New York, N.Y. – Clive Cussler, the undisputed master of thriller fiction and author of five New York Times-bestselling series, has long had a passion for classic automobiles: he gravitates toward everything from majestic town cars that conjure up images of evening gowns and tuxedos at elegant soirees to powerful speedsters and sports cars that showcase the cutting-edge technology of their day. Not only are these cars built for the practical use of transportation—they are built for excitement and the insatiable rush one feels when he or she hears the engine’s growl. In short, these cars are built to thrill. In BUILT TO THRILL (G.P. Putnam’s Sons; October 25, 2016; $60.00), Cussler gives readers an exclusive look into his private life and his stunning collection of rare, classic automobiles. Picking up in 1948, where his previous book Built for Adventure left off, BUILT TO THIRLL will excite Cussler fans and car collectors alike.
In striking full-color photographs and engaging commentary, fans of Clive Cussler’s five bestselling series can explore the personal automotive collection of the literary master of mechanical marvels. Readers will explore the unique history of each model and the story of how it was found and restored—not to mention notes on where some of these dazzling machines have appeared in his novels. BUILT TO THRILL captures it all—fins, fenders, and furious horsepower—and runs from the forties through the fifties and sixties.
Highlighting the new book is the 1951 Daimler DE-36 “Green Goddess” Drophead Coupe, which appeared as a concept at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show that very nearly defied description. Over 20 feet long and almost seven feet wide, built on a limousine chassis, the drophead coupe in the Daimler booth tipped the scales at over 6,000 pounds. Ultimately, the concept’s jade green hue delivered a nickname – the Green Goddess – and a total of seven examples, all bodied by Hooper & Company, were built. Only four of the original seven cars are known to exist, one of which is in Mr. Cussler’s collection. Besides its enormous proportions, the car featured many unique luxury touches for its time including a power convertible top and tonneau cover and four wheel automatic jacking system. Dirk Pitt drove this “Green Goddess” in the book Cyclops.
The Meteor Special roadster was a specially constructed fiberglass-bodied roadster with a custom frame. It was designed by Dick Jones in Southern California in late 1952; Jones was the archetypical California hot-rodder, designer and engineer. His first Meteor prototype was shown in 1953 at the Petersen Motorama in Los Angeles; it was featured by both Road & Track and Car Craft magazines. Mr. Cussler’s car is powered by a formidable four-carburetor 1952 DeSoto Firedome Hemi and it is very fast. Dirk Pitt drives the Meteor in the novel Trojan Odyssey.
The 1958 Buick Limited was the heftiest, highest priced and most opulent monster ever to hit the streets in the fifties. Mr. Cussler’s example, with a Continental kit, stretches 22 feet. It is ostentatious magnificence in the first degree. The Limited was produced for only one year and eight hundred and thirty-nine were built and only about twenty are known to exist today. Visitors to the Clive Cussler Museum in Arvada, Colorado will see the Buick displayed with other gargantuan 50’s convertibles including a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz, a 1958 Chrysler Imperial and a 1958 Edsel Corsair.. The museum is open between May and September, and ticket and schedule information is available at www.cusslermuseum.com
Clive Cussler has been heralded by fans and reviewers alike for his incredible ability to bring to life real-world feats of engineering, from the inner workings of a train in the early 1900s to the sophisticated submarines of present day. In BUILT TO THRILL, Cussler shares his special affection for classic cars—just like his hero, Dirk Pitt. Car enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy this beautiful and exciting addition to the Clive Cussler canon.
Article courtesy G.P. Putnam’s Sons