How to Build Max Performance Pontiac V-8s (S-A Design) Paperback – Illustrated, 15 Oct 2012
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Rocky really did a great job of covering everything and I personally liked the cylinder head information. There is a great selection of heads available for making big power for you. This book brings you up to speed with the latest information so you know what is available today --Engine Professional, Jan, 2013
There are lots of aftermarket goodies for the Pontiac V8s and this book details all of them and includes in-depth reviews of the most important component choices, giving honest and invaulable advice along the way. If you are considering building a traditional Pontiac engine for power and performance this book is a must-have. --TKC mag, Feb, 2013
If you've ever considered building a traditional Pontiac V8 for increased power and performance, this is your book. ---Hot Rod, May 2013
About the Author
Pontiac muscle cars have been the driving passion for "Rocky" James Rotella and his family. Rocky has owned and modified a number of Pontiacs including a 1976 Trans-Am 455 HO. He has contributed scores of articles to High-Performance Pontiac and Smoke Signals. He lives in LaVista, Nebraska.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Mr. Rotella's book pays homage to these aftermarket "experts". It reads much more like a modern "How to go fast with a Chevy and Aftermarket Parts" than a reference of technical value. He discusses aftermarket options for the Pontiac, but neglects to go into much technical detail about ANYTHING, much less give reasonable recommendations. It's like, "Here is a great aftermarket intake from Edelbrock, and here are great heads from Edelbrock, and here's a great carburetor from Holley". It's like a parts catalog more than a primer on the unique Pontiac engine design, or a go fast manual.
Sigh. It could have been so much more. If you REALLY want to learn something constructive about making Pontiacs go fast, I HIGHLY recommend Jim Hand's version MUCH HIGHER than this one. About all this version is useful for is seeing what the current aftermarket has available for the Pontiac engine.
If you will recall, there was another book with the same title, which was written by Pontiac engine guru Jim Hand back in 2004. It too was published by S-A Design/CarTech. The reason for the two books is that when he was approached by the publisher to do a rewrite and update, Mr. Hand decided to pass on the project, as he was happily retired and wasn't looking to commit to another book.
Rocky approached the project from the standpoint that since Hand's book did such a great job of outlining how far you can go with factory parts, there was no need to cover that ground already- Jim's top-notch advice was borne out of years of exhaustive research and testing. Instead, he concentrated on the current state of the aftermarket support for the Pontiac V-8 and the engine combinations that are now possible due to these developments.
The truth is, much has changed in the aftermarket since Jim Hand's book was and that gave Rocky much in the way of new material to write about. Starting with a history of the Pontiac V-8 and its many incarnations, Rotella devotes separate chapters to blocks, crankshafts, connecting rods, pistons and rings, cylinder heads, valvetrain, intake manifolds, exhaust systems, ignition, oiling and tuning, rouding out the book with a chapter devoted to proven engine combinations for street and race from Ken's Speed and Machine, SD Performance, Butler Performance and Kauffman Racing Equipment.
Rocky's version of How to Build Max Performance Pontiac V-8s is a great companion book to Jim Hand's earlier book of the same title. The passage of time and the current state of the Pontiac hobby has necessitated an update, yet Hand's original book is still relevant, especially for those interested in keeping things "old school." For those looking to save time, money and make more power with the updated aftermarket equipment, Rocky Rotella has done a great job of outlining the many choices now available to Pontiac engine builders.
I did learn a lot but I also have a whole list of things that should have been included in both of Rocky's books that were missing.
Would I buy the book again? Yes but not at full price, if I didn't have to.