The presentation of this special edition underlines the overall significance of the current European motorway system as the result of projects and of the partial implementation of those projects, which began during the 1920’s and 1930’s. It calls attention to the various differences that characterized the debate and the constructiong of the motorways in four major European countries (Italy, Spain, France, and Germany). This collection of articles is also supported by brief documents relative to the two decades preceding World War II. Some of these documents were published in technical reviews or widely-circulated newspapers, while others remained unpublished and filed away in the government archives of the International Labour Office or in those of the italian state central archive. These documents help to shed light on many previously obscure details of the complex history of European motorways.