Art of the Classic Car

Art of the Classic Car by Peter Harholdt and Peter Bodensteiner

Format: Hardback, 224 Pages
ISBN: 9780760344156
Publisher: Motorbooks
Buy from an Online Retailer
$50.00 $40.00 / £40.00 £32.00
The rarity and historical significance of prewar classic and antique cars make them hot commodities on the collector car market. These are the automobiles that populate the fairways and manicured lawns of the world’s greatest car shows in alluring locales like Pebble Beach, California, and Amelia Island, Florida. These are the cars that bring a hush to the hall when they roll across the blocks at auctions around the world. These are the cars that fill the world’s greatest collections, like those of Ralph Lauren, Mark Knopfler, and various members of royal families. These are the cars from history’s premiere automakers: hallowed names like Packard, Duesenberg, Stutz, Bugatti, Mercedes-Benz, Cord, and others—six-figure and million-dollar machines that thrill Barrett-Jackson audiences and drive bidders to frenzy. Art of the Classic Car features the stunning studio photography of Peter Harholdt (Art of the Hot Rod, Art of the Muscle Car), lavished on the most significant automobiles from the classic era: the 1910s to early 1940s. Every page contains framable-quality portraits of some of the most important cars ever made, with each car accompanied by a short essay from automotive expert Peter Bodensteiner that places the model contextually within automotive history. Complete with period ads and promotional art, Art of the Classic Car is the most beautiful pictorial history of classic cars ever produced.

Peter Harholdt is a lifelong car enthusiast, SCCA racer, and preeminent studio photographer. He has been trusted to photograph countless priceless works of art for museums and exhibit catalogs. He first developed his portable studio to create the stunning hot rod portraits featured in Motorbooks' Art of the Hot Rod.

Official Website:

Peter Bodensteiner (Vadnais Heights, MN) is the founder of Stance & Speed, a niche publishing company devoted to providing the very best books for automotive enthusiasts.

Format: Hardback, 224 Pages
ISBN: 9780760344156
Illustrations: 206 color photos
Size: 12.25 in x 10.75 in x 1 in / 311.15 mm x 273.05 mm x 25.4 mm
Introduction 6
Section I: Open Cars
1911 Mercer 35 R Raceabout
1916 Stutz Bearcat
1934 Edsel Ford Model 40 Special Speedster
1935 Duesenberg SJ Mormon Meteor I
Section II: Roadsters
1930 Cord L-29 Cabriolet
1930 Jordan Speedway Series Z Ace
1934 Packard Twelve Runabout Speedster
1935 Duesenberg JN Roadster
1936 Mercedes 540K Special Roadster
1937 Delahaye 135M Roadster
1939 Delage D8-120S Cabriolet
Section III: Coupes
1930 Bentley Speed Six Blue Train Special
1933 Cadillac Fleetwood V-16 Aero-Dynamic Coupe
1934 Packard Model 1106 V-12 Sport Coupe
1935 Chrysler Imperial Model C2 Airflow Coupe
1936 Delahaye Model 135M Coupe
1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atlante
1939 Delage D8-120S Cabriolet Aérodynamic Coupé
1937 Dubonnet Hispano-Suiza “Xenia” Coupe
1938 Alfa Romeo 8C2900B
Section IV: Sedans
1931 Duesenberg SJ Convertible
1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow
1934 Hispano-Suiza J-12 Sedanca
1936 Cord 810 Model C92 Beverly Sedan
1941 Chrysler Town & Country

For folks who enjoy the automobile as art, here is another sumptuous coffee-table book from Motorbooks. Photographer Harholdt (The Allure of the Automobile: Driving in Style, 1930-1965) gives classic cars the full treatment, with an oversize spread shot of each automobile and smaller photos of the engine, the interior and upholstery, and any other attractive parts, such as the hood ornaments. The classic cars included range from a 1911 Mercer 351L Runabout to the 1941 Chrysler Town & Country, with the rest of the cars from the 1920s and 1930s. ­Duesenbergs, Delahayes, and other rare vehicles only seen in museums or at prestigious car shows star on these pages. There is minimal text by Bodensteiner (founder, Stance & Speed Pub.), just enough to identify the car, a few specifications, and sometimes a tidbit of interest—the book explains that the 1934 Packard Twelve Runabout Speedster photographed here was a gift from actress Carole Lombard to her husband Clark Gable. ­VERDICT The images have such a luxurious feel that the reader almost suffers guilt just paging through the volume. Lovers of classics cars will want to have this in their collection, and libraries will find this a worthy addition to collections on automotive history and design. - Library Journal

"Peter Harholdt has beautifully shot each car… a glossy mini-concours…" - AutoWeek

‘The studio photography by Peter Harholdt is sumptuous and beautifully lit’

December 12, 2013
Mustang: Fifty Years, Strange But True Tales of Car Collecting, The Real Way Round, and Art of the Classic Car were highlighted in the New York Times automobile gift book section. Read More.