Before writing his first book, Tom Cotter had long been involved in nearly every end of the automotive and racing industries. From mechanic and auto salesman to heading the public relations department at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Cotter formed his own racing and automotive PR and marketing agency, Cotter Group. The agency represented some of the largest clients in NASCAR, IndyCar/CART, drag racing and road racing. He has written biographies of the legendary Holman-Moody race team, Tommy Ivo and Dean Jeffries, but is best known for his series of barn find books, such as Cobra in the Barn , 50 Shades of Rust and Barn Find Road Trip. Cotter appears in the Barn Find Hunter video series, which is distributed by Hagerty Insurance. He teaches public relations at Belmont Abbey College, sits on the advisory board of McPherson College’s Auto Restoration program, and is a member of the Road Racing Driver’s Club (RRDC.) He is married to Pat, has one son, Brian, and lives in Davidson, N.C.
"A bright new book by veteran auto writer Tom Cotter is on the shelves today, telling of the unbelievable life and times of Ivo, who chucked the bright lights of acting for fast cars and tire smoke, but who kept every bit of the showmanship he'd absorbed from TV and movies. It's one of the best blends we've seen of text, break-out quotes, highlight boxes and photos. That's a hard mix to get right. Too easy to confuse or distract a reader and wind up aggravating the person you're supposed to be enchanting and informing." - USAToday.com "When we were informed several months ago about an upcoming book on the career of "TV" Tommy Ivo and that book was to be written by Tom Cotter, our inner drag geek got very excited. Did the book deliver the goods on the other parts of Ivo's life and times we were wanting to learn about? It sure as hell did. We savored every page, for the information, photos, and stories that only Tom Ivo could have provided.” –BangShift.com“For Tommy Ivo fans—and there are plenty out there judging from his popularity in the growing nostalgia movement for the sport—“TV” Tommy Ivo: Drag Racing’s Master Showman is a must read, but anyone who loves drag racing should enjoy learning about someone who Prudhomme says, “helped turn drag racing from a hobby to a profession.” – DragIllustrated.com
"The book recounts Ivo's career as a truly professional racing showman, balancing that with the details of his many dragsters in light and entertain fashion." - AutoWeek
"This is the book I've been waiting for and I am not disappointed. This book is well written and very hard to put down as each page makes you anxious for the next. I highly sugggest you add this to your collection." - Nitrogeezers.com
“When we assign a rating to the books we review here, we try to do it within the context of the likely potential buyer. And in that regard, we can say flatly that any fan of drag racing worthy of that self-description will have to have this book. Tom Cotter, who has a marked gift for enabling hot rod legends to tell their stories, has cleared the fences with this book. It’s absolutely wealthy with photography and good layout practices, with more than 240 images crammed inside. They’re terrific. Just one shows Ivo’s advanced (for its time) trailer lashed to the main deck of a freighter churning across the North Atlantic en route to a tour of England. Others show what’s left of the Ivo cars remaining today—the author, after all, is an authority on barn finds. This should be the template for a modern-day drag history!” – Hemmings Motor News
"TV" Tommy Ivo: Drag Racing's Master Showman is the official story of Ivo's incredible life and career. His impact on the sport cannot be understated and his legacy is detailed in this incredible bio of one of drag racing's most irrepressible characters. The work of veteran auto writer Tom Cotter, this book is a well-crafted blend of historical information, personal experiences, and outstanding photos, all of which combine to bring the story of this legendary racer to life. This detailed chronicle of the life and times of one of the most influential drivers and innovators in the sport of drag racing is a must read for race fans young and old - a true classic." -Drag Review Magazine, IHRA