Synopses & Reviews
A muscle-car book unlike any other, featuring the rarest vehicles on Earth.
In the 1960s, something explosive happened in the automotive world: the United States' evolving V-8 engine technology was met by 75 million baby boomers, all with an extreme need for speed and all entering the auto market at the same time. The result was the golden era of factory muscle cars, brutish machines that were unlike any the world had ever seen or will likely ever see again--they truly embodied the "sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll" generation. For some, even a factory muscle car wasn't enough. Detroit automakers responded, secretly building some of the most outrageous muscle cars ever created behind their superiors' backs and ultimately creating some of the most powerful vehicles ever sold to the public. In Top Muscle
, author Darwin Holmstrom
chronicles the ultimate collection of these super-rare high-performance beasts. Captured by the lens of renowned auto photographer Randy Leffingwell
, these cars represent the absolute zenith of the most valuable collector cars in existence, with fascinating histories that illuminate the wildest age in American automotive history. The Brothers Collection features over 600 cars, including such rarities as:
- The very first Chevelle Z16 ever built, which was also the very first muscle car that Chevrolet ever built
- The very first Chevelle SS454 LS6 off the assembly line
- The only 1969 Mach I Mustang ever built with a factory sunroof
- The very first A12 (440-6) Roadrunner ever built
- The very last Hemi 'Cuda convertible Plymouth produced, One of the eight convertible Trans Am Ram Air III Firebirds that Pontiac built in 1969
"(Leffingwell) is able to give the vehicles a sort of inner radiance that invites readers to treat the images as works of art. Yeah, I know that sounds a little pretentious, but remember, these are classic muscle cars that wear some of the most expressive and extreme designs ever seen on the road and Leffingwell's approach to lighting brings out every dramatic curve and angle. Finally, while the big deal here is no doubt the photography, Holmstrom's copy is very engaging, and while his enthusiasm for the cars is obvious, he doesn't gush over them. He also does a good job at providing background and context for the original muscle-car era, right down to the inclusion of vintage print ads." - AutoSavant.com
"When Top Muscle says it focuses on the rarest of the rare, it really means it. Top Muscle follows a simple and undeniably effective formula." - AutoWeek
"Car enthusiasts today have access to an ever-broadening selection of muscle car books. This particular work was written by Darwin Holmstrom to highlight some of the most sought-after cars of the era. The cars selected are often intriguing, not simply because they have rare drivetrains, but because of particular attributes or histories. Randy Leffingwell created alluring images using unconventional light "painting" techniques. The results appear as painstakingly studio-lit works, when they were actually taken in the collection's storage facility. It's attractive and interesting, and includes a number of cars we've not seen previously. We just can't help wanting to know more about them." - Hemmings Muscle Machines
In Top Muscle
, author Darwin Holmstrom and photographer Randy Leffingwell explore the ultimate collection of the most valuable collector cars in existence, with fascinating histories that illuminate the wildest age in American automotive history.
About the Author
has written, co-written, or contributed to over 30 books on subjects ranging from Gibson Les Paul guitars and extraordinary goats in mythology to motorcycles and muscle cars, including the best-selling Let's Ride: Sonny Barger's Guide to Motorcycling
;Top Muscle: The Rarest Cars from America's Fastest Decade
; Camaro: Five Generations of Performance
; BMW Motorcycles
; The Harley-Davidson Motor Co. Archive Collection
; GTO: Pontiac's Great One
; Hemi Muscle Cars
; Camaro Forty Years
; Muscle: America's Legendary Performance Cars
; The Complete Idiot's Guide to Motorcycles
; and many others. He is the senior editor for Motorbooks, where he has worked for the past fourteen years.
Randy Leffingwell wrote his first book, American Muscle, in 1989 while still on staff at the Los Angeles Times. Since then, he has authored another 47 titles for Motorbooks and its sister publisher Voyageur Press, including his most recent Complete Book of Porsche 911 and Corvette 60 Years. He has just finished Porsche 911: Fifty Years, a reexamination of the 911 story based on nearly two dozen new interviews. He lives in southern California, about 100 miles north of Los Angeles. Learn more about him on his website: www.rleffingwell.com.