A New Book by Miles C. Collier – The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, Loving and Living with Historical Automobiles.

“The automobile is one of modernity’s earliest disruptive technologies, an agent of colossal change.”


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The Book

Today’s teeming presence of 1.32 billion automobiles in the world means no-one escapes their influence. Over the last 100 years, cars have shaped our lives. But now, new fuels, new modes of travel, new technologies are disrupting the traditional role of the much-loved car and all industrial artifacts; what were once distinct machines are now evolving into multifunctional digital devices. Miles C. Collier’s remarkable analysis asks how should we understand and preserve the collective cultural memory that is embodied in the automobile? Filled with engaging stories and practical examples, The Archaeological Automobile is not just a book for automobile owners and the historical car industry, but for collectors and users of industrial artifacts, whether boats, planes, clocks, or even pinball machines and pipe-organs.

About The Author

Miles C. Collier has spent a lifetime in cars. An ex-race car driver, from a family of car lovers, he has spent what he calls many “grubby-fingered” hours fixing and restoring historical automobiles, and thousands more driving a broad array of them. He is a firm advocate of the automobile as the most important technological artifact of the 20th century. He is the founder of Revs Institute®, regarded as one of the greatest repositories of automobile resources in the world.  It houses a collection of over 100 historical, exceptional automobiles and has an extensive archive. Miles C. Collier believes in building lasting cultural legacies that can be used and interpreted to inform generations to come. The Archaeological Automobile is his first book devoted to doing just that: it is a legacy resource that assigns the car its rightful place at the cultural center of the contemporary world.

Miles C. Collier brings an archaeological point of view to the pithy matter of deciding how we understand and treat our automobiles, and how we pass this knowledge to future generations. The Archaeological Automobile combines scholarship, pertinent anecdote, style, and experience to provide a stimulating account of why we should all be archaeologists now.

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Photo: Revs Institute, Eric della Faille Photograph Collection



The Concept

Archaeology isn’t just about digging in trenches. It is about connecting with the world and with each other through the generations. It is way of thinking about the past and applying our imagination to the future. Using the automobile as his example, Miles C. Collier’s insightful analysis shows why and how we can use the frame of archaeology to closely engage with automobiles as archives of universal memory. Concerned that the machines of the last 100 years are increasingly disposable, unwanted and ignored, he asks: should we really let go of the vast amount of collective knowledge that resides in automobiles? Without memory, personal and shared, we lose our way, our individuality, and our culture. This proposition is at the heart of The Archaeological Automobile.

The Column

Our shared passion for cars is a universal language that connects meaningful car communities across the world. Owning a meaningful car is a cherished dream for many, and for some, a well-earned pleasure. But, as everyone involved in the collector car world knows, when it comes to understanding, using and living with historical cars, things are never straightforward. In this regular column, Miles C. Collier ponders the countless automotive puzzles encountered by all lovers of meaningful cars.

Through his work at Revs Institute, and as the creator of one of the world’s great private collections of classic cars, Miles C. Collier, the author of The Archaeological Automobile, has become well-known as a leading authority on the history and significance of the car.

Housed in Revs Institute, the Miles Collier Collections is a purposefully curated assemblage of profound and rare automobiles that variously blazed technical pathways, redefined aesthetic standards, made history, and changed the world. In 2018, the Classic Car Trust named Miles C. Collier the world’s #1 car collector.

Located in Naples, Florida, Revs Institute is a private research library and museum that exists to serve serious researchers in fostering a new level of understanding of the automobile. Road & Track recently named Revs Institute America’s best car museum.