Americans interested in motorized travel soon realized the advantages that might accrue from being able to bring something akin to their house along with them. Such thinking led to the commercial development of the car trailer, the mobile home, and the van. Two good introductions to the multiple aspects of this phenomenon are provided by Margaret J. Drury Mobile Homes: The Unrecognized Revolution in American Housing and Michael A. Rockland's Homes on Wheels. Airstream, by Robert Landau and James Phillippi , is an uncritical description of the history and way of life associated with one of the most famous of these vehicles.
The car culture also has spawned a host of leisure-time hobbies that require little or no travel for participation. While probably the best known one is the restoration of antique cars, there are others such as the collection of automotive toys, mascots, ornaments, license plates, and even automotive art. A fine overview of the field can be found in Automobile Quarterly's Complete Handbook of Automobile Hobbies, edited by Beverly Rae Kimes. Also good are Jack Martells Antique Automobile Collectibles and, with a more international flavor, Michael Worthington-Williams Automobilia: A Guided Tour for Collectors.
In regard to automotive toys, the most recent, and probably definitive, work is Lillian Gottschalk American Toy Cars and Trucks, 1894-1942. In addition to physically describing 475 different items--almost all Americanmade, Gottschalk does an excellent job of linking their histories to those of the real cars they represent. The text also is accompanied by superior photographic work. Another good work, covering a later period in which Japanese and German toy makers excelled to an extent unequalled since, is Dale Kelley Collecting the Tin Toy Car, 1950-1970. Also worth examining is The World of Model Cars, edited by Vic Smeed, which discusses not only collecting and building such vehicles, but also the racing of radio-controlled models. The latter is covered in more detail in Robert Schleicher Model Car Racing.
Not everyone into collecting model cars purchases the work of others. There is another group of hobbyists who enjoy making their own. Some insight into this form of leisure can be gained by perusing The Complete Book of Model Car Building by Dennis Doty, Scratchbuilding Model Cars by Saul Santos, and The Complete Car Modeller by Gerald A. Wingrove.
In addition to full-size and model cars, many Americans have chosen to collect ornamental parts of automobiles. Representative of the literature in this regard are William C. Williams Motoring Mascots of the World, a study of hood ornaments; Keith Marvin License Plates of the World; Scott Anderson's Check the Oil: Gas Station Collectibles with Prices; and Jim Evans Collectors Guide to Automotive Literature, the latter defined as sales brochures, stock certificates, and other ephemera.