Auto Biography: A Classic Car, An Outlaw Motorhead, And 57 Years Of The American Dream

Paperback | March 17, 2015

byEarl Swift

not yet rated|write a review

A brilliant blend of Shop Class as Soulcraft and The Orchid Thief, Earl Swift's wise, funny, and captivating Auto Biography follows an outlaw auto dealer as he struggles to save a rusted '57 Chevy—a car that has already passed through twelve pairs of hands before his—while financial ruin, government bureaucrats and the FBI close in on him.

Slumped among hundreds of other decrepit hulks on a treeless, windswept moor in eastern North Carolina, the Chevy evokes none of the Jet Age mystique that made it the most beloved car to ever roll off an assembly line. It's open to the rain. Birds nest in its seats. Officials of the surrounding county consider it junk.

To Tommy Arney, it's anything but: It's a fossil of the twentieth-century American experience, of a place and a people utterly devoted to the automobile and changed by it in myriad ways. It's a piece of history—especially so because its flaking skin conceals a rare asset: a complete provenance, stretching back more than fifty years.

So, hassled by a growing assortment of challengers, the Chevy's thirteenth owner—an orphan, grade-school dropout and rounder, a felon arrested seventy-odd times, and a man who's been written off as a ruin himself--embarks on a mission to save the car and preserve long record of human experience it carries in its steel and upholstery.

Written for both gearheads and Sunday drivers, Auto Biography charts the shifting nature of the American Dream and our strange and abiding relationship with the automobile, through an iconic classic and an improbable, unforgettable hero.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$19.98 online
$19.99 list price
In stock online
Ships free on orders over $25
Prices may vary. why?
Please call ahead to confirm inventory.

From the Publisher

A brilliant blend of Shop Class as Soulcraft and The Orchid Thief, Earl Swift's wise, funny, and captivating Auto Biography follows an outlaw auto dealer as he struggles to save a rusted '57 Chevy—a car that has already passed through twelve pairs of hands before his—while financial ruin, government bureaucrats and the FBI close in on ...

From the Jacket

An instant classic of automotive literature and a brilliantly unique examination of the modern American experience, Earl Swift's Auto Biography charts the unforgettable odyssey of one iconic 1957 Chevy wagon from gleaming symbol of Jet Age optimism to a rusted hulk—and the car's unlikely savior, a larger-than-life motorhead named Tommy...

Journalist Earl Swift has written five books, includingThe Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways(2011). Since 2012 he has been a residential fellow of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities at the University of Virginia.

other books by Earl Swift

Journey on the James: Three Weeks through the Heart of Virginia
Journey on the James: Three Weeks through the Heart of ...

Kobo ebook|Dec 19 2014

$15.19 online$19.62list price(save 22%)
Where They Lay: A Forensic Expedition in the Jungles of Laos
Where They Lay: A Forensic Expedition in the Jungles of...

Kobo ebook|Mar 24 2015

$17.79 online$22.99list price(save 22%)
The Tangierman's Lament: and Other Tales of Virginia
The Tangierman's Lament: and Other Tales of Virginia

Kobo ebook|Dec 19 2014

$17.19 online$22.24list price(save 22%)
see all books by Earl Swift
Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.83 inPublished:March 17, 2015Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062282689

ISBN - 13:9780062282682

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Auto Biography: A Classic Car, An Outlaw Motorhead, And 57 Years Of The American Dream

Reviews

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

“A great read, with the cast, dialogue and drama of a novel.”