ROADSTER by Chris Goodrich


How, and Especially Why, a Mechanical Novice Built a Sports Car from a Kit
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Goodrich, a journalist growing restless with his life, fell upon the idea of building a car from a kit as a “visceral declaration of independence” from the everyday. He settled on the Caterham Super Seven, “based on a 1957 Lotus design.” His quest required a not inconsiderable commitment: the kit and the various necessary additions to it (including, for instance, a motor) added up to an investment of some $27,000. Even knowing that “kit-car builders are shadowed by error and calamity,” he plunged in. And in a discursive and generally charming narrative, he describes how, through an excited process of trial and error (and the advice of an experienced hand with the Seven), he eventually succeeded not only in building the car but in racing it, and learning “through my hands, in my marrow, that the journey, made rich by attentiveness and appreciation, matters far more than the destination.” Automotive fans are likely to find the tale engrossing; those interested in the origins of the do-it-yourself spirit may find Goodrich’s musings and the subject intriguing, and his frequent detours into everything from automotive history to philosophy are refreshingly frank and iconoclastic. (illustrated)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-06-019193-7
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1998


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