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Performance Handling for Classic Mopars

Performance Handling for Classic Mopars by Tom Condran is a rare example of a how-to book done correctly. This enthusiastically approached and well written tome boils down the science and procedures of making your Mopar handle into easily understood segments. Tom’s writing style gets you inspired to go to work on your car without being preachy or dumbing the subject down. All projects outlined in the book can be done with hand tools and all of them use factory parts that are relatively cheap, available, and can still be found in wrecking yards.

In fact, Tom is such a true junkyard dog that he carefully outlines procedures as well as the mindset for safely getting parts dirt cheap at the u-pull. It brought back fond memories of my friends and I picking through the once fertile junkyards of the San Francisco Bay Area where a front disc kit off a Dart was under $200 and available on any given day along with a $40 set of cop rims. Included in the junkyard chapter are also checklists and interchange charts. Both of these can be found throughout the book and they alone are worth the price of admission.

Tom also goes through which parts are better bought new and which to buy. All recommendations are based on visualizing the brakes, suspension, chassis and engine as a system being built to accommodate the way the vehicle will be used. In every case Tom provides just enough theory to back up the text and then devotes an entire chapter to theory later in the book should the reader need more of it. The theory part of the book is one of the best laymen’s explanations of suspension theory I have ever seen.

Much of the work in the book (if not all) has been performed by Tom himself on his ’67 ‘Cuda test mule. I too have done all the tasks outlined in this book and can attest that there is no better source than this book and a factory service manual for getting the projects done and done right in a timely fashion that avoids common pitfalls, frustrations and injuries. While there are definitely more ways than one to skin a cat or work on a Mopar, Tom’s methods will have you out of the garage and on the streets in no time at all.

The latter 45 pages of the book are devoted to checklists, tables, charts, references, part numbers (factory and aftermarket), and a technical glossary. Some of the lists are repeats from earlier chapters merely gathered in one place for YOUR convenience. Wow. The book is spiral/comb bound to lay flat on a fender or bench and is constructed of heavy weight paper. My personal copy has been with me for years and is covered in grease, legible and INTACT. Even if you have years of experience under a Mopar this book is a welcome addition to your library as it is a working book, not a picture book written by “experts”. If it all sounds to good to be true then send a mere $30 (POST PAID!!) to ACME MAIL ORDER, P.O. Box 282612 , San Francisco, CA 94128-2612. No, this book is not in stores. Yes, the book is worth every single hard earned penny. 

 

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