Sunday, December 26, 2010

Junkyardlife book review: 'The Corvette in the Barn' by Tom Cotter

Photo courtesy Tom Cotter
Old cars hitched to stories worth remembering. It's a simple formula that has been successful for author Tom Cotter and his ever-expanding 'barn' series books. Cotter's latest effort, "The Corvette in the Barn," continues to fuel the imagination of automotive junkies around the globe. Cotter reveals how the pursuit of an automotive relic is as much fun as owning the Corvette, Porsche or Ford Pinto of your dreams. Many stories in "The Corvette in the Barn" are jaw-droppers, that revolve around the luck of discovering a super rare car and capitalizing on a great deal.  

Worth buying? 
If you have visions of finding a dust-covered dream car on your own terms and at a discount, this book is your benchmark for success. You may not have the bankroll of Jay Leno or Jerry Seinfeld but discovering a desirable car may become your claim to fame and fortune. Cotter's 
diverse foreign and domestic 
catalog of treasure hunts is sure to please a wide variety of brand loyal followers.
Photo courtesy Tom Cotter
TVs 'Green Hornet' fever strike teen
One of Cotter's intriguing stories features a South Carolina man's desire to own an original 'hero' car from the 1966 'Green Hornet' television show. His quest to find Black Beauty, the car driven by the Green Hornet's sidekick Kato, played by martial arts extraordinaire Bruce Lee, led him to a little old lady in Southern Michigan. "Even as a kid, I just really liked that particular car," said 46-year old Karl Kirchner. His long-distance friendship with Opal Wall, eventually brought Wall's 'Green Hornet' car, known as Black Beauty, back to South Carolina. The rare car, is one-of-two custom 1966 Chrysler Imperials built by renowned customizer Dean Jeffries. The value of Black Beauty is sure to soar with the release of "The Green Hornet" motion picture. Who says cars are bad investments?

Sizing up "The Corvette in the Barn" 
Cotter's book contains 39 short stories, 27 written by the author. Each include at least a couple of photos to satisfy your visual appetite during the 256-page journey. Brief, one-chapter stories are perfect for magazine-length reading time that I prefer and my wife loathes. Cotter includes barn-finding tips in "The Corvette in the Barn," guaranteeing the search for all manner of 'barn finds' will continue for years to come. Finding a lottery ticket on wheels is just enough motivation for starry-eyed readers to start cruising the back roads for their own barn find.

Bottom line
The book is entertaining and does ignite the fire of barn-finding possibilities. There is one nagging flaw which could be rectified in future books. I would like to see more Corvettes or domestic makes stories in a book with Corvette in the title. Stories about Porsches, Alfa Romeos, MGs, Ferraris, Aston Martins, a Victress S1A Special, Lancias? Those stories are fun to read but I've never driven one and feel a bit of a disconnect when reading about them. Needless to say, I would not have picked up "The MG in the Barn."

Cotter's other books include "The Cobra in the Barn," "The Hemi in the Barn" and "The Vincent in the Barn." Something tells me more "In the Barn" books will follow.

Eco-friendly note: You may not find a barn relic but Cotter's books may save you some barn-finding gas while you read. 
Disclosure: A review copy of "The Corvette in the Barn" was provided to junkyardlife.