From the bestselling author of A Book of Secrets, a brisk, charming, illustrated account of a motoring life
As a child, Michael Holroyd spent his best hours in his family’s cramped garage, which contained a wealth of magical, exciting objects. But the most intriguing by far was the one in the middle of the room—the family’s eight-horsepower black Ford, which had found in the garage a permanent home and in Holroyd a dedicated caretaker. Sitting in the backseat—his own private castle—he began his love affair with the automobile.
On Wheels is the story of the cars and drivers that inspired and affected Holroyd throughout his life. Ranging from drives around the country with his father, a car obsessive, to the baroque horrors of his austere driving instructor, to the liberating pleasures of automatic transmission, On Wheels is an automotive autobiography—the story of times and places that mattered to the author, told through the cars that bore witness.
“My biographies,” Holroyd writes, “became increasingly filled with motoring exploits—something of which I was unaware until recently,” and so On Wheels is also a reflection on the author’s many brilliant biographical subjects—Bernard Shaw, Lytton Strachey, and many others—and their own relationships to the open road.
Casually intimate and often riotously funny, On Wheels is a master biographer’s miniature self-portrait—and an indelible reflection on his great passion.