Review: ‘Lost Muscle Cars’ from CarTech Books
Not all who uncover lost treasures are like Indiana Jones, punching Nazis with one hand while retrieving the priceless relic with the other. Many times, those who search for the lost treasures of yesterday are enthusiasts who are searching for those lost pieces of history by following the trail of paperwork, owner accounts, and rumor to track down the prize. To the writers of this book, though, there is no prize more coveted than the lost muscle cars of our past.
Lost Muscle Cars: 45 Stories of Hunting the Most Elusive and Valuable Muscle Cars
Edited by Wes Eisenschenk
Product Details: Hardcover, 240 pages, 6 x 9 inches
Publication Date: March 2016
Publisher: CarTech Inc.
More Muscle Cars: Check out this awesome book about your favorite vintage muscle cars
Lost Muscle Cars is, in a way, a bit of a surprise. When I first saw the title and read the back, I assumed it would be story after convoluted story of patiently following clues and checking in old garages and barns until they found their elusive quarry.
However, that is not quite what it is. Instead, Lost Muscle Cars is somewhat of a collection of stories, with most every entry pointing back at specific points in racing and muscle car history, highlighting the exploits of famous cars like Big Willie and Tomiko’s Dodge Daytonas or the Super Stock Plymouth Savoy Aggravation, while also pointing out less-famous cars such as Jenks, the 1969 Chevelle SS 396 (equipped with a 396-cubic-inch V8 and aluminum cylinder heads). It is a collection of stories, told by hunters of classic muscle cars, who explain the significance of and known history of each car in turn, giving brief glimpses into the past as you follow each car from creation to disappearance to (possibly) discovery.
The book itself is hardcover, and each page has a gloss finish. However, the pages themselves are made of a lighter weight, so they occasionally stick to each other as you turn and are thin enough to allow you to see the text printed on the other side of the page (which, by the way, was a bit of a scare for me, since for a moment I thought that I had somehow ruined the book). The images, however, are brought brilliantly to the fore by the glossy finish, and are very interesting additions to each story.
The layout is consistent and easy to follow, with each new section headed by its own title (see images above and below), and the type of cars discussed helpfully broken up into four chapters, allowing you to go right to the cars that interest you. The book itself isn’t very large, lending it to more of a place on your bookshelf than on your coffee table.
Overall, I think that Lost Muscle Cars is a very good book. Each entry is more or less self-contained, and so is broken into bite-sized chunks that you can consume at your leisure in a spare moment (or between bouts of car sickness on a road trip North through Michigan, like I did). My only real annoyance was that a few writers rambled off topic, but that is hardly surprising given it is a collaborative work, and it did not take away from my enjoyment of the book as a whole.
While I was left wishing for more information on several of these cars or speculation on what might have happened to them, I soon gave up my frustration by realizing that that is part of the point of the book–to inspire future enthusiasts to continue the search.
After all, who knows? Maybe the next lost muscle car legend is simply waiting placidly in someone’s garage, just waiting to be uncovered.
Lost Muscle Cars is available through the publisher’s website, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Abe Books, and other retailers.
Product provided for review by publisher.