This link is currently down
thanks to the legal types at NBC,
who apparently think we're
trying to get away with something.
We're trying to figure out what?



at the
(yeah, we'll be there hawking & hustling...)
Well, I guess first off in the self- and event-promotion business, you need yourself a catchy, breathless headline. So howsabout:

Perennially Struggling but nonetheless semi-successful motorsports author, publisher & audiobook producer reaches out to a wider and hopefully younger audience!

So here's the deal: my friend Patrick Utt, who runs RACEQUIP (where I get my own personal helmets, gloves, fireproof undies, etc. and who have been sponsors in the last few books and are a greatly appreciated chapter sponsor in the new audiobook, click to see their website) invited me down to the thoroughly enormous & overwhelming Performance Racing Industry show in Indianapolis a couple months back. And if there was one overriding takeaway, it was that my books (and the new audiobook, of course) enjoy a market niche--even in the motoring and motorsports worlds--that is about four inches wide and something like a mile deep. Which is to say that, even though my books have been around for a quarter century and how you see lots and lots of THE LAST OPEN ROAD decals throughout the pits and paddocks at vintage races & amateur & pro road races and at British, Italian and even a few German & Swedish car gatherings & club meetings (grateful thanks to all who "wear the colors"), my stuff is virtually unknown in the greater gearhead world beyond. And I'm thinking a lot of those folks might enjoy them, y'know. Not to mention that their money is just as green and crinkly as anybody else's...
The other thing I've observed is that we have an oversupply of Old Geezers and geriatric cases in the motorhead world (and especially in vintage racing, not to put too fine a point on it), and that I couldn't pass up an opportunity to reach out to the next generation. At least if I could find it, anyway.
Which is why I couldn't resist Patrick's suggestion to have a booth at the upcoming RACE & PERFORMANCE EXPO (click to see the event website, details displayed below):

Now this thing is sponsored by a group called HOT RODDERS of TOMORROW, and will feature a bunch of high-school age teams rebuilding full-race spec motors against the clock. Which should be both fun to watch and thrilling in that the fingers getting pinched between timing gears or caught between crankshaft and engine-block walls will be YOUNG fingers! And the eyeballs peering down on critical valve-lash adjustments will not, for a change, be looking through bifocals!
Not to mention that THE LAST OPEN ROAD has already found its way into a few high school libraries and English classes (Lord only knows how), so I may very well have an audience here. And one with a future far beyond high-fiber cereals and Silver Sneakers exercise programs...
So Carol & I will be there, meeting this new generation of enthusiast kids and reaching out to all the other sects and segments of the racing & motorhead world (drag racers, roundy-round types, name it) to see if I can drum up a little interest.
You might want to show up, too, as there will be an amazing and incredibly varied selection of racing and performance parts & services companies represented (see massive, 3-column list on the website), and it should be quite a show.
And wear your "do you know Buddy Palumbo" pins, willya?

Just a wee reminder (ahem) that USB and CD set audiobook copies (or signed, personalized copies of our conventional, printed books for you stone-age types or those who, like me, laugh at the horrors of hemorrhoids and prefer to read on the john) make EXCELLENT Valentines Day gifts for that special someone. We've got lotsa other good stuff, too. You can buy as much or as many as you like right here:



Got a thoroughly unexpected and greatly appreciated email from friend, book-booster and moreover archivist & whatever else needs to be done/the buck stops here dogsbody at The Studebaker National Museum in South Bend. Seems they're hosting their third annual Concours d'Elegance at Copshaholm on the museum campus, and they want me (you read that right!) to be this year's featured "Automotive Personality." Now that is a great, great honor and also shows how desperately hard up for talent and short on budget they must be...
But I'm thrilled about it, not least because it's an amazing & well presented museum, but also because it's an amazing venue. Seems the Oliver family built up a rather successful plow-manufacturing company in South Bend during the early stages of the industrial revolution (called, imaginatively enough, The Oliver Chilled Plow Works) and did well enough that they built themselves and impressive, Romanesque Queen Anne mansion in 1895-6, surrounded it with gardens and named it after the Scottish town the family emigrated from: Copshaholm. And, no, I don't know how to pronounce it, either. But it's quite a place (see pic below), is filled with original furniture & fittings, is surrounded by lush formal gardens and and sits right up the connecting private drive from the museum. They have tours, too.

Application for Concours entries are by no means limited to Studebaker or Studebaker-based automobiles (although they are surely welcome!) and you can find additional information on this year's concours here:
Pd The concours
Andy asked if I might reach out to any of my friends, fans, followers, acquaintances or people threatening to sue me and suggest they might want to fill out an entry request and perhaps display their interesting, breathtaking, historically important or just plain odd or unusual automobile there. It's going to be a heck of a good time. I promise.

Working away on the third and final Steamroller book (really I am) but some days are better than others and I think the writing went quicker when I was young and agile of brain and wasn't quite so picky about how it read and sounded when I got done with it. Went back and re-read Steamrollers I and II to get my head in the right place, and let me tell you, going back over stuff you've already committed to print is like being a blessed teenager (on prom week, more likely than not), looking in your almost-shaving mirror and noticing a whole new infestation of acne pimples erupting on your nose, cheeks and chin...
Not for the faint of heart or easily daunted, I can assure you.
I mean, how the hell did I miss THAT???!!!
Good news is that I truly like the series (especially Book II) and hope to maintain both the creative energy and the narrative quality on point through the finish.
You can still be a sponsor, you know...


February 21-23: Race/Performance Expo in Schaumburg, IL. See above. Or weren't you paying attention?

March 6-8: Signing books/audiobooks & presenting the 14th annual Buddy Palumbo Award at THE AMELIA ISLAND CONCOURS D'ELEGANCE. Details here: 

March 19-21: Where else but hawking & signing in the air-conditioned Hall of Legends at THE 12 HOURS of SEBRING in company with fellow author/book flogger/really was somebody way back when motorsports & media megastar (not to mention audiobook Mystery Celebrity Guest Voice) David Hobbs. Plus Sebring's own, long-serving media answer-man/PR star Ken Breslauer with his newly revised, expanded and updated (not to mention definitive) history of the 12 Hours of Sebring. Including pictures and details on damn near every car and driver that ever ran in America's oldest world-championship endurance race. Can't wait to get my own copy! Other notable, book-hustling motoring/motorsports personalities may be joining us, too. I'll keep you posted.



Yep, from way over there on the Foggy Isle (and ahead of, ahem, all my racing friends down in Florida who should really know this frontwards and backwards), Bob correctly identified this as the Begra Mk. II (at that particular moment with corn-popper sound Saab 3-cylinder 2-stroke power) at the 1961 12 Hours of Sebring. Where, BTW, it ran like shit and finally blew up. But Begras were really neat, native-Florida racecars built by longtime racer Henry Grady (the "GRA" of "Begra") and Gene Beach (second from right above and the "BE" of "Begra"), who went on to an amazing and moreover amazingly successful career as the builder of Beach sports/racers and Formula Vees. I won't bother you with the details here, since my "Pure BS" column in the upcoming issue of VINTAGE MOTORSPORT magazine (you should really have a subscription!) is all about Beach cars in general and my drive and race in John Rankin's lovely and sweet-to-drive, Ford crossflow-powered Beach 4B Mk. II (see pic below) at Portland way back in 2012.

As for new trivia, let's try THIS one:

1) OK, what the hell is it?
2) Who built it?
3...essay portion): Why
3) Where does it reside nowadays?
More anon.

Catch the latest poop & pictures, the Jay Leno interview, Last Open Road swag & highly inappropriate attire from Finzio's Store and the lurid & occasionally embarrassing "ride with Burt" in-car racing videos on the hopefully now fully operational website at: