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

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

byEarl Swift

Paperback | March 17, 2015

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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.

About The Author

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.

Details & Specs

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

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