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The muscle car era, and the era that immediately preceded it, are a unique window in time; it is one that we will not likely see again. Post-war USA was a place where people wanted to move on from the horrors of conflict, to embrace an era of peace, and to pursue, well, all sorts of things. A whole generation was entering a new prosperity, with home ownership on the rise, gainful employment increasing, the building of suburbs, and a new interstate system connecting everyone. That all helped increase our dependence upon, and in turn, deepen our love affair with the automobile. It started in the 1950s, when automakers realized that if they made their cars more powerful than brand X and won races on the weekends as well, sales would follow those victories into the dealership. Not everybody was enamored with all this new-found performance, however, and throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s, a struggle developed between building faster automobiles and appearing responsible and promoting the cause of safety. This led to racing participation on an all-out corporate level, followed by voluntary self-imposed and publicized bans, back-door cheating on said bans, and then investing in performance again. A byproduct of all this activity was some really fascinating and exciting cars. Detroit Muscle: Factory Lightweights and Purpose-Built Muscle Cars follows the evolution of the fastest, most powerful, and exciting vehicles of the era, in both drag racing and NASCAR. From early Hudson Hornets, to the birth of the Hemi, to aluminum and fiberglass panel sedans, to lightweight special-order muscle cars ready to race from the factory. • Covers the muscle car era and the decade of performance leading up to it • Provides info on not just muscle cars, but specially built performance cars as well • Puts all performance efforts of domestic manufacturers into perspective from 1950 to present About the Author Charles Morris is an auto enthusiast and a die-hard Ford fan who has written scores of articles for Ford car magazines. A drag racer since 1966, Morris has been a crewmember for a Top Alcohol Funny Car and a Pro/ Stock team; he has also run cars in Stock, Super Stock, and Nostalgia Super Stock classes. He was a 2006 inductee into the USA 1 Nostalgia Dragfest Hall of Fame.
Author: Charles Morris
Illustrations: 457 color photos