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The Best of the Hack Mechanic

35 Years of Hacks, Kluges, and Assorted Automotive Mayhem from Roundel Magazine

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In 1986, after owning eleven BMWs in three years, Rob Siegel sent an unsolicited article to Roundel, the magazine of the BMW Car Club of America. Little did he know that it would kick off 35 years of do-it-yourself automotive writing, and that his monthly column The Hack Mechanic? would attract a community of like-minded enthusiasts who, like Rob, try to come up with creative workarounds to keep their cars running without taking them to the dealer every time they hiccup. More than just "use 10mm wrench on bolt B" instructions, though, the columns have always been small journeys into passion and problem solving, philosophy lessons disguised as a repair articles, and short stories about getting into and hopefully out of automotive trouble. The Best Of The Hack Mechanic? is a selection of these pieces, including ones on how to buy a vintage BMW and not get burned, the most creative way possible to lock your keys in a running car, why car folks will do just about anything to avoid buying a family minivan when the money obviously would be so much better spent on "something fun," why a car nut really does need seven cars, why the odds of having a car start is often inversely proportion to the number of cars in the driveway, why finding one of his father's tools is enough to make Rob cry, and why working on your car feels so damned good, all written in Rob's Hack Mechanic voice that hovers somewhere between J.D. Salinger, Bill Bryson, and David Sedaris. Informative, irreverent, and poignant, The Best Of The Hack Mechanic? will have you hoping Rob has another 35 years of columns in him.


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