2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the legendary musclecar of the sixties, the Pontiac GTO. However, it took Jim Wangers and his revolutionary marketing techniques to turn the car into the cultural icon it is today, which is why Wangers is known as the "Godfather of the GTO." Wangers's story of the GTO and his discussion of automobile marketing is told in his acclaimed book Glory Days: When Horsepower and Passion Ruled Detroit. Although Jim Wangers didn't build the GTO, more than anyone else he's responsible for the GTO's place in 50 years of automotive history.
At nearly 88 years young, Jim Wangers is as active as ever. Wangers greatest joys are gained by spending time with Pontiac musclecar enthusiasts of all ages. As part of the GTO's year-long birthday celebrations, Wangers will be making a number of appearances at Pontiac events all over the country. Come see him speak and sign copies of Glory Days at these events.
March 8 - GTO 50th Birthday Celebration - Automobile Driving Museum, El Segundo CA
Join musclecar enthusiasts of all makes and models on March 8, 2014 as Jim Wangers, "Godfather of the GTO," and the Automobile Driving Museum present a GTO Celebration at the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo, CA (Los Angeles) to celebrate the Pontiac GTO's 50th birthday and the dawning of a new automotive era, the era of the American Musclecar. The GTO Celebration features a provocative presentation by Jim Wangers, a catered lunch, a celebratory concours style display of 50 of the region's best Musclecars, and a Show 'n Shine car show open to all performance cars. Advance registration is required, for more information visit http://www.automobiledrivingmuseum.org/2014/03/08/gto-50th-birthday-celebration-saturday-march-8-2014
March 15 - Saturday Morning Lecture Series - Blackhawk Museum, Danville, CA
Jim will be giving a presentation entitled "The Anatomy of the Musclecar" that will address the growth and history of the American performance car, including today's modern performance car. There will be a question and answer session following the lecture. The lecture is free with admission to the Museum and to Blackhawk Museum Members for more information, visit the museum's website at www.blackhawkmuseum.org.
April 5-6 - Pontiac Heaven, Chandler, AZ
The 16th annual Pontiac Heaven will feature car shows, drag racing, a Pontiac parts swap, and a special guest appearance by Jim Wangers. The event takes place at the Wild Horse Pass Raceway Park, for more information visit www.pontiacheaven.org/2014_Pontiac_Heaven.html.
June 8 - San Marino Motor Classic, San Marino, CA
Jim Wangers is scheduled to make an appearance at the 4th annual San Marino Motor Classic, the successor to the Los Angeles Concours d'Elegance. The event takes place in Lacy Park in San Marino, CA, for more information in this event, visit www.sanmarinomotorclassic.com.
June 17-21 - 42nd Annual POCI Convention, Wichita, KS
Since 1972, the Pontiac-Oakland Club International (POCI) has worked to promote interest in the Pontiac, Oakland, and GMC vehicles, their history and restoration and preservation. Their annual convention, to be held in Wichita, KS, will feature a seminar by Wangers on Friday from 1PM to 2PM at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita. Then on Friday night from 5PM to 10PM, check out the "Jim Wangers POCI Drag Days" event at Kansas International Dragway in Maize, KS. For more information on POCI, visit their website at www.poci.org.
July 1-5 - 2014 GTOAA National Convention, Pittsburgh, PA
The GTO Association of America will hold its 35th annual convention in the Pittsburgh, PA area this summer. This national event will draw owners, guests, and up to 500 cars to the Monroeville Convention Center. For more information, visit the convention website at greaterpghgto.com/html/welcome.html.
August 1-3 - 2014 Tri-Power Pontiac Nationals, Norwalk, OH
The Ames Performance Tri-Power Pontiac Nationals has grown to become the largest Pontiac event in the country and features a two day car show, three full days of drag racing, and the largest Pontiac swap meet ever. As at previous events, look out for Jim Wangers' legendary GeeTO Tiger at the drag strip. For more information, visit www.pontiacnationals.com.
September 25-28 - Pontiacs at the Pines 3, Bass Lake, CA
In addition to many other activities, Jim Wangers is scheduled to be a guest speaker at this all-Pontiac event, hosted by the Pontiacs of Central California club. For more information, visit their event website at www.pontiacsofcentralcalifornia.org/2014regional.htm.
To stay informed of the latest developments on Jim Wangers's event schedule and his celebration of the Pontiac GTO's 50th birthday, visit: http://www.bentleypublishers.com/pontiac/history/glory-days-pb-/events.html
Attention Porsche Club of America members! This weekend, author Rob Siegel will be giving his first talk for the PCA audience at a special event hosted by the PCA - Northeast Region. He'll be reading from and signing copies of Memoirs of a Hack Mechanic at the VFW in Natick, MA from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM. For more information, visit the PCA-NE's event page at http://www.porschenet.com/events/the-hack-mechanic/.
While we're digging out of yet another snowfall here in the Northeast US, our thoughts turn to warmer weather and taking the covers off of garaged project cars. With that in mind, author Rob Siegel is setting up his spring schedule of readings and book signings for his acclaimed book Memoirs of a Hack Mechanic.
March 1 - Natick, MA
Rob Siegel will be speaking and signing copies of Memoirs of a Hack Mechanic at a special Porsche Club of America Northeast Region event. For more information, visit the PCA-NE's event page at http://www.porschenet.com/events/the-hack-mechanic/.
March 6 - Somerville, MA
Rob Siegel and his friend, fellow author and musician Terry Kitchen, will make a joint appearance at the Somerville Public Library's Central Branch on Thursday, March 6 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM. Rob will sign copies of Memoirs of a Hack Mechanic but the event organizers warn, "...don't be surprised if they include a song or two in the program!" This event is free and open to the public; for more information, visit the Somerville Public Library's website athttp://www.somervillepubliclibrary.org or check out their event page athttp://www.eventkeeper.com/code/events.cfm?curOrg=SVILLE.
April 24 through April 26 - Eureka Springs, AR
Rob Siegel will be bringing his talents to Eureka Springs, AR for the 2014 MidAmerica '02 Fest. He'll be reading and signing copies of his book Memoirs of a Hack Mechanic at this annual celebration of the iconic BMW 2002. For more information, visit the event website atmidamerica02fest.com.
May 2 through May 4 - Spartanburg, SC
The 2014 edition of the BMW Southeast Sharkfest will be at the BMW Zentrum, the only official BMW museum in North America. Rob Siegel will be at this event celebrating the BMW 6 Series models and will be reading from Memoirs of a Hack Mechanic. For more information, visit the event website at www.bmwsharkfest.org.
For the latest information on Rob's appearance schedule, including any new dates or additions, visit: www.bentleypublishers.com/bmw/history/memoirs-of-a-hack-mechanic-by-rob-siegel/events.html
It took a little while to make its way to us from across the ocean but we were very happy to see the January 2014 issue of GT Porsche Magazine arrive on our doorstep this week. In the Porsche Shop section of the magazine, our two newest Porsche books received terrific reviews.
"It covers every conceivable aspect from how the company was formed, the influences on the personnel involved with the company at its birth and how the original Porsche, the 356 came to be and how it evolved." is what they said about Karl Ludvigsen's Porsche - Origin of the Species. Check out the full text of the review here: http://www.bentleypublishers.com/gallery.do?code=gpgc&seqnum=40
Turn to the next page and you'll find their review of our new Porsche 911 Carrera (Type 993) Service Manual: 1995-1998, in which they called the repair manual "a must-have for any 993 Carrera owner." You can find the full text of that review here: http://www.bentleypublishers.com/gallery.do?code=p998&seqnum=21
Look for both of these books, along with our other Porsche technical manuals and historical books, here at Bentley Publishers or wherever Porsche books are sold.
Eagle-eyed Porschephile fans of Jerry Seinfeld's acclaimed web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee will likely have already noticed a cool cameo appearance by a very special car in one of his latest episodes.
In the recent episode starring fellow car collector Jay Leno, Seinfeld takes Leno for a ride in his Porsche Gmünd coupe 356/2-040, the subject of Karl Ludvigsen's award-winning book Porsche - Origin of the Species. The discussion between the two legendary comedians is entertaining enough on its own but Porschephiles will also be interested in getting a rare close-up look behind the wheel of this artifact of automotive history. Check out the episode at the link below:
For the full story of Seinfeld's 356/2-040, along with an analysis of its place in the Porsche pantheon, pick up a copy of Porsche - Origin of the Species, available here on BentleyPublishers.com or wherever Porsche books are sold.
The Porsche Museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany just announced that the very first vehicle designed by Ferdinand Porsche will be added to the Museum's permanent exhibition. Amazingly, this one-of-a-kind historic artifact is a true "barn find," having sat untouched and almost forgotten in a warehouse since 1902. Below is a picture of the car at the Porsche Museum, courtesy of Porsche Cars North America.
The Egger-Lohner C.2 electric vehicle was designed and built in 1898 by a 22-year-old Ferdinand Porsche when he worked at the pioneering automaker Jacob Lohner & Company. The Austrian firm VEAG, formerly Béla Eggar & Company, provided the electrical powertrain. As told in Karl Ludvigsen's book Ferdinand Porsche - Genesis of Genius,
"Their aim was to have it ready for a summer 1898 exhibition in honor of the 50th anniversary of the enthronement of Emperor Franc Josef I, organized by the newly formed Austrian Automobile Club. They chose an unusual layout with the motor transversely between the driven front wheels, which were fixed. Steering was by the rear wheels. The chauffeur sat in the open in front of a closed town-car body. In recognition of VEAG's assistance and acknowledgement of the reputation of its founder, the car was dubbed an Egger-Lohner - thus uniting the two great Viennese names."
Much more of the Egger-Lohner's story, along with a thorough recounting of Ferdinand Porsche's early years, can be found in Ludvigsen's Cugnot award-winning Ferdinand Porsche - Genesis of Genius, available here on BentleyPublishers.com or wherever Porsche books are sold.
In a press release earlier today, BMW Motorsports announced that racing legend and inspiration Alex Zanardi will be racing for ROAL Motorsport in the Blancpain GT Sprint Series for 2014. He'll be driving a specially modified BMW Z4 GT3 in six of the seven sprint races that make up the Blancpain GT Sprint Series, formerly known as the FIA GT Series.
Congratulations to Alex for his continuing series of remarkable achievements. Look for more of his story in his autobiography Alex Zanardi - My Sweetest Victory, published by Bentley Publishers and available wherever motorsports books are sold.
This Saturday, January 18, author (and Road & Track writer) Rob Siegel will be making his first appearance of the new year to promote his acclaimed book Memoirs of a Hack Mechanic. He'll be speaking and signing copies at the general meeting of the National Capital Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America, to be held at Maggiano's Little Italy in McLean, VA from 6:30 to 9:30. For more information, visit the BMW CCA National Capital Chapter website at http://www.nccbmwcca.org/.
Stay tuned to the Bentley Publishers news page for more 2014 Rob Siegel events around the country!
Some time back, during one of Karl Ludvigsen's visits to our Cambridge, MA headquarters, we took the opportunity to sit down with him and tape an interview. During this chat, Karl expanded on some of the Porsche history topics that readers can find in his award-winning book Porsche - Origin of the Species. Watch this video clip below:
Over the coming months in 2014, keep watching this space for more clips from this interview.
It's only been out for just over a month now but already our Porsche 911 Carrera (Type 993) workshop manual has gotten praise for its technical coverage of 993 ownership and maintenance from all over the world:
"This is no coffee-table research book, it is a workshop essential. A functional tool, every bit as vital to a 993 mechanic as good quality screwdrivers and a torque wrench." - All Torque
See full review
"...an indispensable book for engaging in any [Porsche 993] project." - Speedster Magazine (France)
See full review
"Overall, a great product, and to my mind a 'must have' for the serious enthusiast." - Richard Hamilton, Porsche technical expert and author of the Porsche 911 (996) Ultimate Owner's Guide
See full review
"...comprehensive...the pictures are clear, with instructions that anyone could follow along with." - The PCA Nor'Easter
See full review
"If you own a Porsche 993 and do some home maintenance, then this service manual is an essential purchase." - Philip Raby, Porsche specialist and former Editor-in-Chief of Total 911
See full review
Check out all of the press reviews our Porsche 993 manual has received to date here: http://www.bentleypublishers.com/porsche/repair-information/porsche-911-993-1995-through-1998-repair-information/reviews.html
Pick up your copy today here on BentleyPublishers.com or wherever Porsche books are sold.
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