Classic Car Books – Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946-1975

The Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1975 is one of my favorite classic car books. I actually have two copies, one at home and at work! If you are interested in classic cars, especially American muscle cars, this is one reference manual that you need to have on your bookshelf. I work for a company that supplies specialty parts for the muscle car industry, so I have a number of muscle car books, and rarely a week goes by that I don’t get this one out to look up some minuscule detail about a car from the 1960s or early 1970s.
The Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1975 is part of a series of automotive reference books published by Krause Books, and I own eight different books from this series. This one is my personal favorite of the series because of the time period it covers. The book separates the cars by make in alphabetical order, and then by year, making it very easy to find information on the particular car you are wanting to learn about. For instance, if you are looking for information on a 1952 Pontiac, you will find the “Pontiac” section of the book, and then you will flip to 1952, where it will list all of the models that Pontiac produced that year, with a summary of what was new and what stayed the same, plus detailed specs split out by body style on the MSRP, shipping weight, and production numbers for each style.
Looking further, you can find out what engines and transmissions were offered in each model, along with horsepower and torque ratings, carburetion type, wheelbase, height, width, tire size, available options (and their cost), etc. The book gives you ID numbers that help you to decode the VIN information, Car Maintenance Jobs too. Towards the back of the book, it has a section on Alternative Cars, where it covers the lesser-known, smaller marques. In the very back, it has a classic car price guide that lists the prices that collectors were paying at the time of publication for six different condition levels of each model car.
The book has lots of photos of the cars, and discusses the year-to-year changes that were made, as well as the history of each car make and model. I really cannot recommend this Van Covers classic car book highly enough. If you are interested in classic post-war cars or muscle cars, the Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1975 really is a worthwhile purchase.

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