Enthusiastic Reading

Great study for those long, cold winter nights

Andy Bolig - December 20, 2012 10:00 AM


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We’ve compiled a list of our top 21 reading materials for the auto enthusiast.

Whether you – or someone you love – is looking for their next restoration, comprehensive DIY project or simply likes to read for enjoyment, there’s sure to be something in this list for you.


Wired for Success

Many collector car owners are skilled at performing mechanical work, but for many of them, electrical work seems like a black art, too complicated and too confusing. With a firm understanding of the fundamentals, an enthusiast can take this comprehensive guide and complete a wide range of electrical projects to enhance the performance and functionality of a vehicle.


Automotive ElectricalPerformance Projects

Author: Tony Candela

ISBN: 978-1-934709-55-9

Price: $29.95


Breaking Cover

If you’ve ever picked up a car magazine and looked at a grainy photo of an oddly shaped and camouflaged car under the headline “2017 Supercar Revealed!” then you have seen the work of the car spy, Jim Dunne. This illustrated narrative tells the tales behind the photos, in an engaging and often humorous fashion.


Car Spy

Author: Jim Dunne

ISBN: 978-1-934709-81-8

Price: $19.95

Ride Finder

With more than 25 years experience finding, buying and selling old cars, Ron Vasse is an “old car” expert. His book will help all car enthusiasts learn how to make money by exploring a hobby they already enjoy. Vasse likens finding, buying and selling old cars to an adventure – not just a way to make money. “It’s like walking through the museum of life, just like Indiana Jones looking for lost treasure. The whole process is enjoyable as well as profitable.”


Making Money Finding, Buying and Selling Old Cars

Authors: Ross Vasse

ISBN: 978-0-646568-56-0

Price: $89.00 (Paperback)/ $54.00 (E-book)



With this book, an affordable hand-held scanner, and other common tools, the average enthusiast can diagnose and fix most common problems. This book provides a thorough explanation of the on-board diagnostics system. It details its main features, capabilities, and characteristics. It shows how to access the port connector on the car, the serial data protocols, and what the serial data means. Keith McCord provides procedures, insight, and information for resolving most ECU and computer control problems at home with affordable consumer-grade scanners.


Automotive Diagnostic Systems

Author: Keith McCord

ISBN: 978-1-934709-06-1

Price: $24.95

Sheet Metal Skills

Creating door skins, fenders, hoods, and a myriad of other components from sheet metal is a crucial skill for restoring many muscle cars, building custom parts for hot rods, and fabricating parts for classic or competition cars. This book shows the enthusiast how to design and fabricate with inexpensive and simple tools as well as how to use more specialized tools, such as an English wheel and many other metal working techniques.


Automotive Sheet Metal Forming and Fabrication

Authors: Matt Joseph

ISBN-13: 978-1-934709-36-8

Price: $24.95

Muscle Car Madness

When you look at the auction results, muscle cars, especially those done by famous builders, tend to lead the way in sales. Their work has withstood the test of time, a true barometer of success. Their commitment to excellence separated them for the average builder and their stories are gathered into one place to allow the enthusiast to become acquainted with the men and companies behind the machines and the evolution of muscle cars as they enjoy a resurgence in modern form even today.


American Muscle Supercars

Author: David Newhardt

ISBN: 978-0-7603-3294-8

Price: $35



Few men have impacted the sport of drag racing like Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins. Throughout his career, both innovation and success followed him closely, and this book documents the long and colorful history of the competition cars that proudly bear the name “Grumpy’s Toy.” This book boasts the largest collection of Jenkins-centered vintage photography ever assembled.


Grumpy’s Toys

Author: Doug Boyce

ISBN: 978-1-934709-27-6

Price: $34.95

Gettin’ Goin’

Getting great “bite” involves a lot more than sticky tires and a smoky burnout. A better understanding of exactly what is happening to the suspension when the car launches from a standing start will assist you in maximizing your car’s effectiveness on the street or at the track.


How to Hook and Launch: Traction Mods for the Street & Strip

Author: Dick Miller

ISBN: 978-1-934709-35-1

Price: $24.95


Where does it start? All of the cars you see had to be created somewhere and that “somewhere” is in any number of hot rod garages throughout the world. From individuals crafting the cars of their dreams to prominent shops turning out cool rides for top dollars, you’ll see the builders in their elements as the work forms literally before you on the pages. Inspiring photographs capture all of the details to allow complete appreciation of the work done inside the garages.


Hot Rod Garages

Author: Peter Vincent

ISBN: 978-0-7603-2696-1

Price $40


Cone Carving

The vast improvements in modern vehicle handling have prompted a new look at vintage muscle cars. These popular classics can benefit from ways to make the road-handling ability of the car take a big step forward to get more enjoyment in the ride.


How to Make Your Muscle Car Handle

Author: Mark Savitske

ISBN-13: 978-1-934709-07-8

Price: $24.95

Finding Fast Cars!

Many great hot rods that were once famous were simply hidden away. Some of them have been tracked down and are now found once again. Lost Hot Rods II shares the full story of each car, including how it was originally built, when it dropped off the radar, and how it was ultimately found.

Lost Hot Rods II

Author: Pat Ganahl

ISBN: 978-1-934709-93-1

Price: $34.95


Using Your Head

Head porting demands the right tools, skills, and application of knowledge. All the aspects of porting stock and aftermarket heads in aluminum and cast-iron are covered. In addition, you are also shown how to build a high-quality flow bench at home so you can test your work and obtain professional results.


How To Port & Flow TestCylinder Heads

Author: David Vizard

ISBN: 978-1-934709-64-1

Price: $29.95


Steve Magnante shares his most memorable imagery that he’s collected over years of travel. He also shares important information about the cars when describing them. In some cases, the cars pictured are quite rare. While other books have shared junkyard photography, none have been focused purely on domestic muscle cars, nor included the level of information acquired about the subject cars like Rusted Muscle.

Rusted Muscle

Author: Steve Magnante

ISBN: 978-1-934709-40-5

Price: $29.95

Pretty in Patina

Rare are the collector cars that are untouched by time or restorers, cars that still wear their original parts, paint, upholstery and trim. These are sometimes called “time capsule cars”, representing days that are no more. The very sight of one of these is a trip through time that can not only lead one to wonder and marvel, but respect what was with real evidence of the past. You see them in their glory, standing true to their creation and you marvel that the challenge and urge to modify or improve has been fended off. For once they change, they are never the same and it’s only original once.


It’s Only Original Once

Author: Richard Lentinello

ISBN: 978-0-7603-3264-1

Price: $35


Advanced Hot-Glue

Engines, exhaust, intake, suspensions, frames can all be welded for repair and fabrication purposes. This book comprehensively covers advanced techniques, complex joints, advanced processes, and working with a variety of materials, including aluminum, Chrome-moly, stainless steel, carbon steel, titanium, and magnesium. TIG, MIG, oxy-acetylene, and stick welding techniques are illustrated for a wide range of automotive applications. This book allows you to take your welding skills to the next level.


Advanced Automotive Welding

Author: Gerald Uttrachi

ISBN: 978-1-934709-96-2

Price: $29.95


As a response to the high-dollar billet-based street rod trend, budget-limited home-based rod builders looked to the past for inspiration and style, and rat rods were the result. They represent a rebellious attitude, but never take anything too seriously. Cars from all over America and around the world are featured, and no two are the same.


Rat Rods: Rodding’s Imperfect Stepchildren

Author: Scotty Gosson

ISBN: 978-1-934709-21-4

Price: $29.95

More Than Skin Deep

Renowned for their specific detail, David Kimble’s artwork revealed what mere photographs could not, a cutaway look at what is under the skin. Featuring work from a career spanning more than 40 years, the book displays more than 100 of Kimble’s automotive cutaway illustrations. Produced in landscape format to better display the technical detail of the artwork, only 1,000 copies of this book will be produced, all signed by the artist.


Cutaway: The Automotive Art of David Kimble

Authors: David Kimble and Chris Endres, Foreword by Dave McLellan

ISBN: 978-1-934709-84-9

Price: $99.95


Life Lessons

The subject of ridicule, the Chevrolet Corvair, is viewed by some as misunderstood. It was labeled as “unsafe”, “deathmobile”, a motoring “mistake” and other names that did little to boost the reputation of the little car. When people do the same to other people, labeling them with not-so-kind terms, it hurts and can be very unfair. When a boy and a car, each who have endured the worst, combine to show the world the best, it doesn’t take long to see that labels can be misleading and new life can come through dedication. This novel teaches life lessons for fathers, sons and car guys alike.



Author: Jonathan Rintels

ISBN: 978-1-935212-92-8

Price: $15.95


East vs. West

In the early days of hot rodding, two distinct schools of style emerged based on the coastal extremes of the nation. These two different looks define the era, however differently. The similarities and differences were a point of contention and the history of that era is recognized.


East vs. West Showdown: Rods, Customs & Rails

Authors: Joseph Alig andStephen Kilmer

ISBN: 978-1-934709-75-7

Price: $29.95


NYC Autos

When you think cool cars and hot bikes, many will think of the shops on the West Coast that get a lot of attention. Mention New York City as a hotbed of the custom work and you’re likely to get a blank stare. There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the commitment to the culture in shops in and around the Big Apple. Once they roll up the garage doors and you take a look inside, it doesn’t take long to see that some of the most colorful characters that have created their best work are long overdue their just desserts. It can change the way you think about customizing.


New York City Horsepower

Author: Michael McCabe

ISBN: 978-0-7643-3691-5

Price: $50.00


An Art Form

Style separates one car from another. They all rely on mechanical power to get up and down the highway, but how do they look when they are doing it? No one appreciated style more than the hot rodders, who dared everyone to be different and kept raising the style bar just a little bit higher with each new creation. Whether the end game was speed, beauty uniqueness or some special combination, hot rodders have found the perfect place to bring it all to light, creating part mechanical sculpture, part show car and part speed machine.


Art of the Hot Rod

Author: Ken Gross, Photography by Peter Harholdt

ISBN: 978-0-7603-4300-5

Price: $29.99