Merchants of Speed: The Men Who Built America's Performance Industry

Smith, Paul D.

Published by Motorbooks, 2009
ISBN 10: 0760335672 / ISBN 13: 9780760335673
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Hot rodding has always been about taking something that Detroit built and making it leaner and faster. At the epicenter of the movement was a cast of driven men who designed and manufactured the parts that made it all possible.  This book takes an appreciative look back at the early hot rodders who worked out of their garages, basements, and backyards, and the “speed equipment” they developed. 

 

In this mammoth volume, Paul Smith examines the stories behind two dozen speed equipment manufacturers and the go-fast goodies they designed, developed, and sold.  Drawing upon hundreds of hours of interviews conducted with these founding fathers of hot rodding, Smith details the work of industry icons such as Iskenderian, Edelbrock, Evans, Hilborn, Navarro, Offenhauser, Sharp, Weiand, Ansen, and Kong.  Illustrated with more than 200 period photos and filled with firsthand accounts of the birth of hot rodding—and the automotive aftermarket industry—this book is a truly fitting celebration of the names that became synonymous with speed.

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The essence of hot rodding has always been to make something that was designed and engineered in Detroit look better and, more importantly, go faster. At the epicenter of hot rodding’s formative years prior to and just after World War II was a cast of self-directed men who conceived and crafted the parts that made this possible.

In this mammoth volume, Paul Smith examines the stories behind 26 men, their companies, and the go-fast goodies they designed, developed, and sold. Drawing upon hundreds of hours of interviews with these founding fathers of hot rodding, Smith details the work of icons like Vic Edelbrock Sr., Earl Evans, Stu Hilborn, Ed Iskenderian, Barney Navarro, Fred Offenhauser, Al Sharp, Phil Weiand, and many others.

Smith shows how the speed equipment developed by these early hot rodders—many of whom initially worked out of their garages, basements, and backyards—spilled over into all disciplines of motorsport and evolved into today’s automotive aftermarket industry.

Illustrated with more than 250 extremely rare photographs, many from the personal collections of the men interviewed, Merchants of Speed is a worthy celebration of the names that became synonymous with speed

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Merchants of Speed: The Men Who Built ...
Publisher: Motorbooks
Publication Date: 2009
Book Condition: very good

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