Sunday, June 24, 2007

a ROCKIN' day (and a Cobra adventure) down at Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, CA

(above) Doug Stokes, your host at Autobooks-Aerobooks,
with the day's 'pick to click"
(above) the legendary Ed Iskenderian ("Isky Cams")
(above) eye-in-the-sky traffic reporter Jeff Baugh KFWB 980
(mornings and evenings for 15 years = 26,000 hours)
(above) Steve Moriarty, certified race car driver and warbird pilot
with his '65 replica Cobra (with its 289 yielding 415 hp)

(above) Steve's Cobra's dash.
Click on the picture to enlarge, Look closely,
and you'll see (among others) autographs by Dan Gurney;
Indy racers Parnelli Jones and Jim Rathmann;
7-time SCCA champ Dick Smith
(who set the fastest time for a Cobra at 198.60 MPH);
and gearhead and TV personality Jay Leno
(above) rockin' down the highway . . . very fast
(above) the Cobra rocked me back in my seat . . . hard . . . as we hit 95
in three shifts on one of the on-ramps

(above) my host, upon exiting "Kermit"
(above) note the camera mounts. This is film studio territory.

Doug Stokes, who's the resident guru at Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, CA, invited me down for a booksigning. I'd not been there before, so it was like a pig-wallow for me. Felt like I just stepped into an acre-wide world of books and diecast models. And it was also where I saw the latest review of ROCKIN', in the current issue of Garage Magazine (see next blog).
A-A is the place for erudite L.A. gearheads. I missed Jay Leno (a regular at the store) that morning by only a couple of minutes (I'd just flown down from Oakland, and rolled in at 11:00). Then, as I was busy signing, I was introduced to Ed Iskenderian, the man behind "Isky Cams." That was an honor.
The highlight of the day was meeting Steve Moriarty, known to all as a certified race car driver, a warbird pilot with roots in 'Nam, and an engineer/multimedia specialist. Also, owner of "Kermit," the replica '65 Cobra pictured above. After a good hang at the store, I politely asked Steve for a ride. Kinda reminded me of the ride I took with Bigg Slice in Snoop Dogg's "Lakersmobile," only this time it was a rip-roarin' adventure out on the freeway so I could taste some Cobra wind-in-the face. For more than a long moment, when Steve floored it on an on-ramp and I was knocked back in my seat, I got the idea pretty good of what people have to say about Cobra's. It felt totally solid, unlike a few experiences I've had with classic Corvettes that were, uh, way too loose.
The entire day was simply joyful. I got to open books, page thru magazines, eyeball diecast, and ultimately I took home Rin Tanaka's latest extraordinary artbook, "My Freedamn! #6," which has page after page of racing, bowling, and rock & roll fashion. And we sold many copies of ROCKIN' and as usual I made a bunch of new friends.
I thoroughly commend to all of you Autobooks-Aerobooks, which is on Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank, barely ten minutes from the Burbank airport. It's been a destination point since 1958, but changes to the store may be in the wind, so don't delay your visit. I might even go down again on August 11, for "Be-Boppin' in the Park," just so I can do it all over again.
Thanks again, Doug! The pleasure, as we say, was all mine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Meeting you was great. Thanks for the kind words. Photos came out great. Glad you enjoyed the ride. I did get to open it up a little on the way home.