What every woman should know
…about her car
This quaint relic was written by a woman who worked in an auto shop for most of her life and wrote this as a help for those “liberated” women who want to take real ownership of their cars. According to the introduction, Jackson wrote this book so women would feel comfortable talking to the men that run the world of autos. This book includes safety tips, basic maintenance, purchasing a car, and how to prevent being ripped off by unethical mechanics. This is a great idea, especially for the time. The execution, though, is a bit condescending, even for 1974.
Aside from the tone, the organization and contents are actually pretty good. The author provides a detailed vocabulary (more than 15 pages of terms) and some basic diagrams. It reminded me of a “Cars for Dummies” kind of book. It is the ridiculous illustrations that hurt this book’s appeal. I am sure that the editorial gang over at Chilton’s thought that “the girls” would dig the cute cartoons. Since I was a teen girl in 1974, I can safely say I would have thought it was ridiculous and insulting.
Submitter: This might possibly be the oldest book submitted to your site. While I have seen some antique cars here and there, particularly during parades or fairs, I am guessing there is a more up-to-date book on how to care for a car like this. This book should probably be in a library’s historical collection rather than shoved in the stacks.
Holly: Ooooh, there are some librarians here in the Detroit area absolutely salivating over this book! The Benson Ford Research Center would love to have this. In fact, any number of Dream Cruisers would dig this too. Yes, a historical collection would be the best place for it. It looks like it’s about to bite the dust, doesn’t it? That would be a travesty. Please do send this to Detroit! We’ll find a good home for it!
Submitter: I recently found this hardcover in the automotive repair section at my public library. It appears to self-published, but has some very professional-looking graphic design and doesn’t seem like a cheap book. However, I was concerned that the technology referred to in it would be out-of-date. The book is thirteen years old and uses some very Windows 95-like screen shots as illustrations. Not to mention that it reads like one big infomercial for DiabloSport, “a manufacturer of performance electronics” that the author happens to be a co-founder of. I was prepared to withdraw the book based on those factors and it’s circulation numbers alone, but I’m so glad I continued flipping through until I reached page 152. That’s the beginning of “the most important chapter!” The one that teaches you to cook a full-course Hungarian dinner for your friends and family “after a successful day of tuning” — followed by twelve pages of recipes and cooking photos!
I am lucky I didn’t burst out laughing in the middle of the reference desk. This book made my day… But it still got weeded.
Holly: Here in the Detroit area, all titles about Ford are sacred, but the cooking section is bizarre! The subject headings are “Ford automobile” and “Ford automobile–Motors–Maintenance and repair.” It doesn’t say anything about cooking. The back cover claims “It is the most comprehensive collection of information on Ford electronic tuning ever printed.” It might well have been in 2001, and the information does seem pretty solid for its time, but I doubt that this book is still relevant for today’s Ford vehicles. Libraries in southeast Michigan may want to keep it if there are auto aficionados in their communities. The Woodward Dream Cruise may depend on it….eventually, when 2001 is considered “classic.”