In the interest of full disclosure, I write for PRI Magazine, which is the title of the magazine produced by Performance Racing Industry, the hardcore race parts subsidiary of SEMA, the Special Equipment Manufacturers Association. SEMA represents the North American automotive aftermarket, which is a $50 billion industry today. Not bad for an industry that started out with entrepreneurs casting and grinding individual go-fast components in their one-car garages or cellars. This fascinating book by CarTech examines in broad detail how this business got started, with individual speed proprietors chasing their dreams.
This story takes you back literally to the days of the Ford Model T, when speed parts started dribbling out in ones and twos and by the end of World War II, led to the creation of the modern automotive aftermarket. In 192 softcover pages, the highly regarded journalist and hot rod historian Tony Thacker leads the reader on a decade-by-decade progression of the business, touching on the myriad of speed suppliers individually. The book is richly illustrated and beyond any question, belongs in the library of every enthusiast of racing history and American high performance. Many of the myriad photos depict speed parts now in the collections of the late Bill Smith’s fabulous Museum of American Speed in Lincoln, Nebraska. CarTech, incidentally, already publishes the perfect companion volume to this book, a history of America’s speed shops authored by JDOW cohort Bob McClurg.