Pro Stock is a unique class of racing, and one that has changed considerably over the years. In its early years, Pro Stock was similar to the Super Stock era from a decade before, in that it featured cars that seemed to be a lot like a hot rod version of what people were driving on the street. While the engines were a little bigger and nastier than most street versions, they were not that far removed, and fans could really relate to cars like 'Cudas, Mustangs, Camaros, Mavericks, and Vegas going at it on Sunday afternoon. These mostly stock-bodied cars were, after all, what most fans wanted their own street version to be.
Over the years, as always seems to happen in racing, the original vision morphs into something completely different, and in the case of Pro Stock, that meant tube frames and flip-up fiberglass bodies that resemble nothing seen on the street. And in that, there becomes a little bit of a disconnect with the fans, whose interest in Pro Stock originated in the relative stock appearance of the cars. For this reason The Dawn of Pro Stock by Steve Reyes is a celebration of the early years, when fans could really connect with the cars, and brand rivalries were intense.
Legendary drag racing photographer Reyes was trackside at the biggest and best NHRA events from the mid 1960s throughout the 1990s. He had a unique perspective on the development of Pro Stock, as he was able to document the evolution of both the cars and drivers as he observed them throughout the season. For a genuine insider's view, Steve has gotten together the very best shots he had, and supplemented them with some great images from his contemporaries to offer this new collection. Steve's own observations punctuate the outstanding images to give the reader a trackside view of Pro Stock's early days unlike any offered before.
"Filled with black and white and color photography all throughout, this read of the history of the sport is intriguing and hard to overlook for those curious about the sport and wanting to learn more. The Dawn of Pro Stock is a must for any racing history collections, highly recommended." -The Midwest Book Review, March 2013
"...The text is incisive, including biographies of all the class biggies, and is sprinkled with candids, period ads, magazine outtakes and the various mishaps that passed before Steve's camera. An overdue book, and one you won't want to miss." -Jim Donnelly, Hemmings Muscle Machines, June 2013
"You get a fascinating potted career history of each of about two dozen drivers and teams; however, the real stars of the title are the photographs. The author is a long-time Pro Stock fanatic and even longer-time trackside photographer, and the 300 or so breathtaking color and black-and-white photos in this title are what make it great. They're the main reason you're going to buy this book, but don't worry, it's still a damn good read. -American Car Magazine, June 2013
Steve Reyes is the author of previous CarTech drag racing photo books Fuel Altereds Forever, Funny Car Fever and Quarter-Mile Chaos. He is one of the most noteworthy and respected drag racing photographers in history. Reyes is also recognized for his outstanding photography skills in other sports coverage as well, especially for his work covering NHL hockey. From the 1960s-1990s, he was the staff photographer for Popular Hot Rodding magazine and published both new and vintage imagery in every issue. He has also shot and written car features for Super Chevy and Street Rodder magazine, along with a wide range of motorcycle and chopper magazine features.