The Truth About Cars » Edelbrock http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:56:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Edelbrock http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Merchants of Speed: The Men Who Built America’s Performance Industry, by Paul D. Smith http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/12/merchants-of-speed-the-men-who-built-americas-performance-industry-by-paul-d-smith/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/12/merchants-of-speed-the-men-who-built-americas-performance-industry-by-paul-d-smith/#comments Fri, 24 Dec 2010 23:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=378546 I’ve got this intimidating stack-o-car books to review— it’s been five months since the last one— and so I figured I’d skim them all and pick out a few winners. I cracked this one open, got hooked right away, and read the whole thing while ignoring the rest of the pile. This 1938 shot of […]

The post Merchants of Speed: The Men Who Built America’s Performance Industry, by Paul D. Smith appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

I’ve got this intimidating stack-o-car books to review— it’s been five months since the last one— and so I figured I’d skim them all and pick out a few winners. I cracked this one open, got hooked right away, and read the whole thing while ignoring the rest of the pile.

This 1938 shot of Ed Iskendarian and his Model T (note the valve covers— cast in Iskendarian’s high-school shop class— on the Ford’s Maxi F-heads) pretty much sums up the book; it’s a collection of short, well-illustrated biographies of 26 men who created the aftermarket performance industry during the immediate postwar era.

I’m already obsessed with Southern California memoirs and biographies (Richard Nixon, James Ellroy, Sister Aimee, Mickey Cohen, and Art Pepper, to name a handful; this one just dragged my head back to SoCal), so even without the rat-rodders-wish-they-looked-this-cool vintage car porn I’d be digging this book in a big way. With the notable exception of Harvey Crane (Crane Cams), just about every one of the 26 “merchants of speed” set up shop in the Los Angeles area, epicenter of the post-World-War-II racing and hot-rodding boom.

The stories of Hilborn, Edelbrock, Offenhauser, Weiand, and plenty of other familiar names may be found in this book’s pages. We also get the stories of big-in-their-time outfits such as Chevy six-cylinder kings Wayne Manufacturing. The ups, the downs, the ripoffs (according to Lou Senter of Ansen Automotive, the design of the Ansen Posi-Shift Floor Shifter was lifted by a person “who became quite a famous floorshift manufacturer” due to a legal gray area in a patent description), and the “where are they now” answers will allow the reader to geek out on engineering and hot-rod-golden-age tales to his or her heart’s content.

Speaking of Lou Senter, check out this blown Packard V8-powered monster! Yes, the first car to break 150 MPH in the quarter-mile on gasoline was Packard powered!

I’m giving “>Merchants of Speed a four-rod rating (out of a possible Mercedes-Benz-OM615-inspired five). Murilee says check it out!

Motorbooks

56 top 69 112 118 136 152 180 182 188 198 208 211 213 216 224 9780760335673 p.6 p.9 Rating-4ConRods-200px

The post Merchants of Speed: The Men Who Built America’s Performance Industry, by Paul D. Smith appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/12/merchants-of-speed-the-men-who-built-americas-performance-industry-by-paul-d-smith/feed/ 4