Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Trade in your item
Get a $8.98
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Best Damn Garage in Town: My Life & Adventures Paperback – July 1, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$175.00 $112.00

Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The bestselling author of "Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life" returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human. Hardcover | Kindle book
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Review

I've spent hours blowing off my other duties here at the office, unable to pull myself from these straight-shooting pages. -- Jeff Koch, Hot Rod Magazine

Smokey didn't suffer fools gladly, and he called them all to task in his posthumous 1,100-page, self-published, three-volume tome. -- Jeff Koch, Hot Rod Magazine

Smokey was a one-man Greatest Generation whose World War II adventures seem divided between hot planes and hot nurses. --Robert Lipsyte, The New York Times

From the Publisher

Smokey Yunick, the world's most famous mechanic, accomplished more in one life than most poeople could in five. He flew 50 missions as a B-17 pilot during WWII. He was an integral part of the birth of stock car racing and ran open wheel cars during the glory days of the Indy 500. He spent years in the jungles of Ecuador and held 10 patents. Smokey was concerned for the future so he developed more efficient and powerful engines for passenger cars and safer crash barriers for race tracks. These are the real stories of racing and everything automotive in America - told by someone who was there every step of the way!

Warning: These stories aren't politically correct or grammatically correct...neither was Smokey.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 650 pages
  • Publisher: Carbon Press; 1St Edition edition (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972437835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972437837
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 7.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,149,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Boyce on January 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
Being a longtime fan of racing and interested in the history of the sport, I expected this book to give readers a glimpse behind the scenes from one of it's most legendary and colorful characters. It exceeded any of my expectations. As noted in other reviews, the story is told first hand as if you were sitting and talking to Smokey, language and all. Not a drawback in my opinion but consider yourself warned.

The book begins from Smokey's childhood and moves quickly through his bomber runs in WWII. Some of the most insightful war stories I've ever read! Then it's of to Daytona Beach and the establishment of the Best Damn Garage in Town. During this timeframe Smokey gets involved with NASCAR, the France family and the car manufacturers. It's refreshing to finally read stories about NASCAR that have not been censored in any way and are being told by somebody who was actually there. Smokey was very opinionated but 99% of the time he's right. Especially in aspects relating to safety.

One very interesting chapter is devoted to the 50 or so drivers who drove for him, both in NASCAR and Indy. These included some of the biggest names in racing during this timeframe. A tremendous amount of information is passed along about the drivers, some good and some I'm sure they wished Smokey would have kept quiet about. All in all a great chapter.

From there it's on to the Indy 500. This was during the glory days of the Indy 500 when creativity and a skinny rule book led to some of the most interesting racecars Indy has ever seen. Obviously, this was right up Smokey's alley. Let's just say that Smokey's Indy exploits, both on and off the track, could have comprised an entire second book. I especially enjoyed his thoughts on returning Indy to it's previous glory.
Read more ›
Comment 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I lived in Daytona in the late 60's and stopped by his garage on occasion. Smokey didn't usually have much to say to you and kept all the "good stuff" in the back room. This book is an honest account of the way the man was...vulgar, straight from the hip and due,I suppose,to his age and recollection rather rambling. All in all an entertaining read especially if you were around and interested in racing during his era...
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I consider Smokey to be one of the greatest things ever for automotive innovation. This book is somewhat hard to read. It almost seems like he dictated it to somebody and told them "Don't edit a thing!!" If you get your self into the right frame of mind while reading, you'll have a lot of fun reading. I thought I wouldn't be too interested in his WWII years, but it was one of the most interesting parts. He did some really cool stuff during the earl years of NASCAR, but he doesn't really get into too much detail until you get to the technical chapters. When he does get into the technical stuff, he warns readers that it's gonna get technical and if you don't like that sort of thing, skip ahead. He also has no problems talking about his failures, and thats nice to see.

He is very repetitive. I guess the book was written over several years, and he must of forgotten he'd already told a story here or there. If you're a sensitive person, you might want to pass on this book. Lots of sex stories

It blows me away that a 10th grade dropout was able to become a B17 aviator and one of the greatest automotive engineers ever. I personally think this book is good enough to be made into a movie. If you're a racing fan, you must read this book! I'm buying the hard bound version next for my library.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book starts with Smokey's rough childhood in rural PA and then a very graphic view of WWII as a bomber pilot in Europe and how he ends up with the Flying Tigers working for Chiang Kai-Shek(pretty wild life!).

Next Smokey gives an insiders look at the history of early NASCAR and his relationship with Detroit automakers. Nothing is sugar coated and I'm sure offended a few people. Also many details about automotive engineering, rules bending and his experience with INDY cars.

If you're a car guy this book belongs on your shelf.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First of all it is really long. The individual chapters are short and punchy but the complete book takes a while to read and some of the stuff is like cross references and repeats to place in various contexts. Lots of vulgarity. Begins and leads into WW-II and his role as a mechanic and then pilot. Not just a bout his time in Daytona. There are sections about Detroit that reveal the interior of headquarters and engineering. As expected he has opinions about novel concepts and the people who espoused them. Before building your next racer this would be a good book to check out concepts necessary for Indy and NASCAR. His Southern Drawl is from Pennsylvania. He was a columnist for Popular Science nd later Circle track so there is a journalistic style that includes letters to the editor. My own take was the 1966 Chevelle SS-396. I met him in print earlier in the mid-fifties maybe through Tom McCahill and Mechanix Illustrated which he hates. He's not really a HOT ROD or NHRA guy though some of his Indy cars appeared there and on the cover. A place to read about combustion.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: biography books