Street Sleepers: The Art of the Deceptively Fast Car

Overview

Street racing is now regarded as a highly illicit and dangerous activity, but this was not always the case. For as long as there have been cars, there's been racing, and a lot of acceleration contests took place on public roads. The car owner/drivers were not only competing for pride, but typically there was some kind of cash wager involved. For this reason, it became popular in the 1950s for some enterprising street racers to disguise or hide the true potential hidden within their cars. Taken to its extreme, a ...
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Overview

Street racing is now regarded as a highly illicit and dangerous activity, but this was not always the case. For as long as there have been cars, there's been racing, and a lot of acceleration contests took place on public roads. The car owner/drivers were not only competing for pride, but typically there was some kind of cash wager involved. For this reason, it became popular in the 1950s for some enterprising street racers to disguise or hide the true potential hidden within their cars. Taken to its extreme, a very fast car could appear completely unmodified. Such cars were called 'Sleepers,' since their appearance would lull you to sleep until they passed you at full speed.

The art of building a successful sleeper has varied over the decades as styles and times have changed. One fact that remains constant is that the car's appearance belies its performance potential. In Street Sleepers, the secrets are exposed and the owners and builders of some of America's quickest street machines share their deceptive art. Outstanding photography and in-depth owner interviews tell the tale, and even engine specifications and quarter-mile track times are shared. There was a time when such things were well-guarded secrets, but this book truly exposes all the tricks!

For anyone who's ever dreamt of building a great sleeper, or has been relieved of some cash by betting against one, this book is a must-have. Countless tales have been told about some secret speed trick or hidden power in an otherwise sedate-looking vehicle, but Street Sleepers is lined with true stories of real cars that live up to the grand hot rodder's tradition of deceptively fast cars.

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Editorial Reviews

Muscle Car Review - Richard Lentinello
"If you like to keep your horsepower as tight as a CIA secret, check out Street Sleepers." -Old Cars Weekly, February 9, 2012
Keith Martin's American Car Collector magazine - Jay Harden
"...Much of the book is aimed at educating an uninformed audience with minimal exposure to hot-rodding and drag racing, but it also has a ton of technical information to keep those of us with a few more miles on the odometer occupied. In addition to basic introductions to body styles, engine swaps, and suspension tweaks, the book is full of great photos, infomative captions, and several technical resources as well. Tech blocks include a year/model breakdown of the Fox platform, a GM/Ford/Chrysler engine application guide, and a basic NHRA tech/safety reference." -Jay Harden, American Car Collector Magazine, Nov/Dec 2012
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934709580
  • Publisher: CarTech, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/15/2011
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 432,014
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Tommy Lee Byrd is a nationally known contributor to many automotive enthusiast magazines including Street Rod Builder and Hot Rod. He has many years of experience writing automotive articles (from features to technical how-to) and shooting pro-level photographs. Tommy grew up the son of an expert custom auto body and paint man, and calls Dayton, Tennessee, his home.
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Table of Contents

Table Of Contents:
Introduction 6
Chapter 1: Definition of a Sleeper 8
Chapter 2: Finding the Right Car 18
Chapter 3: Engine Swaps 26
Chapter 4: Sneaky Horsepower 36
Chapter 5: Hook It Up 48
Chapter 6: Safety Features and Interior Details 58
Chapter 7: Drag Strip Sleepers 66
Chapter 8: Grandmas and Groceries 80
Chapter 9: Diesel Weasels 92
Chapter 10: Economics 101 104
Chapter 11: Modern Muscle 116
Chapter 12: What, This Old Thing? 130
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