A Family week at the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife

A good book is a good vacation. Lennart and Birgitta at Autoshop gave me one
for Christmas but I had to have a real vacation to be able to read it day by day.
I got the "pocket" version (7.5" x 9" and 650 pages) of Smokey Yunick's
"Best Damn Garage In Town: My Life and Adventures" written over several
years until he passed away in 2001, almost 78 years old.
He begins with a promise: "I will tell it like it was"
Wow! What a book, and what a life he lived!

Book starts with Smokey's early years and then fantastic stories from his WWII adventure as a 19 year
old bomber pilot on a B-17 Flying Fortress in Europe and Asia. He even flew with the Flying Tigers, but
that wasn't the biggest adventure. It was difficult to read this "pocket" in restaurants but it had to work.

Most interesting is of course the history of his engagement in automotive research and development and in
racing, NASCAR and Indy. Worked for the very top level management at Chevy and Ford. Since he
"tells it like it was" we get to know who were the "real assholes". Smokey is on the very edge!

Teide is the world's third largest active volcano. Hot Vapor engine was his dearest project which he
worked with for 35 years! A kind of "adiabatic" project where the engine should give the same energy
as it took. It was never fulfilled to 100 % but it was the closest any man has reached. His friend the rocket
scientist Werner von Braun visited the Best Damn Garage in Town interested in the Hot Vapor concept.
It set the whole industry on its toes when he showed working and fully driveable engines.
In this Smokey testament we can read about all the inventions he made and also some inventions
that someone else ("asshole") stole the credits for - angle plug design heads for Chevy Small Block
and the Holley 850 cfm carburator to mention a couple. Did you know that today's spark plugs
are a design of Smokey Yunick? And the variable ratio power steering? The silent tire? And... and...

Playa de las Américas is not like Daytona Beach, here at Tenerife beaches are filled with topless women,
like in Sweden. And I can promise you that Smokey Yunick would not read a book on a beach like this!
In this book he tells us about what a casanova he was and how he conquered women (and the other way
all over the world, almost down to the details! And he also tells us about the sexual adventures
of all his drivers, friends and enemies ! He just reveals everything! Amazing. "I promised you to tell it like
it was" And it's written like he's talking to you with a lot of colorful cursing. It's simply a most enjoyable
book to read and I promise you at least one laugh a page - that's a 650 laughs minimum!

This was for "Fireball" Roberts. Axel had a good time in Tenerife. Lots of fun in playing in the pool or in
the sea every day but it's important to always have an eye on him...to be a life guard. Smokey talks a
a lot about his creative rule interpretations in NASCAR "It didn't say you couldn't" and he is actually
revealing things in this book that NASCAR officials never found! Exciting. Smokey is since long
already famous for having NASCAR to add and re-write their rulebook after almost every race. In many
cases his "cheating" was for the sake of driver safety and durability (also safety). He banged his head
with NASCAR for years to get them to change rules, without any luck and Smokey just left the circus.
Indy was another deal for Smokey, he was creative all right but never beyond the rules.

About Stock Car driver and friend Curtis Turner: "He was a simple down to earth true Southerner.
A big, good- looking, hard drinking, pussy-hound, he didn't give a shit 'bout nothing really 'cept "let's
start a 'bran' new party. Curtis Turner could flat fucking drive a racecar. There is no other way to put it.
He was a mechanic's dream. As long as the car had horsepower, he'd figure out a way to get it
around a racetrack.You could ask him how it handled, and the answer was always the same to me:
'Perfect, don't touch a thing'.
when really it was terrible and he was backing it through the turn".
This book has a chapter called "50 Good Drivers and an Asshole" covering
the drivers that worked with Smokey and others too. Paul Goldsmith was another favourite of Smokey,
and "Fireball" Roberts, Herb Thomas (Hudson Hornet). Most known in the "big world" including Europe
are Mario Andretti, Dennis Hulme, A.J. Foyt, Bruce McLaren, Mickey Thompson and Junior Johnson.
And even Colin Chapman who Smokey tried to persuade to say "motherf***er" about a "haluin' ass"
car - but didn't succeed. "Only thing he could say was bloody"
. And Enzo Ferrari himself visited the
Best Damn Garage in Town and... Well, you can't stop reading!

On a Dolphin And Whale Safari. People aboard said they saw many of these creatures. And we bought
the full tourist package with proof picture and everything. Interestingly Smokey often preferred flowing
water (instead of flowing colored air) in his never ending search of perfect shapes. He says he could sit
for hours in a creek and study how different shaped rocks affected the water flow..."radius or sharp"
Owning an Impala SS you're surrounded by many Smokey inventions, the engine location in the frame
to begin with (initiated in new Chevelle mid 60's). The Chevy Smallblock is like a large fingerprint of the
man from Daytona Beach and one specific LT1-invention is the reversed cooling. Yup, that's him!

He worked for 15 years with all types of alternative energy resources to find a sustainable way for the
future generations. This is in the chapter: "A Greased Chute to Shitsville". He didn't come out of it smiling.
Smokey Yunick's life was a research and development. And I'm so happy that he wrote this book. I'm
only sorry that he didn't do it earlier, before I met him in person, so I could shake his hand a little longer,
a little harder. He has been an idol for me for decades, but now it's almost religious.

So I highly recommend this book(s)! Go here:

Oh, I almost forgot, in this book there're a lot about Bill France Senior,
the "father of NASCAR"...please keep out of reach of children!

Thanks Bagarn and Birgitta at Autoshop, Orlando for this gift!

Thanks Smokey! Very good book!