Best Muscle Cars

The Heights: Mid-Air Muscle Cars

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By Dave Ashton

It doesn’t matter if you own a muscle car or not, the attraction of beautiful photography which captures the vehicles at their best can’t be underestimated. Photographer Matthew Porter has produced a book called, ‘The Heights’ featuring some of the most popular muscle cars of the 60’s to early 70’s catching much air at sunset.

The series of 25 images were shot on location across the United States, mostly rear-lit in a sunset scene or golden hour, where the light can change within minutes from a bright yellow to deep amber hues, giving each car a slightly different personality. The idea behind the backlighting was to achieve an anti commercial approach and to reflect the twilight of the technology. The setting was also to show a hypothetical film still, ‘a pulp-fiction chase scene’ which typifies the muscle car genre.


The lighting for each image definitely makes a statement. All the image have an air of the old school film look, coupled with the wide variety of colors of sunset, brings out not just the raw, mean image of the muscle car, but also the warm, happy, carefree side of the vehicles which have been a long-standing part of American culture.

Every TV show and movie which has featured a muscle car chase is implied in each image. The photographs also imply the huge power and performance of the vehicles, showing why they stand up to their name, muscle cars. In many ways, the images are a great way to sum up the ethos of the muscle car and literally need no words to describe what the vehicles are about.

Rachel Kushner shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize, provides the introductory text, noting the ‘aesthetic and aspirational nature’ of the muscle car and a great way to set the scene before the introduction of the images.

The book is currently available from for $50, featuring 25 four-color images over 56 pages. If you factor in how much Matthew’s prints go for, this book is a bargain.

Matthew Porter website –

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