It was zero degrees yesterday, and outside my study window I see a somber gray sky and a thin crust of cold, hardened snow carpeting our back yard. Hardly sports car weather, you know? Even the furry little squirrels I leave seed for now and then are huddled away in their hollow tree trunks, waiting for the cold snap to pass.
At least I'm getting a few stories written and am making progress on a few longer-term projects. Like the long-promised, suede-bound, numbered (only 100 will be made, folks!), limited-run, 25th Anniversary Collectors' Edition of The Last Open Road. Nevermind that it's now two years late and is, in actuality, a 27th or maybe even 28th Anniversary limited edition. But, hey, that's about par for the course for me. My plans, dreams and ambitions have always had a nasty habit of outstripping my actual capacity to produce timely results. What are you going to do?
As a onetime foreign-car shop-owner and, subsequently, a high-end used-car salesman, I grew up/came of age promising more than I could deliver. The redeeming part is that I was very, very good at it. Also pretty good at pouring oil on the troubled waters I had personally and/or inadvertently stirred up. Hope I've still got the knack...
In any case, that was long ago, n'est ce pas?

Been also working hard at all the frustrating and oft-confusing physical and clerical details of setting up our new distribution deal (more on that in the next e-blast) which should:
a) Greatly increase my book series' presence, awareness and availability in the mainstream book store and online/digital mass markets and:
b) Not affect/disturb our existing, "specialty niche" sales and marketing through our own website and our various and sundry dealers/purveyors/retailers in the racer, motor-enthusiast and collector-car worlds.
Is good deal, no?
Watch this space.

Have also, with Carol's help ("You are SUCH a slob!" quoth she), been cleaning/reorganizing everything from my study to our so-called "shipping department" (translation: "the garage") to the overpriced storage unit and additional warehouse space we use. And, in that thankless and regularly overwhelming process, I've come across a few things I didn't realize we had any more. Like a whole storage box filled with our chocolate-colored Embarcadero pullovers. And even a couple of the olive green ones, too.
You need to know here that people L-O-V-E these Embarcadero pullovers. They're cozy, comfortable, cuddly warm (they have been field-tested at NFL playoff games at Lambeau...something we haven't seen much of here in Chicago), plus they're unbelievably durable, machine-washable, don't seem to need much in the way of ironing and handsome as Cary Grant's chin dimple. They also carry our someday-hopefully-ubiquitous The Last Open Road logo on the left chest. Or breast if you prefer. I know I do.
More importantly, the company that makes them has, for reasons we will never understand, DISCONTINUED THE BLEEPING STYLE!
But we were warned, and placed a large order when we heard the news last fall. Bottom line is that we still have a decent quantity of the black (the most popular color by far) in all sizes, but we thought we were pretty much out of the chocolate and the olive. Only now, unexpectedly, I've found some again. Albeit not many. So here's the deal:
1) We have mostly Men's cut, but also a few of the Women's.
Difference between them is that the Men's has a small zippered pocket on the left sleeve that was perfect for carrying a flip-phone back when those were in vogue. But it's still good for your I.D. or drivers' license, go-to credit card, a bit of folding money if you still use the stuff and your insurance/bail-bond card. Your vaccination card, too, if you don't mind folding it. There are also angled slash pockets to keep your hands almost as warm as the rest of you.
2) The Women's Cut has a slight "hourglass taper" to the sides, no shoulder pocket and snappy exterior and interior trim that you can't much see when you're actually wearing one.

And now...the deal:
WHILE SUPPLIES LAST (hey, as long as I'm doing an infomercial here), I'm offering these brand-new, lost-then-found Chocolate Brown (plus a few Olive Green) Embarcaderos at the never-before/won't-ever-happen-again price of FIFTY BUCKS EACH (plus our usual $6.50 S&H charge that doesn't even begin to cover the real-life cost of Shipping and Handling). Because of the limited number available and the problems you always run into with clothing (not to mention customers) that come in myriad different sizes, you can ONLY take advantage of this offer via phone call to our office or email to
One of our poorly trained and habitually insolent Customer Service Professionals will let you know if we have the size you want and we can PayPal you for the money or work out a swap for something of equal value. Like a good-running Alfa, for example?
Here's what they look like:


So a whole bunch of folks knew (or searched the web and discovered) that the still above is from the non-award-winning Hollywood, likely Drive-In favorite & high-octane/burning-rubber epic THE GHOST of DRAGSTRIP HOLLOW (which I have never seen, BTW), and furthermore that the California-model gent on the right is none other than "TV Tommy Ivo," a drag racer and hot-rodder of fame aand repute best remembered for his lanky, Beach Boy good looks, his occasional appearances on TV and in movies and his odd allegiance to big Buick nail-head engines. Not to mention the way he tried using two of them and then FOUR of them (with 4-wheel drive, yet!) to power a couple of his much photographed/gaped at/swooned over dragsters:

I should mention, before we put the old Buick "nail head" to rest, that it earned its nickname from the small size of the intake and exhaust valves, which stood essentially vertically in the heads ("they look like freaking nails"), but it was a good, stout motor with pent-roof combustion chambers, fairly decent porting (at least on the intake side), and was moreover B-I-G. It was introduced for the '53 model year to replace the venerable Buick Straight Eight, and grew to a whopping 401 cubic inches in 1959. Which is why the clever, famous, iconoclastic and incredibly resourceful Max Balchowsky picked nailhead Buicks to power his famous and successful "Ol Yaller" racing specials. It was simply the biggest, toughest and torquey-est V8 you could find on the cheap out of a junkyard. Plus he reasoned, correctly, that while Horsepower Sells Engines, Torque Wins Races, and the small valves and ports gave the big Buick more low-end grunt than the more popular and high-winding opposition. Drivers included Dan Gurney, Bob Bondurant and Carrol Shelby, who was literally running away with the 200-mile July, 1960, "Sunday Feature" at Road America--against some highly regarded opposition--until the trans broke. That's me in the same car below. Max's "Ol' Yaller" creations are some of my very favorite cars and stories...


Okay, smart guy (or girl), what the hell is this thing:

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: