East vs. West Showdown: Rods, Customs & Rails
Author: J Alig & S Kilmer
Format: Paperback, 168 pages
In the early days of hot rodding, two distinctive schools of style emerged, based on the coastal extremes of the nation. The West Coast look was influenced by good weather, smooth roads and high-speed runs on the dry lakes, while the East Coast style evolved to conform to local laws and needed to deal with the rough roads common to the winter-ravaged region. These two different looks both define the era, however differently. The similarities and differences between the varying cars were a point of contention for many years, and the history of the era is celebrated in this new book.
Co-authors Joseph Alig and Stephen Kilmer are well-regarded magazine veterans who grew up on the East Coast, but have spent a lot of time on the West Coast covering rod-related events and vintage drag races. They are uniquely qualified to review the various hot rods, customs, and early drag cars the book features. As hardcore devotees of vintage style, Alig and Kilmer have hit a home run with the various old and newly-built rides they've selected for the book.
As time passed and the sport evolved, the coastal distinctions faded and combined to create a truly American look. While elements of the early cars live on for practical reasons (like weather), the ability to tell where a car was designed and built is no longer an easy test. It's great fun to look back to the time when regional differences and preferences were reason to argue, and this book reflects those times with a lighthearted nudge and a respectful wink.