Review: ‘Route 66 Barn Find Road Trip’ Hits the Highway
A little over a year ago, I reviewed a book called Barn Find Road Trip, which chronicled the journey of three car fans through Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. It was an interesting peek into how collectors actually find old, disused vehicles to turn into project cars and compare it to how the process is shown on TV programs like American Pickers.
This second installment of Tom Cotter’s book series is more of the same, except the setting has moved to the historic Route 66 in the western United States.
Route 66 Barn Find Road Trip:
Lost Collector Cars Along the Mother Road
By Tom Cotter, Photographs By Michael Alan Ross
Product Details: Hardcover, 192 pages, 9.6 x .8 x 11.1 inches
Publication Date: October 2016
Publisher: Motorbooks/Quarto Publishing
Like it’s predecessor, the title of Route 66 Barn Find Road Trip: Lost Collector Cars Along the Mother Road is self-explanatory. Tom Cotter, a lifelong participant in the auto industry, and his friend Brian Barr pile into his vintage ride with photographer Michael Alan Ross with a mission to find as many cars as humanly possible along the route, both for sale and cherished parts of an existing collection.
Along the historic Route 66, the trio meet the best characters through car events and references from people who they encounter along their drive. Each collection is different, and so is each owner’s willingness to sell. You really have to read the book for yourself to understand the diversity of vehicles the team encounters, as well as the relics of Route 66’s past as a busy tourist thoroughfare.
This book is smaller than its predecessor, both in dimensions and page length. As with many Quarto Drives books we review, the printing quality of this book is amazing. The pictures are vividly printed, and the graphics used on the cover and in the pages all follow a cohesive theme to make this a truly beautiful book for car fans and collectors.
Route 66 Barn Find Road Trip is a unique look into the culture surrounding Route 66 and how one actually goes about stumbling across barn find cars like the pros on TV. It certainly isn’t as easy as it looks, and is not really for the faint of heart who prefer to not talk to people outside of their comfort zone. If you fit that category, this book is a great way to experience the joy of finding these cars without actually taking the days needed to explore an area for these rare gems.
This book, like the one before it, is very well written and in a style that is easy to follow. Where descriptions might get more technical (and confusing for casual car fans), the photos help make everything clear and might actually help you learn some new car terms along the way. Sometimes I would have wished for a more detailed explanation of the importance of an older car model, but in general it was a very satisfying read.
One major thing that I noticed is that I did not see a list of rules of barn-find hunting. While some people might see that absence as a bad thing, I support it, since the last volume recommended keeping an eye on older neighbors and car collectors so that when they moved into nursing homes or died, you could swoop in and buy their cars. Luckily, the tone in this volume is much more light-hearted and adventurous.
If you are still shopping for the holidays, this book is a great gift idea for anyone on your list that is a fan of American Pickers, cars (new and old), or American history. They will find it, as I did, to be a pleasant gem.
Route 66 Barn Find Road Trip is available through the publisher’s website, Amazon, and other retailers.
Product provided for review by publisher.
A Dayton native, Rebecca got her start blogging at the curiously named Harlac’s Tongue while studying abroad in the UK. She loves tooling around town with her Ford Focus named Jerome to the song they’re playing on the radio. On any given weekend, you can find her with her camera at area festivals, concerts, and car shows, shopping at flea markets, or taking an adventure on the open road. See more articles by Rebecca.