Tag Archives: my first car

From my bookshelf-Fall 2016 Edition

I know you’re continually looking for interesting auto related books. Here are some picks from my bookshelf for fall 2016.


What could be better than a book about our first cars? Motor Trend executive editor and motoring author Matt Stone compiled 60 stories of these “firsts” in My First Car. The interviewees share what drew them to, how they enjoyed, and other remembrances of their first car.

I enjoyed how Stone presents each of these stories. First he offers a short background on the individual. Then he weaves the tale of acquisition, use, misuse, and separation from the revered vehicle. There are many stories of how these vehicles helped to build a life-time bond with someone close.

Peruse My First Car at Amazon.com.


I am interested in automotive archaeology. In The Corvette in the Barn: More Great Stories of Automotive Archaeology, author Tom Cotter documents how some of these dream searches start out as part of an urban legend, but through automotive archaeology, the details of the actual “barn find” come to reality.

Cotter brings over 30 incredible discoveries to light, including a one-of-a-kind stolen Corvette Z06 convertible with only 7,500 miles on the odometer stashed in a warehouse in Detroit. He also writes about a man reconnecting with the Hemi Cuda he drove as a teenager. The stories document the amazing lengths some people will go to discover the car of their dreams.

This is an excellent resource for those auto-obsessed people who dream of finding the car of their dreams tucked away in some obscure barn in the country and how to use their sleuthing skills to make it a reality.

Peruse The Corvette in the Barn at Amazon.com.

Edsel Ford & E.T. Gregorie

As many of you know, I am interested in automotive styling. In Edsel Ford and E.T. Gregorie: The Remarkable Design Team and Their Classic Fords of the 1930s and 1940s, author Henry Dominguez documents how these auto icons brought styling to the Ford Motor Company.

Probably the most well-known product of their design collaboration efforts is the 1940 Lincoln Continental. For many years, this pair wanted to build a Ford sports car, but no suitable chassis was available. In the fall of 1938, Gregorie surmised that the Zephyr’s low-slung chassis might be useful. He immediately sketched his new sports car design on a piece of vellum over a Zephyr profile drawing. In less than an hour, his new longer and lower concept car appeared. Edsel commissioned a prototype built in time for his spring vacation in Florida. During this trip, he received such acclaim for the concept that he telephoned Gregorie to set up arrangements for the 1940 production run of Lincoln Continentals.

Dominguez’s research and writing yield a through look at the forces in automotive styling. He provides insights about these creators of automotive icons. His love for sharing automotive history, along with historical and contemporary photographs, adds interest and draws you into the story.

Peruse Edsel Ford and E.T. Gregorie at Amazon.com.

So, if you’re looking for some different books about our automotive heritage, I invite you to peruse these. See you the next time from my bookshelf.

For more information on our bookstore follow this link.

My First Car

An Internet search on the term “my first car” yields over a million results. I would like to share the story of my first car and hopefully start a discussion on the topic.

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe

During my school break in the summer of 1965, I worked at an engineering company and one of my fellow employees announced that he had a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air sport coupe hardtop for sale. This was an opportune event for a genuine car nut in the making. Ever since their introduction eight years earlier, I was drawn to the styling of these cars. So, I quickly arranged a meeting to inspect this automotive icon.


Upon arriving at the meeting, I saw “My First Car” in the flesh. It was a two-tone hardtop with an India Ivory top, Canyon Coral body, and black interior with silver accents. This was one of the most popular combinations for the sport coupe. It was powered by a 283 V-8 and a Turboglide transmission. The car passed the test drive, and I purchased my jewel for only $300.


I was proud of my purchase and couldn’t wait to get home and show this gem to my buddies. That night, we cruised to the Teepee and Pole drive-in restaurants to show my cool car. We also used my car to go to drive-in movies and the weekend drag races at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Those weeks with “my first car” were ideal.


In the fall, I noticed the engine had high oil consumption. After some checking around, I found out the engine needed some major work that I couldn’t afford on my college student earnings. Sadly, I decided to sell the ’57 Chevy and look for another car.


If only I knew then what I know now. I wish I would have kept this automotive icon. Today, 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air sport coupe hardtops in number 1 condition go for $77,500. If “my first car” was still in this condition, I’d be in one happy auto enthusiast.


There are thousands of stories like mine. So, now it’s your turn. Tell us about your first car.