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Motion Performance: Tales of a Muscle Car Builder Hardcover – October 9, 2009

32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Armed with an enthusiast’s memory for detail and a fine archive of period and current photography, Marty tells the tale as a car nut, business partner, friend, and overall nice guy. For over 22 years we’ve had the skinny on Don Yenko and his PA-based operation, but Joel Rosen’s story has not been told in full . . . until now. Motion Performance: Tales of a Muscle Car Builder is a must-have for any musclecar library no matter what allegiance you have—even if you hate Chevys!” – Diego Rosenberg,

“Martyn Schorr writes about these events as if he were there right from Motion’s beginnings in 1963 — which he was, in dual roles, as the editor of High-Performance Cars magazine who moonlighted as Mr. Rosen’s advertising guy. Thus was Mr. Schorr able to provide inside information about every model that flew the Motion Performance flag, from Cobras to VWs, along with terrific street, strip and shop photos. The author also includes an illuminating introductory chapter, “Muscle in America,” that recaps the high-performance builders whose tradition Mr. Rosen upheld. Whereas other “hot-rod books” tend to be long on photography but short on accuracy and technical details, this rare exception excels on all counts.” – Dave Wallace Jr., The New York Times  


“Whether you’re a diehard muscle car fanatic or just have a passing interest in American performance cars, there is no doubt that you will enjoy reading this highly entertaining book. As part of the team that built Motion Performance into the ultimate icon in the world of ‘60’s hot rodding, Schorr’s firsthand account of some of the operation’s noteworthy cars is absolutely riveting. The whole story… is very inspiring. The read is mesmerizing, as if you’re sitting on your grandfather’s lap and he’s telling you tales of all the old hot rods that he and friends built – and that’s exactly how the book is written. If there ever was a muscle car book that can send you back to those carefree, high-octane days of street racing and big-block power, this is it. A must-have book that every muscle car enthusiast is certain to read many times over.” - Hemmings Classic Car

“Marty Schorr gives a first-hand account of seven years of over-the-top, high-performance life—and of how it all came to a screeching halt at the hands of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency. A once-in-alifetime tale of power and speed, told by one of the principals who put that performance within reach. MOTION Performance makes the story of a briefly and thrillingly lived dream available to everyone. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the radical new Baldwin-Motion 540 Camaro SuperCoupe was debuted at the 2005 SEMA Show and won the coveted GM Design Award!” - IMPACT (International Motor Press Association magazine)

“When he (Marty) told me that he was writing the history of Baldwin-Motion for Motorbooks International, I knew that Motion fans were in for a treat. There isn’t anyone on the planet with the knowledge-base and writing skills to tell this story. You won’t get a better accounting of the entire Motion Performance and the Baldwin-Motion Phase III Supercar experience than you do from Marty.Schorr. You will be treated to one amazing car story after another. This book delivers!” -

“f you grew up in Chicago, you knew Nickey Chevrolet (with the backward k) and Grand Spaulding Dodge, and everyone everywhere knew about Shelby Mustangs, Yenko Chevys and Tasca Fords. But some may not have known about Baldwin Chevrolet or Motion Performance or their combined efforts. Former car magazine editor and photographer Martyn Schorr remedies that with this book of words and wonderful vintage photography that details such Motion vehicles as the '63 split-window Skunk, Ko-Motion, the Royal Bobcat GTO, ThunderBug, and, of course, the Shelbys and Camaros.” -

“No other Motion book can possibly be infused with the same level of energy, inside information, understanding, and communicative skill—because, you see, Marty was there—he was part of it all, right from the start. Marty and wife Sharon even still have their Motion machine—theirs since new—the absolutely one-of-a-kind, only one ever built, 1967 Baldwin-Motion Iso Grifo coupé. As if that’s not enough, Marty knows the power of the word and how to phrase things. To read it all, illustrated with 250 period black and white photos which are augmented by another 60 in color of restored Motion and Baldwin-Motion cars today—and, of course, that brand new Motion Camaro at SEMA—you’ll need your own copy of Motion Performance, Tales of a Muscle Car Builder.” - SpeedReaders.Info


“This book is recommended by Here’s why:

Pictures of a fun loving Rosen doing wheels-up launches in the streets with his “Phase III”. ? “Money-back guaranteed” 427 big block super cars with the history included. ? It made me long for the days when baby Pikesan wasn’t even a slight twinkle in my boy-father’s eye. ? Back then, “Green” was just the color between yellow and blue in the rainbow.”  -Craig Pike,

From the Inside Flap

In 1964, Joel Rosen and Marty Schorr decided to turn their high-performance dreams into high-performance reality. Calling the new entity Motion Performance, they started building some very, very fast street cars. To take things to the next level, Motion followed Ford’s adage “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” and raced its cars at drag strips on weekends and on the streets at night. Those cars beat all comers and Motion started building a reputation.


By 1967, Motion Performance was recognized as the place to go if you wanted to build serious strength into your muscle car. To expand the franchise, Rosen and Schorr formed a legendary relationship with Baldwin Chevrolet, allowing any gearhead of the day to buy an 11.5-second car off the lot—and it came with a full factory warranty.


No other aftermarket muscle car tuner took the hands-on, no-stone-unturned approach followed by Motion: cars were rolled into the shop, torn apart, then rebuilt with the highest-quality components available at the time.


For 10 years, this high-performance flame burned on. Cobras, Chevrolets, Oldsmobiles, even Volkswagen Beetles were transformed into unbeatable cars that ruled the streets and drag strips. Then one day it all came to a screeching halt. The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency threatened to levy fines of up to $50,000 per car Motion Performance sold. And that was that, the end of an amazing chapter of high-performance history.


This is the inside story of how the cars were built, who they were built for, and how they ruled the street and strip. And it’s the story of the twenty-first-century resurrection of the Baldwin-Motion brand. Richly illustrated with both period and modern photography, author Marty Schorr knows where the bodies are buried and tells us how they got there.



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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Motorbooks; First edition (October 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760335389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760335383
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marty Schorr has been involved in the high-performance automotive hobby and industry since the mid-1950s, starting as publicity director of the Draggin' Wheels Hot Rod Club in New York. First a photojournalist, then a magazine editor (Hi-Performance CARS, Custom Rodder, Speed & Supercar, CHEVY ACTION, VETTE), he later published the Quicksilver Supercar Series in the early-1980s. In 1987 he wrote Buick GNX: A Performance Legend in Its Own Time for GM.

Between 1967 and 1974, he was involved with Joel Rosen launching and building Baldwin-Motion (brand new big-block Chevrolet supercars), Motion Minicar (high-performance VW street and racecars), Motion Supercar Club, and Phase III Publishing. For almost 18 years starting in 1982, his public relations agency, PMPR, Inc., represented Buick on the East Coast. Other clients have included GM, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Piero Rivolta (Iso), Nicola Bulgari (BVLGARI) and MOTION, LLC.

Schorr is one of the founding members of Sarasota Café Racers and its CCO (Chief Communications Officer). In 2009 he wrote,
MOTION Performance, Tales Of A Muscle Car Builder.

Marty Schorr is a public relations/marketing/advertising consultant and resides in Sarasota, Florida with his wife, Sharon, and their C6 Corvette convertible, Mercedes-Benz 560SL and rare 1967 Iso Grifo.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steve_in_TN on January 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A great book and the writing is excellent. Top quality hard cover and paper stock- especially for the $. The book is basically broken down by year and model and the author goes thru what (if anything) was new from Motion for the year and then has pics and stories of certain cars. Lots of excellent high quality photographs and, as mentioned, many never before seen.

Constructive criticism: there is mention of the outrageous Motion ads (these were always in Hi Po Cars and Speed and Supercar magazine) but IIRC they only showed one. They should have included most or all of them in the book for the reader to see; the ads are the best evidence of what Motion Performance was all about. The brief history of the hi po car that was included was unnecessary: the book is about Motion Performance; we really don't need to read about the prior 60 yrs of performance cars- these were wasted pages. My biggest gripe is there are little to no production figures or even approximates; if the numbers don't exist that should've been stated; however, it appears Rosen kept his production records (although maybe not all?). They do mention the numbers for the rarest of the rare- but not, for example, how many 1969 427 camaros were produced. The lack of production figures is a glaring omission IMO. A few more paragraphs on the business itself would have been nice. It appears they ran a speed shop also but this was barely mentioned. As the business grew, approx how many employees did it have that yr? Little to no mention of the challenges/logistics of running it out of a 4? bay garage.

Overall, I loved the book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jose Lopez on September 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just received my copy, It is a Great Read, Nicely done hardcover(No dustjacket) Inside has nice artwork, B&w And Color,ads, History, How Joel Rosen and Mrs.Rosen Built Motion along with Baldwin Chevrolet, The Camaros,The Novas,Chevelles,Biscaynes,Corvettes! I love the Corvette Coverage, Oldham's Introduction is Great, Schorr's Writing is informative.Just like Oldham Said, In the 60's if you were under 30, you were either an Hippie or a Muscle Car/Racer.(Hopefully the latter!)Although I don't like Martyn's description of young men fighting off in a senseless war?and his daughter getting a plug for her book for the same liberal anti-war views,This is in the section Of Charles "Astoria Chas" Snyder's(R.I.P.) Ko-Motion Corvette L-88 which is A Great car,despite these shortcomings This book is a Must for any Corvette,Chevy,Gm Or Muscle Car Person!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John M. Nowell, III on May 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I grew up as a teenager when Motion Performance was retrofitting cars with big block chevy power and read about them in all the car magazines. When on vacation with my family in NY, my father was nice enough to take a taxi ride with me to Long Island to visit Baldwin Chevrolet and Motion.

I have very fond memories of that trip and can still hear the wonderful sounds of the cars being prepped at Motion for customer delivery. There is nothing sweeter than the sound of open headers on a hi-po 427 chevy "slobbering" at idle in the drive way.

This book has wonderful pictures and captures the essence of those times. The EPA killed the muscle car and took all the fun out growing up.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David K. Rifkin on October 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book to be very informative and extremely interesting. I have been a fan of all things Motion since I was a young boy and I was thrilled when I heard about this book coming out. I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book and read it cover-to-cover in the first 2 days.
Great stories from the author and wonderful, never before seen photographs.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Speed Readers on December 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Motion Performance, Tales of a Muscle Car Builder
by Martyn L Schorr

Just as they should, authors and publishers follow the market. Afterall, they are in the publishing business and must try, at least, to keep those writing and publishing efforts on the "black" side of the balance sheet. Leading the muscle-car publishing charge in 1990, well before the cars themselves soared in value, had been American Muscle, about Otis Chandler's stellar collection of muscle cars. It was written and photographed by former Los Angeles Times photographer Randy Leffingwell and published by Motorbooks.

But the real bonanza of muscle car books arrived a decade later. Some were personal memoirs (Joe Oldham's Muscle Car Confidential as an example), some focused on a favorite brand (50 Years of Chrysler's Hottest Cars, words and photos by the late Nicky Wright), some compendiums of the genre (exemplified by the weighty--eight pounds and nearly 400 pages--Muscle co-authored by the aforementioned Leffingwell and Darwin Holstrom).

Many of the already-in-print "muscle" books mention a Motion or Baldwin-Motion car, but this book, Motion Performance, Tales of a Muscle Car Builder, is the only one exclusively devoted to the subject. And I'll venture that this might be the only book that will be devoted exclusively to describing Joel Rosen's tuning prowess (although "tuning" didn't have quite the same connotation then), and the company and cars spawned by his savvy. Don't misunderstand here. That does not imply that there is no more to tell.
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