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Tags » ‘book’

Spitfire ace Geoffrey Wellum still remembers defending the skies above Britain from the Luftwaffe, he was the youngest fighter pilot to fly in the Battle of Britain, and now he’s 96, on the 100th anniversary of the RAF

June 5th, 2018 by admin

Seventy eight years ago, men such as Pilot Officer Geoffrey Wellum, nicknamed “The Boy,” fought and bled and died in their cramped, noisy cockpits.

Today, Wellum is one of the very few of The Few who remain to tell what it was like to fly and fight in the Battle of Britain.

After being accepted on a short-service commission with the RAF in August 1939, Geoff Wellum trained on Tiger Moths and Harvards. After earning his wings, in May 1940 he was posted to No. 92 Squadron as a Spitfire pilot.

The Battle of Britain was the crucial point of the Second World War. Britain stood alone. The Nazis, flushed with a series of astonishing victories, appeared invincible, with a far greater number of planes and pilots. Throughout the summer of 1940, in the skies above southern England, Wellum and his comrades battled the Luftwaffe to prevent invasion.

Sailor Tony Pizzo was bet today’s equivalent of $50000 that he couldn’t bicycle handcuffed to his machine from Los Angeles on May 19th to New York before Nov 1st. He arrived Oct 30th 1919.

May 17th, 2018 by admin

On Oct 30th, 1919, Tony Pizzo arrived in New York City chained to his bicycle. He had pedaled 3,000 miles in five-and-a-half months, attached to his bike by a three-and-a-half-foot chain and handcuffs welded shut around his wrists.

Motor City Barnfinds, by Tom Cotter (author of Cobra in the Barn) host of the Hagerty Youtube series Barn Find Hunter, book review

August 8th, 2017 by admin

by the numbers
197 pages of content
at least one photo per page… lots of photos.

1st impression, if you like watching the Hagerty Barn Find series on you tube, 23 videos so far

In 1915, journalist Emily Post set out from New York to investigate whether it was possible to drive comfortably across the country to San Francisco in an automobile. 7 years later she wrote her book on etiquette

May 15th, 2017 by admin

Emily Post began her career as a writer at the age of thirty-one. Her romantic stories of European and American society were serialized in Vanity Fair, Collier’s, McCall’s, and other popular magazines. Many were also successfully published in book form.

Originally published by Collier’s Weekly, By Motor To The Golden Gate describes her travels with her cousin Alice and her son as she embarks on the 27-day car trip across America, complete with the elements that make any road trip memorable: the nauseating climbs along muddy roads, the elegance of stylish downtown hotels and the “eccentric topsy-turviness” of Midwestern cities.

The authorized, definitive book on Randy Grubb (A Blastolene Brother) is nearly available!

April 20th, 2017 by admin

and it blows my mind to say, they found my photos of the Indy Roadster to be good enough to include in the book! How cool is that! From the 2009 LaJolla Concours

Cuba’s Car Culture, book review

October 10th, 2016 by admin

Tom Cotter (author of the barn find books …In A Barn) and Bill Warner (founder of the Amelia Island Concours) have made the most complete book on Cuba’s pre-Castro car and racing history and today’s current problematic economic and automotive situation, that we are likely to ever need. Seriously, I think this covers the topic, the problem, it’s cause and effect so thoroughly, that I doubt another ever needs to be printed.

probably the coolest true story you’ll learn this week, why a P 51 shot down an American C 47, and has a USA flag on his kill roster, in addition to Japanese, Nazi and Italian flags

August 9th, 2016 by admin

1st Lt Curdes led four P-51s from Mangaldan in Central Luzon to perform reconnaissance of the southern tip of Formosa. Their mission was to locate a small temporary airfield being used by the Japanese. Finding nothing there, they continued on to the northernmost of the Bataan Islands. Curdes and his wingman, Lt. Schmidtke flew over the northern half and the two other P-51s flown by Lieutenants. Scalley and La Croix took the southern half.

Suddenly La Croix’s aircraft was attacked and he had to bail out. Curdes saw La Croix’s parachute open as his Mustang went into the water. La Croix climbed into the liferaft rubber dingy that was part of the parachute pack. Curdes ordered Sculley back to base in order to get another flight out to provide cover for La Croix and see if a rescue PBY amphibian aircraft was available. He told Schmidtke to climb to 15,000 feet and broadcast a “Mayday” and to provide cover for Curdes. Curdes would stay low to make sure that the Japanese didn’t try anything. Curdes made another strafing run on the airfield.

When he pulled up, he saw a twin engine aircraft heading for Japanese held territory. Although it looked like a C-47, he wasn’t sure that it wasn’t a Japanese copy of a DC-2. He closed in and saw the American insignia on the aircraft. He attempted to contact the pilot of the aircraft using various VHF frequencies, but received no reply. The aircraft now went into its final approach glide to land on the strip below. Curdes dove in front of the aircraft three times to try and spoil the C-47s landing, but the pilot continued to try and land. Curdes fired a burst of machine gun fire across the nose of the aircraft, but the transport pilot ignored it. Finally Curdes decided that he would force the transport to ditch into the ocean.

Closing to within approximately twenty yards, he shot out the right engine, then the left. The plane hit the water and came to a stop with 50 yards from La Croix’s raft. Two large rubber dingies inflated and twelve personnel including 4 women climbed in. 2 Army nurses, 2 Red Cross girls.

the most amazing thing I saw today, a book made by English prisoners of war, to keep up morale while stuck in Stalag 4b. Drawn and scripted by hand and circulated around the camp for the members to read and pass on.

March 14th, 2016 by admin

A facsimile reproduction of the collection of motoring magazines, each drawn and scripted by hand by POW’s in Muhlberg, Germany during the 2nd world war. Motoring adventures before the war, road tests of cars and motor cycles, a speculative 1944 motor show, advertisements, editorial comment and even a letters page nostalgically reflect pre-war life. Bikes and cars that are no longer produced, but with names that are legend are all recalled. The book is filled with humour, compassion, enthusiasm and authority. the drawings and sketches are both graphic and realistic, the text full of wit and highly credible.

Flywheel: Memories of the Open Road by one Tom Swallow and members of the Muhlberg Motor Club. Remarkable as it may seem, Flywheel is a compilation of reprinted motoring articles collated by founding editor Swallow and produced by prisoners-of-war in Stalag IVB in Germany from 1944-45.

In peacetime, Englishman Swallow was a keen car and motorcycle enthusiast and had teamed up at Stalag IVB with another PoW, a Durban journalist called Pat Harrington-Johnson. They decided, in an attempt to raise the prisoners’ morale, to publish a motoring magazine for them

Stealth was the name of the game,” Harrington-Johnson said. “We collected all the exercise books we could find and spread the word around to all the chaps who had a motoring yarn to tell so they could contribute. Ink was something we most certainly didn’t have – but of ingenuity we had lots!

“Stolen materials such as quinine from the medical room provided the dye, tinted to suit, of course.”

“Sticking articles on the pages difficult – excess fermented millet soup took care of that little problem.

“Just one copy per issue was produced and circulated among members of the Muhlberg Motor Club – the Jerries never had a clue what we were up to.”

Flywheel production was taken seriously. It had a diesel expert, a sports-car guru, a bike fundi, even a circulation manager.

Flywheel produced 11 editions. The group went their separate ways after the end of the war, Swallow to become a well-known motorcycle dealer in the British Midlands in due course.

He kept in touch with his old muckers from Australia, Canada, Rhodesia and South Africa.

The magazine of the so-called Muhlberg Motor Club helped keep alive the spirits and creative minds of hundreds of captive British Empire servicemen longing to return to their favorite car, motorcycle, track, or workshop. It also inadvertently proved the importance of content over flash in any publication.

Entirely hand-printed and illustrated with tinted pen-and-ink drawings on a few sheets of cheap, lined notebook paper, a single copy of each of the 10 “issues” was passed from hand to hand among enthusiasts in the camp, entertaining them with imaginary road tests, motor show reports, technical articles, race reports, motoring memories, cartoons, and even used car advertisements and letters to the editor. Most articles were created from memory, and a few were gleaned from magazines in Red Cross packages or letters. The finest of them are reproduced here, complete with faded paper and stains to show age. Of course, even though the original publication quality was almost non-existent, this hardbound book presents the reprints on quality paper in full, though accurately faded, color.

Judging by the writing, artwork, design, editing, and even penmanship, the original Flywheel staff’s professionalism is as evident as its enthusiasm, knowledge, and craftiness. To create each issue of this fascinating “magazine”, the prisoners had to beg, borrow, and steal such essentials as paper, ink, and pens. To stick illustrations to its pages, they made glue from rotting soup. To color the drawings, they liquefied their own quinine pills. Yet the content is superb, and the magazine even had an appropriate motto, “To Keep the Works Going Round on the Idle Strokes.” While there are references to “when we get home”, the general editorial approach is to mimic an actual magazine, as if the readers already were at home. Appropriately, proceeds from the sale of this book were donated to the Red Cross, which had helped keep the staff alive.

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the most amazing thing I saw today, a book made by English prisoners of war, to keep up morale while stuck in Stalag 4b. Drawn and scripted by hand and circulated around the camp for the members to read and pass on.

Car Crazy, by G Wayne Miller… book review

December 6th, 2015 by admin

This isn’t a book with photos… there might be 8 in the whole book, but it doesn’t need them, it’s a history, a documentary almost, and does the best job of teaching you everything about the 1st decade of American car making (1900-1910) that I think we are ever likely to get.

If you were to want to learn how the Ford, Olds, Reo, Chevrolet, Buick, and GM got started, this book is indispensable. It’s really that good.

How these prominent car companies were started, what they had to overcome to succeed, how they had to fight the Selden patent, and why they went bankrupt, or were bought and merged.

But more than that, it’s an eye opener on how the roads weren’t ready for cars, or driving enthusiasts, now were the only things on the primitive two rut dirt roads of that time, horses! Ever think how the horse drawn wagons handled suddenly sharing the road with fast, noisy, and smelly early cars?

Also, how cross country endurance racing was started, and this very closely goes through the race between the curved dash Olds – Old Steady, and Old Scout… plus a bit about the Reo Mountaineer that soon followed.

Then it also looks at the Glidden tours, the Vanderbilt Cup, and some other races, and the men that became famous int he early racing madness, Barney Oldfield, Cooper, Keeler, and Huss.

I’ve covered a lot about these things in the last year or two, and have barely touched the amount of information that the Author of Car Crazy covered. It’s stunning how much research he did, and how much he has to teach people like me, that figure we have a good handle on the basics.

By the numbers, (as John coined the phrase):
11 chapters that take 290 pages,
one epilogue of 8 pages,
and acknowlegements 4 pages
then notes 26 pages,
then bibliography and index

Chapter one excerpt is available to read

BoMonster has put out a book! Scratch This

November 20th, 2015 by admin

I noticed this at SEMA…. but, you know, it gets overwhelming, and I’m still posting photos from SEMA, yeah, still more to come, and this was in the many things still to get worked up for a good post, and suddenly, I get an email, and BoMonster helped me out by sending me some inside pages for you to see!

This is BOMONSTER’s first collection of his scratched designs and he adds insightful commentary on most of his work shown. He is relatively new to the lowbrow kustom culture scene and encourages anyone who wants to create art to start now.

The “SCRATCH THIS”book can only be bought from BOMONSTER at live shows he attends or on his website:

Early review excerpt from Tony Colombini of Blacktop magazine:

“I expected the book to be like most artist tomes, as a chronological portfolio. Instead, the pages tell different stories from BOMONSTER’s past, his friends and of course the incredible rides. The pieces are assembled like the loose hardware in your pockets. Dimes and washers, cotter pins and pennies, the commodity of the working man. Who knows what he will pull out next.”

BOMONSTER can be reached by email:

the cool guy in the BoMonster shirt at the far right is … well, BoMonster

Read the rest here: 
BoMonster has put out a book! Scratch This