2011 International Automotive Media Gold Award Winner In the early 1960s, Tommy Ivo had the world in the palm of his hands. Still a young man, he was already a star of television and film with a promising Hollywood future ahead of him. Then his producers told him he had to quit drag racing. He quit the entertainment industry instead. This is the official story of Ivo’s incredible life and racing career. Readers will follow “TV” Tommy as he becomes the most ambitious drag racer in the nation, building his own cars in the garage behind his Burbank home; becoming the first driver to pilot his dragsters to 170, 175, and 180 miles per hour and towing his cars to match races at small-town drag strips across the United States. Always the showman, Ivo pioneered promotional techniques that are today taken for granted. In this regard especially, 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.
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.
Tom Cotter writes regularly for Road & Track and is the author of MotorbooksÆ acclaimed "automotive rescue" franchise, which includes The Cobra in the Barn (winner of a 2006 International Automotive Media Award) and its follow-ups, The Hemi in the Barn, The Vincent in the Barn, and The Corvette in the Barn. Tom also authored MotorbooksÆ biography of car builder extraordinaire Dean Jeffries. He lives in Davidson, North Carolina.Don "The Snake" Prudhomme is one of the most legendary names in drag racing, logging 32 seasons behind the wheel as one of the sportÆs elite drivers. Beginning in 1962, he logged 49 career victories and won 389 of 5,989 competition rounds. He lives in Rancho Santa Fe, California. www.tommyivo.com
"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
"a 'must-have' for all drag racing devotees… utterly fascinating."