Standard Catalog

 If you're looking for excellent model-by-model information on American cars, There's two books that might interest you. Standard Catalog of American 1946-1975 and Standard Catalog of American Cars 1976-1999 are superb sources of information. But, when you get to Standard Catalog of Import Cars 1946-2002, the series goes way downhill.

 1976-1999 is 969 pages, for $34.95, and covers each manufacturer year by year. Imported Cars has 909 pages for $32.95, with each manufacturer covered, but not year by year. Take Toyota for example. You get 1978-83, then 1984-90, then from 1991 to 2001 it's year by year. Why the change? Because this is actually the second edition, with expanded information. Unfortunately, they didn't go back and expand the information from 1946-1990, just added the information from 1991-2002.

 While it's still the best resource out there on import cars, to take a major manufacturer like Toyota and lump all the models between 1984 to 1990 under one entry is inexcusable. That the data is incomplete is just another slap in the face. Apparently Nissan didn't have a Stanza or Sentra until 1991, the first time those two cars are mentioned. The publisher has had eleven years to make this book match the standards set by the other editions, but nothing has really changed.

 While I recommend the Standard Catalogs for the American models, the Imported edition falls short of being a "detailed listings of autos imported into the U.S. from 1946-2002", as it says on the cover. It still has a lot of information, but don't buy it thinking it's as comprehensive as the other editions in the series.


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