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Wife bought me this book as an early anniversary present:

http://www.rocketcitymustang.com/vmf/40_year_book.jpg

"Mustang - 40 Years" by Dzierzak and Newhardt.

A large format, coffee table sized book. While there are some spectacular color photos, this book would have served better as a mere “picture book” without even picture captions, as there are so many errors (even in the picture captions themselves) that it is a painful read. No new material is presented that hasn’t been regurgitated over and over before, unless you classify factual inaccuracies as new material! Starting with an error in the very first picture caption and progressing through the appendices, this is one of those books that true Mustang enthusiasts cringe over, because there is so much inaccurate information. We fear the neophyte Mustangers could read it and accept it as “gospel.” Apparently, no one did any proofing of this book for technical content or for caption accuracy before it was sent to the printers.

Below is the list of errors that I found (which I would hazard to guess is not a complete list!):

1. Page 7, very first picture caption stated the pictured car is a “1999 Mustang SVO.” Wrong on two counts – SVOs were only made from 1984-86 and the car pictured is a 1991 LX convertible.
2. Page 15, picture caption stated the car is a “1991 Mustang SVO.” Wrong on two counts – SVOs were only made from 1984-86 and the car pictured is a 1965 Mustang.
3. Page 15, stated that “1964 1/2 V8 engines were painted black with gold air cleaners and valve covers.” 260 V8s had blue valve covers and air cleaners.
4. Page 19, picture caption read “The majority of 1965 Mustang GTs packed the 280-ci A-code V8 engine.” That should read 289-ci.
5. Page 24, stated that “Shelby Mustangs scored victories in many events including Daytona, Sebring, and Le Mans.” Cobras and GT-40s did, but not Shelby Mustangs.
6. Page 25, stated that Shelby Mustangs’ “competition lap belts (sic) attachment points connected to the drive shaft safety loop under the car.” Wow, didn’t know that! I’d hate to be buckled in when a drive shaft let go and the safety loop pulled down on my lap belts!
7. Page 32, stated that 1966 Sprint 200 options “consisted of the 200 V-6 engine.” That should be a straight 6, I believe.
8. Page 40, on 1966 GT-350s – “According to production records, 82 cars were sold with fold down rear seats.” Actually, it should read that 82 were sold WITHOUT fold down rear seats (had the fiberglass, ribbed package tray).
9. Page 40, on 1966 GT-350s – “Shelby American built 6 convertibles at the end of 1966.” There were only 4 built, which is also stated correctly in the appendix of THIS book.
10. Page 56, on 1968 Shelbys – “The rear spoiler and front bumper displayed the word SHELBY in block letters.” I’ve never seen block letters on a front bumper before!
11. Page 56, on 1968 Shelbys – “The production of the convertible version (GT500KR) was even more limited – only 318 produced.” The actual number was 518 as verified in the latest Shelby American World Registry.
12. Page 56, on 1968 Shelbys – “Look for the ‘W’ in the VIN to verify the original factory installed 427. These GT 500s are fast and rare.” Kevin Marti‘s records indicate that there were NO ‘W’ code Mustangs made in 1968.
13. Page 60, on 1968 Mustangs – “The 427 V-8 was installed in 2854 units.” Doh! It was installed in exactly ZERO units!
14. Page 64, on 1968 Cobra Jets – “Transmission options for the 428 Cobra Jet included a 4 speed manual and a 6 speed automatic.” I guess neutral and reverse are now counted as “speeds” in an auto trans!
15. Page 71, Mustangs in Movies – “Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) – 1967 Shelby GT-350.” Eleanor was a clone of a 1967 GT-500.
16. Page 78, 1969 Mustang Grande “could be ordered with any engine package.” Not a Boss 302 or a Boss 429 or a six cylinder.
17. Page 80, 1969 Boss 429 – “Ford shipped 500 SportsRoof models to custom builder Kar Kraft…” The actual number was 859 in 1969.
18. Page 81, picture caption reads, “Nothing fancy here, just standard Mustang interior. The Boss 429 buyer knew that the extra $1208 spent went under the hood…” Boss 429s actually came with Deluxe interiors, not standard.
19. Page 82, 1969 Boss 429 picture caption reads “A simple machine built for a simple purpose, the 1969 Boss 429 used a Hurst shifter…” 1969 Boss 429s used standard Ford shifters, not Hurst units.
20. Page 88, 1970 Mustangs – “the Drag Pack option was offered with the 428CJ Ram Air engine…” It was also offered with the 428 CJ “Q” code non-ram air engines.
21. Page 88, 1970 Mustangs – “The 1970 Boss 429 remained essentially unchanged from 1969. Production declined to less than 500 units. The fastback Boss was developed as a stock car racing platform and featured a 302 V-8 rated at 290 horsepower.” I think he got his Boss 429 and Boss 302 info mixed up…
22. Page 99, Mustang Racing, Shelby GT 350R – “… after Shelby’s modification, the horsepower rating exceeded 450 horsepower.” I don’t think so, it was closer to 350 horsepower (even stated as such in the appendix of THIS book).
23. Page 99, Mustang Racing – “Many of the 37 GT-350R models …” Only 36 were made, as stated several other places in THIS book.
24. Page 109, 1976-77 Cobra II – “… in black with gold stripes. This last option was reminiscent of the GT 350ZH Hertz rent-a-racer.” GT350H (no ‘Z’).
25. Pages 124-126, 1984 Mustang SVO – one picture captions states the SVOs rated hp was 174, another says 175 (correct).
26. Pages 130-131, Page captions list 1987 as year of interest, while car pictured is a 1984 SVO.
27. Page 140, 1996 SVT Cobra – “… covered the quarter mile in less than 13 seconds.” No way, typical times were mid to high 13 seconds.
28. Page 168, the 289 “… basic engine is still in use today.” Last Windsor was installed many years ago. This book was published in 2003.
29. Page 169, “… the KR performance package,..., pushed the engine output to 400 hp.” Not true, the KR had a standard 428CJ rated at 335 hp.
30. Page 170, 351 Cleveland in 1969 – “Built at Ford’s Windsor, Ohio plant, the 351W was a modified version… The stronger 330 horsepower version was only available in the Boss 351.” Getting his Clevelands and Windsors mixed up.
31. Page 170, California Special picture caption stated car had “390-ci example” but engine is obviously a 289 or 302 small block.
32. Page 171, 2000 Cobra R – despite saying in other sections in this book that the engine put out 385 hp, picture caption here stated there was 390 hp from the “aluminum powe (sic) plant.”
33. Page 174, Boss 429 – “So it required ‘modification’ (hammer blows) to the shock towers to slip in the engine bay.” No, they were cut and welded, not beat with a hammer!
34. Page 177, picture captions for 289 and 428CJ are reversed.
35. Page 176, picture captions for 428CJ and 1999 Cobra are reversed.
36. Page 176, 1966 Shelby engine – “305 horsepower 289-ci V8” – actual rating was 306.
 

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Interesting. I never knew the book came out with a '67/68 car on the cover. Is this a second edition that was supposed to correct the errors in the first edition but now has additional errors in the second edition? ::
 

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Well that book sounds like a "must miss". Has anybody gotten a copy of the "101 projects" book? If so, a little review would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I keep getting copies of these coffee table books as gifts. I have this one and noted about 1/3 of the mistakes you noted. Good job on finding the others.

Anyhoo...I need to have a yardsale. These books are just taking up space that would be better filled by a cold beer and my size 14's on the coffee table.

Phil
 

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And the name of the book you have published would be ?

Just as I thought. It's pretty easy to take potshots when the target holds still and there's no one to stand up for it. Give 'em a break - no one said this is the Bible, for Pete's sake.. ::

I acknowledge your awesome command of Mustang-related minutiae. Were the pictures nice, or were there nits to pick there also?
 

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It seemed obvious to me the book was called "Mustang 40 years".

Mike was not taking pot shots. He provided a book review, as he stated.

All the items he pointed out were errors in the book. I would not expect any publication to be perfect but the errors Mike found are for the most part incredibly dumb errors that half decent editor should catch.
 

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I can assure you that Mike Greene could write an accurate and complete history of the Ford Mustang. Make no mistake about it.
 

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Two books, one title. Same photographer. I've never seen the one you mention.
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0760315973.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg
 

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And the name of the book you have published would be ?
Although I'm not the OP, I've written and published a number of books. I've also *edited* a fair number of books, a process that this tome obviously was not subjected to.

It's pathetic. These aren't subtle errors that would slip through a reasonably competent editor and basic fact-checking... this stuff would get a markdown on a high school shop paper.

Unfortunately, it's a trend. I just bought a coffee-tabler on the Titanic and her two sister ships, and the writing is so laden with errors it may as well be written in Chinese for all the good it does the reader.
 
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Too bad you listed all your findings. ::
You could have had a fun contest asking for others to find the 'What's wrong with this book?' and then give a prize to those that found all your finds or even a prize to those who found errors that you missed. :)

Why don't you write a letter to the author and list the errors? See what he has to say for himself. Be courteous and see what type of response you get.
 

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That's my point exactly. Rather than find fault with other guy's work, he should write one himself. And eliminate the "Monday Morning Quarterbacking".

I have no issue with his knowledge at all.

It's true, the author should have checked his facts if he was planning to print them. But that little detail doesn't stop the guys from priniting that magazine we all love to hate - but still buy and read.
 
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So you're saying it's ok to publish a book with much more than incidental errors? I'm sure that Mike could probably find even more errors if he wanted to. It's obvious that the author(s) of the book were not interested in verifying the accuracy of the content. There are plenty of available resources to proofread such material.

The problem with this is that because it's printed material, people will assume it to be correct. We'll be doing damage control over this and other publications for years to come.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Cosmo,

That was my plan - to contact him personally. But nowhere in the book is any contact info - only for the publisher - Crestline books.

Are you saying that we should overlook incorrect information, and instead just pat an author on his back and say, "good job" ??? Some of the errors are so dramatic that just a cursory look at some legitimate reference material (Shelby American World Registry, etc.) would have given the correct info. When a book is published as a "history" would you not expect factual information? Further, would you not at least check with noted publications on the same subject as reference prior to writing your own?

This is how myths/fallacies start and proliferate in our hobby. Someone reads something in a nationally published book, and, therefor, assumes it must be true. I don't know how many times I've seen incorrect posts about 428SCJ engines coming from the factory with solid lifters. They did not, but somewhere along the line this misinformation was started and spread.

If reviews were a bad thing, then I guess Consumer Reports, Siskel and Ebert (or their replacements since one of them is deceased), etc., would be out of business.

As far as "Monday Morning Quarterbacking" goes, I have written Mustang related articles that have appeared in national publications including the Shelby American, so let's not go there ;)
 

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Crestline Books is a division of Motorbooks International

http://www.Motorbooks.com

They show this same author has written:
Mustang-4 Decades of Muscle Car Power and Schwinn. It might be interesting to see if the bike guys have any issues with Dzierzak's research.

You could probably get contact information from the publisher.

Phil

p.s. I agree that this is just awful. If books this shoddy deserved to be in print, I should write "A Complete History of Solecism in America", without bothering to do any further research.
 

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the writing is so laden with errors it may as well be written in Chinese for all the good it does the reader.
EXACTLY the reason why I never purchased the "Mustang-40 years" that abadtb2's Boss appeared in. After catching several glaring errors, I just looked at the pretty pictures and put it back on the shelf.

The problem with this is that because it's printed material, people will assume it to be correct.
...and therein lies the biggest cause of misinformation in this hobby...if it's printed, it MUST be true! ::

I feel that authors and editors have an obligation to their audience to put for the most correct and accurate tomes. This is a situation where you will have newbies to the hobby purchasing avery book available to quench their thirst for knowledge, yet they are being fed error ridden materials that any enthusiast can spot as bogus from 20 paces. These books and magazines are practically schoolbooks for hobbiests for cryin' out loud.

GIGO

Garbage in....
Garbage out....
 

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Last word from me on this issue :

No, I don't think it's okay to print errors. If you got that impression here, it's because you wanted to find it, not because it's what I meant. My meaning was quite different. Perhaps the magazine reference was too subtle ? You could easily find what I meant, of course, if you were actually interested.

Personally, I think several of the contributors to this thread might consider stepping down off the soap box and giving this a rest. The man made mistakes. Have you never ? Let he who is without error in his own writings cast the next stone -
 
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Next time you judge at a mustang show and hear some of these fallacies maybe you'll understand my personal frustration with publications like the one mentioned.

The only reason I can think of for your reaction is that there may be a personal connection to this book?? All Mike was doing was giving a review. Unfortunately the book is riddled with errors, many very old ones and some just outright blatant. Maybe some readers will take a hint that just because something is in print doesn't mean it's right.

I would gladly provide a proof-reading of any Mustang-related publication if asked. To put something like that in print is simply negligent in my opinion and does the hobby no good.
 

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You better tell SWMBO;

Oooo honey! I LOVE it....

Or your next "review" will be "How to sleep comfortably on the couch" :: ;)
 
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