This 165 page book has been in the works for over a decade now at Marti Auto Works and it is a must have for anyone purchasing, restoring or researching a 1967-1973 Mercury Cougar, Ford Mustang or Shelby. Even if you are a Mopar or Chevrolet guy, if happen to frequent swap meets and salvage yards you need this invaluable little book tucked away in your tool box or car as you maybe walking right past VERY valuable cars and parts and not even know it... In Kevin's words, "Have you been considering a classic car for the empty space in your garage , but don't know if it' number matching? Do you wonder sometimes about your own car? Was it altered before you got it? Need to find the right parts to put your baby back the way she should be? This book contains much never before published information that will add immensely to your knowledge."
- Exhaustive charts for all the tags
- Dozens of pictures of actual tags
- Detailed Textual background
- Easy To use format
- Historical background and perspective
- Is my car "Numbers Matching"?
- And much, much more....
You will now know the meaning of every mark on your buck tag, engine ID tag, carburetor tag, differential tag, door data plate tag, power steering pump tag, warranty card and more! Fascinating read and once you read it cover to cover you will want to refer back to it time and time again.
Here is a book report from Lloyd who is a valued customer of ours who agreed to do a book review in exchange for a copy of this book.
First I would like to thank Don for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for my thoughts. I was really excited and went straight to the storage to "inspect" my car anew. I am a novice to all of the numbers, so it was very exciting to find the tags and then understand what all the numbers meant etc. I do have a Marti report on the car, but for those who are interested here are the door tag numbers: 9F92M568612 76A E BA 02E 22 6 X. I found the tag for the carb to be original and exactly where Kevin said it would be on the carb. I also found the tag on the steering box to be there. This also brought about a lot of questions too. The tag for the steering box would lead me to believe this was a non-power steering car, but the car has power steering !! Was this an add on, or did they mix it up at the factory?!?! Good question, so I will have to remove the pump sometime soon, just to find out all I can. To me it all looks original, and the car only has 84,000 miles on it, so who knows. I promised Don I would write a report on how great the book was from the standpoint of a novice, and I have to say it has peaked a whole new interest in my car. My first car was a 70 XR7 gold w/brown hounds-tooth interior. I was quickly able to find the actual name of the color (Deep Gold Metallic) and the hi-back XR7 seats were done in a Ginger Hounds-tooth cloth. This was very exciting just to be able to know the names. It also had the matching vinyl hounds-tooth top. It was very exciting to be able to quickly and easily decode my car !! This is a great tool and I would recommend it to everyone. I can't wait to do more research on the car I own now. Thank you Don, and thank you Kevin Marti for such a great tool. Don, I still have a long way to go, so when the weather is better I look forward to taking a nice drive down the Gorge so you can look at the car, and give me some more help/info.
- Lloyd, The Dalles OR.
Here is a book report that Matt Gillespie did for us in exchange for a free copy. Thanks for doing this for us Matt!
A true Rosetta Stone for for the Cougar and Mustang "carchaeologist". I liken this thoroughly researched book to a 'field guide' for junk-yarders, auction junkies and Cougar historians. Marti lays out the history, descriptions and variations for car and component ID tags with convincing authority. You may want to pick up two copies, since the first one is bound to be dog-eared with greasy junkyard thumb prints.
This paperback appears to be a mom & pop printing operation. Not poor, but not up to common mainstream printing/publishing standards IMO.
Oodles of great information and neat facts. Mr. Marti is to be commended for compiling the staggering amount of information into one handy volume. Knowledge of the manner in which the cars were constructed and labeled is especially interesting.
There are several typos that should be fixed. In my opinion, even the slightest spelling errors will subconsciously undermine the author's credibility / authority. Especially unfortunate are the misspellings in the foreword.
Most of the pictures are good, however there are a few that should be more clear if possible.
My suggestions might add to the cost, but would make the book a little more user friendly and aesthetically pleasing.
I would suggest 'tabs' for the Door Data Plate section, broken down by year, since this is the real 'meat' of the knowledge sought, if not for the whole book. These tabs could be done with descending blocks of white lettering (the year) over gray or black markings on the outside margins. It would also be nice to preface each of these year divisions within the door data plate with pictures of the cougar and and mustang in question. This would serve a few purposes: one, it is exciting to relate the tag info back to the 'big picture'; two, it will help to break up the monotony of lists and charts; and lastly it will help people who may not be versed in the body style cues of the various years (especially those who know more about one marque than the other), allowing the reader focus on the appropriate section faster. For example, a cougar guy sees a mustang in a bone-yard but is not sure if it is a '71, '72 or '73. A quick glance in the book would tell him that the style of the
turn signal lamp identifies it is a '72.
Overall not bad for someone who is not an author by trade. There are some somewhat corny asides, but at least they do manage to add some flavor to what is otherwise dry information and numbers.
I think the target audience for this book are people who deal with Cougars and Mustangs A LOT. For those folks who just have their one Cougar and are generally curious about it, I think the free VIN decoders on the web are adequate. For people who buy and sell Cougars and Cougar parts, own or work at a restoration shop, or own several Cougars at time, this book is indispensable and is a good value at $35.00.
Our video below, investigating the stamps and tags on a 1969 428 CJ Cougar to determine if it was "numbers matching", used the Tagbook extensively, along with another of Kevin Marti's books: Cougar... by the Numbers