Climb inside these stunning muscle car drop-tops, straight from the classic era of American high-performance cars!
Today's rarest, priciest, and most highly sought-after muscle cars are also the least practical. These are the striking convertibles of the 1960s and 1970s that were optioned out for drag racing. Wide-Open Muscle showcases these rare cars and proves that sometimes it pays to throw practicality out the window in order to make something purely cool and fun to drive.
At the peak of drag racing popularity, it was common knowledge that racers needed the lightest, most rigid-framed cars available. Convertibles represent the exact opposite of that description, so it's amazing that these drop tops ever emerged amid the circle of full-throttle dragsters. While typical convertible drivers cruised around listening to the latest Lovin' Spoonful release in the eight-track tape deck, these muscle-car convertibles were equipped for rock 'n' roll speed. These topless muscle cars are so rare because few people had the dedication (or money) to buy a vehicle this impractical. They're valuable because they represent the absolute extreme of the entire muscle-car genre.
All the cars in Wide-Open Muscle are shot in similar fashion, studio-style with a black background using a process known as light painting. It is the ultimate portrayal of the ultimate muscle cars.
Randy Leffingwell wrote his first book, American Muscle, while still on staff at the Los Angeles Times. The book examined Times’ publisher Otis Chandler’s growing collection of muscle cars. American Muscle published in September 1990, jump-started a love of book creation that ultimately led Leffingwell to leave the Times in 1995. By then, he and Motorbooks had published Porsche Legends, and six other books.
Since 1990, Leffingwell has authored more than 60 titles, most of them automotive-oriented. Over 30-plus years, these include a dozen Porsche titles ranging from general overviews—Porsche 75 Years: Expect the Unexpected, and The Complete Book of Porsche 911—to deeper explorations in Porsche Turbo and Porsche 911: 50 Years. During this time, he has regularly traveled to Germany to continue his research regarding Porsche’s history. To date, Leffingwell has interviewed more than 200 Porsche engineers, stylists, model makers, racers, and managers.
While he has tackled other subjects including John Deere tractors, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and West Coast lighthouses, Leffingwell admits he is almost addicted to the Porsche story. In addition to his book work, he is historical editor for 000 magazine and Porsche Panorama. And for the past decade he has been researching and writing an encyclopedic history of Porsche’s motorsports endeavors.
Leffingwell lives near Santa Barbara, California.
The Quarto Group, Inc.
1 Triptych Place