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    ’Fifties Flashback

    Introduction from ’Fifties Flashback by Al Drake Published by permission complements of California Bill’s Automotive Handbooks. This book is a collection of selected ’Fifties Flashbacks, a column I’ve been writing for Rod Action for the past…

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    Stingray Name Controversy

    Contributed by Martyn Schorr Motor Trend, April 2014: In the September 2013 issue of Motor Trend, we ran a timeline showing the history of the Stingray (Refined Tuning, page 44). We later received a letter from…

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    Corvette Sting Ray: Genesis of an American Icon

    A New Book by Peter Brock This post features the Press Release from BRE about Peter Brock’s new book, a summary of the book, and a gallery of several pages. Ordering information is at the end…

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    A Century of Automotive Style

    100 Years of American Car Design by Michael Lamm and Dave Holls This 100-year history explains why cars looked, and look, the way they do, who designed what, and why. The original hardcover book was voted…

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    Of Firebirds and Moonmen, Part One

    A tribute to Norman J. James, designer of the Firebird III Bill Porter is quoted to have said that the Firebird III is a ’50s theme with ’60s surfaces. That would explain at least in part…

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    The Design Staff Library

    Illustration by George Bartell that appeared in Sports Car Graphic, November, 1963. The Design Staff Library Bookstores and public libraries are always a disappointment. We go to these places in search of inspiration, but it’s always…

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    Styling The Look of Things

    Styling The Look of Things was produced by General Motors Corporation in 1955, and revised in 1958. It is a time warp into a much different world of design than exists today. It starts out with…

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    Automobile Design by Henry Gurr

    R. Henry Gurr’s book played an important role in my interest in car design. After seeing GM’s show car display in the infield at a USRRC road race at the Riverside International Raceway in 1964 (which…

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    SpeedReaders presents authoritative reviews of transportation books and media. Reviewers include Sabu Advani, Frank Barrett, Kevin Clemens, Helen Hutchings, and David M. Woodhouse. The reviews are candid, well written, informative—a very useful reference for the historian…

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    Modes and Motors

    Modes and Motors was a publication produced by General Motors Styling Section in 1938. It is reproduced here in its entirety because its message of what automobile and product design is supposed to represent is lost…

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    Sports Cars of the Future by Strother MacMinn

    Sports Cars of the Future, written and illustrated by Strother MacMinn, was published in 1959 by Sports Car Press, Ltd. It is softbound, 5.25″ x 8″, 128 pages plus cover, and dedicated to John and Elaine…

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    Fords of the Fifties, by Mike Parris

    Mike Parris wrote two books about Ford, Fords of the Fifties, and Fords of the Sixties, both published by California Bill’s Automotive Handbooks. They are collections of historic information about Ford’s 1950 and 1960 decades. The…


Twenty Seven Hours to La Paz

1967 Inagural Baja 1000   John Thawley sent this 20-minute VHS tape to me years ago. It briefly documents the first running of the Baja 1000. John can be seen in his Jeepster about 17:30 just…


Harry Bradley’s Vettes

Harry Bradley’s styling tips for ’56–’60, ’53–’67, and ’68–’73 Vettes. from Hot Rod magazine, July, 1973. Search for Harry Bradley for more of Harry’s cool artwork on Dean’s Garage.



Bill Porter’s Inside Buick Studio

Designing Buicks in the 1980s and 1990s Bill Porter tells his story of his years as Chief Designer of Buick I Studio from 1980 to 1996. 47 minutes. I was a designer in Buick I in…


Requiem for a Heavyweight Junkyard Dog

First Name ‘Ned,’ last name ‘Baskerville.’ by Dan Neil, Road & Track, November 1998 Bill Dierker doesn’t lock up at night. Which at fIrst might seem odd. After all, Dierker’s garage—British Automotive Specialists in Peoria, Illinois—is…



The Beast of Turin trailer

Frankly it looks scary. With no exhaust as such we’re treated to the sight of the aftermath of internal combustion shooting straight out of the exhaust ports while the whole car shakes violently. Bear in mind…



Phillip Payne—Ford, AMC, Chrysler Designer

The Career of Phillip E. Payne Payne’s career in automotive styling began in 1960 upon graduation from the Cleveland Institute of Art with job offers from GM and Ford. He chose Ford, in large part because…