Saturday, November 24, 2018

Tom Cotter's Best Barn-Find Collector Car Tales

Tom Cotter's Best Barn-Find Collector Car Tales is a new collection (his 10th book) of barn-hunting adventures from restoration guru and vlogger Tom Cotter.  He's leveraged his passion for restoring and preserving historic autos and motorcycles into a career spanning more than 5 decades and thousands of vehicles. Released 4th Sept 2018 by Quarto's Motorbooks imprint, it's 256 pages and available in hardcover and ebook formats.

While I don't restore antique autos (or planes or trains or motorcycles), I well understand the thrill of the chase.  I collect needlework tools and especially love early sewing and knitting machines.  I've restored drum carders and more old sewing machine cabinets than most people would think entirely prudent.  I definitely 'get' what keeps people looking in barns, attics, and basements for the next hidden gem.

Anyhow, this is an entertaining and readable collection of restoration hunts which span decades and thousands of miles across the globe.  The stories are full of character and humor and warmth and all are satisfying to read.  The entries are collected from numerous friends and acquaintances in the hobby and are arranged thematically.  Some of them were quite exciting to read (collecting in the former Soviet bloc whilst dodging murderous criminals, really)! 

Since the collection is broken up into bit size stories, it would make a good 'commuter' read.  I had intended to read it on my morning bus commute, but wound up devouring it in one sitting. The stories are accompanied by well photographed illustrations which support the narratives.

There's a cross-referenced index at the end and a lot of warmth and appealingly quirky characters between the covers.

This would make a superlative gift for fans of the youtube channel or restoration hobbyists or professionals.

Four stars, I enjoyed it very much.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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