My venture into the world of writing Chevelle books
January 26, 2017
When first approached to write a new, and hopefully, updated book on 1964 through 1972 Chevelles I thought, "There are so many out there, what could I offer that's fresh and new?" Then I started looking at a few of them and realized just how 'generalized' many of them are. Very little was mentioned about engine sizes, interior trim and exterior paint colors, etc. So I thought I'd give it a shot. After all, I have this ChevelleStuff website so a lot of my data could come from here. So in August of 2015 I agreed to the project. Gathering material wasn't that difficult and I even found some new material that I could incorporate into the website here to beef it up a bit. Getting quality, hires photos and the associated photo release forms signed proved to be the toughest task. Photos used on my website are gathered from many sources and are reduced to 640 or 750 pixel wide size and compressed quite a bit for web use. Who wants to wait on a page to load a 4GB image when the same image as 50KB will show essentially the same thing?
I'll be the first to admit I'm not a great photographer or have a keen eye for posing a car for photos. I take many photos at car shows and such for my own enjoyment but my publisher didn't want to use car show photos if they could be avoided. So the majority of the 100+ cars in my first book, Chevelle Data and ID Guide, I had to get from owners of the cars. As it turns out, they're about as good as I am in many cases and getting them to take their car to a nice spot with a clean background turned a lot of potential people when I asked for shots like those and I can certainly respect their concerns.
Well, the first book turned out better than I expected. I've gotten a number of positive comments on it and even photos of people's cars at shows that I could use have received positive responses from those owners.
I no sooner finished the first book when my publisher asked me if I was ready to do one specifically on the 1970 Chevelle SS for a series they were going to publish on muscle cars of the era and I thought, why not? 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS is the second book and is now done. I've received a number of positive reactions on it as well. I was able to get some very good information on 1970 Chevelles from owners and those very close to the cars. This series of books, of which mine is the first in that series, are not restoration guides as such but rather the history of how they came to be and where they may be going in the marketplace. There are several photos from GM's archives on early clay mockups and engineering prototypes dating back to 1968 for the 1970 model year that are quite interesting to say the least.
In August of 2016 I agreed to a third book and I am almost done with it, a few months early. The Definitive Chevelle SS Guide 1964-1972, and it has been a task. While the first two books are approximately 10,000 words with about 100 photos each, this one was tasked to be 70,000 words with 450 photos - and just on the Malibu SS of 1964/1965, the SS396 of 1966/1968, and SS optioned 1969/1972 Chevelles. When I first saw the requirements I thought, "What have I gotten myself into?" It turns out I've had to cut a lot of the data I planned to use just to cut the words from approximately 85,000 I had in my draft down to the 70,000 word mark. I'm still at 79,000 plus but maybe the publisher can still use it. Time will tell.