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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Classic Motorbooks book shop label

I'm in Birmingham today for the Alabama IndyCar Grand Prix at the Barber Motorsports Park. This post is slightly modified from a piece I wrote two years ago and seemed worth repeating for today's event.


I found this book shop label (also known as a ticket) in a 1969 volume of Autocourse. The bookseller was Classic Motorbooks in Minneapolis. I thought about removing it, but I let it go. The book quickly sold and I regretted not saving the label. But I did take a picture of it before the book was shipped overseas.

I was curious to see if the bookshop still existed; after all, it's been nearly 40 years since that label was affixed inside the rear cover. To my surprise, it does exist, albeit in a dramatically altered state from its humble beginnings in 1965 in a Minneapolis garage. Through expansion, publishing, name changes, and changes of ownership and business focus, Classic Motorbooks morphed into MBI Publishing and its three imprints: Motorbooks, Voyageur Press, and Zenith Press. And they were purchased in 2007 by Quay Publishing.

Over the last 40 years, the little book shop grew, got into publishing, grew more, and hopped around the country in a succession of coast-to-coast acquisitions. After Quay purchased them, their headquarters were moved back to Minneapolis where it all began. And today Motorbooks.com continues the vision of its original owner, Thomas Warth, selling good books to motorsports enthusiasts. Read more about the company's history here.

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