Book Review: Loeser Captures Legendary Car’s Spirit in Vivid ‘Art of the Mustang’
Photography-filled testament to iconic vehicle shows pony car is more than just a machine
Automobiles that are a cut above the rest don’t just reach fame because of their inner workings. While the technical aspects are part of their rise to fame, you can’t boil a vehicle’s appeal down to specs and figures. It transcends engineering to become an art.
Art of the Mustang takes this approach and focuses on capturing the creative spirit of Ford’s pony car over the years.
Art of the Mustang(2015)
Photography by Tom Loeser, Text by Donald Farr
Product Details: Hardcover, 240 pages, 10.2 x 12.8 inches
Publication Date: October 2015
Publisher: Motorbooks, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group
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The coffee-table-sized Art of the Mustang is packed with photographs from 29 different models (unfortunately one less than a rounded 30) taken by Tom Loeser, known for his work in international motorsports photography. The pictures take up most of the space on the page but are accompanied by text written by Mustang enthusiast and journalist Donald Farr.
The hefty testament to the Mustang covers 50 years of production and four periods: early, muscle, fox-body, and modern. Models included span from the 1967 Shelby GT350 to the 1976 Cobra II, the 2003 Mach 1, and the 2012 Boss 302 Laguna Seca.
Art of the Mustang is also available in a limited edition version signed by the author and photographer. Limited to 500 numbered copies running $150 retail each, the special edition comes in an exclusive case with framable prints.
Simply put, this is a gorgeous book–as it should be. Any product claiming to study the artistic merit of one of America’s favorite cars should be overflowing with beauty. And thanks to Tom Loeser’s photography and a solid printed product from Motorbooks, it is.
Art of the Mustang packs plenty of high-resolution photographs taken against darkly-toned studio backdrops, painting the models with a glowing light. They’re simultaneously shadowy and vibrant. The models are shown from multiple angles and many of the images are two-page spreads (which, while gorgeous, unfortunately are distorted by the crease down the spine of the book).
The pages are sturdy, the cover is unique with its all-black color palate, and the page layout begs to be explored. It may be a pricey book, but you’re getting your money’s worth.
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If you’re truly a fan of the Ford Mustang, you’re already considering buying this book. Muscle cars like the Mustang have such a rich legacy that while driving or riding in one is appealing, it takes an artistic evaluation to truly capture its lasting appeal.
Having looked at many other retrospective books, such as the Corvette, I can safely say this is one of the best released in recent years. It captures everything you’d want in such a publication.
While the photographs are the highlight of the publication–as already mentioned multiple times–the accompanying text is interesting and engaging. Farr manages to personalize the pony car by focusing on its creators and the human elements of its legacy, rather than merely spotlighting technical specs.
To be clear, Art of the Mustang won’t appeal to the more tech-savvy gear-heads who enjoy reading manuals or want a technical analysis of the Mustang’s inner workings. This volume approaches the car as an ever-evolving work of art. It’s how you’d expect a visual guide to the Mustang to look.
Art of the Mustang is available through Amazon, Google Play, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Target, and other retailers.
- Aaron WidmarSenior Editor
Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a 1995 Saturn SC-2 (knock on wood). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing... See more articles by Aaron.