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American Muscle Supercars: Ultimate Street Performance from Shelby, Baldwin-Motion, Mr. Norm and Other Legendary Tuners

Overview

The American muscle car began, not in the factories of the Big Three automakers, but in the garages and dealerships of a Detroit subculture bent on making the hottest, highest-performance cars on the street. American Muscle Supercars tells the story of these tuner/builders and the supercars they unleashed on the American scene. It all begins with Michigan’s Royal Pontiac dealership, and the souped-up Royal Pontiac Bobcats they built and sold to drag racers, starting a thrill that’s never faded. From those Royal ...

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Overview

The American muscle car began, not in the factories of the Big Three automakers, but in the garages and dealerships of a Detroit subculture bent on making the hottest, highest-performance cars on the street. American Muscle Supercars tells the story of these tuner/builders and the supercars they unleashed on the American scene. It all begins with Michigan’s Royal Pontiac dealership, and the souped-up Royal Pontiac Bobcats they built and sold to drag racers, starting a thrill that’s never faded. From those Royal Pontiac tuner cars to the new Boss 302 Mustang built by Steve Saleen, this gorgeously illustrated book chronicles the outsize contribution of the tuner/builder to American automotive history.

Author-photographer David Newhardt profiles the tuner/builders who have dominated American performance—names like Mr. Norm’s Grand Spaulding Dodge, Nickey Chevrolet, Don Yenko, Carroll Shelby, George Hurst, and Baldwin-Motion. And he focuses on the tuners who continue to lead the way, builders such as Steve Saleen, Calloway, and SLP, whose vehicles are the fastest ever built. From the oldest of these muscle tuners, commanding top dollar at today’s classic-car auctions, to the latest attempts by Ford and Chrysler to get into the game with their SVT and SRT divisions, this book gives readers a full and fascinating look at American high-performance in its purest form.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“With 192 pages of supercar information, and over 200 high quality photos, you’ll have a hard time putting down this fantastic look at American high-performance in its purist form.” – Camaro Performers

“This book examines the supercars from the early years to today’s attempts by Ford and Chrysler.” - Hotrod & Restoration

“The histories of these builders are augmented by contemporary and archival photos, period ads, and scrapbook photos.” - Muscle Car Review

“…as much as you’ll enjoy the narrative, you’ll probably spend more time going over the numerous photos of the cars.” - Auto Restorer

“David Newhardt has taken a new and refreshing look at those great cars in his new book, American Muscle Supercars, by examining how they came about.” – Albert Drake, Cruzin Magazine

“Photographer David Newhardt went on a treasure hunt to seek out these special cars and drag race survivors…” – Mark Maynard, San Diego Union-Tribune

“Well illustrated thanks to David’s highly creative photographic talent, along with lots of thrilling vintage photos, everything you ever wanted to know about how these famous names got their start modifying and racing muscle cars is all here, and in an easy-to-read style that is highly entertaining. It’s a must-read for all fans of muscle cars.” –

Richard Lentinello

, Hemmings Classic Car

“If the vibrant green Yenko Nova hood on its cover doesn't stir you to check out what's on the rest of the pages, you might want to check your pulse. The stunning Motion Corvette and Camaro photos alone are worth the price of admission.” – John Nelson, ChevyHiPerformance.com

“Photographer and author David Newhardt went on a treasure hunt to seek out these special cars and drag-race survivors by Royal Pontiac, Nickey Chevrolet, Tasca Ford, Baldwin-Motion and

Shelby

.” –

Mark

Maynard,

San Diego

Union Tribune

“It focuses on the specialist builders and dealers of short-run cars, dealers like Royal Pontiac, and the two pre-eminent manufactures, Hurst and Shelby American.” – Richard Truesdell, Musclecar Enthusiast

Danny Musclecar Enthusiast
It focuses on the specialist builders and dealers of short-run cars, dealers like Royal Pontiac, and the two pre-eminent manufactures, Hurst and Shelby American.
—Richard Truesdell
San Diego Union Tribune
Photographer and author David Newhardt went on a treasure hunt to seek out these special cars and drag-race survivors by Royal Pontiac, Nickey Chevrolet, Tasca Ford, Baldwin-Motion and Shelby.
—Mark Maynard
ChevyHiPerformance.com
If the vibrant green Yenko Nova hood on its cover doesn't stir you to check out what's on the rest of the pages, you might want to check your pulse. The stunning Motion Corvette and Camaro photos alone are worth the price of admission.
—John Nelson
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760332948
  • Publisher: Motorbooks
  • Publication date: 9/30/2008
  • Edition description: First
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Newhardt is one of the best automobile photographers working today and has provided photography for best-selling Motorbooks titles Muscle: America’s Legendary Performance Cars, Corvette: Fifty Years, Mustang: Forty Years, Mopar Muscle: Fifty Years, and Shelby Mustang: Racer for the Street. He lives in Walworth, Wisconsin.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

 

Introduction

 

Chapter One – Royal Pontiac – It started as an experiment 

 

Chapter Two – Nicky Chevrolet – Windy City Performance

 

Chapter Three – Dana Chevrolet – Eighteen Months of Fun

 

Chapter Four – Tasca Ford – Selling by the Car Length

 

Chapter Five – Baldwin-Motion Chevrolet – Hell on Wheels

 

Chapter Six – Grand Spaulding Dodge – We Can Build It For You!

 

Chapter Seven – Gibb Chevrolet – Small Town, Big Car

 

Chapter Eight – Berger Chevrolet – Multigenerational Performance

 

Chapter Nine – Yenko Chevrolet – Welcome to Canonsburg, Home of Perry Como and Don Yenko

 

Chapter Ten – Hurst Shifters, Girls and Marketing­

 

Chapter Eleven – Shelby American American Muscle, via England

 

Chapter Twelve – Epilogue Today’s Performance

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Introduction

As the American public started flipping calendar pages in the early 1960s, the automotive landscape was undergoing a radical change. Those on the leading edge of the Baby Boomer Generation were starting to make their disposable income felt in the market place. Their interests were many and varied, yet near the top of their list was having a fast car. Detroit responded by creating brutally fast automobiles, plus an extensive parts system that allowed owners to extract even more performance from their cars.

Auto dealerships across the country responded to this growing trend in a variety of ways, with a wide range of success. Many dealers entered cars in various types of competition, following the mantra "Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday." But like so many things in life, it wasn't that easy.

Running a competition car on a track to get the dealer's name in front of the public had the potential to bring in buyers, but only if a dealer played his cards right. Parking a race car on a showroom floor was interesting, but rarely resulted in sales. The dealers who successfully emphasized performance had to approach the market from a number of fronts, including but not limited to service, parts, marketing, and the vehicles themselves. These dealerships never lost sight that priority number one was the selling of cars. Everything else had to play a supporting role.

It's been said that if something is easy, everyone would be doing it. Selling performance cars was a specialized skill, and the dealers who did it well could make it look easy. But a peek behind the curtain revealed an incredible amount of hard work, ambition, vision and luck. There was nosingle formula for success in selling hot cars. But one constant thread ran through all the dealerships; love of performance. Without the efforts of the eleven dealerships and tuners profiled in this book, the muscle car landscape would have looked far different.
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