American Muscle Cars: A Full-Throttle History (Hardcover)

American Muscle Cars: A Full-Throttle History By Darwin Holmstrom, Tom Glatch (By (photographer)) Cover Image
By Darwin Holmstrom, Tom Glatch (By (photographer))
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This is the muscle car history to own—a richly illustrated chronicle of America's greatest high-performance cars, told from their 1960s beginning through the present day!

In the 1960s, three incendiary ingredients—developing V-8 engine technology, a culture consumed by the need for speed, and 75 million baby boomers entering the auto market—exploded in the form of the factory muscle car. The resulting vehicles, brutal machines unlike any the world had seen before or will ever see again, defined the sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll generation.

American Muscle Cars chronicles this tumultuous period of American history through the primary tool Americans use to define themselves: their automobiles. From the street-racing hot rod culture that emerged following World War II through the new breed of muscle cars still emerging from Detroit today, this book brings to life the history of the American muscle car.

When Pontiac's chief engineer, John Z. DeLorean, and his team installed a big-inch engine into the division's intermediate chassis, they immediately invented the classic muscle car. In those 20 minutes it took Bill Collins and Russ Gee to bolt a 389 ci V-8 engine into a Tempest chassis they created the prototype for Pontiac's GTO—and changed the course of automotive history. From that moment on, American performance cars would never be the same.

Featured cars represent all American automakers of the time—Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, and AMC—as well as landmark models like the Challenger, Charger, Road Runner, Super Bee, Super Bird, 'Cuda, Camaro, Chevelle SS, 442, Boss Mustang, GTX, Javelin, AMX, and much more.

American Muscle Cars tells the story of the most desirable cars ever to come out of Detroit. It's a story of flat-out insanity told at full throttle and illustrated with beautiful photography.

About the Author

Darwin Holmstrom has written, co-written, or contributed to more than thirty books on subjects ranging from motorcycles and muscle cars to Gibson Les Paul guitars, including Indian Motorcycles, GTO: Fifty Years, Let's Ride: Sonny Barger's Guide to MotorcyclyingTop Muscle: The Rarest Cars from America's Fastest Decade, BMW Motorcycles, The Life Harley-Davidson, and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Motorcycles. Darwin is a former senior editor at Motorbooks and former Midwestern editor for Motorcyclist magazine.

Since 1983, Tom Glatch has contributed hundreds of stories and photographs to major collector, Corvette, Mustang, muscle car, and Mopar magazines. Tom grew up during the muscle car era, and his first car was a very quick 1970 Plymouth Duster 340. Tom and his wife, Kelly, have contributed photographs to books by other Motorbooks authors, as well as Motorbooks’ Corvette calendars. When not pursuing old muscle cars, Tom works for a Fortune 500 corporation as a data and systems analyst and developer. He lives in southeastern Wisconsin.

Praise For…

"Author Darwin Holmstrom expertly tells the story in an informative and interesting way that make this book fun to read. Darwin's expertise is drawn from his experience of having written, co-written, or contributed to over thirty books with car or motorcycle subjects. The excellent text is matched with 260 color and 55 black and white photos. Dozens of original factory photos are complimented by the work of well-known automotive photographer Tom Glatch. Glatch's large, high quality photos bring these colorful muscle cars to life."

"Not just another coffee-table picture book, this is a thorough, well-researched, multi-brand history of American performance."

Muscle Car Review

"Holmstrom and Glatch churn up the memories in their book with some great factory archive information with no shortage of photographs."

San Diego Union Tribune

"American Muscle Cars is a fantastic book, sized perfectly for any coffee table. The writing is informative yet thrillingly engaging, creating an extremely rare occurrence: a coffee-table book that is still fun to read straight through. Holmstrom is often irreverent (note the "clackers" use mentioned above), but is so in a charming, funny way which allows him to simply say what he means—the best example is when describing what post-WWII babies wanted from their cars: sex appeal. Overall, American Muscle Cars is a well-written, well-laid-out, entertaining read that would be a joyful addition to any auto enthusiasts' book collection."

"Auto enthusiast Darwin Holmstrom says that when he was growing up in the Midwest, boys his age were just as interested in muscle cars - sporty models with powerful engines - as they were in girls. New 52, he laments the demise of the vehicles. His new book "American Muscle Cars" (Motorbooks, $50), offers a history, including classics like the Pontiac GTO, Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. Their equivalents today are more sophisticated luxury vehicles like the Aston Martin or Maserati. But for Mr. Holmstrom, they just aren't the same. "A real muscle car doesn't have 19 air bags," he says. "It just has a big, powerful engine that makes your heart stop every time you stomp on the accelerator."

Wall Street Journal
Product Details
ISBN: 9780760350133
ISBN-10: 0760350132
Publisher: Motorbooks
Publication Date: April 1st, 2016
Pages: 224
Language: English