Tuesday, May 14, 2013


                                                              Henry Gregor Felsen

The school library is where I discovered Henry Gregor Felsen. Years later, I had my own little home library, stocked mostly with tattered second-hand paperbacks - the majority authored by Henry Gregor Felsen. My reading inspired my writing, and I found myself corresponding with my first pen pal, Henry Gregor Felsen. Felsen wrote to me on the same ancient typewriter that he wrote all of his books on. With his trademark succinct-but-personable humility, Henry answered all of my questions in inspired detail, as if he hadn't already addressed them thousands of times previous. But mainly, Felsen encouraged me to write. By the time he passed on, I was knocking out my first magazine features (against Henry's advice to start with newspapers). That work eventually led to binary code word juggling (on this blog). And that's how I connected with a like-minded self publisher who encouraged me to do the same, one Holly Felsen Welch - Henry's daughter.

Last week, I opened the doors to the Gosson Bros. Racing Library. That's the name of my new independent publishing company and the website I'll be selling books and CDs from. It's a humble little site - the digital equivalent of an under construction one-car garage. It's very much a work in progress and, like any project, will likely never be "finished". It's just a prefab DIY kit, which suits my current skills and budget.The word I'm hearing in cyberland is to open such a site as early as is feasible, to begin generating crucial online traffic. I'm a typical first-time builder, with not a clue of what I'm doing. So, in the spirit of an old-time barn raising, I hereby invite you all to stop by and visit, then give me your feedback on the site: Does it make any sense at all to you? Does it insult your intelligence? Should I give up on the whole deal and look for work as a dishwasher instead? Please visit www.gossonbrosracinglibrary.com then use this blog's comment box to leave advice, hate mail, etc. Thanks in advance for any guidance whatsoever!

The unofficial logo, which is another work-in-progress. How will the final design look? Stay tuned...

I wouldn't ask you for such a favor without having some form of payback at the ready. Your reward is the fulfillment of last week's promise: Behind-the-scenes photos of custom car royalty. Most of these images came from the internet, so those photographers are unknown to me. I would've loved to have used these images in the book, but without high resolution images and written permissions, I can only use them for research. Or to fill up this week's blog... Enjoy!

                                             Rick Johnson with original Zinger buggy.

Rudy Langer (current X-Ray owner) and friends, with Ray Farhner's Wake Wagon and X-Ray. At a show somewhere in America. (Photo courtesy of Rudy Langer)

                        Steve Scott and Uncertain-T, relaxing on the beach. (Photo courtesy of Steve Scott)

                    Darryl Starbird's Futurista on the street. (Photo courtesy of Darryl Starbird)

Reisner & Ohrberg's Snakepit on trailer somewhere in England - likely headed to auction. 
(Photo courtesy of Daniel Anslow)

                                    Playmate June Cochran with Barris' Sidewinder at show.

                                               Ed Roth with Rotar at the Maywood shop.

                         Testing Yellow Fang. Roth in truck, Connie Swingle at the butterfly.

                                                Ron Aguirre's Infinity under construction.

                                                         Early sketch by Rod Powell.

                     Lou Senter (Ansen Automotive) with Fred Gwynn and Drag-U-La on set.

                                          Joe Andersen shooting a moving target. Efficient!

        Ed Roth hanging at Jack Harris' Nitro Thunder shop, while Jack paints the Stealth 99 body.

                                       Dean Jeffries documenting Manta Ray construction.

                                                     Buster Keaton modeling Roth shirt.

                                                          Pre Batmobile Futura.

                                                Batguy with rider. Note special Batbrows.

                              Drag-U-La vs Munster Koach at "Mockingbird Heights Drag Strip".

Dean Jeffries' Manta Ray in Beach Blanket Bingo scene, filmed at Lions Drag Strip.

Darryl Roth driving restored Wishbone in L.A. traffic.

Under construction Roach Coach from Dan Woods' photo album.

Dean Jeffries' Monkeemobile on Mulholland Drive.

Ohrberg & Reisner's Martian Spider under construction, featuring engine. (Photo courtesy of Jay Ohrberg)

Dave Shuten's Orbitron restoration in progress. (Photo courtesy of Dave Shuten)

Darryl Starbird's driveway. (Photo courtesy of Darryl Starbird)

Write your own caption for this.

Jim Skonzakis' Golden Sahara on the street!

Joe Cruces' Crucifier under construction.

William Shatner with Winfield's Reactor.

Rod Powell and daughter Edie loading Pacman for show. (Photo courtesy of Rod Powell)

Roth and Jim Jacobs with Druid Princess.

Bill Cushenbery and Silhouette making a kid's day.

Fritz Schenck's Bandito under construction. (Photo courtesy of Fritz Schenck)