By Mark R. Weisseg
CarTechBooks has a new delightful offering for anyone who loves a great story, ‘Hemi Under Glass: Bob Riggle and His Wheel-Standing Mopars’.
Co-authors Mark Fletcher & Richard Truesdell provide an insightful and deep dive into probably the best-known “Wheelstander” that thrilled the masses since the mid-1960s right up until 2019. The book’s forward is written by none other than Linda Vaughn. It’s a heartwarming and interesting piece that provides a hint of what to expect in this book.
The book is one hundred and fifty-nine pages of pure joy. Never before seen photographs both in black and white, as well as color, will make you want to keep turning pages. The stories seem endless, with Bob Riggle’s career starting in 1965. So, here is my take on this wonderful book.
I felt the authors provided a precise and accurate tale of Bob’s humble beginnings. Success did not come easy for him, but a chance meeting and eventual friendship with George Hurst became his springboard to fame. Now, don’t get the idea that Bob was simply the driver of a wheel-standing Hemi-powered car. There’s much more for the reader to understand.
The book is not just for drag racers or for people who like flame-throwing, rubber-burning power. It’s a story of determination, friendships, and, an honest-to-goodness great guy. It’s about very hard work with little financial gain in its earliest days. The book explores the life of a man who never sat still in his quest for a fulfilling life.
Hemi Under glass is a book you will love to read. And read more than once. The reader will enjoy the “You Are There” feeling on every page. It’s about many Hemi under glass cars. …..and, there was more than one. There were many “wheel standers” back in those days including Bill “Maverick” Golden in his Little Red Express, the LA Dart, and Chuck Poole. But, the fan-favorite and most popular driver was and is Bob Riggle.
To accurately review this book I refreshed my own memories of days gone by. I’m a gear head and recall these glory days when people filled the stands on weekends to watch the wheel standers race down the quarter-mile. The authors will return you back to those days as well.
Before social media, the only way you would know about the Hemi under Glass was word of mouth or a story in a magazine or newspaper. Different times for sure but the legend lives.
I was fortunate enough to meet Bob Riggle a few years ago. It was at a local car show outside of Pittsburgh. My friends and I were excited to see and hear this monster for ourselves and meet the humble legend. When the time came to fire that beast up, we all stuck our fingers in our ears. I was no less than twenty-five feet away.
The engine cranked very slowly and after about fifteen seconds that Hemi roared to life. With my fingers in my ears, I felt this enormous pounding in my chest. Bob was sitting in the car and regularly revved the engine. His smile was ear to ear and after six decades he clearly still loved to entertain. After he shut that monster down, the crowd let out a yell and Bob just smiled. He was still in love with the Hemi under glass. He graciously signed a poster for everyone who wanted one. It’s an evening I’ll never forget. So much so that the poster hangs in my humble shop to this day.
CarTechBooks.com is offering this book online or by calling 1-800-551-4754. Better yet, there are two hundred limited addition signed copies if you act quick. Don’t wait my friends, as this book is the perfect gift for you or that special person who will read this book over and over.
Mark R. Weisseg
Available to buy here.
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