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Book Reviews

Reviews of both new and old books that are of interest to every Car Collector.

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Auto Legends: Classics of Style and Design
Book by Michel Zumbrunn,text in English by Robert Cumberford

Reviewed by Ferdinand Hediger

Hardbound,288 pages, 400 colour photographs, 12-1/2 by 10 inches. ISBN 1-85894-216-0. Published by Merrell Publishers Ltd., London. Available at

Swiss professional photographer Michel Zumbrunn has long been known for his fabulous and unmistakable studio photographs of automobiles. His work has been published in leading magazines in the U.S. (Automobile Quarterly), France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. There are 400 of his colour photographs of more than 60 cars in this great book. The oblong pages allow a perfect presentation of the pictures. The subjects are presented in chronological order, ranging from veterans, vintage and Full Classic® cars of the 1920s and 1930s, the legendary models of the postwar period to the latest sports cars. Among them are rarities such as the famous London-Edinburgh Rolls-Royce tourer, a magnificient Farman torpedo, the Bugatti T.55 coupé, the prototype of the Jaguar SS 90 and the Talbot-Lago with Figoni & Falaschi coupé body. The photographs usually show the cars from various angles. Smaller pictures of the interiors, dash boards, engines and details supplement the file.

This unique collection of photographs is accompanied by short texts and a clever historical appraisal by the designer and journalist, Robert Cumberford. The text usually does not contain technical specifications but sketches the development of each car pictured. At the end of the book the author provides the following valuable addenda: short biographies of the leading coachbuilders and designers, description of automotive terms and styling elements, a short list of some car museums and an index. This is truly a very fine book, well produced and bound, which will be enjoyed for many years to come.

Highly recommended.