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so_covThe Street Machine Nationals were some of the most outrageous displays of automotive and social excess the world has ever seen. An annual destination of 100,000+ spectators and as many as 5,000 tricked out street machines, “The Nats” rightfully earned their place in the memories of gearheads and partiers alike. In SENSORY OVERLOAD, author Toby Brooks cracks open the dusty covers of scrapbooks the world over to reflect on the people, the rides, and the happenings that made the Nats the show that would never be equaled. He analyzes the factors that initially led to the show’s demise from Du Quoin in 1998 and also delves into the efforts that ultimately led to the event’s triumphant return for 2013. The result of more than three years of research, SENSORY OVERLOAD features more than 40 interviews with reflections from the men and women who made the show legendary. SENSORY OVERLOAD is sure to be a supercharged and nitrous-assisted trip down memory lane for anyone who braved the ‘grounds and witnessed the event firsthand. It is also an eye-popping, jaw-dropping account of the wild times and fast cars for both those who attended and those who didn’t alike. Neon paint and sparkling chrome. Open headers and surging blowers. Burnt rubber and barbecue. Experience or relive the overwhelming sensations of the Street Machine Nationals in SENSORY OVERLOAD!

Chapter 1 Sneak Peek

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15 comments

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    July 3, 2013 8:41 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Terry Scrivner

    Great book! I’m buying one. I wish you would have gone back to when it started in Indy! There are still a bunch of us around!

    Good job!

    Reply
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      July 3, 2013 8:45 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Site Admin (Author)

      You will be happy, Terry…it is about the show from initial idea in 1977 until last weekend!

      Reply
  • August 12, 2013 5:58 pmPosted 3 years ago
    scott hughes

    Fantastic book! If you were there, it all comes back to you. The good, and the bad. If you weren’t, you can enjoy the stories, and wish you were.
    This is the second book I’ve purchased ! Sending one to my close friend who was with me during the Pro-Street era as we drove around these events looking thru the windshield, past the blower hangin’ out the hood and listening to the wonderful sound of the gear drive whine!

    Thanks again,

    Reply
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    October 5, 2013 6:01 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Dave D.

    Looks like a interesting book! My first show was in 1980, just graduated high school, bought a new Camaro, and followed 2 other friends to Indy, what a blast! We went every year after that until the early 90’s. Loved the Pro Street era, and still think Pro Street is the best look today! I just ordered the book and can’t wait to get it!

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      October 5, 2013 9:23 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Site Admin (Author)

      Mailed it off for you today, Dave. I hope you enjoy it! If so, check out the book page on Facebook and also tell your friends. Thanks for commenting!!

      Reply
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    October 24, 2013 9:45 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Rick Taube

    Book just arrived today. Flipped through it, can’t wait to read it. My first trip to the Nats was in 1980. I attended every year as a participant in my 71 Plymouth GTX until Rt 66 dragstrip in 1999. I missed St Louis and the first year at Du Quoin. Both my brothers went with a pro street 70 Cuda 340 and a pro street 78 Z28 with a 468 big block. Had a lot of good times in southern Illinois. I’m sure this book will bring back a lot of memories. Thanks for putting this history together.

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    October 27, 2013 12:58 amPosted 3 years ago
    jay osman

    I just orderd a copy. I cant wait to read it and bring back the memories.

    Reply
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    December 30, 2013 10:39 pmPosted 2 years ago
    dan call

    I went to the 1985 street machine nationals in Illinois with my 67 Camaro. this was my start with hot rodding. my first pass at a dragstrip was at great lakes Illinois, now I run a alky funny car in California. I have had a chevelle that was in many of the mags back then, and loved all the events we went to. thanks for remembering the guys who started this trend, and still going strong today. loved every minute of it!

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    October 7, 2014 9:52 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Guy Morgan

    Hi there I’m from the United Kingdom and would like to some how buy this book do u still have any left

    Reply
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    August 19, 2016 5:18 pmPosted 3 months ago
    Gary Heavysege

    How do I buy a copy?

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      September 7, 2016 2:07 amPosted 3 months ago
      Site Admin (Author)

      It is currently out of production. We are working on an updated second edition.

      Reply
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    September 5, 2016 10:15 pmPosted 3 months ago
    Dr Duke

    Even though I never attended the event I still have many memories of the Nats. I was a born in Southern IL and we had returned to the area in the mid 80’s. We lived on a farm about 20 miles from the fairgrounds where the Nats would eventually be held. I was 11 years old the year the Nats came to DuQuoin. It was advertised on TV heavily in the classic 70’s and 80’s car show and monster truck style. Local TV and newspapers covered the event. It seemed for the first few years some newscaster always did a story about why the Walmart in DuQuoin was out of bleach. The largest newspaper in the area The Southern Illinoisan (known by many locals as “The Southern Illusion” due do there often inaccurate or stilted reporting) would print a supplement with a few color pictures for the Sunday edition. One of the local DJ’s got a DUI there one year. Sadly after a few years local media seemed to be in a contest to out do each other in exaggerated coverage of the “scandalous” behavior that happened at the SMN. Hard to imagine now but in the pre-internet, pre Janet Jackson’s nip slip era the prospect that an underage youth might see exposed breast kept civic leaders and various do-gooders up at night. Considering the region’s high teen pregnancy numbers at the time it is hard to imagine what the fuss was all about. I took a summer collage class with a guy who worked security at the Nats in’95. He said a attractive and well endowed lady had gone it to business that year at the event. Her terms in her words were “2 beers for 2 tits.” The provider of said beverage was allowed to take photos if he wanted. No telling what you could have got for a 30 pack of Busch. That particular part of the female anatomy was on the mind of at least some of the attendees. I remember seeing a small, ancient camper parked at Lake Murphysboro emblazoned with the phrase “Car Craft Nationals and/or Bust!” with the U in bust fashioned like a pair of breast. Personally I wish everyone that came to the SMN just for breast had stopped at JB’s Place, Du Moroc or one of the other strip clubs just down Highway 51 in DeSoto. That might have given alleged local leaders one leas reason to run off the Nats.

    When I had heard DuQuoin had kicked out the nats I was mad. Those fairgrounds are paid for by the state and set mostly empty when the DuQuoin State Fair is not in town. I had heard the complaints of locals and police but had a hard time believing ticket revenue did not more than offset overtime. There is a IL State Police office directly across the street from the fairgrounds. Now to find out it was over a $3000 garbage bill makes me even madder. That area has many great things. An abundance of high paying jobs is not one of them. I bet the the mine your father worked at has been closed for at least 10 years. Hopefully the locals will realize what a good deal they had and the nats will have a long time home once again. With the internet and cell phone cameras the SMN’s in DuQuoin will never be the wild party that they were. How many nubile co-eds from SIU would have posed for those Polaroids back then if they had realized in the near future there would be a way to share them with the world and you could loose your job years latter for something you had done on a dare in your early 20’s or late teens. Maybe that will help the SMN remain in DuQuoin.

    Reply

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