American Motorsports Legend Parnelli Jones at Autobooks-Aerobooks

Autobooks-Aerobooks, Mar 16 2013 - In this modern era of smart phones, tablets and TV Everywhere, good old books are starting to look old fashioned. The big box book sellers are having a hard time competing physically with virtual goods. One way to survive is to specialize – focus on a niche market and do it well. One such survivor is AutoBooks-AeroBooks in Burbank CA – thriving in fact, since 1951.

Burbank was once at the center of the aviation world, with a valley full of aircraft mechanics and engineers building America’s world war flying machines. After WW2 those manufacturing skills went home and into custom cars, providing Burbank with a strong base of automotive artisans. It thus makes sense that there would be a long term need for a local auto & aero book store to feed the need for speed on paper.

It’s a bit of a Saturday morning tradition to roll up to Auto-Aero in your classic car – grab a coffee and some reading material while meeting your fellow car nuts. Store owner Tina Van Curen also organizes regular special events to keep the cars with people coming. March 16 was a special day for a number of race fans from near and far – racing legend Parnelli Jones was on site for a book signing event. Mike Baer of Baer Racing travelled all the way from Sacramento – wife Donna surprised him with the trip. “Parnelli Jones – he was our hero; he is why we got into racing. It was so great to be able to meet him again after 50 years and be able to talk to him.”
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Parnelli’s new book – As a Matter of Fact – I am Parnelli Jones – was written by Bones Bourcier. Retail price is $39.99 – some of the patrons walked out of AutoBooks-AeroBooks with several copies under arm (signed copies surely worth more). The book itself is a hefty tome – the heavy duty cover with Parnelli’s youth staring back at you. With a handsome mug like that, how could there have been a question that Parnelli would have to explain himself? Brimming full of stories of racing lore, I am is coffee table worthy material. The stories inside are told in easily digestible segments – all flowing seamlessly but enabling short track reading. You can pick up the book, turn to any page and start reading. The quality of the book is amazing – pages so stiff and glossy you could read at 80 mph with the top down.

Parnelli is proud of his book – justifiably so. Capping a great career with a great book will keep his legend going for other generations. We knew who he was all along.

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