Been Reading Issue 10

There’s been a whole lot of reading going on this month, mainly thanks to a new series of titles from CarTech called Muscle Cars In Detail. There are 10 titles in the series so far, and muscle fans will love ’em.

While there are plenty of big, coffee-table books about general cover-all subjects such as Ford’s Mustang or Mopar Muscle, these smaller format, circa-100-page softbacks are far more focused. Each book picks not just a make and model, but a specific model year to obsess over. Oh yes, this is premier league anorak territory.

Obviously, there is a bit of build-up to that particular model year, plus a little about what followed, but, by and large, it’s all about that specific model. Production figures, options, engine stats, and how to tell a real one from a ‘tribute’ – it’s all in there. Honestly, in terms of detail, trainspotting has nothing on this lot.

That’s not to say it’s all dry, dull statistics; far from it. Each is a well-researched piece, written by an author who clearly has a lot of love for the subject, and packed with full colour and period photographs. And, because each title is penned by a different author, each title differs from the last in terms of style, though they all follow a broadly similar template.

It’s also a stroke of marketing genius, because they’ve taken into account the nature of those into ‘collector cars.’ There’s a clue in the title – they’re collectors. Even if, for example, Super Duty Trans Ams are your specialist subject, you’re not going to just stop at the SD Trans Am book; the chances are quite high that you’re going to want to collect every single title. Having one book marked ‘No.6’ on your shelf will give you a nervous tic, and you’ll want the set. And they’re definitely worth having.

Readable, engrossing, and very easy on the eye, if you can’t summon up the $100,000 for the specialist muscle car of your fancy, you could certainly soothe your cravings with a damn good book about them, and get change from £20 apiece.

1. 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS – Dale McIntosh
2. 1971 Plymouth Cuda – Ola Nilsson
3. 1968 Shelby Mustang GT350, GT500 and GT500KR – Greg Kolasa
4. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS – Bobby Kimbrough
5. 1969 Plymouth Road Runner – Wes Eisenschenk