Wrote his Ph. D. thesis at the University of Virginia on biographical forms, while tinkering with cars to make ends meet. So these brief lives (short studies of the technical imagination, in different forms) naturally combine his literary and mechanical interests. He studied English at Harvard, Art History at
Trinity College Cambridge. His previous books are Modern Rowing (1969), from a successful career as an oarsman and coach, and Chrome Dreams (1976), a history of car styling. His occupations have included English professor, Computer Science professor, restorer and international trader of classic sports and racing cars, amateur race driver, real estate investor, architect, builder, landlord, journalist. Lives with his wife Bonny in Fairfield, Virginia.