Under The Hood

My secret source: The ‘Standard Catalog’ book series

Almost everything I type pertains to old cars and the old car hobby, and I don’t like to make a mistake. Whether I am writing a story, editing another author’s article or just replying to an e-mail, I keep my trusty “Standard Catalogs” at the ready so I get the facts straight.

My “Standard Catalogs” have rips and tears. The inside pages are marked in red and blue ink with notes to myself. From years of use, the glue has given way to layers of packaging tape to hold together their bindings  — I use my “Standard Catalogs” that much. They’re my one-stop source for production figures, serial number information, original prices, engine data, option availability and much more, right down to determining correct tire sizes. “Standard Catalogs” are also my go-to guide for properly identifying years or models of cars I haven’t yet dedicated to memory. And I never keep them more than an arm’s length away.

My "Standard Catalog" shelf at my desk.

My “Standard Catalog” shelf at my desk.

I get a lot of inquiries from readers on information about production figures, serial number information, original prices and other information that is just a page flip away in a “Standard Catalog.” To some, I look like a genius when I can answer readers’ questions, but the truth is, I look right to my “Standard Catalogs” to answer such questions.

Many “Standard Catalog” books are still in print — you can make them your secret weapon when you’re out in the field or scrolling through the internet. When we reprint “Standard Catalogs,” they go fast. Just two remain a click away:

Standard Catalog of Chrysler

Standard Catalog of Ford

 

 

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