We’re back with another peek inside a new release from the people at Car Tech books and this time we’re not talking about drag racing but instead we are talking about bending corners and the machines that did it so well during the glory years of the Trans Am in the 1960s and early 1970s. In “The Cars of Trans-Am Racing 1966-1972” author David Tom takes us on a journey of varying altitudes through the racing, the people, and most importantly the machines that made it all happen. There is an incredible amount of information in this book and as we have seen in the last couple of titles that we’ve reviewed, the photography is fantastic.
Our favorite part of this book is that there are these kind of deep-dive sidebars woven into the overlying story of the evolution and growth of the Trans-Am racing series in the late 1960s until its complete explosion in popularity during the 1969-1970 time frame. This is not a book that worships at the altar of one team, one make, or one model. It brings us all of these different stories and weaves them together in a wildly informative way. I knew something of Trans-Am racing coming in but by the time I finished this book, I was truly educated.
The use of the vintage photography is a massive part of the appeal of this book to me and I assume to many readers. When we see the old tracks and these battle-hardened cars and drivers competing, the hair on the back of your neck stands up. The sidebars that deep dive into certain cars, races, or people are amazing. The in-depth look at the famous Camaro that Smokey Yunick built as kind of a doomsday weapon for the series is fantastic especially when you consider it had filtered through multiple hands and was just “an old race car” before being found and restored.
The story of Trans-Am is the story of almost any series relying on massive factory support and interest. When that stops, the thing takes a hard and quick dive. Ultimately after 1970 that is exactly what happened. You’ll understand the how and why of all that when you read the book but Tom does a great job of painting the picture of the series not just mechanically but also with the business side of it to boot.
The best compliment I can give this book is that I learned all the stuff I wanted to by the time I closed the back cover. You are never sent down pathways that are boring minutiae, you are never preached at in the writing, you are simply educated on so much and on so many cars that your brain will want to go back and read this one again…or like me continually admire all the amazing photography!
If you have a Trans-Am fan in your family, you need to get them this book. Get yours today at CarTechBooks.com , Amazon.com and wherever awesome automotive books are sold.