What a treasure trove of information this well-produced book is, for anyone with an interest in the short but intense glory days of North American road racing and the cars which have become iconic emblems of that time, the prototype Mustangs, Camaros, Firebirds, Cougars, Barracudas, Challengers, GTOs, Javelins and the like. The Sports Car Club of America's Trans-American Championship Road Racing Series flourished in the years between 1966 and 1972, with every US "brand" of muscle car represented as manufacturers poured resources into tweaking their entries to perform at the highest levels, and to catch the eye of the Parnelli Jones wannabes shopping for a street car with lots of bottom end and more than a hint of stylish but uniquely American panache.
This book details the establishment of the Trans-Am racing series from its early years on primitive dirt-banked tracks to the high profile races at Daytona and Watkins Glen, before factory sponsorship and support faded away in the early 1970s.
There is a wealth of technical information included here, of interest to the serious mechanic and restorer, as well as to the armchair racer. The photos throughout are excellent; an ambitious collection of private memorabilia, vintage factory promotional material, and professional images of the cars in action.
It wasn't just about the cars, either. Some of the personalities involved were more than a little outspoken, ambitious and occasionally eccentric; reading about the shop floor politics and clashes of strong personalities was a decided bonus.
One of the nicest inclusions in this book were the occasional "Caretaker Reports" detailing where some of the cars are now. Some are long gone, being scrapped or moldered away in farm fields, but a respectable number were tucked away safely in garages. Some have been restored and a number are still racing.
A lot has been unavoidably left out here, including any mention of the European and British cars which ran in the under 2 litre category, but that would fill another book. (hint hint) What is included is excellent. The author knows his stuff, and this reads like a labor of love, in the very best way.