Classics and Performance Logo

Book Reviews


Build Your Own Garage Front Cover Black & Decker: The Complete Guide to Garages Front Cover

Wood-Frame Garages

Want to build or remodel your garage?

Is it a wood-frame garage?

Are you new to this whole construction thing and need to get your feet wet?

Then this review may be for you. Check out Wood-Frame Garages to see if this is the introduction you need to get you started on your own garage project!

Posted: 3/20

U.S. Military Name Tapes Link
High-Performance Differentials, Axles and Drivelines Front Cover

High-Performance Differentials, Axles and Drivelines

Rear ends and drivelines are often poorly understood by automotive enthusiasts and professionals alike and author Joseph Palazzolo understands that.

In his book High-Performance Differentials, Axles and Drivelines he packs 144 pages full of interesting and relevant information on the subject.

If you're looking to understand your rear end or rear ends in general, then take a look at my review of High-Performance Differentials, Axles and Drivelines to see if this is the book for you.

Posted: 2/20

How to Build Your Dream Garage Front Cover

How to Build Your Dream Garage

Are you looking to build a garage for your automotive activities?

Have you never done it before and are at a loss because you're not sure where to begin?

Then take a look at my review of How to Build Your Dream Garage. This book may be just the ticket you're looking for to get you started on your first steps and heading in the right direction.

Posted: 1/20


Motoring: The Highway Experience in America


The automobile has had a permanent influence on America.

From its very beginnings at the tail end of the 19th century up to today, it has shaped and been shaped by the world it serves.

In Motoring: The Highway Experience in America, academics and authors John A. Jakle and Keith A. Sculle explore the significant role the automobile has had in shaping the American landscape, including the largest built structure on the planet: America's interstate highway system.

Go for a drive back in time with Motoring as the authors take you on a tour of the forces that shaped the automobile, our roads, and the very foundations of modern America, itself.

Posted: 3/19

The Garage: Automobility and Building Innovation in the Early Auto Age

The Garage

Along with the gas station, the garage was instrumental in developing the automotive landscape as we know it.

In the Garage: Automobility and Building Innovation in America's Early Auto Age, authors John A. Jakle and Keith A. Sculle return to provide their expertise in the built world — the landscape as shaped and developed by humans. This time, on one of the most humble and overlooked parts of our culture: the automobile's garage.

This book covers the gamut from the beginnings of the industrial garage in the early 1900s on up to the garages we have come to expect as a part of our homes, today — and the many variations in between.

Posted: 1/19


The Gas Station in America

The Gas Station in America

Modern America that came to be in the 20th century is intrinsically linked to the automobile and, of all things, the gas station.

In the Gas Station in America, authors John A. Jakle and Keith A. Sculle trace the roots of the gas station back to their origin and provide a clear, authoritative view of how the modern gas station came to be, how its permutations through time have impacted our connection to them, and their importance to the development of the automobile and the economic success of the United States.

Along the way, they provide a fascinating glimpse at why, as auto enthusiasts, we use and appreciate our cars the way we do.

Posted: 12/18


The Complete Book of American Muscle Supercars

The Complete Book of American Muscle Supercars

Although there was a time that nearly saw a complete demise of the American Muscle Car, it is alive and well today — in fact, better than it has ever been. Shrouded by 50 years of time are the stories that created the legends of the Muscle Cars we admire and love today. In the Complete Book of American Muscle Supercars, author Tom Glatch shines a light on the people, events, and cars that spawned those legends and our intense enthusiasm for American performance cars with ever-increasing horsepower.

Posted: 9/17


Mustang Boss 302

Mustang Boss 302

Originally, the first part of this book detailing the 1969-1970 cars was written by the author, Donald Farr, and published by California Mustang in 1983 under the title "Mustang Boss 302: Ford's Trans-Am Pony Car." It has been out of production for many years, but is considered the bible for the Boss 302 Mustang, and fetches upwards of $200-$300 a copy. Between the lack of availability and the cost, getting a hold of this information has been a real challenge for many enthusiasts.

Not anymore.

Finally, in Mustang Boss 302: From Racing Legend to Modern Muscle Car, this valuable information has been made available to everyone at a much more reasonable price and now includes the behind the scenes story of the development and manufacture of the newest Boss 302, the 2012-2013 models.

Posted: 11/16

Shelby Mustang Fifty Years

Shelby Mustang Fifty Years

Without Carroll Shelby, the Mustang's legend wouldn't be what it is today. People far and wide know the Mustang as a performance car from its inception right up to the very moment you're reading this. Far fewer people know how this Pony Car grew fangs. The Shelby Mustang is how. In Shelby Mustang Fifty Years, Colin Comer takes you for a high-powered ride down memory lane to find out about the machinations behind Shelby's involvement with the most idolized car in American history, and why it took a wily Texas chicken farmer to make it happen.

Posted: 10/16

Mustang Fifty Years

Mustang Fifty Years

The Mustang has epitomized the American automobile for over half a century. Its beautiful form and energetic performance are the stuff of legend. It can be argued that there is no more classical classic car than a Mustang. Its looks are timeless and its every-person's accessibility make it adored the world over. From Lee Iacocca's brainchild to Shelby's little monster, from pop culture icon to repeated efforts to destroy it from the inside, in Mustang Fifty Years, Donald Farr does a superb job exploring where it came from and how it became the legendary icon it is today.

Posted: 8/16


Corvette Sixty Years

Corvette Sixty Years

The Corvette is undeniably America's Sports Car. Its design has defined the American approach to speed for nearly six decades, with big V8 power and rear-wheel drive, contained within a sleek, highly advanced body and chassis. Author Randy Leffingwell looks back over its entire life starting in 1953 with its beginning as a six-cylinder powered sports car targeted at Jaguar and other European competitors, up through the last model of the C6, the world-beating 638 horsepower ZR-1, as well as its racing pedigree, and its effect on its fans, and automotive culture at large.

Posted: 2/13


Shelby Cobra Fifty Years

Shelby Cobra Fifty Years

The Shelby Cobra isn't just a legend from a bygone era, it is the benchmark of performance by which every car built since it's inception, is judged. The Cobra is the most brutal production car in history and this is the story of its birth, life, and legacy.

Posted: 2/12


Street Machines Idea Book

Street Machines Idea Book

There are many ways to look at this book, but I think the best way is as a guide to automotive creativity — this is an excellent reference for custom street machine builders and enthusiasts alike.

Posted: 5/11


How to Build a Killer Street Machine

How to Build a Killer Street Machine

Building a performance car from an old, broken down ride is a challenge that not even car manufacturers have to deal with. When you consider all the steps a car manufacturer goes through to create a finished vehicle, it's daunting — and they don't start with a car that needs to be saved, they start with every part brand new, and both a plan and instructions on how to build it. It becomes even more daunting when you start the process to build your street machine and discover it is beyond your means, or worse: manage to get it done only to discover it doesn't measure up to what you'd hoped it would be. That's where this book comes in. It provides you with a rough template of the process involved in building a performance car, and gives you some helpful hints and tips along the way.

Posted: 5/10

Motion Performance: Tales of a Muscle Car Builder

Motion Performance: Tales of a Muscle Car Builder

During the Muscle Car Wars of the ‘60s and ‘70s, there were a number of heavy hitters besides the legendary factory names such as SS, GT, and R/T, and one of the biggest names was Baldwin-Motion. Outside of Shelby's Cobra nothing screamed performance like Motion Performance. If you wanted to go fast, the easiest way to get there was a Baldwin-Motion Camaro. This book is the story behind the Baldwin-Motion legend, Motion Performance, and its creator, Joel Rosen.

Posted: 1/10


Performance Welding Handbook

Performance Welding Handbook — 2nd Edition

Welding is one of those mysterious skills possessed by people with unique, nearly superhuman powers that can perform the magic of fusing two pieces of metal together with fire sticks. At least, that seems to be the perception of the layperson. Just like welding seems to be a skill beyond the average Joe (or Josephine), welding high performance structures like racecar frames, airframes, aluminum castings, and so forth — properly — is a mysterious skill that seems to be beyond the average welder. This book explains the black magic behind the art — and more importantly, science — of welding for high tech structures that see the kinds of stresses racecars and airplanes do and makes that knowledge accessible to the masses.

Posted: 9/09

The Key to Metal Bumping

The Key to Metal Bumping — 4th Edition

In today's hectic world, quality and skill often take a backseat to speed and "productivity." As a consequence, skills can get lost to time. That means sometimes having to go back a ways in time to find the information necessary to learn those skills. This book has been around for nearly 70 years and is — as far as I've found — the single best resource for learning the skills to repair body panels with hand tools.

Posted: 5/09

How to Rebuild and Modify Your Manual Transmission

How to Rebuild and Modify Your Manual Transmission

The manual transmission is a fairly simple device, but even understanding how one works isn't enough to know how to properly rebuild or modify it. This book provides a great deal of knowledge that will help you with everything from a T5 behind a plebeian four-cylinder to a Muncie “Rock Crusher” channeling the power of a big block used for drag or road racing.

Posted: 1/09


Dyno Testing and Tuning

Dyno Testing and Tuning

I've long been a fan of properly tuning a combination on a dyno, ever since I've run several modified combinations and found myself unhappy with some or all of the aspects of the performance I'd gotten. This book gives great insight into the requirements and process of using a dynamometer for testing and tuning so that you have an idea of what you are doing before you get into it.

Posted: 9/08

Engine Management Advanced Tuning

Engine Management Advanced Tuning

Tuning a modern fuel injected car is a complex process, however, this book lays out the procedures used to get a modified car running right and get the most out of an engine combination with fuel injection.

Posted: 9/08

How to Understand, Service, and Modify Ford Fuel Injection and Electronic Engine Control How to Understand, Service, and Modify Ford Fuel Injection and Electronic Engine Control

How to Understand, Service, and Modify Ford Fuel Injection and Electronic Engine Control

So, you want to diagnose, repair, or modify your fuel injected Ford? The information in these two books isn't just invaluable, it should be required reading.

Posted: 5/08


Smokey Yunick's Power Secrets

Smokey Yunick's Power Secrets

When one of the greatest legends in auto racing history writes a book, it's not surprising to find that it's jammed full of useful information. What you might not expect is a window into a keen mind that may very well change your whole approach to making power.

Posted: 9/07

The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Custom Painting

Do-It-Yourself Guide to Custom Painting

That this book is well written is no surprise — it was written by one of my favorite automotive writers, Tom Brownell — but it's content might just do that.

Posted: 5/07

How to Build Horsepower Volume 1

How to Build Horsepower Volume 1

As the title implies, it explains how to build horsepower and sheds light on the realities and intricacies of building horsepower. This was the book that truly inspired my appreciation of performance engine building. It's written by acclaimed technical writer, researcher, and engineer, David Vizard — a venerable fixture in the automotive field from racing and performance, to OEM research and design.

Posted: 1/07


Carroll Smith's Nuts, Bolts, Fasteners and Plumbing Handbook

Carroll Smith's Nuts, Bolts, Fasteners and Plumbing Handbook

This book is a must read for anyone who works on or plans to work on a car.

Posted: 5/06

How to Restore Your Collector Car

How to Restore Your Collector Car

A very informative book that looks at restoring as a process and helps to spell out what's needed to plan your own restoration project.

Posted: 1/06

U.S. Military Name Tapes Link