""Definitive" is an ambitious goal, but one this hefty book tackles with élan - perhaps the way a 1965 Gordon-Keeble might tackle a winding country road. I'd never heard of a Gordon-Keeble until I picked up "Car," but there it is, parked among the hundreds of automobiles, both well loved and obscure, in this volume. They range from the primitive Grenville Steam Carriage of 1880 to the futuristic Alfa Romeo/Bertone Pandion of 2010, and readers will be hard-pressed to think of a make or model that isn't here, or at least represented by a close relative.DK Publishing has made a trademark of its richly visual layouts, with silhouetted photographs scattered liberally throughout. In "Car," each decade gets 30-odd pages; each two-page spread examines a particular type, like the convertible or the sport sedan. Each illustrated example is accompanied by the briefest of spec sheets, and its story is told in a sentence or two.The editors seem to have feared (perhaps rightly) that after a while the book might resemble the world's biggest Matchbox collection. To break the monotony, they have interspersed magazine-style articles on great marques and notable models. Informative engine cutaways will appease readers itching to get under the hood.The book was put together by Dorling Kindersley, DK Publishing's English relative, and while the United States is well represented in this Americanized edition, there is a preponderance of what Americans used to quaintly call foreign cars. There's nothing wrong with this, but it may leave some readers hankering for more details and bigger images of unfamiliar makes, like that Gordon-Keeble.For grease-under-the-nails gearheads, "Car" may seem a tad superficial. But the rest of us may well find hours of fascination long after the holidays have receded in the rearview mirror."
"Titling a book Car? Presumptuous. Titling this book Car? Apt. It's as dense and diverse as the history of the automobile itself, yet the accessible presentation makes Car the perfect textbook for automotive neophytes. DK Publishing paints broad pictures of automotive trends at every decade in a catalog of more than 1,200 cars interjected with focused explorations of iconic engines, marques, and automobiles. Use it to school your eight-year-old, and you'll find yourself steeped in the pages."
"There are very few, if any, books that picture as many cars from around the world and from as many eras as 'Car.'...the philosophy under which Giles Chapman edited 'Car' makes this a book for the fan of every marque."
"Anyone who understands the importance of mobility in American society will spend hours absorbing this engrossing work, arranged by decades from the 1920s to the present. Editor-in-chief Giles Chapman is a noted commentator on the industry, history, and culture of cars."