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Robinson's Books, Magazine Work, & Photography

If it's been done to death, Robinson finds the new story.



Standard Catalog of 1950s Chrysler, Krause Publications, 2006

Standard Catalog of 1950s Chevrolet, Krause Publications, 2006

Big Book of Car Culture, with Jim Hinckley, MBI Publishing, 2005

Classic Chevrolet Dealerships--Selling the Bowtie, MBI Publishing, 2003

Route 66--Lives on the Road, MBI Publishing, 2001

Book Synopses

"In all my writing, I've tried to find the story no one's noticed before. Popular subjects have been done to death, but even on those themes, I've found the story no one has told before. Ralph Story was a television reporter and commentator in Los Angeles in the '60s, and he did these great feature stories on things that are right out in view that most people don't notice most of the time. My first book was about Route 66, but I had no trouble finding stories no one's told before. Two of my books have been about Chevrolets, and of all the done-to-death subjects, the '57 Chevrolet takes the cake, but car dealers told me stories about those cars that you'll find nowhere else - including exactly how the badly received '57 model became this over-arching icon. Give me any subject, and I'll find the story no one has told before - a true story, because truth is stranger than fiction, and there's no need to exaggerate."

Route 66 - Lives on the Road

"Route 66's past had been covered well by the time I wrote this book in 1999, and it was time for a book on the modern-day preservation efforts and the personality types that devoted themselves tirelessly to preserving a stretch of pavement. Some of them were like archeologists excavating Egyptian tombs. Others collected motel ashtrays with the same excitement they collected bottle caps or baseball cards when they were kids, and it was a chance to rediscover that excitement. A few others are artists who've found a subject to express that's important to other people instead of themselves, as one of the artists told me. Collecting spoken histories is really important, too, and I have several accounts of making a living on Route 66 from policemen, truck drivers, and car dealers. I have a lot more spoken histories from truckers and policemen who are now deceased, and I plan to put them to use soon."

Classic Chevrolet Dealerships - Selling the Bowtie

"Car dealers are on the front lines. They catch the brunt of every crazy thing the car companies and the public do. They know the car business like no one else. I found stories about runaway cars in the service departments, dealers having to teach people who had never owned a car how to drive in the 1920s and '30s, and the real stories about popular and unpopular models. They saw the economy and society in unique ways. I was surprised to find that, back in the 'teens, '20s, and '30s, car dealers had to make their own promotional materials, but in the '50s and '60s, GM did it for them, and it's far, far easier to find detailed photos of car dealerships from the '20s and '30s than it is from the '50s and '60s. The book may be weak on postwar photos, but I found photos of the earliest days of Chevrolet and the auto industry that I haven't found anywhere else. If you want to know the real story of Chevrolet, this is the book. Incidentally, William Holler was the head of sales for Chevrolet in the 1930s, and ever since I researched him for this book, he's been one of my greatest role models."

The Big Book of Car Culture

"Did you know a woman invented windshield wipers? Did you know a very large roadside business started from someone asking for a glass of water? Do you know why radial tires are more stable than bias-ply tires? Have you noticed the hidden automotive symbolism in "Easy Rider," "American Graffiti," "Psycho," and the "Route 66" TV show? You may think you know these movies well, but I guarantee Jim Hinckley and I found things in these movies most people have never seen -- things that make these movies more important than they first appear. If you're looking for motels, gas stations, restaurants, highways, restrooms, engines, transmissions, air-conditioning, paint, tires, tourist traps, travel destinations, and a whole lot more, it's in there."

Standard Catalog of 1950s Chevrolet

"I had a lot of freedom with this book. Krause Publications' Standard Catalog books are the greatest automotive encyclopedias in the universe, and they really are the Bibles of the classic car world. In some ways, the Standard Catalogs were still in the 1980s, and Krause wanted to bring the books into the 21st century. I re-wrote all the descriptions in the encyclopedic section of the book, and I wrote fresh feature material for it, using stories Chevrolet dealers have told me over the years. The book is filled with information, perspectives, and anecdotes about Chevrolets from the 1950s that you won't find anywhere else. I broke a lot of myths, too. I found the real story about the popularity of the 1957 Chevrolet and lots more. I traveled thousands of miles to shoot fresh color photos for this book, and I'm really proud of how well it came out."

Standard Catalog of 1950s Chrysler

"This was really just an editing and photography book. I wrote fresh feature material for it, but they decided not to use it. I re-wrote all the old-fashioned descriptions and photographed about half the cars in the book, and it came out nicely. I plan to use the feature material in another book sometime."

Contributed Photography

Gothenburg Grain Elevator Explosion, Lincoln Journal-Star 11-21-2008

Gothenburg Grain Elevator Explosion, KOLN/KGIN TV 11-20-2008

Gothenburg Grain Elevator Explosion, North Platte Telegraph 11-21-2008

Route 61 Revisited, Tim Steil, MBI Publishing, 2003

Automotive Atrocities--The Cars We Love to Hate, Eric Peters, MBI Publishing, 2004

Books Edited

Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's Ultimate Guide to Off-Road Adventure, Ivan "Ironman" Stewart and Peter Economy, MBI Publishing, 2007, Copyeditor

MilSim: Light Infantry Tactics for Paintball and Airsoft, Christopher E. Larsen, MBI Publishing, 2007, Copyeditor

Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Collector Car, Steve Linden, MBI Publishing, 2007, Copyeditor/Content Editor

Magazine Work


Old Cars was and is still one of the bibles of the old-car world. I got my start with Old Cars in 1992 when I discovered the oldest surviving Dodge dealership in California. Not only did this discovery lead to my first articles in Old Cars, but it lead to my specialty of interviewing long-standing car dealers who turned out to be the best sources for on-the-street history I ever found. I eventually did an entire book of their recollections.

I wrote regularly for Old Cars for three years, took a three-year break, wrote books for seven years, and went back to magazine work for Amos Publications' Cars & Parts where I once again work for Brad Bowling, the same editor and good friend I worked for at Old Cars in the '90s.

Magazine2 (27K)

The following is a partial bibliography of my magazine work beginning with my recent articles for Cars & Parts and working back through time. In addition to occasional feature articles, I am the columnist for Cars & Parts' "GM Journal." Most of my work for Old Cars back in the '90s was feature articles, but I was also the monthly "Chevrolet Style Lines" columnist.

"Hud," "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 6-2009

"Bumps Along the Way Part II," "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 5-2009

"Bumps Along the Way Part I," "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 4-2009

"Two-Lane Blacktop," "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 3-2009

Hard Times, "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 2-2009

Charles Kettering and the Electric Starter, "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 1-2009

Resurrecting 1970s GM Cars, "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 12-2008

Chevrolet Dealers Remember the Corvair, "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 11-2008

GM Companion Cars in the 1920s, "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 10-2008

General Motors' Centennial, "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 9-2008

Spark! The Problem That Brought Charles Kettering to GM, "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 8-2008

Four Eyes Are Better Than Two--The Four-Headlight System, "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 7-2008

Guy Bennett Sr. Was Still Dealing Buicks at Age 98, "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 6-2008

1923 Copper-Cooled Chevrolet, "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 3-2008

Torque Converter Test Drive, "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 2-2008

The Chevrolet Dealer Who Opposed the Window Sticker Law, "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 1-2008

Torque Converters--The Heart of Dynaflow and Powerglide, "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 12-2007

GM Nostalgia Goes High-Tech, "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 11-2007

William Holler and Chevrolet's Quality Dealer Program, "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 10-2007

William Durant and the Founding of General Motors, "GM Journal," Cars & Parts, 9-2007

Harold Warp Pioneer Village Museum, Cars & Parts, 2009

1953 Chevrolet Sale Materials, Cars & Parts, 3-2008

Binder DeSoto Auction--Every Year of DeSoto in One Place, Cars & Parts, 2-2008

Chrysler Town & Country Convertible, Cars & Parts, 1-2008

1952 Allard K-2, Cars & Parts, 12-2007

1916 Detroit Electric, Cars & Parts, 11-2007

1936 Chevrolet Standard Roadster, Cars & Parts, 9-2007

(Wrote six books, 1999-2006)

(Broke from writing, 1996-1999)

Bumps on the Road to Progress, "Chevy Style Lines," Old Cars, 1995

The Logical Time, "Chevy Style Lines," Old Cars, 1995

Copper-Cooled Chevrolet, "Chevy Style Lines," Old Cars, 1995

Escalating Model Names, "Chevy Style Lines," Old Cars,1995

Chevrolet's Quality Dealer Program, "Chevy Style Lines," Old Cars, 1995

Chevrolet Independence, "Chevy Style Lines," Old Cars, 3-10-1994

Hudson Drivemaster and Vacumotive Drive, Classic Auto Restorer, 11-1995

Jarnigan Ford, Old Cars, 4-13-1995

Hudson's Wet Clutch--Not So Strange, Classic Auto Restorer, 1995 (Unknown if this article was printed.)

1923 Franklin Series 10 Demi Sedan--Four-Door Hardtop from the Jazz Age, Classic Auto Restorer, 1995. (Unknown if this article was printed.)

1918 Buick Passes Modern Smog Inspection, Old Cars, 9-15-1994

Haneline Explains Engine-Turned Stainless Steel, Old Cars 5-11-1995

Top Ten Ways to Make Your Old Car a Daily Driver, Old Cars, 4-6-1995

Shelby Cobra/Imperial Palace Restoration Program, Old Cars, 2-9-1995

Bennett's Buick, Old Cars, 9-1994

Whitney's Chevrolet, Old Cars, 9-1-1994

Adjusting Anchored Brakes, Old Cars, 1994

Iola or Bust--Long-Distance Driving in a 1950 DeSoto, Old Cars, 8-25-1994

One Hundred Sixty Miles of Route 66 in Arizona, Old Cars, 8-18-1994

Shellee Graham--Preserving Route 66 on Film, Old Cars, 8-11-1994

Boston to San Francisco and Back-Cross Country in a Model A, Old Cars, 7-7-1994

Parker Ford, Old Cars, 5-26-1994

Ford's Arizona Proving Grounds, Old Cars, 5-26-1994

Route 66 Fun Run Grows by Sixty Percent for 1994, Old Cars, 1994

William L. Morris Chevrolet, Old Cars, 3-10-1994

Shellee Graham--Route 66 Photo Exhibit on Tour, Old Cars, 2-3-1994

Don DeLaRossa--Designer and More, Old Cars, 4-7-1994

Don Shuey--Professional Driving on Route 66, Old Cars, 3-3-1994

Los Angeles Streetcars, Old Cars, 1-27-1994

Nomad III From USC, Old Cars, 1-27-1994

Top Ten Misjudged Cars, Old Cars, 12-30-1993

Inside the Airflow, Old Cars, 11-18-1993

A Few Ways Steering Got Easier, Old Cars, 11-18-1993

Studebaker Avanti, Old Cars, 10-14-1993

Derrell Dye--A Studebaker Son, Old Cars, 10-7-1993

Richard Caleal and Henry Lauve--A Conversation, Old Cars, 10-7-1993

When a Strike Strikes, Old Cars, 10-14-1993

Last Days of Studebaker, Old Cars, 10-14-1993

John Kerby-Miller's Comet Caliente--Race Car/Family Car for Nearly 30 Years, Old Cars, 1993

Million-Mile DeSoto, Old Cars, 7-15-1993

Petrini's Wine Country Classic, Old Cars, 1993

Chrysler Semi-Automatics With Fluid Drive, Old Cars, 3-24-1994

Bill Albright--Southern California Hudson Man, Old Cars, 1993

Route 66 Fun Run--Weekend of Remembering, Old Cars, 6-22-1993

1949 Crosley Hotshot, Old Cars, 1993

Where Does That Metal Come From? Old Cars, 7-15-1993

Hatfield Buick, Old Cars, 4-22-1993

1955 LaSalle II, Old Cars, 5-1993

1954 Buick Landau, Old Cars, 4-4-1993

Nash Palm Beach, Old Cars, 3-1993

Bortz Auto Collection at Gilmore Museum, Old Cars, 4-1993

Chrysler Plainsman, Old Cars, 3-22-1993

Dunn and Sons' Dodge, Old Cars, 3-22-1993