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To Do Before They Die

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sat, Aug 22, 2015

By: The LACar Editorial Staff


The new book by Jason Fogelson

LA CAR BOOK REVIEW 100 Things For Every GEARHEAD To Do Before They Die By Jason Fogelson Reedy Press ISBN: 978-1-68106-004-0 208 pages w/Illustrations $18 USA Review by Doug Stokes FIRST: Our recommendation is the hundred and first thing for gearheads to do (before they die) (which is about the best time to really do anything) is to get their hands on this brisk and upbeat list of essential automotive adventures. SECOND: Don’t even THINK about dying before you’ve hung out at places like Bob’s Big Boy in Toluca Lake on a warm Friday night; driven the Tail of the Dragon in Deal’s Gap, North Carolina; taken in a 24 Hours of Lemons race at a road course near you; or watched Corvettes getting built one by one in picturesque Bowling Green, Kentucky. That’s four of them, and author Jason Fogelson’s ninety-six other selections are just as cool. This is a collection of essential car nut destinations, distractions, and other pretty damn delightful places to see and (much) more importantly, to participate in. This Fogelson fellow is a guy who travels all over the place and writes about it for a living, an avowed gearhead, who knows how (and where) to have all sorts of (automotive-themed) fun. Some of his suggestions are all-time classics: (like the Indy 500 race, the Amelia Island Concours, and Daytona Bike Week). Others are more esoteric or intimate, like the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum in Hood River, Oregon (yeah, I’ve missed that one myself), and the Des Moines Concours d’Elegance in (you guessed it) motorcar-obsessed Iowa. But this is a book that does not need to be read in any sort of order. In fact it’s more fun to just open it up to a random page and start planning an adventure. Here, let me demonstrate: our first random pick, err, thing to do is item Number 61 (page 132): The Land Rover Experience. At three locations across the country (California, North Carolina, and Vermont) drivers can learn how to really use all the astonishing Land Roving abilities that these highly-prized but rarely off-roaded luxury SUV’s are so revered for. If you get off on doing things with SUVs that are unsettling to watch but great giggles to do, I dare you to try this one. Mister Fogelson, who seems an orderly person, has here nicely cataloged these professionally curated suggestions and (by actual count) gives us: 10 Rides and Drives, 4 Auctions, 8 Museums, 5 New Car Shows, 3 Classic Car Shows, 7 Concours d’Elegance(s ), 14 Factory Tours (both automotive and motorcycle manufacturing plants, many of them free), 3 Land Speed Record locations (no charge dry lakes hint: glop plenty of sunscreen under your chin; on the top part of your eyelids right under your eyebrows, and under your nose), 6 Motorcycle Museums, 5 Off-Roading opportunities, 10 Iconic Motor Races, 3 incredible Road Rallies, 4 Test-Drives and Experiences, 16 (count ‘em 16) Driving (and riding—remember, Fogleson is a motorcycle nut as well) Schools, and 2 Track Day suggestions. Of course all of the above intriguing destinations have good contact information listed along with the author’s descriptions. There’s also a short chapter suggesting the joys of doing at least some of the maintenance on your own machine (good for the soul and psyche) like simply changing your own oil, as well as some very useful suggestions on matching the author’s list of desirable driving destinations with the best possible time of the year to take them in. And, just for the hell of it, there’s a set of quick-take “Gearhead Profiles” featuring a fun five-pack of car crazed well-knows comprised of: Adam Ferrara, Derek Jenkins, Alonzo Bodden, Peter Sagal, and someone called “Jay Leno”. Fun book, fast read, a wonderful reference work, and about as good a car nut bucket list as I’ve seen anywhere lately. If you are anything at all like me the very first thing you’ll do when you get your copy is burn rubber looking through the chapter list checking off the adventures that you’ve already accomplished (my own score: 28 down, only 82 to go). Naturally the second thing will be reading about and then underlining the ones that you’re going to go after next. There are a number of OK black and white photos that help to illustrate some of Fogelson’s favorites, but the words are where the real action is here. These recommendations are all clarion calls to action, not just Technicolor travelogues. One more thing, there’s no rule about visiting any of these roadside attractions more than once. And if this author’s description makes you want to go back for a re-run. That (I’m sure) is one of reasons he wrote it in the first place. Have fun. Hey, send me a postcard! – DS GET A COPY: A visit to will get your own copy or a copy for an adventurous friend and, if you mention in the comments box, author Jason Fogelson will be honored personalize your copy for you or to a friend for a gift. ALSO: Available via here. And that’s not all … LA Car will spring for a leather-bound copy of this book for the first reader who actually completes the full “Journey of Jason” … Visiting all 100 haunts, hangouts, and hidden treasures of the open road … We’ll need a sworn affidavit and a blank cashier’s check made out to: The LA Car Benevolent Fund. Seriously, we’ll at least note your accomplishment in print and get Mister Fogelson to make a personal phone call of congratulations.


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