A New Selection Committee Member and his Amazing Automotive Books

One of the best things about racing is its ability to make what otherwise appears as a collection of metal, rubber and oil into legend, and few have earned that legend as well as Lotus. It’s through the publishing company of our newest Selection Committee member, William Taylor’s Coterie Press, that some of the best of these stories get told through great automotive books.

William Taylor Automotive Books
William Taylor and a few of his books.

William started Coterie in 1996, shortly releasing its first work, “The Lotus Book“, documenting the automakers storied history with a huge array of photographs. In subsequent years, Coterie has released works covering vintage racing, famous drivers, and other storied automakers, but Lotus remains a favorite, with William owning and racing a few himself. Another of his ventures, Auto Archives, based for now primarily in his own home, seeks to document every piece of automotive literature, automotive books and other memorabilia ever (you should go and see their model racing car collection!). We’re happy to welcome such talented and passionate publisher into our ranks.

John Player Special Automotive BooksCoterie’s latest work demonstrates William’s commitment to great automotive literature and examines what’s probably the most famous Lotus-engineered racer: The John Player Specials. Solid black with delicate gold accents and understated script, the cars exuded an unmistakable sense of class. Once the national flag of the host country dropped at the start of a Grand Prix, these Lotus-engineered cars performed in historic fashion as well. 

John Player Special Automotive Books“Black & Gold: The Story of the John Player Specials,” features storytelling straight from the source: prolific automotive journalist and writer Johnny Tipler. Tipler spent time as the team’s own Press Officer in the 1970’s and has written 15 books on Lotus cars so far. New and vintage images come from Ian Catt, the team’s official photographer. 

John Player Special Automotive BooksBeyond Formula 1 fans, there’s something for everybody here. Though best known for their Formula 1 cars from 1972 to 1986, JPS also sponsored Trans Am Mustangs, Formula 3 cars, and even powerboat racing. All of these are covered. Fans of a few particular racing drivers will also find something special. 

John Player Special Automotive BooksTwo different limited, leather-bound “Special” editions of the book have been autographed by one of two racing legends. You can get one of 72 copies autographed by Emerson Fittipaldi, who won the Formula 1 title in 1972, the first year of the JPS program. (His version of the car was the Lotus 72.) Or you can order one of 79 copies signed by Mario Andretti, who won the F1 title in the Lotus 79 in 1978. The “Special” Edition comes in a clamshell case with JPS badging on the front.

John Player Special Automotive BooksIn addition to Fittipaldi and Andretti, the book features interviews from JPS drivers such as Nigel Mansell and Johnny Dumfries. Several of the original engineers and mechanics offer up their recollections, as does JPS Project Manager George Hadfield.

John Player Special Automotive BooksThe Standard edition will sell for $64.95, and the Special Editions will be $250.00. The book will be available in September, but you can preorder it at www.coteriepress.com. While you’re at it, check out the rest of Coterie’s work. If you’re a car person, there’s definitely something there for you.