1 of 1 Muscle Cars: Stories of Detroit’s Rarest Iron

by Wes Eisenschenk


1 of 1 tells of precisely that, 37 individual and specific automobiles that are categorized by author/editor Wes Eisenschenk as standalones meaning there’s none other like it anywhere that he’s aware of.

He unabashedly says on the opening pages that he and he alone developed the criteria for what qualified each for inclusion. Then along with a cadre of fellow enthusiasts drew on them to write stories of the cars each was particularly knowledgeable regarding. Thus Eisenschenk serves dual roles: author of approaching half of the vignettes and overall editor. 

Eisenschenk groups each car into one of three categories; 14 were either prototypes or special builds by a manufacturer, 11 were actual production cars, and a dozen were conceived and built by tuners and builders of super-cars. The clearest way to convey which cars 1 of 1 tells of is to show you their images, easily done as opposite each of the three section or chapter openings is a thumbnail of all the cars in that chapter. All 37 stories are well-illustrated as the book’s total image count—111 color and 40 b/w—indicates. 

Befitting the muscle car era, the cars range in years from 1965 to 1983. Eleven are Fords, seventeen are one or another GM marque, seven are Chryslers, and two are AMCs. As Eisenschenk explained, the reason there are so many Fords was it permitted more of these cars it specially developed and built to “escape” rather than being crushed and thus eventually making their way to being bought and sold, owned and driven (if their owners dare) by private citizens.

There’s one car, one story, so unusual it begs to be shared here briefly. It’s in the second chapter and is the middle left-hand column thumbnail, showing that pretty blue Plymouth Road Runner convertible (above). It happens to be “the only convertible known to exist that was ever painted Petty Blue from the factory . . . paint code 99.” 

The vignette is written by the car’s owner and involves his son Luke who “was diagnosed with high-functioning autism at age 3.” Six years later Luke developed leukemia. It took a full year that included overcoming several setbacks and no less a personage than TV personality and automobile enthusiast Courtney Hansen befriending Luke, after learning of the car thus meeting Luke too, and, aided as well by family and other friends, to keep Luke’s spirits buoyed during his ordeal. It’s all a very touching story.

If you enjoy reading about muscle cars—especially those that have become extra desirable by virtue of becoming or being the only one of its kind to exist—this book is for you. Should you think you know of one that should have been included Eisenschenk says, “don’t hesitate to reach out and let me know what you may have or know about it.” You can reach him by visiting his “Lost Muscle Cars” Facebook page or sending him a message in care of his publisher, CarTech.

1 of 1 Muscle Cars: Stories of Detroit’s Rarest Iron
by Wes Eisenschenk
CarTech, 2023
240 pages, 113 color & 39 b/w images, softcover 
no index  
List Price: $34.95 
ISBN 13: 978 1 61325 800 2


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