Back in Print: A Century of Automotive Style

The other day, I got an email from author Michael Lamm with some exciting news: one of my favorite automotive books — and one of the most important resources on U.S. automotive styling — is back in print.

Written by Mike Lamm and the late Dave Holls (a former GM design director) and first published in 1997, A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design is an in-depth history of the practice of automotive design in the United States. The 300+ page book begins with the American coachbuilders and then chronicles the development of in-house design studios at the various automakers, including the independents. There are also sidebars on important technical developments, such as the use of clay models.

Front cover of A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design by Michael Lamm and Dave Holls

Part of what makes this fascinating and highly enjoyable book so valuable as a resource is that it draws heavily on primary research: interviews with retired designers, many of them now deceased. Therefore, you get an insider’s perspective on the personalities and behind-the-scenes machinations that helped to shape the styling trends.

If you’re interested in automotive history (and if you’re reading this website, I have to assume you are), A Century of Automotive Style is an essential book. Really, my only serious complaint about it is that for years it’s been hard to find print copies. (I got mine at a brick-and-mortar bookshop many years ago and have often thanked my lucky stars that I bought the book when I had the chance.)

Therefore, I was pleased to hear that Mike Lamm has announced a new 500-copy limited print run of the hardcover edition. It’s available through or through the Lamm-Morada website for $69.95 (which if memory serves is about what I originally paid for my softcover edition more than a decade ago). It’s well worth the investment.


This is not a paid endorsement — I received no compensation or gifts in kind for making this announcement and I have no financial stake in the publication or sales of the book. I’m just happy to recommend an exceptional volume by an author whose work I’ve long admired.


Add a Comment
  1. Ahhh yes!

    I love your articles and yes I am going to grab this book…


  2. This is great news. I missed getting a copy the first time around. I’ll definitely be ordering one. Thanks for the info, I wouldn’t have found out otherwise.

  3. I love your site and read it all the time. Maybe it isn’t a coincidence that I also have this book. If you like this site you will love A Century of Automotive Style.

  4. Thanks for the post. The book is wonderful and Mike Lamm fulfilled my order promptly and courteously.

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