When there were far fewer people around, far fewer laws and regulations, when the legal speed limit was 75 mph, when gas was cheap, when driving was a pleasure, if you owned a hot machine you could point the grill down an empty road and go!

Portland Pictorial: The 1950s

Rods & Customs, Showcars & Dragsters and a bunch of reworked daily drivers, the kinds of cars you saw on the street in the 1950s, with skirts, duals, lake pipes, Hollywood hub caps, DeSoto bumpers, nosed and decked, frenched, long shackles, engine swaps and even a couple chopped tops. Remember how it was with an author who lived it. Why get your information second or third hand? Informed captions, written before everything about those halcyon days is forgotten!. View an excerpt from Portland Pictorial: The 1950s. 128 pages, perfect-bound (October 2006) Throttlers Press; ISBN: 0-936892-19-6; Dimensions :11" x 8.25". Signed copy...$24.00 postage paid.


Street Was Fun in '51

Mid-century: that period that we look back at and see as a peaceful, stable time. There was a sense of optimism in the air, a belief in the American Dream. People had money and were looking for something to spend it on. But for some there was a strong desire to rebel, to assert a personal identity in the grayness of the Eisenhower-Nixon years. No wonder the interest in hopped-up and customized cars began to accelerate. The roots of the Car Culture had barely hit the soil when an entire movement blossomed.

At mid-century, to own a good street roadster made sense. They were fun, swift, economical, handled well, and they were noticed! In those simpler days, when there were far fewer people around, far fewer laws and regulars, when the legal speed limit was 75 mpg, when gas was cheap, when driving was a pleasure, if you owned a hot machine you could point the grill down an empty road and go! To the beach, the mountains, or just to the Tik Tok, Jim Dandy’s Flanagan’s, to your favorite drive-in where you could make a cherry coke last all night while you listened to Patti Page and Perry Como and watched the parade of cars that, in memory, seems endless. 

Street was fun in '51!

 Read a Sample passage Soft bound, 6"x 9", 88 pages, 42 rare photographs Signed copy...$6.95

Flat Out

In the late 1920s hot rodders began to gravitate to the various dry lake beds near Los Angeles to engage in straightaway time trials. By the late 1930s the sport had become formalized and was booming. It’s a purely American activity, and one that continues to this day. 

Flat Out: California Dry Lake Trials 1930-1950 is the  definitive history of the sport during the Golden Age of dry lake competition. It covers the beginnings, Muroc Racing Association, SCTA, the "bootleg races" during WWII and the postwar period. 300 photos of almost every notable dry lake car.

When Drake started this book, almost nothing was written about dry lake competition during the years 1930-1948 (when Hot Rod Magazine began). This book contains information that would otherwise be lost.

The book has 300 photographs, showing almost every notable dry lakes car, and many "typical" cars.  It captures the spirit of the times--what it must've been like to have been a rodder during those two decades.

Chapters on: Hollywood Folks, Wrecks, Behemoths, Streamlining, Timing, Organizational Activities, Souping the Four Barrel, the V-8 and more.

Read a Sample passage.

Soft bound, 206 pages, 300 black and white photographs. Signed copy...$19.95 (Out of Print!)

Hot Rodder! From Lakes to Street

The first history of hot rodding, from the 1920s to the 1990s, as told in the participants’ own words. A 17-year project, this book includes chapters on the early years, California dry lake time trials, circle track roadsters, Bonneville, custom cars and street rodding. 

The 23 oral histories here include the well-known and less well-known, among them Karl and Veda Orr, Burke LeSage, William Kenz, Joe Bailon, Bob Kaiser, Dee Wescott, Big Bill Edwards, Dick Ford, Jack Henry and more. Writers interviewed include Henry Gregor Felsen, Roger Huntington and Peter Sukalac. 

The text is substantial; the book aims at people who love to read, especially about hot rod history. It contains information and anecdote that cannot be found elsewhere and, since many of the participants have passed away, would otherwise be lost. The book has 200 photographs, most of them rare. There are photos of cars that have never been written about, such as the Weinberg roadster, perhaps the most exotic hot rod ever built; the Houle-Henry roadster, Dick Ford's 129 A-V8, built in 1945; etc.

Soft bound, 8 1/2" x 11", 176 pages, 200 photographs. Signed copy...$16.95

Fifties Flashback

A car buff offers nostalgic memories of the way things were in the '50s. Cars with flames, drive-in movies, service stations, car clubs, and drag races all get their time in the spotlight in this collection of images from period photographs, catalogs, magazines, comics, and books. 

This book is a collection of ‘Fifties Flashbacks, the column Albert Drake has been writing for over two decades. With an abundance of material to choose from, he carefully selected these columns to give a sense of what the decade was all about. The pieces are told from a personal point of view - Drake was both participant and observer.

Although written over a period of years, these selected columns have an organic unity. There's also new material approximately one-fourth of the work in this book has not been previously published.

  • Hot Rods
  • Customs
  • Motorcycles
  • Car Clubs
  • Duals Hubcaps
  • Drive-Ins & Drive-In Theaters
  • Top Rod / Shot Rods
  • Blue Dots
  • Rock N Roll
  • Bonneville
  • Oakland Roadster Show & other car shows
  • What We Read: Magazines Books, Felsen Hot Rod &c
  • Cars We Drove
  • Clothes We Wore
  • Movies We Saw
A Cultural History of the Decade!

Read a Sample passage from Fifties Flashback .

Paperback - 268 pages (January 1999) Fisher Books; ISBN: 1555611613 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.76 x 10.87 x 8.54 Signed copy...$19.95

Herding Goats: An oral history of the Pontiac GTO

Read a Sample passage. Soft bound, 8 1/2" x 11", 138 pages, 90 photographs Signed copy...$14.50

A 1950s Rod & Custom Builder's Dream Book

Jammed with reprints of ads from 1948-1959, showing the many goodies and services that were available to hot rodders and custom car builders. Read a Sample passage from A 1950s Rod & Custom Builder's Dream Book . Soft bound, 8 1/2" x 11", 100 pages, hundreds of illustrations Signed copy...$9.95