20th Century Classic Cars

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100 Years of Automotive Ads

By Jim Heimann and Phil Patton

Henry Ford jump-started the age of the automobile with the first assembly-line car in 1908: the Model T. Over the next century the automobile evolved from chugging workhorse to tail fin–era showboat to sleek status symbol, complete with sleek hood ornament. Initially a novelty item, the car grew into a necessity of the modern age, and a vector of freedom on the open road.

20th Century Classic Cars offers a lush visual history of the automobile, decade by decade, via 400-plus print advertisements from the Jim Heimann Collection.

Using imagery culled from a century of auto advertising, this book traces the evolution of the auto from horseless carriage to rocket on wheels—and beyond. With an introduction and chapter text by New York Times automotive writer Phil Patton, as well as an illustrated timeline, this volume highlights the technological innovations, major manufacturers and dealers, historical events, and influence of popular culture on car design. Time-travel through the Automobile Age with a collection that puts you in the driver’s seat.

Sized at 5.8 x 8 inches, this compact format is anything but skimpy. Hard bound with jacket and more than 500 pages, the books in Taschen's Bibliotheca Universalis series are a great value for the book collector looking to curate a rich library of art.

Hardcover with jacket

592 pages

“A brisk spin down a Madison Avenue memory lane, automotive division… A worthwhile addition to the library of anyone interested in autos, ads, or auto ads.”
The New York Times, New York