Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hotrod Book Reviews: Sex, Travel & Vestiges of Metallic Fragments

We at Ol Skool Rodz & Car Kuture Deluxe Magazine are voracious readers of automotive everything and love all things hot rod...

Author Cole Coonce is a gifted stylized writer and his literary prowess keeps you on the edge of the page. Born in 1961, he is a working author and journalist who started writing for automotive and drag-racing magazines in the 1990s, with a series of "new journalism"-type features published by Super Stock & Drag Illustrated, Full Throttle News, Popular Hot Rodding, Gearhead, and Hot Rod Magazine. During that period, he penned the non-fiction novel "Infinity Over Zero," a history of the land speed record that is the only non-partisan account of how Andy Green and the Thrust SSC jet car broke the sound barrier while setting the only supersonic Land Speed Record. The publication of "Infinity Over Zero" solidified Coonce's reputation as hot rodding's definitive gonzo-type journalist. In 2001, the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association honored him for "Outstanding Journalistic Vision."

In 2009, KeroseneBomb Publishing released his anthology of drag strip essays, “Top Fuel Wormhole” and in 2010 released a collection of his essays on modern culture, Sex & Travel &; Vestiges of Metallic Fragments.”  "Infinity Over Zero" is another fabulous book. Within all his drag racing tomes, Top fuel dragsters howl in pursuit of Nirvana via the underground level of drag racing, which Coonce claims “is underreported…its not corporate racing…its nostalgia fuel car stories of today.” 

The book title of “Top Fuel Wormhole” was taken from Cole’s Swinging Sammy Hale Champion Speed Shop story, where the protagonists terrorize the top fuel scene with a Chevy motor.  It also covers top teams and drag racing exploits in the 1960- 90s including Land Speed Racing and Bonneville as well as drag racing. Cole quips, “It’s the Age of No Rules in my land speed racing stories. The term Wormhole is meant to converge the past and future in the book.”    In his essay “ Bury My Heart at Edwards Air Force Base” the first reunion of Muroc is an exploration of “building cars out of swing sets with wheels and Allison motors; testing the ingenuity of rodders.”   Additionally there is an interview with Wally Parks (SCTA, HR Magazine, NHRA fame) that Cole recalls “ personally impressed him with the pure spirit on the dry lakes— it’s from the heart. There is a sense of sorrow for things past, because now there’s too many rules—but go we forward anyway. The next direction for nostalgia is…to make noise.”

When asked why he was compelled to cover this subject matter from an underground viewpoint Coonce replied, “It was not reported, not enough documentation i.e. Brotherhood Raceway (referring to Big Willy and Terminal Island race track) is like trying to explain chocolate on LSD—you had to be there so I wrote about it.  It was a peaceful co existence with a disparity of ethnicity that worked.  Someone stole a toolbox and Big Willy shut the track down until it was returned and it was. He ruled with an iron fist. You don’t get that in Bakersfield.  It was a real run what you brung scene…once a mini dragster with a  Kawasaki MC motor was paired against top fuel dragster—Big Willy knew the track had whoop-dee-doos in it and obviously the fueler broke traction at that very spot and so the mini dragster won.  It was all done on donuts and hotdog bets. It was like being in Oz and Willy was the wizard. That’s the beauty of true underground racing.” 

Google: or Amazon or
You wont be able to put these books down. Artist Jeff DeGrandis loved them so much he made a cartoon about it. We bought several book copies and gave them to everyone who loves hotrodding. Get yours today! ZOOM!

1 comment: