Some books you buy for the words and some you buy for the pictures. Hot Rod Garages by Peter Vincent has words, but the incredible photography tells the stories that the book is trying to tell. This is an awesome look into the workshops of some of the most talented car builders, fabricators, and hot rod shops in the country.
There is an honestly and feel to the photography in this book that is unique, in my experience, to the genre. Normally the photos are just too posed, too unnatural, and give the vibe that the guy shooting them was totally interrupting the work of the guys in the shop. This book’s pictures have a comfortable fly on the wall appeal that gives the reader the impression that they are an old friend, or at minimum a welcome guest.
There are big name builders, like Roy Brizio, and Pete Eastwood, as well as guys like the late Pat Foster (who did amazing work restoring or recreating old drag cars) shown along with several builders whose names rang a bell, but aren’t household names like the other guys.
Each chapter has an introduction about the person about to be featured. By the final chapter we found it more fun to use the photography as an initial guide, form an opinion on who we thought the builder was through there work, and then read the intro back to see how our perception met up. These guys all build world class cars. This is the ream team of car building, especially for high end type hot rods.
If you love great photography and learning about the guys behind the cars you see winning all the major shows, you need this book as it provides a rare personal glance into the places that these fellows are most comfortable, their shops.
The shops are a great testament to the balance between raw skill and machinery. These are not bling filled caverns. Instead they are to these guys what a nice little studio is to an artist, a place to make their magic and see their vision come to fruition.
Hot Rod Garages by Peter Vincent is available at motorbooks.com, amazon.com and your local booksellers.