Gift Guide: 365 Sports Cars You Must Drive

by | Dec 8, 2020

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Books about cars are the perfect holiday gift for your car-loving friends or significant other, especially a fun book like 365 Sports Cars You Must Drive: Fast, Faster, Fastest. This is not a book that you can read-cover-to-cover like Volkswagen Beetles and Buses. Instead it’s more like something you pick up from time-to-time and browse through and maybe fantasize about your dream car. I certainly did.

First of all, I think the book’s title may be a bit optimistic. I would have swapped out the “must” for “should,” but maybe that’s just me. But don’t let these semantics get in your way of having an entertaining read. 365 Sports Cars You Must Drive uses more of a catalog style of presentation than what you might normally encounter in a traditional car book. There’s no real beginning, middle or end; instead the economical text for each car includes a synopsis of its important aspects, the influence it has/had on the car world and the uniqueness of the design. Most cars are featured one-on-a-page but some pages have photos and information about two cars. A two-part sidebar includes of all the car’s important technical specification as well as the price when it was new and the price at time of publication, so you can show your spouse what a good investment that Cisitalia you wanted to buy is now worth.

The quality of the photography, although obviously from many sources, is excellent as is the overall production level of the book. The cars are listed in alphabetical order making it easy for you to browse and find that one special car that tickled your fancy. Some of the cars featured are the “stuff that dream are made from,” like the Shelby Cobra Concept—there’s only one of them. Other cars that appear in these pages are more approachable and maybe only slightly aspirational. For example, I’ve never driven a Morgan Aero or Plus 8 but would sure like to. On the other hand I have driven a classic MG TC and it was an amazingly wonderful, if slow, experience.

In fact, you might be surprised at the number of these cars that you may have already driven. I know I was.

And if the list of cars is maybe not as inclusive as you might think and perhaps that’s because the opinions of the author’s— John Lamm, Steve Sutcliffe, Larry Edsall, James Mann, and Kris Palmer— are purely subjective. And I’m sure that hitting the 365 number was important to them too. You may have some other opinions about what you might want or prefer to see in these pages; they have theirs and the one thing I’ve discovered as I’ve gotten older is that it’s a lot more educational to see another’s point of view, even if you don’t necessarily agree with it.

There is, for example, no mention of the AMC Javelin (it was the 1971 Trans-Am racing series champion) but you will find the rarer Arnolt-Bristol that even a guy like me once owned. Similarly, you’ll find a page for the Geely Gleagle but not a Ginnetta. As you might expect, there are many Porsche models featured including the 914 and 944 but not the highly regarded 912 or 912E and not unexpectedly the unloved Audi-powered 924 that I once owned. But what is included will make any car enthusiast’s heart skip a beat. Is there a more handsome and dynamic grand tourer than the Jaguar XJ220? That’s also the kind of thrill that I experienced when I looked at a two-page spread that features the unique Mazda Cosmo rotary on the left-hand page next to the mundane but much-loved Mazda Miata on the right, which interestingly enough is one of the few car models whose photos and description goes on for more than one page.

365 Sports Cars You Must Drive is an enjoyable read and makes a gift that will bring a smile to anyone who receives this book during this holiday season. It’s a book you might want to keep on your nightstand to read each night before going to sleep. You might just find your dream car in it’s beautifully illustrated pages.

  • Softcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Motorbooks, Revised, Updated edition (October 27, 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760369771
  • ISBN-13:978-0760369777
  • Dimensions: 6.65 x 1 x 8.25 inches
  • Price: $26.99 (Amazon Prime, as I write this.)