A genuine inside story well told is always welcome. Which is why I had a great time reading "Glory Days" by Jim Wangers.
Wangers was the man who gave us the Pontiac GTO, the Judge, and marketed horsepower unashamedly. He craved the action of the auto industry, yearned to sell cars, create mad desire in the consumer heart. And Wangers was also a bit of a scalawag who was not above switching engines - or whole cars, for that matter - to win a race and get a leg up on the competition.
Wangers offers insight into where Detroit went wrong with passionless interchangeable executives running the business. And perhaps intentionally, perhaps not, Wangers also gives us insight into what goes wrong when the marketing whizzes have it all their way.
He spent 45 years in the business and had a pretty good time, it would seem. You can relive it in a couple of hours and have a pretty good read. -- John R. White - Boston Globe, November 21, 1998
If you read stories in The [Shreveport] Times, USA Today, or many national publications about GM, periodically you're gong to run into Wangers' name and quotes. The reason is simple: He is one of the most respected automotive marketing professionals in the country. If you are looking for a good read or . . . interested in either marketing or the automotive industry, this just might be your gift. -- The Shreveport Times, 11-29-98
This book has received the prestigious MOTO award presented by the International Automotive Media conference for the Automotive Book of the Year (1998). Perhaps never was a copywriter more born to write about the topic he ended up with than Wangers . . . This book is filled with fascinating portraits of a variety of personalities [and] fascinating trivia . . . It is filled with the wisdom of someone who knows the game better than most. -- Northwest Motor Magazine, January 1999
To some of us, there was only one GTO built in the '60s. Others acknowledge that Pontiac built a car called by the same name. To that second group of enthusiasts, the name Jim Wangers is well known. His work as an advertising executive at Pontiac spanned the "glory days" of the '60s when horsepower numbers went up as quickly as the quarter-mile times came down. Glory Days is an interesting chronicle of Wanger's involvement with and passion for automobiles while employed at Kaiser-Frazer, Chevrolet, and Pontiac. Wangers takes us inside the boardroom, to the dragstrip, and to the marketplace in a way that few auto books ever have. It's almost required reading for any student of the domestic muscle car market in the '60s and interesting reading even for those of us who don't often put Pontiac and GTO in the same sentence. -- Sports Car Market - March 1999
Within the pages of Glory Days is an extraordinary account of an individual at the executive level who helped reshape the American automobile of the late '50s, '60s, and '70s as well as a look into GM's top management - its successes and failures . . . interesting reading for any automotive enthusiast." --High Performance Pontiac - February 1999