Thursday, June 30, 2011

SPL Shelf Life [adult]

This review appeared in the Stratford Gazette on June 30, 2011
Written by Robyn Godfrey, Librarian

The Corvette in the Barn: More Great Stories of Automotive Archaeology, by Tom Cotter

The author of three other books about “lost” cars in need of makeovers, you could say that Ken Cotter enjoys the hunt as much as the cars themselves. In this fourth book, Mr. Cotter tells the tales of his far-flung ranging in search of classics and the serendipitous finds of other automobile aficionados. For instance, a mere glimpse inside a closing garage stopped Jeff Trask in his tracks, and uncovered not only a near-mint British Racing Green Sunbeam Alpine, but a dust-covered gold, like-new Aston Martin DB2-4 MK III as well, in the possession of someone only too happy to sell both. In the chapter on Hollywood Machines, Cotter relates how Karl Kirchner found his own bliss, a Black Beauty – one of the 1966 Chrysler Imperials featured in the original-but-short-lived Green Hornet television show (and which recently starred in the blockbuster movie of the same name). The detective work these car fanatics use to track down their faves and their owners is remarkable – even if the owners sometimes remain reluctant to part with their classic babies. The provenance of each vehicle is as lovingly detailed as the cars themselves, and nearly each short chapter comes with photos revealing the finds, or the befores and afters of completed restorations. For those wanting to know the secrets of Cotter’s success in finding hidden gems, he graciously provides a number of “barn-finding” tips. Weighing in with 250 finely-wrought pages, don’t let the heft of this book scare you – it is immensely readable all at once or in little chunks, and with the aid of its excellent index you can choose to read only about the cars of most interest to you. And for those wanting to know the fate of the Sleeping Beauties (you car buffs know what I’m talking about), Cotter has even managed to solve that mystery too.  Rev up your summer reading, and reserve The Corvette in the Barn at

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