The Bonneville Salt Flats – Twenty Years of Photography
by Peter Vincent

If famed landscape photographer Ansel Adams was a motorsports fan, this is the book he would have produced. A photographer for over 40 years, Peter Vincent lives in Moscow, Idaho, and his photography has a distinct western vibe to it mixed with a passion for the California hot rod scene. This gives his work a unique look that will interest the enthusiast as well as lovers of fine art photography.

Vincent has been captured by the stark beauty that is the desolate salt lakes of Utah where land speed racing has been regularly taking place since the end of the Second World War.

“For the past 20 years, I have focused on the unique American Hot Rod Culture, an interest of mine since grade school days in California. My work and visual interests have centered on the land speed racing culture, which, not surprisingly, was, and is, at the roots of the hot rod culture.”

Pointing his lens at the curved horizon and at the fine details of salt encrusted cars, Vincent presents one of the finest collections of images published to date. Contributors Philip Linhares, Peter deLory, Tom Fritz, Michael Dobrin, Dennis Varni, Kim Vincent, and Ron Jolliffe all added insightful content to the photographs while keeping the text to a minimum.

Bluebird and the Dead Lake
by John Pearson, intro by Richard Williams
This fascinating book looks back at one of the world’s greatest adventures with a man who would ultimately die in his pursuit of speed records on land and sea. This was a different world when the race for space began to overshadow traditional exploration of man’s limits. All things seemed possible in terms of speed. There was a great battle between British and American racers to claim the title of the world’s fastest land speed record.

“In 1964, in Australia’s remote outback, on the dazzling salt-pan of Lake Eyre, Donald Campbell set out to drive his Bluebird car at over 400 miles an hour — faster than any man in history. Things went wrong from the start: unseasonal rains, a sodden lake bed in which every high-speed run slewed dangerously, money running short … even an Aboriginal curse. With death shimmering on the horizon before him, the lonely Campbell tried to hold his nerve until he broke the record.”

Ab & Marvin Jenkins – The Studebaker Connection and the Mormon Meteors
by Gordon White

Another fascinating tale of a father and son who set hundreds of speed records in the earliest days of racing on the salt flats of Utah. An intriguing story of how automobile manufacturers teamed up with brave drivers to set records in the quest for more sales in a crowded market.

“Ab Jenkins drove for Studebaker in speedway and road races during the late 1920′s and early 30′s, then took a Pierce-Arrow roadster to Bonneville, Utah, for the first-ever timed run on the Salt Flats. His 112 mile an hour record for 24 hours made him world-famous. After the war Marvin was tapped to drive the famed Novi Indianapolis car at Bonneville, where he set Class D records in 1947. In Ab’s final drive, he and Marvin teamed up in 1956 to drive a Pontiac to a 24 hour stock car record of more than 118 miles an hour.”

Merchants of Speed: The Men Who Built America’s Performance Industry
by Paul D. Smith, foreword by Barney Navarro

I found this book to be a fascinating look at the men behind the names that every kid knew by heart. These were the men who made hot rodding and racing what it is today. In tiny garages and sheds, they designed parts and machined castings into the go-fast parts that we all desired.

“Drawing upon hundreds of hours of interviews conducted with these founding fathers of hot rodding, Smith details the work of industry icons such as Iskenderian, Edelbrock, Evans, Hilborn, Navarro, Offenhauser, Sharp, Weiand, Ansen, and Kong.”

The Hot Rod Reader
Peter Schletty & Melinda Keefe
This book is a collection of articles and stories chronicling the joys of hot rodding, the historical circumstances of its creation, and the major events, people, cars, and builders who have made customizing cars an artform. Writers include Jay Leno, Gray Baskerville, Ed Roth, Wally Parks, Dean Batchelor, Robert E. Petersen, Dean Moon, Ken Gross, Tom Wolfe, LeRoi “Tex” Smith, and many more. Stories date back to the early 1950s to today.

Photos, illustrations and old advertisements help illustrate the articles, but words are king with Hot Rod Reader.

“Since the beginning, man has tinkered with machine. From the caveman who chiseled a better wheel to the modern drag-strip engineer, creativity and invention have driven hot rods to build cars that are more original, more beautiful, and quicker than ever before.”

Hot Rod Roots – A Tribute to the Pioneers
Compiled by Dain Gingerelli, foreword by Alex Xydias

Gingerelli looks into the roots of hot rodding from the 1920s to the early ’60s and how they intertwined with racing on the dry lakes and salt flats. Robert Genat explores the symbiotic relationship between hot rodders and the U.S. military during World War II; Pat Ganahl looks at the birth of the belly tank; Greg Sharp tracks hot rodding’s impact on the development of circle-track racing; Gingerelli explains how the sanctioning of quarter-mile drag racing accelerated hot rodding’s growth; Ken Gross documents the effect of enthusiast magazines and car shows; and Mark Morton shows how hot rodding’s early roots will always remain a part of the sport. This book is filled with rare photographs from the archives of the American Hot Rod Foundation.

Kustomland – The Custom Car Photography of James Potter, 1955-1959
by Thom Taylor
Kustomland was an area loosely defined as running from Long Beach in the south to Maywood in the north, near Hollywood. filled with machine shops, garages and speedshops, this was the fertile ground where America’s custom car builders flourished after WWII.

In this photographic history of that time and place, Thom Taylor presents the best of James Potter’s photography depicting the cars of “Kustomland.” In brief two to four-page features, two-dozen renowned custom cars, from mild to radical, are caught by Potter’s freelance camera work.

Old School Customs – Top Traditional Custom Car Builders
by Alan Mayes

This colourful book profiles the work of some of the car customizers who keep the flames lit with welding torches and paint guns! Featuring dozens of chopped, sectioned, shaved, decked, flamed, frenched, nosed, lowered, scalloped, striped, and slammed Caddies, Mercs, Buicks, shoebox Fords, Chevys, and Oldsmobiles that exemplify traditional custom car design, author Alan Mayes includes profiles of top builders from across the country. We get to visit the workshops and garages of Gary ‘Chopit’ Fioto, John D’Agostino, Bill Hines, Richard Zocchi, Darryl Starbird, Bo Huff, Rick Murray, and others.

Hot Rod Pin-Ups II – Gearhead Girls and Dragstrip Dolls
by David Perry (photographer), foreword by Coop
Following his 2005 bestseller Hot Rod Pin-Ups, “kar kulture” photographer David Perry has an all-new collection of photos focused on the timeless theme of girls ‘n’ hot rods.

Shot on location in garages, on the road, at the races, Perry, an accomplished master of contemporary hot rod pin-up photography recalls classic 1950s illustrators. Sharing top billing are the cars of many of today’s top builders. Essays by male and female stars of the hot rod world round out this delightful book.

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