Quick Start Learning Guide

Quick Start Learning Guide

Finding the right books to learn car design and construction can be a time consuming process. We have spent many hours and have researched over 250 books in the quest to find ones which provide the best value and useful information. In doing so, we have kept approximately 150 of the titles that cover every aspect of design and construction we could think of and attempted to find books of value for every vehicle type (Including Race cars, sports cars and off-road 4×4 machines)

Of the 150 titles, we determined that a small number of them made a lot of sense for those just getting started in car engineering. Hence, the “Quick Start Learning Guide” was born. We’ve selected books for each vehicle type which make sense as “First reads” before or during the concept and design stage. We hope you find it useful.

Choose a Vehicle Type
Click on a vehicle type below to view the Quick Start Learning Guide for that type.

Vehicle Type 
Autocross/Solo (Entry-Level)
Street type production car-based classes with basic bolt-ons / swap-outs of components.
Autocross/Solo (Mid-Level)
Street type production car-based classes with more advanced modifications including engine / suspension / aero
Autocross/Solo (Top-Level)
Street/Non-streetable classes with extensive modifications or scratch build.
Bar Stool Racer
Kart-style racer featuring a bar stool as the seat mounted on a tube chassis
Custom Street/Import
Custom street production car with modifications.
CycleKart
Open wheel Pre-WWII GP replica race cars built using motorcycle wheels and small engines
Drag Racer (Junior Dragster)
1/2 scale version of top fuel dragster with scratch-built chassis.
Drag Racer (Production-Based)
Drag racing car built on stock production car chassis.
Drag Racer (Scratch-Built)
Drag racing car with scratch-built chassis and covering bodywork
Dune Buggy
2WD or 4WD off-road/extreme terrain car with custom bodywork over a scratch-built chassis. Known for large suspension travel and desert racing.
Formula (Non-wing)
Open wheel race car with custom bodywork over scratch-built chassis.
Formula (Winged)
Open wheel race car with custom bodywork over scratch-built chassis and wing or venturi-based downforce generation
GT
Production sports car with modifications for racing
Kart
Open/Closed wheel race car built on a suspension-less chassis.
Midget (Full Size)
Open wheel race car with custom bodywork over scratch-built chassis.
Midget (Quarter)
1/4 scale midget cars using scratch-built chassis and kart components.
Off-road Truck
2WD/4WD off-road racing truck with custom truck-body style bodywork over scratch-built chassis
Pickup truck (Custom Off-road)
Custom production truck built with off-road modifications
Pickup Truck (Scratch-built)
2WD asphalt racing truck with custom truck-body style bodywork over scratch-built chassis
Quad/ATV
Modified production quad/ATV.
Rally
Road/Dirt/Ice race car built on production car chassis.
Rider Mower
Modified production rider mower.
Sport Racer/Sports Prototype
Sports prototype-style car with custom fabricated chassis.
Sprint (Full Size)
Open wheel car with scratch-built chassis.
Sprint (Micro)
Open wheel motorcycle engine powered car with scratch-built chassis.
Stock Car (Production-Based)
Stock production car with modifications to run on dirt or asphalt surfaces.
Stock Car (Scratch-built /Late Model)
Stock car with scratch-built chassis and custom bodywork.
Street Rod
Stylized performance car built on a production car chassis.
Supercar
Very high performance street-legal car with a scratch-built chassis
Touring Car
Stock production sedan with modifications for road circuit racing.

Further Research

If you wish to do your own research, Amazon also provides excellent information and reviews. If you wish to start with the full list of our researched books, you can find it in our Books section.

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