Gearhead at Large

A Backroad Tour of Automotive History and the Old Car Hobby


In stock

SKU: 9781476681177 Categories: , Tag:

About the Book

A popular feature in Antique Automobile magazine, Steven Rossi’s columns open up the world of old cars, transporting readers to earlier times from the age of horseless carriages through the evolution of cars and car culture. This compilation from a decade’s writings draws on a lifetime of knowledge and experience amassed in the antique auto hobby, the enthusiast community and the automotive industry to explore topics large and small.
The selected essays, edited and with photographs provided by award-winning Antique Automobile editor West Peterson, include informative treatments of historical subjects and technical matters, whimsical observations, important brand and model analyses, profiles of compelling personalities and an abundance of fascinating excursions down side roads of the automotive map. For the curious, think of this collection as a crash course in automotive history. For those already immersed in the old car universe, it offers fresh insights and an authoritative perspective on topics of lasting interest.

About the Author(s)

Steven Rossi serves as senior contributor for Antique Automobile magazine. He lives in East Haddam, Connecticut.

West Peterson is an editor for Antique Automobile magazine. He lives in Dayton, Ohio.

Bibliographic Details

Steven Rossi with West Peterson

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 355
Bibliographic Info: 187 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8117-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3981-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Historically Speaking 3

Bless the Bicycle 3

The Making of the Motor City 6

The Ascent of an Industry 11

Detroit in Decline 15

Bankruptcy and Beyond 21

Desperate Times, Desperate Measures 25

How the West Won: The Gestation of a Global Automotive Industry 34

Challenging Conventional Wisdom 47

The Return of the Retractable 58

The Unrecognized Origin of the Sport Utility 65

Flights of Fancy 72

Dialing-In a Cast Iron Carburetor 72

The Long-Lost Language of Antique Automobile Lore 75

The Best Way to Embrace the Future … Is to Appreciate the Past 80

Pipedreams and Other Flights of Fancy 85

For All Seasons and Reasons 92

Shipping Shenanigans 105

On The Marque 112

The Halo Around the Hyphen 112

Initial Impression 123

Good Things Come in Threes 130

Happy 100th 137

The 10 Most Significant Automobiles That Influenced the American Automotive Industry 149

What the Heck Is a Hotchkiss? 156

Life’s a Learning Experience 162

Yeah, but … It’s Only a Model T 171

A Pullman for the People 179

Been Thinkin’ About Lincoln 187

People and Personalities 198

My 10 Favorite Car Quotes 198

Enzo Ferrari in Emotion and Feeling 206

From Office Machines to Automobiles, Part I 212

From Office Machines to Automobiles, Part II 219

Technicalities 229

The Roll of the Radio 229

Requiem for the Running Board 236

A New Beginning 244

Three-Peat 251

Talking About Torque 257

Power Density: Lessons Learned from Automotive History 264

Third Time’s the Charm! 270

Persistence Pays Off: The V-6 Saga 279

Here’s to the Hobby 289

The Antique Automobile Hobby: The 10 Best Things That Ever Happened 289

Our Greatest Asset 296

Old Habits Die Hard 298

An Alternative for the Armchair Enthusiast 303

At the Crossroads: In Between the Car Show and the Concours 305

On the Road Again 310

Survival of the Fittest 310

The Automotive Influence on America’s Garden of Eden 316

Shake, Rattle and Roll 328

From Here to Gone: Architecture’s Influence on the Automobile 332

Cars on the Cusp 342

Index 347

Book Reviews & Awards

“If this is something you haven’t learned or heard before, you’ll greatly enjoy columnist Rossi’s prose as he imparts knowledge to you… All in all, cover to cover, Gearhead at Large offers enjoyable auto-oriented reading entertainment.”—Speed Readers