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The Age of Combustion

Notes on Automobile Design

The auto­mo­bile is the ulti­mate ana­logue machine and mankind’s most inge­nious, seduc­tive and dam­ag­ing inven­tion. For over a cen­tu­ry, cars have pro­vid­ed ref­er­ence points for our notions of style, sta­tus and desire. In design terms, the Age of Com­bus­tion was as rich and var­ied as architecture’s Baroque – and far more pop­u­lar. And now it is com­ing to an end, as the inter­nal com­bus­tion engine is super­seded by the bat­tery and cars become wheeled com­put­ers, run­ning on AI not oil. Togeth­er with a wide-rang­ing intro­duc­tion, this book repro­duces 60 of Stephen Bayley’s pop­u­lar month­ly columns for Octane, the out­stand­ing clas­sic car mag­a­zine where, for more than ten years, he has pro­vid­ed the most con­sis­tent and insight­ful com­men­tary on car cul­ture, often based on priv­i­leged access to indus­try insid­ers. The Age of Com­bus­tion is a thren­ody for the automobile.

No one artic­u­lates the The­atre of Design’ like Stephen Bay­ley. It’s pure joy!’ – J Mays, for­mer Chief Cre­ative Offi­cer at Ford Motor Company

The most intel­lec­tu­al approach to suck, squeeze, bang, blow, I’ve ever encoun­tered. I learned some­thing every third word.’ – Jay Leno

Stephen Bay­ley is an author, crit­ic, colum­nist, con­sul­tant, broad­cast­er, cura­tor and found­ing direc­tor of the influ­en­tial Design Muse­um. The author of Cars: Free­dom, Style, Sex, Pow­er, Motion, Colour, Every­thing, he is one of the world’s most respect­ed com­men­ta­tors on car culture.

Jean-Michel Dentand

21 × 16cm
8 ¼ × 6 ¼ in
24 double-page duotone illustrations
£19.95 | $30

ISBN 978-1-911422-13-6