‘Detroit Steel Artists’
“Detroit Steel Artists” is one of those rare coffee table books that pairs thorough, engaging research with beautiful historic and modern imagery. The research studies the art of the automobile in the years before Harley Earl of General Motors is often erroneously credited with inventing automobile design; after acknowledging the styling efforts of Studebaker and Locomobile in the 1910s, author Matthew Kilkenny studies the automobile design figures who made great strides towards beautifying the automobile in the early 1920s and beyond: Edsel Ford, Raymond Dietrich, Thomas Hibbard and Ralph Roberts. “Detroit Steel Artists” concentrates on these men through written and recorded interviews capturing the men’s own words, often in reference to their years at Le Baron and Dietrich, Inc., two of the preeminent coachbuilders of the 1920s and 1930s.
Kilkenny masterfully blends his appreciation for fine artwork and fine Classic Era automobile design to weave the words of Le Baron and Dietrich, Inc., designers, giving a wonderful perspective to the now-treasured cars from these coachbuilders. The text is further enhanced by the large vintage photos of the men and the cars, as well as period coachbuilder catalog pages and beautiful modern studio images from renowned photographers.
Connoisseurs of elegant, coachbuilt automobiles from the prewar era, especially those from Le Baron and Dietrich, Inc., will treasure this thoroughly researched and illustrated work on the fine Classics that came before the war. “Detroit Steel Artists” not only big and beautiful on the outside, the information inside is big and lives up to the book’s physical presentation.
Order a copy of the hardbound, 274-page book — which features a foreword by Jay Leno — at amazon.com for $95.
Smith-Miller, a builder of quality scale model trucks, hauls in the holiday season with its new 1950s LF Mack Conventional Cab Dromedary truck and trailer in Pacific Intermountain Express (P.I.E.) livery. This scale red 18-wheeler has real rubber tires and is built from painted and polished, high-grade aluminum. Inside, the truck is fitted with an interior, and the exterior detail even includes sand boxes for traction in front of the drive wheels, a spare tire and toolbox. Overall, the truck measures 40-inches long, 6 inches wide and 9 inches tall. Production is limited to just 100 trucks, with the ID number stamped on the frame.
The truck lists for $1,895, but order from the factory and save $500 by paying $1,395. To order, www.smittytoytrucks.com or call 818-703-8588.
Old Cars gift subscription
Stop sharing and start keeping your past issues of Old Cars by ordering a gift subscription for an old car pal or relative. Each gift subscription includes a card to let the recipient know the source of the generous giver — you! Have Old Cars delivered to a friend or relative by calling 877-300-0243, or CLICK HERE to order online.
BendPak Fully Adjustable Mechanic’s Creeper Seat
BendPak’s Ergochair™ is an adjustable-height, rolling work seat that makes performing awkward work tasks in the shop ergonomically easier and safer. This comfortable creeper seat offers a full range of mobility, increased productivity and reduced fatigue.
Order at https://store.bendpak.com/ergochair-ergo-rs/ or call 800-253-2363.
‘The BMW Century,’ Second Edition
The history of BMW is rich and includes war, airplanes, motorcycles and, of course, automobiles. That history is concisely recorded in Tony Lewin’s hefty and lush, 240-page hardcover book. More than that, the book also makes an excellent ID guide to help BMW novices identify models and what sets them apart from one another. Being a second edition of the 2016-published original, all of the latest, post-2016 BMW models are included.
Placed amongst Lewin’s text is an array of professionally shot historic images showing the people and, mostly, the vehicles of BMW, all beautifully reproduced. All of the favorites are here: the 328 roadster, the diminutive Isetta, the 507 roadster, the 2002 coupe — even BMW concept cars and late-model M-Series machines. BMW’s connection to the Mini and Rolls-Royce are also covered in this thorough work.
Order a copy of “The BMW Century” for $55 through quarto.com or your favorite book seller.
The 2023 Old Cars Reader Rides Calendars are in!
Get 12 months of your fellow readers’ rides with a 2023 Old Cars Reader Rides calendar, and while you’re at it, order one for a friend! To order, call 800-711-9197, M-F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. The calendars are $9.95 each, plus $3.99 for S&H to U.S. addresses (sales tax on orders to Iowa). Orders shipped outside the U.S. will be charged additional S&H.
Mailed orders should go to:
Active Interest Media
Attn: Customer Service/Orders
2143 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312
Or order online at: https://store.oldcarsweekly.com
Kingslim D4 Dual Dash Cam
Just because you drive an old car doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of new technology. The D4 Dual Dash Cam provides any vehicle with a front camera, built-in WiFi GPS and a back-up camera — the latter being particularly helpful when moving a fat-fendered Ford or a big-butted sedanette, sedan delivery or panel truck. It’s also perfect for late-model collector cars without good rear visibility and back-up cameras, such as early fifth-gen Camaros and third-generation Challengers. The D4 Dual Dash Cam is easy to hook up and only requires a cigarette lighter receiver for power. Installation is not permanent, so there are no new holes to mar the primo body panels of a show car.
The Kingslim D4 Dual Dash Cam also acts as a baby sitter for your vehicle whether it’s being driven or parked. It records with 4K resolution the vehicle’s front and rear view to act as a witness when encountering less-cautious drivers on the road or in parking lots with its 24-hour parking monitor feature.
The Kingslim D4 Dual Dash Cam has a four-plus-star rating on Amazon where it’s available for $139.99.
Model Checker Model A
With only a single known survivor, most people today have only seen the 1940-’41 Checker Model A taxicab in old films or photos. Now, they can have a model of this rare car to display on their shelf or incorporate into a big-city diorama.
Automodello has crafted the Checker Model A in resin as part of its ONE43 line of models. The 1:43-scale model incorporates all of the fine attributes of a typical Automodello model: separate plated parts, accurate scale and proportion, realistic rubber tires and lenses and a detailed interior. This model Model A represents Checker’s Landaulet model with a collapsible rear roof, and Automodello has included a removable rear roof panel so the model can be displayed with the top up or down.
Automodello’s 1940-’41 Checker Model A is available in green with brown fenders to represent its hometown Kalamazoo livery, as well as Chicago livery, and yellow with brown fenders for Chicago livery. Order from www.automodello.com for $119.99, or call 888-212-5160.
Preston Lerner’s new book “Shelby American: The Renegades Who Built the Cars, Won the Races, and Lived the Legend” works to separate fact from fiction by telling the story of the legendary Shelby American through the words of the people who worked alongside Carroll Shelby, from the development of the Cobra to the introduction of the 1970 Shelby GT 350 and GT 500. The quoted characters include past Ford execs, Shelby American employees who raced and wrenched on the cars and even an ex-wife or two.
Chapters are broken down year-by-year in the Shelby timeline: 1962 (development of the Cobra); 1963 (producing enough Cobras to meet SCCA requirements and then racing them); 1964 (highlighted by the Shelby Daytona coupe development); and so on through 1969. The deep text is highlighted by occasionally appearing, period black-and-white photos to complement the adjacent stories being told.
Shelby fans will appreciate this look at the legendary Carroll Shelby and his cars, as told by the people who surrounded him and his creations during his heyday of the 1960s.
The 314-page, hardcover book is available for $35 from Octane Press at octanepress.com or wherever transportation books are sold.
Old Cars ‘swag’
Give Old Cars gear this holiday season with our full line of hats, shirts, bags and other accessories plus much more to prepare die-hard hobbyists for the upcoming show season. Old Cars’ new store has dozens of great items, and plenty more coming! Shirts feature past or present Old Cars logos, our famous 1954 Chevy panel truck and beloved late research editor Kenny Buttolph and other great designs. Digital back issues are also available on the site. Go to https://store.oldcarsweekly.com to see the wide selection and order today!
2023 Hudson Essex Terraplane Calendar
Ring in 2023 with a Hudson a month with the 2023 Hudson Essex Terraplane Calendar, annually published by the Hudson Essex Terraplane Club. This year’s 12-month calendar is dedicated to past HET Club President Janet Kale and focuses on women pictured with Hudson Essex and Terraplane automobiles, often through vintage photos. Calendar proceeds benefit several Hudson causes, from the club to its historical society and museum.
Order for $20 at www.hudsoncalendar.com or send a check or money order to Mike Cherry, 3 Silver Queen Ct., Park City, UT 84060.
Until now, the only 1:24-scale models available of the 1954 Buick Skylark convertible were crude promotional models that have warped. Automodello has revived the sporty Buick in 1:24 scale, but also upped the ante when it comes to details over the old promos.
Automodello’s resin 1954 Skylark features beautifully plated, separate chrome-looking trim parts that glow with depth. The toothed grille is elegant and amazing in its realism, and the fine Skylark emblems and delicate standing “V” hood ornament and radio antenna are especially well-done, as are the real wire wheels with two-bar spinners with their red, white and blue centers. The chrome-plated fins are finely done with their plating and their red lenses and painted ribs, and the two-tone, waffle-pattern interior appears as though it’s truly upholstered with fabric.
The model can be displayed “top down” with its CanvasTouch™ convertible top boot in place, or “top up” with its CanvasTouch™ convertible top installed. Colors of Automodello’s 1954 Buick Skylark include a mint green with dark-green coves (199 built, priced at $249.95), or red with black coves or white with red coves (54 built in each color, each priced at $299.95).
Order from www.automodello.com, or call 888-212-5160.
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