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Cars I Could’ve, Should’ve, Kept: Memoir of a Life Restoring Classic Sports Cars
by Jackson Brooks. McFarland & Company, 2007.

Most of us will never know what’s it like to drive an 8C-2.3, a 1930 6C 1750 Zagato (on the cover), or a Disco Volante, much less own one. Jackson Brooks has owned, restored, and driven those and many other classic Alfas. He also owned Ferraris, including a 250MM Barchetta, and other great cars from famous marques. In the 1960s when he started collecting, these cars were beautiful and expensive exotics; today they are still beautiful, but their values are now out of reach to all but the very, very wealthy.

Being a successful small businessman Brooks had the wherewithal to establish a one-man repair shop within his company’s factory to repair and restore these cars. He shares stories (and photos) about each of the cars. One point he makes about these cars was that their engines were just that, engines without computers or electronics. A skilled, well, a highly skilled mechanic, could work on them. His cars were not trailer queens; he enjoyed driving them and describes their differences.

At the urging of his son-in-law he wrote this book long after his collecting days were over. I am glad he did.

[I originally posted this brief book review in the 164 forum (Cars I Could've, Should've, Kept.) and forgot about it until coming across the recent discussion about whether to keep this forum alive. Seemed worth reposting here.]

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