Graham's Hobby Website

Recommended Books on Driving Skills & Sports Cars

The following books are a good starting point for self-examination re your driving skills. Between them they cover everything you need to know. Putting it in to practice is another matter.

Recommended Books on Driving Skills & Road Safety

The material below covers quite a wide time span, showing that much of the advice does not date. That said, the capabilities of modern vehicles mean that on increasingly busy roads, the state of mind of the driver is often the weak link and this is explored in depth in recent publications.

Mind Driving,
by Stephen Haley.
Published by: DIA Publishing, 2006
"New skills for staying alive on the road".

A new approach to driving skill to help reduce crash risk. Based on in-depth analysis of all the complexities, including the driver.

This book will make you uncomfortably aware of (and mortified by) any bursts of emotion and/or aggression you may experience whilst driving!

The Police Driver's Handbook,
by The Police Foundation.
Published by: The Stationery Office, 2013
"It's essential reading for any driver wanting to develop their driving ability and safety to a more advanced level".

A model of clarity with loads of diagrams and concise coverage of: becoming a better driver, car control, road behaviour and various driving scenarios.

The style is a bit Powerpoint presentation, with lots of bullet points. The detail is all there but is not necessarily very digestible. More of a manual than a readable narrative.

How To Drive, by Ben Collins.
Published by: Macmillan, 2014
"The ultimate guide - from the man who was The Stig".

Don't be misled by the cover, this is not about racing driving rather it is a cogent guide to the demands and skills of driving in general.

It is well laid out in bite sized chunks and is an easy read, with some great anecdotes.

The Porsche Driving Book
by Martin Beck-Burridge and John Lyon.
Published by: Porsche Cars Great Britain Ltd, 1988 & 1990
Covers the general advanced driving requirements for a performance car, such as the Porsche, together with specifics on classic and front-engined Porsches.

Also contains interesting chapters on Porsche-specific technicalities and development history.

Advanced and Performance Driving
by Reg Local.
Published as: Paperback & e-book
Comprehensive book by an ex-police driving instructor.

Still in the process of reading this one. Good reviews on Amazon.co.uk.

Creative Car Control Handbook:
Driving Right on The Edge
by Don Palmer.
Published as: Kindle e-book
Most relevant to track driving at "ten tenths".

Some interesting material on grip, car dynamics and behaviour on the limit.

Track time and coaching really needed to make practical use of these techniques.

Recommended Books on Sportscars

Motoring books are legion. The following are a minimal selection that covers the post-war history of most marques in outline, together with some high quality offerings relating to particular cars.

Sports Car Classics: Volume 1,
by Eric Dymock.
Published by: Dove Publishing Ltd, 2011
First part of a wide-ranging collection of original sports car reviews and articles.

Contemporary features, road tests, motoring columns and book extracts, all by Eric Dymock. Originally published between about 1960 and 2010. Contains valuable insights in to what these cars meant at the time they were first available.

Alphabetically, from AC Cars to Halford, Robins and Godfrey. Particularly good on Aston, BMW and Ferrari but covers most other marques.

Sports Car Classics:
Volume 2
by Eric Dymock.
Published by: Dove Publishing Ltd, 2011
Second part of the archive of Dymock material.

Alphabetically, from Jaguar to Yamaha. Particularly good on Jaguar, MG and Porsche but covers most other marques.

Porsche 911, by Michael Scarlett.
Published by: Haynes Publishing, 2005
Haynes Great Cars Series. "A celebration of the world's most revered sports car".

Decade-by-decade, model-by-model development history of the 911 with an intelligent technical commentary.

Great photo coverage both of car exteriors and internals, including engine and suspension innards.

Ford GT40: Owner's Workshop Manual,
by Gordon Bruce.
Published by:
Haynes Publishing, 2014
"An insight into owning, racing and maintaining Ford's legendary sport's racing car".

Less a true workshop manual than a painstaking compendium of GT40 history, anatomy, driver experiences, engineering and restoration, with examples of extant cars.

Profusely illustrated, especially on the different car systems and an engine rebuild.