SMMC Book Review By: Karen Mitchell
Ford Model T COAST to COAST
A Slow Drive Across A Fast Country
By: Tom Cotter
Photography By: Michael Alan Ross
Foreword By: Henry Ford III (June 2018)
I was instantly drawn to the cover of this book. To me it looked like a vintage repair manual–hardcover, tones of red, black & yellow gold with the iconic 1926 Model T known as Something Special on the cover. The book begins with the Chapters, if you will, as the time zones of travel starting in the Eastern Time Zone of New York from the intersection of Broadway and Forty-Second Street in Midtown Manhattan which is the eastern terminus of the famed Lincoln Highway. Can you imagine a trip from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans especially in a Model T? What an adventure.
I had never heard of “baptizing” the tires. This century-old tradition was part of the beginning & final leg of this journey and apparently there is “something special” about that. The Model T never had an issue during the road trip. Care was given along the way keeping this Ford performing. This makes me proud to be a Ford girl and a testament to their amazing vehicles. I loved learning how to operate this simple but technical system to drive a Model T. We forget that automobiles are a piece of machinery and amazing engineering.
This book captures small towns, historic landmarks and meeting amazing people along the Lincoln Highway. The stories of each add to your feeling of being on the drive with them. Along the way, history & back-story are added (which at times, I admit, felt a little distracting from the road story but really it’s how it had to be to keep you in the area & part of the story it was at). With that being said, I loved getting the history/stories from that part of the Lincoln Highway and this great country.
Ending in the Pacific Time zone I was transported across the country along with the team hearing about parts of the country that I’ve never seen and enjoying the image they created for me.
Tom Cotter’s Epilogue summed up the adventure very well & each tire turn of the 3,000+ mile trip in Something Special.
Even if you are not a total car person, this is a good read about history, people & travel. Grab a copy of this book & enjoy the journey! https://www.quartoknows.com/Quarto-Drives/
SMMC Book Review By: Karen Mitchell
SPEED READ MUSTANG By: Donald Farr (May, 2018)
I know Mitch usually does the majority of book reviews but that doesn’t mean I don’t read them as well. I read SPEED READ MUSTANG first so I’m doing this review.
It’s exactly what the title implies Speed Read; however, that does not mean it is lacking in accurate, interesting information covering the beginning to current Mustang history. It includes technical information as well which was a pleasant surprise. The layout makes this the perfect book for a new car lover, a birthday or Father’s Day gift for your favorite Mustang guy or as a refresher for the members that took my “Intro To Mustang” class at the Mustang’s 50th Birthday in Charlotte (I’m really encouraging this book; you never know when your next quiz will be!). If you want to learn some basic & extended facts to become a Mustang scholar; order the book & in a day you’ll earn your diploma with SPEED READ MUSTANG!
Karen loved the book!!!!
Available at: https://www.quartoknows.com/SearchResults/?action=search&search_keyword=Speed+Read
Mustang Boss 302 From Racing Legend to Modern Muscle Car
By Donald Farr with foreword by racing legend, Parnelli Jones
Book Review by Mitch Mitchell (review 2011)
Of the legendary names in the history of the Ford Mustang, one stands apart: BOSS. Originally created to homologate the new Boss 302 engine and option package for SCCA Trans-Am racing, the Mustang Boss 302 debuted for the 1969 model year and was built in limited numbers for the street. Designed by the legendary Larry Shinoda, the Boss cars were easily distinguished from their less potent stable mates by their race-bred power plants, standard spoilers, and bold graphics.
With no small amount of fanfare today, Ford is paying homage to its performance past with the reintroduction of the 5.0-liter V-8 in the Mustang GT. Though no longer the iron-block, pushrod Windsor engine of yore, Ford’s newest iteration of a DOHC, modular V-8 is the most potent base Mustang GT motor yet, topping 400 horsepower.
For the 2012 model year, Ford is at long last reviving the most revered of all Mustang models: BOSS. With a new racing counterpart and a modern street version that makes more than 440 horsepower, the Boss is truly back!
Some of you may remember the original Boss 302 book by Donald Farr that now sells for big bucks on eBay. This is a book that builds off of the original Boss 302 Mustang all the way to the development and testing of the new 2012 Boss 302.
I enjoyed this book because it starts out with the history and racing of the 1969 Boss 302. There are several vintage photos of the racing Boss 302’s that I have never seen before. The detailed vintage racing stories between the manufacturers are very interesting.
The second part of the book deals with the development of the new Boss. The prototypes and the testing on the race track leading to the Boss 302R (racing) and street Boss 302 and Laguna Seca.
Interesting to hear how they tried to tie the new Boss into the vintage Boss heritage. A lot more than you would think went into the development and proving of the new Boss.
Overall a very good easy read whether you are a vintage or modern Mustang fan. A ton of great photos, old and new. I would recommend adding this book to your Mustang library.
Weekend Projects for your Mustang 2005 - Today
Text by: Dan Sanchez and Drew Phillips
Review by: Mitch Mitchell
Many SMMC members own a 2005-present Mustang & like to do some modifications for comfort, appearance and/or performance. This new book covers all of that with excellent
step-by-step photography & instructions per project. It includes not only easy projects such as interior trim mods completed in a matter of minutes; to detailed performance projects such as adding a supercharger that can be completed in a weekend. Six chapters totaling 52 projects guide you along to create your personalized Mustang even providing skill level, approx. cost & time evaluation per project.
I particularly like the suspension mods for lowering & improving handling. Many things I had done when I owned my 2006 GT are shown in this book and it would have come in handy as a reference guide during some of those projects!
Whether you are a veteran do-it-yourselfer or a newbie to car work, this is a must have book for your garage. If you own a 2005–2009 Mustang or if you’re a Mustang enthusiast & you never know what might come to live at your house; you’ll want this book!
Art Of The Mustang
Text by: Donald Far Photography by: Tom Loeser
Review by: Mitch Mitchell
First off, I really like this book. It is a large size, hard cover 240 page book that has some great photography showing off some fantastic Mustangs. The text is written by Donald Farr that most of you probably know from being the former editor of Mustang Monthly Magazine and who is now the editor of the MCA magazine Mustang Times. We have met him at several Mustang shows and he is a great Mustang guy.
The book features a wide selection of Mustangs from 64 ½ to the 2015 50th anniversary Mustang. Most all of the specialty mustangs built are featured too including vintage Shelby and Bosses but also includes later model Bullitt, Mach, Cobras, California Specials along with new Boss, Shelby and anniversary models.
I like that it isn’t just a coffee table book with amazing Mustang photography but it also tells the history of how the different models came to be and what the designers had in mind. Another thing I like is they tell the details on the individual cars pictured like if it is a restored car or an all original one and some of that particular cars history.
Get the book for the great pictures and as a reference for looking up 50 years of Mustangs, but you will also enjoy the reading because of Donald Farr’s writing style.
The Essential Buyers Guide Ford Mustang fifth generation/S197 2005 to 2014
By: Matt Cook
Review by: Mitch Mitchell
This is a smaller soft bound book that you could fit in a pocket and would be great to take with you when you go to check out a 2005-2014 Mustang you were interested in buying.
The book is basically designed as its title suggests as a buyer’s guide so it gives you pointers on what to check when looking at a used Mustang. It also gives details on what options were available and the best way to check over a Mustang including test driving before making a purchase.
The best part of the book to me was at the back of the book that gives some interesting stats on the different years. Total number of Mustangs built according to the book between 2005-2014=1,115,288 Mustangs! Lowest year for number of Mustangs made was 2009 with only 46,619. Highest is 2007 with 174,417. Another good thing was the listing of engine, transmission and rear end codes so you could decode the mustang you are looking at and determine if it has those great 3:73 gears that were an option.
How to Build A Car A high-speed adventure of mechanics, teamwork and friendship
Technical Tales By: Saskia Lacey Illustrated by: Martin Sodomka
I received the above titled book to review for the club. Since it’s a children’s book I asked my cousins 2 boys to read & do the review. They both recently helped their dad take a 70’s Honda motorcycle & turn it into a modern café racer style (its impressive).Here are their review & thoughts on the book:
Ethan – age 11
How To Build A Car is about a mouse, frog and a bird who dream of building a car. I think people of all ages would like this book, but I think younger readers wouldn’t get the facts about engines and brakes and things like that. Older readers would get a better picture about what they’re doing in the story. It’s a fiction story that gives facts about cars while giving a fun story. How To Build A Car is sort of like a childrens book, but I think older readers would still enjoy it. The story is for younger readers but I think it gives facts that only older readers would understand.
Trent –age 10
The story is for younger kids ages 4-6
The pictures are more sophisticated ages 7-11
Both Karen & I read the book & agree with their comments. The story would work for a younger age while the illustrations (they are detailed & nicely labeled) might be understood by a little bit older child. However, I don’t think there are many things on the market to spur a child’s interest in the automotive world and it never hurts to start an early understanding. It would be a unique Christmas gift for a child from their Mustang loving person (no Mustangs in the book though).
To the girls taking Karen’s Mustang Training Course (started at the 50th) LOL – this would be a good book to give an overview of the workings of a car!!!
The Essential Source Book-Ford Small Block V8 Racing Engines 1962-1970
Author: Des Hammill
Review by: Mitch Mitchell
This is a great technical soft cover book on all the racing small block engines. Some I knew of others I had never heard of before. We all know about the solid lifter 271 horsepower Hipo 289s and Boss 302s but did you know they also built Indy racing engines? I was not aware that in 1963 Ford had a 255 cubic inch 8000RPM V8 aluminum head screamer. Also in 1965 was a DOHC V8 Indy engine.
The Shelby 289 and Trans Am Boss 302 engine section of the book was very interesting to me.
There is also a cool section that shows period hop up parts from the Ford catalog and a vintage Ford reprint on how to tune your Boss 302 for track use. Step one: unhook factory rev limiter.
So that’s where all those $ rev limiters went and why so many Boss 302s don’t have their original engines any more.
An interesting 112 page reference book that you can use to win a bet with the most diehard Ford motor head. The photos in the book all appear to be vintage Ford black and white from the time period.
Top Muscle-The rarest Cars from America’s Fastest Decade
Author: Darwin Holmstrom
Review By: Mitch Mitchell
ThWide-Open Muscle: The Rarest Muscle Car Convertibles by Randy Leffingwell and photography by Tom Loeser. Review by: Mitch Mitchellis is a large hardcover book with tons of great full color, detailed photos that covers part of a collection from The Brothers Collection. Unfortunately, they are not all Fords but you will find them all interesting and each car is described in detail. Some books like this only give you a general overview of the vehicle without telling you specifically about the car in the photos. This book gives the interesting details like how many were built, where the car was found and in some cases it says this was the last or first one built. Killer collection of cars with excellent photography by Randy Leffingwell.
Hemi Cudas, Yenko Camaros, 442s and even a one of 100 red, white and blue Javelin are in the book but the last part of the book is the best, it’s the Ford part! 427 Fairlane, Galaxy, Shelby KR, Boss 429 Mustang and more, even a 427 Cougar, have you ever seen one of those?224 pages with 217 color photos. Very interesting and easy to read short stories about each car.
You will even find the GM section interesting! Nice looking hard cover book your wife may let you keep out on the coffee table.
Wide-Open Muscle: The Rarest Muscle Car Convertibles
By Randy Leffingwell and photography by Tom Loeser.
Review by: Mitch Mitchell
Just in time for Father's Day shopping is a new book for the guy that loves convertible (Mustang preferred, of course); this just released book covers them all.
The large hard bound coffee table book is full of great photography of some of the rarest muscle car convertibles. That’s one of the things that makes this book different than other muscle car books; it has nothing but rare, high performance drop tops.
This book has 3 parts divided into Chrysler, Ford & GM vehicles. The best part, of course, is the Ford section featuring eight beautiful high performance convertibles. Included with the excellent photos are technical specs and production numbers. Some have particular stories about the cars featured which is always an interesting feature. A must have book for a convertible fan.
Find your copies online at Motorbooks | Quarto Publishing or ask at your local bookstore if they have or can carry more automotive books.
New to the Mustang book library is Ford Mustang Red Book: 1964 ½ - 2015 by Peter Sessler.
Published: February 1, 2015 Retail Price: $24.99
This book covers 1964 ½-2015 Mustang specifications, factory options, production numbers and data codes including coverage of specialty & limited edition Mustangs. It has an easy to follow format for decoding and year by year facts making this the perfect book for any Mustang enthusiast. If going to an auction or shopping for a Mustang, this would be great to have with you & the 5X8 size makes it pretty handy for that. I recommend adding this book at your library & keeping on hand even if just to learn more about Mustangs (so you can win at SMMC Trivia games!).
I like that each year covers specific changes from the previous year. If you are not up on all the model changes it will help you to be able to tell a 1972 Mustang from a 1971 Mustang; Mustang II differences; Fox bodies, etc. I knew the early years pretty well but if you want to be an expert on particulars for the later years this book will help.
This is pretty much the most comprehensive book currently on the market covering all years, models & all information. I did see a couple typos like $100,000 grand added to the price of a Mustang Mach 1, some of us owning a Mach 1 wouldn’t argue with that. I did find a couple facts I wasn’t aware of as well.
Thanks to Quarto US & Motorbooks for continuing to promote & offer great automotive books. Please remember to ask your local bookstores to carry more automotive titles. www.motorbooks.com
Shelby Mustang Fifty Years
By: Colin Comer
Foreword and tribute to Carroll Shelby by the “Father of the Mustang” Lee Iacocca
Hardcover, 240 pages, 9.75 X 12 inch, 300 color and 300 b/w photos.
Review by: Mitch Mitchell (2014)
This book would make a great Christmas present for any Mustang/Shelby fan. It’s a large book filled with tons of photos and is very easy reading even if you’re not a book reading kind of person.
The majority of the book deals with the vintage Shelby’s but it also goes all the way to the 2014 models.
Late model Shelby’s are included from Hertz rentals to Super Snakes to current models. Make sure you check out the way cool red/white, familiar looking GT500 on pages 208-209.
I found the vintage photos and road tests from back in the day very cool. Great to see high dollar ’65 GT350s getting beat on from magazine editors when the cars were new. The vintage photos give a good coverage of how the cars really looked when they were brand new. I didn’t know a ’65 Shelby GT350 would do 82 mph in second gear at 6500 rpm , 124 mph was top speed in fourth gear, got 12-16 mpg, and weighed 2790 lbs, all for $4311 in 1965--Sign me up! Street versions and racing versions are all covered with great vintage and new photos and descriptions.
The book also has several photos of some prototype Shelby Mustangs and options that never made it to production. Always cool to see those pieces of history.
Buy the book for all the great photos; but you will enjoy reading it too because it’s written by a car guy and not a book guy.