Most of the books I’ve reviewed for the CAC have been soft-cover and technical in nature. This one was a little different. It’s not technical and is a “real” hardback book.
Kevin Mackay is to the collector/restoration side of the Corvette hobby as Taylor Swift is to pop music, ie: the biggest star on the planet. The Corvette Hunter is the story of how Kevin got started in the Corvette restoration business and how he found some of the most famous C1/2/3 racecars in history.
This book is a great read, no matter what kind of Corvetter you are–even if you have no interest in restorations or collector cars. It’s rare that I can say this about any automotive title but, once I started reading, I didn’t want to put it down. I read it in two nights and it was two only because the Wife told me at 1:30 AM to “…turn the f**king light off and go to sleep.”
The author, Tyler Greenblatt was the perfect person to write this book as, not only is he a good writer but he’s lifelong friends with Mackay. That makes it easy for him to write in a manner that the reader gets a real feel for what kind of guy Kevin is. Who better to tell your story than one of your best friends who is also an accomplished automotive journalist?
The high points of the book are the adventures Kevin Mackay has in finding, acquiring and restoring some of the most famous Corvette road racing cars of the ’50s, ’60s and early ’70s–cars like the 1960 Cunningham #3 Le Mans racer, the ’69 Cook #80 which is the winningest Corvette in Sports Car Club of America racing history or the ’66 Coupe Roger Penske raced and Chevrolet used as an L88 development car.
There are also some really interesting non-racecar stores in Greenblatt’s book such as how Mackay found the oldest Corvette chassis in existence, how he located one of the 18 existing ’57 “Air Box” cars, and one of the 12 Baldwin-Motion Phase III GTs, a “tuner” Corvette based on a ’69 Coupe.
Part of this book is autobiographical with author, Greenblatt turning the keyboard over to Mackay, himself, for a couple of its chapters.
If you like Corvettes and good mysteries, pick-up The Corvette Hunter. It’s an entertaining and intriguing book. You can get it on the CarTech Books web site.