Then there's the long decline and fall of the GTO, as well as the beginning of the larger, slower decline of General Motors. We learn quite a bit about the organizational dysfunctions within GM that ultimately helped bring the company to its knees; GM lived in fear of being broken up by antitrust regulations as recently as the late 1960s, and the idea that its vast resources couldn't buy its way out of any trouble died hard on the 14th Floor.
By the mid-1970s, Wagners had his own company, Motortown, and that's the point at which Glory Days became most interesting for me. Motortown was behind such Malaise Era tape-stripe-and-spoiler hits as the Mustang Cobra II and Pontiac Can Am, but the Motortown concepts that failed to get any takers in Detroit are even better. The Boss Pinto! The SPacer AMC Pacer-based custom van!
All in all, a good read even for those who don't have any particular love for the GTO. Wangers is a pro writer, so you won't end up clutching your head in incomprehension or groaning at yet another passage in generic ghost-writerese, and you'll come away from the book with a much improved understanding of the way marketers create our cars. Four-rod rating; Murilee says check it out!
Reprinted with permission from Glory Days, © Bentley Publishers, all rights reserved