This book was published by Marvel Books with a copyright of 1986. ISBN 0-87135-107-2.
These scans were contributed by an anonymous donor.
Note that this is a post-movie book. Or, rather, it's a during-movie book. Ultra Magnus and Galvatron are the leaders, Hot Rod is still Hot Rod, Starscream is Galvatron's second in command, etc., etc.. Presumably a bunch of licensed material was created with these parameters to avoid spoiling the movie if/when the books came out before the movie did. Unlike most of those books, though, this one also seems to have Skywarp in it. Usually Starscream is the only Skyraider to show up in this setting. However, Skywarp's appearance is probably a mistake -- he is shown holding Kup at a point in the story where Starscream has just carried Kup into the room. It's possible that Norem simply painted the wrong jet. If so, though, it is an uncharacteristic mistake for his Transformers work.
Perhaps more perplexing than Skywarp is that Windcharger appears in the background of a few pages. These during-the-movie stories usually have to be fit in between Unicron's creation of Galvatron and Starscream's death at Galvatron's muzzle. That means it's after the battle at Autobot City in which Windcharger is shown to be very badly damaged, and presumably dead.
As usual with Norem's work, the characters are very well rendered, very consistent from page to page and angle to angle. They are all right on model. Also, as in "The Great Car Rally", the car-mode Autobots are often drawn as if their headlights are eyes. You can't see it well in the reduced-size image on the full-book web page, but on p19 as the Autobots drive into the arena, Hot Rod is looking around suspiciously while Bumblebee and Tracks have a little laugh, all as described in the text. A larger view of it can be seen at right.
The book refers to Autobot City (or to be more precies, "the Autobot city") as Metroplex, but the artwork looks nothing like Metroplex or the traditional Autobot City. It's just a futuristic city of Norem's design.
Galvatron's plan is among the more ridiculous to be found among the books on this website. There is some sort of "robot car" which obeys voice commands that is going to be shown at the car show. Galvatron thinks the Decepticons spend too much time on stealing energy and not enough on conquering. He envies the energy-collection abilities of the Autobot city. But he refuses to assign any of his troops to building a Decepticon city because he needs them to fight. So, he wants to steal the robot car, take it apart, and use its technology to create another army... one which he will assign to building a city.
Also, the way they're going to steal the car? Rig the car show coliseum's fuse box to turn out all the lights when they bring the car out. Because... if the humans can see the car being stolen, they'll put up too much of a fight? Oh, and the tech-head who sets up the fuse box is RUMBLE.
Earl Norem's pre-movie Big Looker books had painted Autobot and Decepticon sigils that were part of Earl's original artwork, while the John Speirs books had sigils sloppily applied after the fact. Norem's post-movie books, though, have both -- he has clearly painted the sigils in as before, but right on top of them (or even in other places) ugly line-art sigils have been superimposed.
Hot Rod is written much more like a child than a teenager.
There are no Witwickeys in this book.
(Steve-o's TF Mainpage)