Audio Books for Car Enthusiasts

April 19, 2011

Some people harbor a deep and defining love of classic cars while others are hooked on a particular brand or model.  And then there are those who are more interested in what’s under the hood than the state of the body.  Still others are keen on the topic of racing.  No matter what you love about automobiles, they are an indelible part of our cultural landscape.  And as such, just about everyone can find an area of interest pertaining to our favored form of transportation (just look at the popularity of films like American Graffiti, Bullitt, and Gone in 60 Seconds, for example).  So if you’re looking for an audio book on automobiles to listen to in the comfort of your very own vehicle, here are a few that make the grade.

1.       On the Edge: My Story by Richard Hammond.  Hammond is best known as 1/3 of the trio that hosts Top Gear for the BBC, completing mad stunts around the world with clunkers and hot-rods alike.  In this audio book, he talks about his first forays into the world of the car-addicted adrenaline junkie and goes on to describe some of the many events featured on Top Gear, along with his relationships with co-hosts Jeremy Clarkson and James May, all leading up to the 300-mph crash that left him in a coma.  This book details both the best and the worst that can befall a true car-lover.

2.       Zoom: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future by Vijay Vaitheeswaran and Iain Carson.  This book is basically everything you wanted to know about the perils of petroleum but were too afraid to ask.  Both authors worked for The Economist (as writer and editor, respectively), and in this audio book, they team up to tackle the issue of big oil and the future of petroleum-fueled vehicles.  Taking to task auto-manufacturers and oil companies alike, Vaitheeswaran and Carson offer suggestions for cleaner automobiles and a future that demands less greenhouse gas emissions.

3.       Full Throttle: The Life and Times of NASCAR Legend Curtis Turner by Robert Edelstein.  Turner was one of the first NASCAR celebrities, largely due to his recklessness on the course.  But his live fast and die young mantra did not contain itself to the track; he was just as headstrong and fearless in his personal life.  He may have died young at the age of 46, but he sure did have an amazing life along the way.

4.       Driving Like Crazy: Thirty Years of Vehicular Hell-bending Celebrating America the Way It’s Supposed to Be – With an Oil Well in Every Backyard, a Cadillac Escalade in Every Carport, and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Mowing Our Lawn by P.J. O’Rourke.  Don’t let the lengthy title of this audio book throw you; this collection of writings by automotive journalist O’Rourke is worth a listen.  He covers several topics, from fun cars to driving slang in this multifaceted look at everything automotive.

5.       Car Talk: Why You Should Never Listen to Your Father When It Comes to Cars by Tom Magliozzi and Ray Magliozzi.  You probably know the radio personalities behind NPR’s Car Talk better by their on-air names: Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers.  These snippets from their Peabody Award-winning show (syndicated to over 600 stations) focus on the bad advice fathers are prone to give pertaining to the buying, selling, and repairing of automobiles.  With humorous listener call-ins and advice from Click and Clack, this collection will have your laughing and nodding your head in agreement.

Sarah Danielson writes for Party Bus Rental CT where you can find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs. Connecticut Limo also provides car service to JFK airport.

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