A journey with the Burbank Choppers car club
By Laurent Bagnard
208 pages, 275 illustrations
ISBN-10: 1-932494-65-0
In this stunning pictorial essay, Laurent Bagnard chronicles the life, the times, and rides of the Burbank Choppers, leading proponents of the recent trend towards traditional hot rodding.
The past flows seamlessly in to the present with deuce coupes, vintage roadsters and other hot rods lifted from the hobbies glory days in the 1950s photographed in stark black and white against vintage backdrops. The color photos of similar scenes provide the bridge from past to present.
If you are a purist and are offended by scenes of cars transformed into highly personalized reflections of the owner avoid this book at all cost. If, however, you remember with fondness the glory days of hot rodding immortalized in films such as American Graffiti grab this book and drool.
Every model since 1964 ½
By Mike Mueller
Hardcover, 348 pages, 590 illustrations
MBI Publishing or 800-458-0454
ISBN-13: 978-0-7603-2838-5
I can think of but one word to describe this book – encyclopedic. Factory photos, and specs, prototypes and racing photos, peddle cars and engine details, options and factory price listings of cars as well as options.
As a photographic history of the legendary Mustang, this book is truly stunning in its scope and depth. Add concise, detailed text and you have a complete history of this legendary marques evolution through 2007.
If I were to critique this book in a nit picking manner there is one notable fault. The subtitle indicates the book begins with the 1964 ½ Mustang when in actuality it begins with the prototype version of 1961.
If you have questions about the Mustang and cannot find the answer in the extensive index, the well-researched appendix or in these pages then there is a very good chance you were thinking of Camaro.
A journey through time along America’s Mother Road
By Michael Karl Witzel & Gyvel Young-Witzel
Hardcover 256 pages, 600 illustrations
Voyageur Press or 800-458-0454
Great, another Route 66 book was the first thought to pop in to mind upon receipt of a review copy of this book. The second was that I write reviews on automotive books, not books on travel or social commentary.
This, however, is not just another Route 66 book. It is one of a handful written that adds meat to the sinew and bone as well as reality to the fantasy.
With the turning of each page, the evolution of the American highway and our fascination with the open road unfolds. From the camel caravan of Lt. Beale and the Santa Fe Trail to the bicycle craze of the late 19th century and the trials and tribulations of the early motorists is chronicled through informative text and extensive use of photographs, many never before published.
As to Route 66, sure there are the obligatory post cards and photos of famous attractions. There are also vintage accident photos and statistics gleaned from government reports about accidents that speak volumes about travel on Route 66 during its glory days.
This could be the definitive book on Route 66 and our fascination with it.

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