Author: T.J. Overstake
ISBN: 978-1-4327-3594-4
Publisher: Outskirts Press

 Click Here To Purchase For Love of the Car: Memories of a True Car Guy

What is it about collecting weird cars that seem to seduce some individuals? I can understand stamps, coins, art, antiques but buying an off-the-wall car or a beat up jalopy and spending days if not months fixing it up is beyond my comprehension. Yet, then again, when it comes to cars, I am not exactly a maven and I guess you can just call me a dummy.

T.J. Overstake, author of For Love Of The Car: Memories Of A True Car Guy is a “car nut” who informs us that some of the cars he has owned are memorable for his discovery of them, others repairing them, some for the pleasure of driving them or simply the joy of owning them and then there are his interesting tales concerning the manner in which he purchased and sold them. Each however comes with its own unique tale that he spins within the one hundred and fifty three pages of the book.

Most of Overstake’s cars would not be classified as true antique cars, although he admits that he loves old cars that are cheap. In fact, the oldest car he owned was a 1948 Willys followed by a 1950 Ford and a 1952 Kaiser Manhattan. His wife describes him as having a personality disorder and as he admits the weirder the car the better. He has even told his wife on occasion that sometimes he feels a car calling to him. I guess all of us have our own eccentricities!

I bet many of you never heard of a Leata (pronounced ‘Lay-Tah, not Lay-Ah-Tah).  Overstake informs us that this car was the invention of some Scandinavian chap who lived in Idaho. The car resembled an old Morris Minor with its fibreglass and it used a Ford Pinto drive train. Two versions were built and neither sold very well.  In 1975, after losing a bundle of money, the company re-tooled and redesigned the new Leata and called it Leata Cabalero that also offered the coupe and pickup guise. These models were made from Chevy Chevettes and lasted until 1977 when the company gave up manufacturing cars.  Overstake had owned two 1976 Leatas that were the Cabalero styles. He liked them because they were rare and weird as well as simple-Chevys under the skin. 

Overstake is not a person who can hang unto a car very long or as we learn, maybe a year and a half. As a result, over the years he owned a fair share of them including a 1965- Triumph Spitfire, 1974 Mercury Monterey, 1967 Cougar, Mazda 808 Mizer, 1975 Century Buick, and a Kaiser, as well as several others.

Along the way and as an offshoot to finding these funky cars, Overstake accumulated a great deal of knowledge concerning wheeling and dealing, auctions, financing, car mechanics and repairs, human nature, selling cars to complete strangers out of the blue, and even some history about the car industry.  Incidentally, as Overstake is a law enforcement officer in Arizona, he was able to apply some of his police skills and contacts in finding out about some of the cars he purchased and even where to find some of these hidden gems. In addition and as he states, “working on these cars has been therapeutic. A cop needs a hobby, if there was any hope of avoiding the bottle and divorce.”

For Love Of The Car: Memories Of A True Car Guy is a breezy read, and Overstake’s upbeat voice and style trips lightly through his many anecdotes describing his experiences from the age of fifteen in purchasing, fixing up and selling these oddball cars.  

Moreover, after reading For Love Of The Car: Memories Of A True Car Guy, there is a strong possibility that some of you may also think about collecting weirdo cars, since Overstake has led you so engagingly through his memorable experiences.  As for myself, even though I thoroughly enjoyed the read, I will stick to purchasing new Hondas. Incidentally, Overstake tells us that lately he is content to buy mostly new cars and he still loves every one and still treats each of them as part of his family. 

Click Here To Purchase For Love of the Car: Memories of a True Car Guy

 Click here To Read Norm's Interview With T.J. Overstake