Zen and the art of collecting vintage cars |
When a person goes into collecting cars, it is with a feeling of joyous pursuit. Go to any automotive event; the people there are overflowing with passion. Bruce Valley and his wonderful book, Zen and the Art of Collecting Old Cars: Adventures in Toy Land, takes that passion and puts it into words and stories that both captivate and teach.
Old cars are like anything else: they need to be refurbished, maintained and improved. The author has spent a lifetime collecting cars for six decades, restoring and driving amazing machines, from a pre-war Cadillac V12 turret to a Pontiac GTO (his first new car) to Studebakers and Packards, a Lamborghini 400GT, and many more. others. Each car had its own personality and its own lessons, he notes. Each chapter is devoted to a facet of its car collection. Most are car specific, but it combines experiences on British and Italian cars, station wagons and vans in their own chapters.
Valley himself has had an interesting life as a Navy test pilot, Washington speechwriter, and aerospace manager, but cars have been his lifelong passion. As he states in the introduction to the book âThis is not a book on Zen. Nevertheless, Zen permeates its pages.
In the early 1970s he read the cult classic, Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance: a survey of values by the late Robert Pirsig. Valley says he’s reread the book several times in his life.
The lessons he learned from the book were far from a simple interview. It was about living well, looking for quality and peace of mind. These are lessons he takes to heart in all aspects of life. It really channels Pirsig’s philosophical spirit into the car collector hobby.
It is one of the most moving books I have read on automobiles. The stories are personal and deep. He talks about crying while delivering his 1954 Corvette to his new steward, the joy of junkyards and the hunt for parts, his love of Mercedes-Benz.
I really don’t want to give away too much as I encourage reading this wonderful book. But after reading Zen and the art of collecting vintage cars, you might find yourself a little changed. But isn’t that the joy of writing?
|Title||Zen and the Art of Collecting Old Cars: Adventures in Toy Land|
|Editor||GRANDE VIE Press, 2020|