The Last Open Road Group

Burt Levy is an icon of Vintage Racing. You can reach him at THINK FAST INK MOTORSPORTS PROMOTIONS 1010 LAKE ST., SUITE 103 · OAK PARK, IL 60301 Tel: 708.383.7203 Email:

Location: Oak Park, IL USA
Members: 6
Latest Activity: Sep 3, 2009

Burt Levy - new Book - the 200 MPH Steamroller


Latest News from "BS" Levy & Think Fast Ink
( where's the new book already?)

Yeah, I should probably be chained to my computer finishing up the new book. But sometimes an opportunity comes along that you just can't miss. Like great people, all kinds of track time and some really neat stuff to drive at Brian Redman's relaxed & entertaining Targa 66 event at Palm Beach International Raceway Feb. 22-23. Got to do a session in the Ross Bremer/Karen Perrin "A Little O.F.F. Racing" (for "Old Fast Fords", of course) FVA-powered Ford Escort sedan and, thanks to Hayes Harris of, got a session in a Lotus 211 track-day toy. Great fun! Thanks! Plus that's me above in Mitch Eitel's evocative little jewel of a 1959 OSCA Formula Junior (built by the Maserati brothers, if you know your history) and a wonderful thing to drive. And that's me below, something like an hour-and-a-half later, in the thoroughly up-to-the-minute Dyson Racing Lola/Caterham track-day berserker. So from less than 100hp, 4 speeds, open wheels, drum brakes and sliding around on tall, skinny tires to 300hp, 1275 lbs./990 lbs. of downforce, a clutchless, no-lift, 6-speed paddle-shifter, 0-60 in 2.9 secs., genuine, track-usable, downforce-limited 165mph top speed and brakes that'll suck the eyeballs right out of your skull.
Can you say "Time Warp?" How about "WOW?"
Full report in my next column in Vintage Motorsportmagazine!

I guess I must've done OK in the Caterham because
Chris Dyson was still smiling afterwards.

Come Sunday I hawked and signed a few books at the Boca Raton Concours d'Elegance. See, it was a business trip, after all! And, no, that's not me holding
the copy of A Potside Companion.

Anyhow, now I'm back home in Chicago (where it snowed a foot the week I got back...that's my neighbor trying to catch a little sun while shoveling to the right!) and I'll be staying right here with my nose buried in my computer until the new book is done. Honest I will. Best guess is I'll have the basic draft done in time to make the Mitty Challenge at Road Atlanta April 26-28, and then the editing and polishing process begins. We'll hopefully be launching the second Steamroller novel (and last book in The Last Open Road series) at Road America in July. Which kind of fits, since that's where all the rest of the novels debuted.

NEWS FLASH!!!! I'll be sneaking out to schmooze about
cars and hawk a few books at the annual F.C.A.
from 9am-2pm on Saturday, March 23rd
Ferrari - Maserati dealership at
420 E. Ogden avenue (just west
of 294) in Hinsdale, IL. 60521

Don't Forget our piggy banks! The perfect gift for the well-heeled gearhead. Just $75.oo and an e-mailed picture of YOUR chosen car gets you a hand-painted, one-of-a-kind racing or restoration project piggy bank done by gifted character artist Carolyn Johnson.
Dad's Day is coming!

Click HERE to visit the website!

ONE LAST THING: Make sure to tell all your friends & fellow gearheads (especially the folks living overseas, as postage has gone absolutely bananas!) that the first three books in the "Buddy Palumbo" series are now available as e-book downloads at a paltry $9.99 each from Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook. Plus the new e-versions of MONTEZUMA'S FERRARI and THE FABULOUS TRASHWAGON are revised, edited, improved and even expanded editions. Such a deal!

If you've never read the utterly hilarious A POTSIDE COMPANION short-story anthology, click the link below to read one of the stories, "The Lift from Hell", in its entirety. It's been posted complete on my friend Peter Bourassa's useful and well-produced MMR website.

He'll be hearing from our lawyers shortly.


Catch the latest poop & pictures, the Jay Leno interview, Finzio's Store and the lurid & occasionally embarrassing "ride with Burt" in-car racing videos on the website at:

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Think Fast Ink | 1010 Lake Street | Oak Park | IL | 60301

Latest News from "BS" Levy & Think Fast Ink
( where's the new book already?)

Attention all friends, fans and extended family of author/racer BS Levy's The Last Open Road novels
Coming this summer!
The 5th (and possibly last?) novel in the series!

And YOU can be part of it!!!
SPONSORSHIP and ADVERTISING opportunities available NOW!

This is our utterly shameless but somewhat celebrated (well, it won MONTEZUMA'S FERRARI a 2000 Benjamin Franklin "Book of the Year" award for marketing innovation) scheme to defray the exorbitant costs of pre-press work, printing, publishing and marketing by hawking $250 sponsorships to people who could just as easily go out and buy a regular copy for 35 bucks when the new book finally comes out....
Sounds like something for fools, dupes, suckers, marks and pigeons, doesn't it?
BUT WAIT!!! Your sponsorship package includes:
1. A copy of the exclusive, handsome, limited edition, leather-bound, cloisonne-emblem SPONSOR and ADVERTISER SPECIAL EDITION. These are VERY cool and collectibles and are NEVER offered up for over-the-counter retail sale (overages are occasionally donated to charity auctions, where a set went for over $2500.oo last year!).
2. A "beater" copy to actually read or use as a wheel chock (or read, then use as a wheel chock).
3. A commemorative, high quality, 100% pima cotton "200mph STEAMROLLER Official Sponsor Sucker" polo shirt. Again, these will definitely NOT be made available to anyone except our sponsors and advertisers (then again, who else would want to wear one?).
3. YOUR NAME or the name of a special friend, beloved family member, neighbor, relative, client, business associate, spouse, spousette, club, organization, favorite wrench or fellow racer printed for ALL ETERNITY (or at least until the earth crashes into the sun) on the permanent SPONSOR LIST in the always-hilarious, full-color sponsorship, spoof, satire and advertising section in the new book. Format for the new section hasn't been finalized yet, but it WILL be memorable! Funny, too....
So fluff up your own ego or give somebody else a truly unforgettable gift. Hell, it's only 250 bucks. You can't get a decent dinner for two with drinks for that in Manhattan or Beverly Hills!

1. "BS" Levy's books have sold a total of over 80,000 copies over the years and have developed a loyal and enthusiastic following of educated, upper demographic, thought-leader automotive enthusiasts - the exact market YOU need to reach!
2. Unlike monthly and bi-monthly magazines that are glanced through a few times and then either put away on a shelf or tossed in the dustbin in 30 days, Burt's novels have LEGS! They need to be picked up many, many times just to get through them (he's a wordy s.o.b.) and are most often kept, read, re-read and then passed along to friends. The shelf life of an ad in Burt's books never ends!
3. Our so-called "advertising sections" are famous for their hilarious and surprising mix of real ads, period ads, fake ads, gag ads, spoofs, satire, rude lampoons and arresting graphics. This ensures that readers PAY ATTENTION to the content rather than merely shuffling through the clutter.
4. All advertisers receive copies of the exclusive, leather-bound and highly collectible SPONSOR/ADVERTISER SPECIAL EDITION mentioned above, "beater" copies to actually read and of course a "200mph Steamroller Sponsor Sucker" 100% pima cotton polo shirt.
5. Best of all, AD SPACE IN "BS" LEVY'S NEW BOOK IS PRICE-COMPETITIVE WITH A SINGLE INSERTION in a conventional, throw-away monthly magazine or bi-monthly periodical.
6. We can work with almost any format of finished artwork, and have truly wizard creative and graphic assistance available.
RATES (all ads are either B&W or full color at the same price):
Business Card @ $500
1/4 page @ $850
1/3 page @ $1150
1/2 page @ $1500
Full Page @ $2750
For more information, please contact Karen Miller or Burt hisself at (708) 383-7203 or e-mail THINKFAST@MINDSPRING.COM

Sure you have. You've wondered what it must feel like to stroll down that red carpet like a movie star, rock god, sports legend or member of the glitterati, smiling and waving benignly to the crowd while paparazzi swarm, TV interviewers elbow each other out of the way to get close to you, flashbulbs pop and camera shutters click and clatter like a swarm of locusts....
Well, that's not bloody likely to happen. At least not unless you win the lottery, turn states evidence, kill someone important or get elected to public office in Illinois.
We're going to hold an auction, see. Maybe even on e-bay (details are still being worked out, since we just dreamed this deal up last night) and the highest bidder will HAVE A CHARACTER NAMED AFTER THEM (or anybody else they'd care to choose) IN "BS" LEVY'S NEW BOOK, THE 200mph STEAMROLLER!!! And while this won't be one of the key, major-star characters in the book, he (or she) will appear several times, be featured prominently and may (on agreement with the author) have certain, non-actionable physical, psychological, background or personality traits requested by the winning bidder.
Contact us for more details once we figure them out....

Oh, and thanks for reading & recommending my books, too!

Burt Levy
(708) 383-7203

Book Review of The Last Open Road

Many books have been written about automobile racing. The vast majority have as much to do with reality as the Saturday morning cartoons. Come to think of it, the authors probably had the exact same audience in mind. Burt Levy's The Last Open Road is a welcome and wonderful exception to the norm. This is a novel that is at once fast-pace, funny, and moreover utterly faithful to its subject matter and time period, complete with historically accurate descriptions of the cars, races, and venues of the era.

In other words, a true car enthusiast can read and enjoy this book without having to wince at inaccuracies, mistakes, flights of fancy, or superhuman feats of derring-do.

As a teenager in the fifties, I found many of Levy's characters the same people I remember meeting during my own self-induced ensnarement into the automobile scene. They of course had different names, but they were exactly the same people-a rich tapestry ranging from Hero to Zero. I was there, and so obviously was Burt Levy. In fact, the author has personally experienced the inner sanctum of the car scene as a mechanic, shopowner, car salesman, and also as a highly-regarded amateur racing driver and repected automotive journalist. As such, he has seen - and lived - the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of motorsports firsthand, and The Last Open Road reflects his hard-won knowledge of the sports car, be it lying beneath one having your skinned knuckles bathed in hot oil or those rare pure, magical moments of wheel-in-hand, everything's-running-perfect motoring with a fine open road beckoning just ahead.

Along with Levy's excellent descriptions of the cars and wonderfully diverse cast of characters, there are the races themselves - Bridgehampton, Elkhart Lake, and Watkins Glen - all held on closed-off public roads in the early fifties. Levy paints a clear and accurate picture of those halcyon days, capturing the carefree sense of fun, innocence, and excitement of the time.

And also the danger.

Today, the act of just sitting in a monstrous V8-powered Allard J2 would be considered a dangerous activity, let alone actually racing one at top speed over narrow, high-crowned country roads and through village streets lined with throngs of spectators who may or may not have the protection of a flimsy stretch of wooden snow fencing. Younger readers will find this scenario hard to imagine, but Levy's description is actually the way it was. And the fact that Burt has actually driven those roads and raced (or at least tested at high speed) most of the cars mentioned in The Last Open Road lends an aura of reality and authenticity to this unusually accurate work of fiction.

So sit back and enjoy following young mechanic Buddy Palumbo as he is sucked through the front door of Old Man Finzio's Sinclair station and tumbles headlong into the black h*** of sportscar racing in the early 1950s. You'll find it a relaxing, entertaining, and comfortable journey.

You already know most of the people.

Art Eastman, Editor
Vintage Motorsport magazine

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Comment by Stephen Page on March 4, 2009 at 11:29am
Burt Levy has written 5 iconic books about racing. They are a must read for everyone that cares about Vintage Racing and Vintage cars!!!!!
I cannot wait to read "The 200 MPH Steamroller" (hopefully not the last) in the series.
Warmest regards Burt :-))
Stephen Page
The Vintage Racing League

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