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Winter 2016 20


Ford’s Legendary High-Performance

Street and Race Cars

by Martyn L.

Schorr. Hard-bound; 9 1/2 ̋x 11 ̋, 208

pages; 199 b&w photos, 136 color. Pub-

lished by MBI Publishing Co., Min-

neapolis, MN $45.00


To understand the significance of

this book a little background is in

order. In the 1960s and 1970s, there

were three basic groups of automobile

magazines: the Big Boys (

Car and



Road & Track


Motor Trend


Sports Car Graphic



) which

tended to spotlight new cars, automo-

tive trends and sports car racing; the

west coast hot rodding magazines (




Car Craft


Rod & Custom



& Custom


Popular Hot Rodding

); and

the east coast muscle car magazines




Hi-Performance Cars


Speed &



Super Stock & FX


SS &

Drag Illustrated

). There was, of

course, some overlap but generally if

you knew the magazine’s title, you

knew its editorial viewpoint and the

content they provided.

The west coast hot rod magazines

were on the upscale side: slick layout,

sharp photos (initially printed in pale

green ink because it was cheaper),

good quality paper and first-rate writ-

ing for a bunch of “car guys.” The east

coast muscle car magazines were,

maybe, a half-step behind. They were

printed on rougher paper with a little

more grain in the pictures (most were

initially black-and-white) and the

writing, while literate, was more


Marty Schorr was always a car

guy but instead of burying himself

under the hood like his pals, he took a

liking to the printed word. In 1955 he

was the publicity director for a car

club in Yonkers, New York called the

Draggin’ Wheels. This was back when

hot rodders were trying to break out of

the stigma of being considered outlaws

and hooligans who raced at night on

the streets. That was mainly because

they raced at night on the streets.

Members of the Draggin Wheels

had a number of serious hot rods and

dragsters...but nowhere to race them.

The only place was on the streets. He

had a small Brownie camera and took

some pictures and sent them in with a

short article to

Custom Rodder


zine. They paid him $25 (over $200 in

today’s dollars) and that’s where his

writing career began. Soon he was

hired as the magazine’s editor for $100

a week. He attended college at night

studying English, writing, advertising

and public relations and during a

short stint in the army in 1959, he was

assigned to a photography lab where

his experience increased.

By 1961 Schorr was the editor of

Custom Rodder




Speed and


magazines. Instead of writing

puff pieces to satisfy advertisers of the

performance cars he was testing, he

adopted a brash, “tell-it-like-it-is”

style. Readership subsequently in-

creased and he soon found himself ed-

itorial director and then vice president

of the publishing company’s automo-

tive group. By the early 1960s Schorr

had created additional magazines and

eventually had titles aimed squarely

at Ford, Corvette, Mopar and Chevy


Marty Schorr has fifty years worth

of experience with performance cars.

He also has fifty years worth of photo-

graphs he took during that time. He

shares them in this book – some which

have been used before and others

which have not. For detail freaks it is

a treasure trove. The chapters are or-

dered by year, starting in 1961 and

running through 1971.

The time frame of this book is ba-

sically a historical look at Ford’s “Total

Performance” program, using some of

the most well-known cars as exam-

ples. However, included are photos and

details of some of the lesser-known

cars from this era. This book is like a

textbook of Ford’s Total Performance

campaign. The format allows a lot of

the photos to be reproduced in large

size making intricate period details

more visible.

There have been a lot of books

written about performance Fords. We

know, because we have a wall full of

book shelves filled with them. We are

happy to add Marty Schorr’s book to

our shelf. If you’re reading this review,

you will be, too.

The Antique Automobile Club of

America (AACA) has been holding

their annual fall meet in Hershey,

Pennsylvania since 1955. That first

year they had 400 entries for judging

and seven swap meet vendors – or

“Parts Peddlers” as they were called.

Today Hershey’s Fall Meet attracts

over judged 2,500 show cars and the

swap meet includes over than 10,000

vendors. There was a time, back in the

1960s, when Hershey’s cut-off was

1948. They didn’t even allow parts in

the swap meet newer than. As the cars

of the 1950s and 1960s increased in

popularity, Hershey’s exclusivity

spawned the Carlisle Swap Meet

which welcomed all parts. Hershey

blinked, and began allowing newer

and newer parts. Today they are using

a ‘70 Shelby on their 2015 event logo.

Wonder what those old-timers would