Biography of one 1957 Chevy

57chevybook.jpgThere used to be a car club on Van Nuys Boulevard cruise nights that consisted solely of 1957 Chevrolets. For all I know, there are '57 Chevy clubs in LA now. It was one of those cars that the aficionados loved for some reason. Now there's a book out tracing the ownership travels and travails of a single '57 Chevy on the East Coast. Former newspaper reporter Earl Swift and his book, "Auto Biography: A Classic Car, An Outlaw Motorhead, and 57 Years of the American Dream," were featured today on "Marketplace," with an interview by Lizzie O'Leary.

Here's what publisher HarperCollins' flackage says about 'Auto Biography.'

Earl Swift's wise, funny, and captivating Auto Biography follows an outlaw auto dealer as he struggles to save a rusted '57 Chevy—a car that has already passed through twelve pairs of hands before his—while financial ruin, government bureaucrats and the FBI close in on him.


Slumped among hundreds of other decrepit hulks on a treeless, windswept moor in eastern North Carolina, the Chevy evokes none of the Jet Age mystique that made it the most beloved car to ever roll off an assembly line. It's open to the rain. Birds nest in its seats. Officials of the surrounding county consider it junk.

To Tommy Arney, it's anything but: It's a fossil of the twentieth-century American experience, of a place and a people utterly devoted to the automobile and changed by it in myriad ways. It's a piece of history—especially so because its flaking skin conceals a rare asset: a complete provenance, stretching back more than fifty years….


More by Kevin Roderick:
Tuesday morning news and notes: 9.2.14
LA's crappy streets, sidewalks and water mains in the NYT
A.J. Langguth, author and USC journalism professor was 81
Biography of one 1957 Chevy
Mayor stakes his claim on the minimum wage issue
Recent Car culture stories on LA Observed:
Biography of one 1957 Chevy
The best pictures I've seen of Van Nuys Boulevard cruising
Observatory's Krupp a classic in more ways than one (video)
Next for CicLAvia: Beach and Wilshire again then the Valley
Frank Gehry still lives in a Wilshire-centric Los Angeles

New at LA Observed
Follow us on Twitter

On the Media Page
Go to Media
On the Politics Page
Go to Politics

LA Biz Observed
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


Advertisement
LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook