Monday, December 1, 2008

Plastic Ozone Daydream

Plastic Ozone Daydream:
The Corvette Chronicles

by Floyd M. Orr

(Writers Club Press / 0-595-15794-7 / 978-0-595-15794-5 / December 2000 / 368 pages / $17.95)

Take an entertaining drive through the history of Baby Boomer America with our own sports car icon, the Corvette. These are interlinked stories that capture the essence and spirit of America's car culture.

Most of these stories were originally published in The Longhorn Corvette Club BULLetin 1985-1994. They have been edited and compiled into a coherent volume of essays covering the history of the Corvette. Modern American culture has interfaced with the Corvette in ways you may never have considered. These stories are intended to torque your imagination and light up your memories. This is not a marque history book or one of glossy-perfect photographs. There are 35 B & W photos in the book, but their content and text references are not what you would expect. This tale of unexpected imagination is meant to entertain the many car nuts in our culture. It is a mixture of fond remembrances and shocking revelations, a trip filled with smooth asphalt, potholes, and radar guns.

The intent of Plastic Ozone Daydream has always been to paint with the broadest strokes, presenting the most imagery possible with the least number of words. The attempt has been to make Daydream the Vanishing Point of car books, not the most famous or profitable, but the one car junkies remember as leaving tire tracks on their hearts. The stories are told through the headlights of a Corvette, not only because they reached a captive audience through a Corvette club, but because the Corvette offers a vast array of data and history to validate and solidify the storyline. The stories range over a broad spectrum of style and substance. Some are nostalgic, many are actually non-fiction with the nomenclature aborted, and others just tell the ugly truth. The more you know about Corvettes, the more inside jokes you will understand. The more you like sports cars, and the author has a lot of non-Corvette favorites, the more Daydream will entertain you. The book contains facts, figures, photos, tables, and even a 200-question trivia quiz at the end. After returning home, the reader should feel as if he has just completed a long trip in the blink of an eye.

Excerpt from "Essence":

Me and the Toad swung-a-uie on our squirmy tires and sissy suspension. Neither one of us had seen one of those trapped on a used car lot in a long time, and it was so black Lash LaRue would not have objected to being caught dead in it. I stopped and exited the Toad to get a closer look, as if a fruit-juice can had just bonked me upside the head.

This black beauty had most of what lights my Corvette fire. It was a 1969 L-36 4-speed Coupe in all-black. The only two visible non-standard items were a non-stock upholstery pattern on the vinyl seats and attractive fake-wire chrome wheels. The tires were late-model blackwall radials and the luxury options were few in number. The asking price of $6500 did not seem unreasonable to me. When I returned from a business trip three days later, the car was gone. The owner of the used car lot said the aforementioned speed limit basher had been there on consignment only and the owner was asking too high a price; therefore, the car had not been sold, but instead had been returned to its owner in Houston. The essence of 427 cubic inches floated out the window of that little used-car lot office....

Plastic Ozone Daydream is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and selected bookstores.

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