LA CAR

LA CAR

Car Culture Ground Zero

Author: Doug Stokes

1970-1975 Formula 1 Greats LOTUS 72

1970-75 seems a long time ago in any sort of talk about modern motorsports technology, but this bright new book by the highly-respected motor-journalist Pete Lyons brings the subject into…

1970-75 seems a long time ago in any sort of talk about modern motorsports technology, but this bright new book by the highly-respected motor-journalist Pete Lyons brings the subject into very sharp focus.

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Listen and Laugh: “The Last Open Road” as a Rather Raucous Radio Play

LACar Radio-Play Audiobook Revue The Last Open Road By “BS” Levy Adapted from the book for audio, produced, and directed by the author 20 hours with bonus video features USB…

LACar Radio-Play Audiobook Revue

The Last Open Road

By “BS” Levy

Adapted from the book for audio, produced, and directed by the author

20 hours with bonus video features

USB Flash drive: $55 or 20-disc CD set: $65

available at: www.lastopenroad.com

photos by ASH and the author

BS Levy’s The Last Open Road is now in audiobook format (Doug Stokes)

HERE’S THE DEAL: This is a very fun, funny, sardonic, clever, fun-filled, noisy, cheeky, clever (I said that already, didn’t I?), irreverent, and entertaining ’50s radio play-like adaptation of a very well-known (at least in some circles) book which relates the contretemps of a guy and a gal from ’Jersey and their on-the-road to the races (etc.) escapades in the early days of amateur sports car competition in the US.

The author, “BS” Levy

The Last Open Road, the book, has been around (wonder of wonders) for over a quarter of a century and is now in its 10th printing. To celebrate that milestone, Burt Levy (who prefers to be known by his initials “BS” for reasons that will become clear while listening) decided to flesh out his celebrated (again, that’s in some circles) classic tome with an audio version replete with what the author bills as “period music”.

And so, and if you know of Mister Levy at all, you’ll instantly understand why he chose not to sit in a sound-proof studio and read his book to you on tape; but to fully dramatize this adventure it with an (certifiably) eclectic collection professional voice actors (and others) playing some strangely wonderful characters all enhanced by the actual sounds of the real racing cars as they appear in the story.

As some readers may have surmised from the above preamble, this is an audiobook that’s very different from most, will not be fully understood or appreciated by many, but that will be a roaring favorite of a hearty band of enthusiasts that love vintage sports car road racing (now) and who need to know what it was like back then when Jags and Triumphs, and Jowett Jupiters, and MGs, and bathtub Porsches, and Cad-Allards all roamed the real road courses of America.

And there’s a special treat in store for vintage racing fans in the form of an all-star cast of (what the always subtle and adroit Mister Levy very modestly billboards as: MYSTERY CELEBRITY GUEST VOICES) in supporting roles and who are liberally sprinkled throughout the 20-hour epic.

The first Last Open Road by “BS” Levy

OK, like who then?

Well … how about: David Hobbs, Brian Redman, Tommy Kendall, Skip Barber, Bill Warner, Patrick Long, Ray Evernham, Marino Franchitti, John Morton, Spence Pumpelly, and PD Cunningham. (Ed. Note: even if none of the above names rings a bell or lights your fire, this spoken play is still some good car fun and games.)

By the way neighbor 20 discs? Whoa! I would better recommend the sweet little leather-bound flash drive, it’s elegant, it’s convenient, and it stores in roughly 400% less space (or something like that) than an unwieldy stack of 20 (count ‘em) 20 CDs and it’s fifteen bucks cheaper.

Who the heck’s going to keep loading and unloading all those discs in sequence anyway?

Conclusion: They don’t write them like this anymore (THEY don’t, but “BS” Levy still does).

And … you’ll know if you need a copy of this spoken epic or not by here. -DS

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FAST FORWARD STORIES: BLACK RAIN-OUT

I was working for a company that was contracted to handle racing PR for Suzuki Motorcycles, we were involved in every aspect of Suzuki’s professional racing efforts working with both…

Motorcycle scene from “Black Rain” (Paramount Pictures)

I was working for a company that was contracted to handle racing PR for Suzuki Motorcycles, we were involved in every aspect of Suzuki’s professional racing efforts working with both moto-x and road racing teams publicizing their efforts at racetracks across North America. The year was 1989.

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Showing Speed … Easy (and Eager) to be “Stupid Fast” … A word (or about 460 or so) about automotive TV advertising

Showing Speed … Easy (and Eager) to be “Stupid Fast” OPINION: A word (or about 460 or so) about automotive TV advertising 

Showing Speed … Easy (and Eager) to be “Stupid Fast”

OPINION: A word (or about 460 or so) about automotive TV advertising 

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TOYOTA COROLLA LINE-UP FOR 2020

LACar was lucky enough to be invited to Toyota’s new Los Angeles* HQs the other day to get a first impression of the Corolla line-up for 2020.  The takeaway was…

LACar was lucky enough to be invited to Toyota’s new Los Angeles* HQs the other day to get a first impression of the Corolla line-up for 2020.  The takeaway was that Toyota is still well on top of things and making some very nice mid-sized automobiles in a mid-reasonable price range ($19,500 for the quite serviceable “L” model to $25,450 for the all-in XSE version, with the 52 mile-per-gallon LE Hybrid almost precisely-centered at $22,950).

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TOOLS FOR SCHOOLS … PRETTY DARN COOL

Harbor Freight at one time was sort of an insider’s joke that (even without saying it aloud) that riffed on the cheap quality of Harbor Freight tools and accessories.  Right,…

Harbor Freight Tools

Harbor Freight at one time was sort of an insider’s joke that (even without saying it aloud) that riffed on the cheap quality of Harbor Freight tools and accessories.  Right, they weren’t (still aren’t) quite “Snap-on” quality… and, if you’re a full-time pro mechanic buying that brand actually makes a lot of sense over time.

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