Friday, April 28, 2017

Tom Shaw's library was recently bought, and some of the books are now hitting the market, and they are some rare items indeed.

 So if you need to add these to your library, ask over at

Hat tip to  for bring up the topic of what to do with rare old documents and dealership items in an article by Tom Shaw;

" There is no central archive for muscle car info. We need an automotive Smithsonian where muscle car info would be stored, a library of specs, info, and history. The big manufacturers have little interest in warehousing this stuff for the ages. I hate to think how much valuable historical information has already hit the dumpster.

The deep specifications about our cars, like SAE reports, AMA specifications, and Manufacturer’s Engineering Reports, were never intended for public consumption. They stayed in dealership service departments, engineering labs, or in the archives of racing organizations like the NHRA and NASCAR. As the years rolled on, enthusiast interest in muscle cars grew, while dealer interest declined.

So the deep technical info about our cars remained in the hands of a few archivists scattered among the clubs. So far so good, but as the first wave of muscle car people, the generation that grew up with them, reaches old age, what will become of their knowledge and research? The problem there, in my experience, is that the material is not readily accessible to the man on the street, and that should be a priority. The whole idea is to promote the free flow of accurate information so that error does not gain a foothold. There’s already enough misinformation floating around.

Ever been to the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green? I’d sure like to see something on that level for muscle cars. The American Muscle Car Institute, maybe housed in an old dealership building, with a big wing to archive irreplaceable muscle car documents, literature, and history. Need some info about your car? Pick up the phone and ask the reference desk. For a small fee, a copy of the page will be sent or scanned and emailed. "

Sadly the irony of selling off these items and not donating them to such an endeavor wasn't appearant to Tom, and the library he'd collected (some of which you see above) was sold to Geoff, who in turn is selling it off in pieces.

I believe Hot Rod couldn't see this, maybe a side effect from the 70s features of vans and VW bugs. Shiver. Those were some dark days the the path was lost. Hot Rod Magazine never recovered. It's been bought and sold several times since, and had to give away the archives to get them digitally stored and cataloged. Now they are in the Pete, and Getty has the rights, and sells them. Ho Hum.


  1. Had a little over 300 car magazines, 1953 thru 1962. Went away to school in the fall of '62, came home at Christmas, gone. Thanks Mom.

    1. Damn... it takes them no time to finally get rid of all the stuff they think you should have thrown away. My mom tossed my comic books once, when I was about 15. Said I didn't read them anymore, and they were a fire hazard. I pointed out, so are her jigsaw puzzles.