It’s back to school time.

That means it’s a great time to hit the books! No, we’re not talking about reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic books. We’re referring to awesome books for the other R: Rodding.

With school back in session in many places, we thought we’d take the opportunity to help you study up on hot rodding and drag racing. There are thousands of great auto-related books available, but here are a baker’s dozen books any hot rodder can enjoy:

Lost Hot Rods

Summary: Who knows what lurks in that old garage across the street? Lost Hot Rods tells the tale of rediscovered unique custom cars, including photos of how they used to look, how they appeared when they were found, and what they look like now. It even includes tips for finding forgotten projects in your neighborhood.
Author: Pat Ganahl
Pages: 252


Route 66 Lost and Found: Mother Road Ruins and Relics—the Ultimate Collection

Summary: Americana at its best! This book features captivating photos of America’s Mother Road, including filling stations, main streets, campgrounds, and more. You’ll see these Route 66 roadside landmarks during their heyday and as they appear today.
Author: Russell Olsen
Pages: 420
Similar: Ghost Towns of Route 66, Route 66 Backroads


McQueen’s Machines: The Cars and Bikes of a Hollywood Icon

Summary: What could be cooler than Steve McQueen? How about Steve McQueen’s collection of cars and motorcycles? Featuring a forward by Steve’s son, Chad McQueen, this book provides a look at the star’s racing career, stunt work—and yes, car and motorcycle collection.
Author: Matt Stone
Pages: 184
Similar: Billy F. Gibbons Rock and Roll Gearhead, Winning: The RacingLife of Paul Newman


Drag Racing Gassers Photo Archive

Summary: Go back in time to when the Gassers ruled the dragstrip! This photo book features of hundreds of pictures of the Willys, Anglias, Studebakers, Model As, and other unique hot rods that made up the A/GS classes. No cookie-cutters here—the cars and the guys who drove them broke the mold!
Author: Lou Hart
Pages: 128
Similar: Drag Racing Fuel Altereds, Pro Stock Drag Racing


SA Design How-To and Reference Manuals

Summary: If you’re getting ready to get your hands dirty, SA Design makes how-to and reference manuals for just about anything—from building first-gen small block Chevys to creating killer Ford 4.6L mod motors. You can find a manual for rebuilding transmissions, painting your car—even how to drag race! We like SA Design’s guide to Rebuilding Any Automotive Engine.
Author: Barry Kluczyk
Pages: 144

Drag Racing Collectibles

Summary: Drag racing is rich in memories—and memorabilia. If you’re into drag racing nostalgia, Drag Racing Collectibles is a must-have. It includes a look at hundreds of the quarter-mile’s coolest posters, flyers, pins, and more—even pieces from the NHRA museum!
Author: Cory Lee
Pages: 126


Ultimate Auto Detailing Projects Book

Summary: This book is like GQ for gearheads! It’s filled with tips, techniques, and advice for making your ride look its best. It features helpful detailing projects, including the cost and time involved with each one. Get noticed—get this book!
Author: David H. Jacobs, Jr.
Pages: 192
Similar: Automotive Upholstery Handbook


Automotive Atrocities: The Cars We Love to Hate Book

Summary: There are fails. And there are epic fails. This book covers both categories by providing a humorous look at some of motoring’s greatest (or worst) four-wheeled losers.
Author: Eric Peters
Pages: 128


Author: David Fuller

David Fuller is OnAllCylinders' managing editor. During his 20-year career in the auto industry, he has covered a variety of races, shows, and industry events and has authored articles for multiple magazines. He has also partnered with mainstream and trade publications on a wide range of editorial projects. In 2012, he helped establish OnAllCylinders, where he enjoys covering all facets of hot rodding and racing.