The history of hot rodding and performance cars has been well chronicled through the years. Books and magazines have covered the cars, builders, pioneers, engineers, early racers, muscle cars, street racers, etc. Most take a nostalgic and fun look at the cars that many have loved their entire lives. Some even cover the lifestyle, the hobby as it involves people, and the effort, time, and commitment people put into it. It is more than just a hobby to most, and to many, a certain wave of nostalgia comes over them when remembering what the car scene was like “back in the day.”
The local speed shop is an important element of the nostalgic feeling that people have when fondly remembering their hot rodding youth. Speed shops were not just parts stores, they were a communal gathering place for car guys wanting to talk smart, bench race, and catch up on the local scene, as well as to solicit the expert advice from the owner or staff behind the counter.
Here, longtime hot rodder and industry veteran Bob McClurg brings you the story of the era and the culture of speed shops as told through individual shop’s histories and compelling vintage photography. He covers the birth of the industry, racing versus hot rodding, mail-order, and advertising wars. You learn about the performance boom of the 1960s and 1970s, lost speed shops as well as survivors, and a overview of the giant mail-order speed shops of today.