo/Mike Maez, Copyright and Courtesy of Gooding & Company)

Other car stories in the Geared Online Spring Automobilia auction are offered in larger lots. Lot 27 features assorted books on Italian marques, coachbuilders, and motorsports like Pininfarina: Art and Industry 1930-2000″ by Antoine Prunet, “Lancia: Catalogue Raisonné” by Lancia, “De Virgilio: At the Center” by Geoffrey Goldberg, and “Red Hot Rivals” by Karl Ludvigsen, among a dozen books expected to fetch up to $2,000.

A similar lot featuring various books on Alfa Romeo will likely bring in a similar bid amount.

While European racers and manufacturers get much of the attention, there are still some American stories on offer at the Geared auction.

Daytona Cobra Coupe By The Car’s Designer

Daytona Cobra Coupes Pete Brock
(photo/Mike Maez, Copyright and Courtesy of Gooding & Company)

“Daytona Cobra Coupes: Carroll Shelby’s 1965 World Champions” is a book written by legendary American racer and designer Peter Brock. Brock is the one who designed the Daytona coupe’s famous roofline. Including the sleek tail that helped it outrun the Ferrari 250 GTO and win its class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The book offers an inside look at the development of the Daytona Cobra and the Carroll Shelby Shelby American business as a whole. It includes photos of Daytona coupes through their design and construction, as well as a history of each of the cars.

Just 400 copies of this edition were printed. It is signed by Peter Brock, Dave Friedman, and drivers including Dan Gurney and Bob Bondurant. Geared auction estimates put the sale price between $500 and $1,000.

Holman Moody
(photo/Mike Maez, Copyright and Courtesy of Gooding & Company)

We won’t turn this into a bookstore, but there are many more rare and unique books at the Geared Online Spring Automobilia auction. Even if you can’t take one of them home, the listings are worth your time to look at. The auction runs until 9 am Pacific time on April 8, 2022.

Evan Williams
About Evan Williams

Evan is an East Coast based automotive journalist and a mechanical engineering technologist. He is an avid autocrosser, hack mechanic, and a member of AJAC. If you don't find him driving or writing about cars, you'll probably find him in the garage breaking one.