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HarleyEarl

Automobile Books

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Do any of you know if there is a non-textbook type of book that shows the complete process of a car's development from beginning to end?

I mean everything, the complete dirt. Timelines, how they put together things like the brochures, the owner's manual, the repair manual, advertising, what's the process of having parts etc ready at the dealerships, training, how they get parts suppliers involved and on and on.....I've always wanted to know all the nitty gritty behind the scenes stuff. Ha ha, maybe I am talking about a textbook!

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Never heard of an all-encompassing book like you describe.

I happen to have a pic-by-pic of the '63 GP assembly-line process.... and that's the only good step-by-step of just that portion of 'making a car' I've ever seen.

Some things I've specifically searched for for years and still have not uncovered the hard facts.

I've read and read all sorts of books, magazines, etc on car for years and years.... and at this point, it strikes me that it's still only the 'iceberg tip' of everything involved. Amazing involved & complex process.

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Never heard of an all-encompassing book like you describe.

I happen to have a pic-by-pic of the '63 GP assembly-line process.... and that's the only good step-by-step of just that portion of 'making a car' I've ever seen.

Some things I've specifically searched for for years and still have not uncovered the hard facts.

I've read and read all sorts of books, magazines, etc on car for years and years.... and at this point, it strikes me that it's still only the 'iceberg tip' of everything involved. Amazing involved & complex process.

It seems to me I remember a book about the original Taurus and how it was developed...never read it though. And wasn't there a book on the '84 Corvette and how it was developed?

I wonder if there is such a derth of books like this, because car companies are guarded about giving away any advantage to the competition?

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While not completely what you want, "Setting the Pace", the story behind Oldsmobile, talks about many of those individual parts of development, but spreads it over multiple vehicles.

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While not completely what you want, "Setting the Pace", the story behind Oldsmobile, talks about many of those individual parts of development, but spreads it over multiple vehicles.

Hey thanks...I'll look for that.

See it's at Amazon....hadn't heard of it before.

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Dug the book out of my library for you.

Some examples of the process it describes:

Development of the plants/production lines

Financial forming of the company

Story's of the early promotional stunts.

Many many advertisments.

Maps of the Lansing Olds Motor Works

Details of Old's war efforts

Very detailed writeup of Kettering and the development of the Rocket

Writeups of the non-autmotive related employees of Olds

light writeup of the automatic transmission

Detailed writeup of the development of the Toronado and FWD.

Strangely detailed writeup of the air suspension in the 1958s.

Writeup of the development of the Quad-4

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Thats just the sort of stuff I'm craving.

I looked up online about the authors and how they did their research. I'd be in some sort of automobile nirvana if it were me.

Going through dusty old car history stuff...well, I'm getting dizzy.

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>>"light writeup of the automatic transmission..."<<

The other half of that story is over in the better Cadillac books.

Some of the things I have never seen adequately explained: The operational relationships between the assembly plants and the Fisher Body plants (<info here is seemingly guarded like Hanger 18 keys), the typical operations at Milford Proving Grounds, the simple difference between an XP car and a SO car, the accounting of & between divisions (sounds weird: in earlier years divisions sold materials to other divisions), a comprehensive listing of stylists and their contributions... why can't I learn all this stuff ??

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Do any of you know if there is a non-textbook type of book that shows the complete process of a car's development from beginning to end?

There are a few very good books that do this. First and foremost is "All Corvettes are Red" which follows the development of the 1997 Corvette.

Car: A Drama of the American Workplace - 1996 Ford Taurus

The Critical Path: Inventing an Automobile and Reinventing a Corporation - 1996 Chrysler minivans

The Car that Could: The Inside Story of GM's Revolutionary Electric Vehicle - GM EV1

While these books may not necessarily give you an actual day-by-day timeline, they do outline the progression of designing and building a car.

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>>"light writeup of the automatic transmission..."<<

The other half of that story is over in the better Cadillac books.

Some of the things I have never seen adequately explained: The operational relationships between the assembly plants and the Fisher Body plants (<info here is seemingly guarded like Hanger 18 keys), the typical operations at Milford Proving Grounds, the simple difference between an XP car and a SO car, the accounting of & between divisions (sounds weird: in earlier years divisions sold materials to other divisions), a comprehensive listing of stylists and their contributions... why can't I learn all this stuff ??

Yes, a thousand times yes....me too...I love this kind of stuff...I have this need to know every little behind the scenes detail...the logistics of it all and how things came to be.

Wasn't there a book on the corporate side about GM?...wasn't it like the definitive book about a corporation?

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There are a few very good books that do this. First and foremost is "All Corvettes are Red" which follows the development of the 1997 Corvette.

Car: A Drama of the American Workplace - 1996 Ford Taurus

The Critical Path: Inventing an Automobile and Reinventing a Corporation - 1996 Chrysler minivans

The Car that Could: The Inside Story of GM's Revolutionary Electric Vehicle - GM EV1

While these books may not necessarily give you an actual day-by-day timeline, they do outline the progression of designing and building a car.

Hudson, thanks a lot for this....I'll definitely search these out.

I remember having that 'All Corvettes are Red' in my hands, was going to buy it...and didnt. I haven't seen it for awhile.

I have this crazy dream...one day I want to open an automotive bookshop....and I mean, get every possible automobile associated piece of literature I can find.

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Hudson, thanks a lot for this....I'll definitely search these out.

I remember having that 'All Corvettes are Red' in my hands, was going to buy it...and didnt. I haven't seen it for awhile.

I have this crazy dream...one day I want to open an automotive bookshop....and I mean, get every possible automobile associated piece of literature I can find.

I, too, have had that crazy dream. And then I see how little money these ventures make. So little that I've watched a few of them close in the past few years. One of the few "successful" ones are McLellan's in Texas (if you ever need actual sales literature, check them out).

For "my" book store (which I'm sure is similar to yours), I'd carry most automotive magazines and all the books. It's so difficult to find a book store (or even a library) with a decent automotive section, especially used book stores. There's usually one shelf of token automotive literature including "The Car Book," a handful of Chilton or Haynes books, and a couple of coffee table picture books.

Try finding a book store that carries the magazine Car or the annual Auto Motor und Sport Auto Katalog. Since the Philadelphia region lost THE book store (Gene's Books late of King of Prussia), it's been nearly impossible to find a good local store for any books or magazines.

Another interesting automotive insider book is "Where the Suckers Moon" by Randall Rothenberg. It's about the advertising side of the automotive business, specifically about Subaru looking for a new advertising agency in the early 1990s. Great book.

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