Used Bookstore Gold: 1970 Motor Service's Automotive Encyclopedia

Illustration for article titled Used Bookstore Gold: 1970 Motor Services Automotive Encyclopedia

I thought that finding a copy of Let's Call It Fiesta for a buck at my favorite teetering-walls-o-books used bookstore was a serious score, but bzr may have done even better with this find.


It's 768 pages of vintage gearhead goodness, for a five-spot: the 1970 Motor Service's Automotive Encyclopedia. Exploded and cutaway views galore, weird prototypes, everything you need! Here's bzr's take on it:

After reading your post about Chrysler's Tech guy (from a while ago), it reminded me of my latest find here: the Motor Service's Automotive Encyclopedia by William K. Toboldt and Larry Johnson, circa 1970! I found this gem in an old thrift store where I was buying a ridiculous shirt for a 70s-themed party (that later got busted by the cops, but that's a different story altogether).

I'm imagining that it was used in a dingy Automotive Fundamentals classroom at the SAE Mechanics Training program at Onondaga Community College, wrenching on AMXs and Jeep Tornado engines, and maybe even one of those oddball Sunbeam Rapier Vs (all of which are wonderfully mentioned in here).

It smells like a church basement and weighs about 20lbs and probably covered in asbestos, but it's a genuinely interesting look into motoring before it devolved into emissions equipment and required a doctorate in computer programming to work on cars. There's an entire chapter devoted to Corvair engines. Safety? In a late-model Charger? Hell yeah, this is 1970! There's even a few mentions of Datsuns and Saab engines, so it's not just America, Fuck Yeah the entire way through.

To think I only got it for $5. And at 768 pages, it's one of the most educational things I've bought.

I fully intend to read this book cover-to-cover, especially the section on carburetors. I figure it'll help me with my 70s motorcycle project, as well as the fact that every car I've ever been interested was built before George McGovern's presidential bid.

Here are some scans of pages I found interesting. I wouldn't be surprised if you had a copy lying around somewhere too, actually...

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Wow the 307 v8 really existed . I always taught that was my old grampa joking.