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Top 5 Griot’s Garage Covers – What’s your favorite?

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We recently mailed the 300th Griot’s Garage Handbook, a milestone Richard Griot only dreamed of when he sent the first book in 1991. Over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to meet some great enthusiasts, and spend time learning about and photographing their prized cars. Here are the Top 5 Covers, as voted by our Associates.


5: Summer 1991 (1972 Porsce 911S)

Here’s where it all started. Mailed from a small office in Vista, California, this Handbook introduced the world to Griot’s Garage and (believe it or not) the very first padded lay-down creeper!

The cover car is a beautiful 1972 Porsche 911S. Of 1,366 such cars Porsche produced that year, this example is #952. It is an original, unrestored car with over 165,000 miles showing on the odometer. What makes this model unique is the exterior oil filler door on the right rear fender. This was only done in 1972. The addition of original factory double locker Recaro Sport Seats in leather was made when a pair was located in 2008. They were an option in 1972. Period correct Micheline XWX tires still run on the original 15″ Fuch wheels.

Richard Griot purchased this Porsche in 1981. In recent years, it has been under the care of company President Mark Greene, who drives it in rallies and Porsche Club events (as well as the occasional, spirited weekend drive).

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4: Handbook 155 (1958 BMW Isetta 300)

It’s hard to think of a car more unique than the BMW Isetta.  These quirky little cruisers are credited with saving BMW from bankruptcy after World War II, as well as providing many Europeans with inexpensive, reliable transportation. This 1958 model is powered by a 13hp, 18cc, one-cylinder BMW R-27 motorcycle engine. This powerplant is good for 0-50 in a blistering 45 seconds. She weighs 770lbs, is 74″ long, 54″ wide, and 53″ tall. With a 3.4 gallon fill-up she will get an astounding 83mpg at 50mph! The car stickered in the U.S.A. for just $970.

Early Griot’s Garage handbooks were about 16 pages. When Handbook 155 mailed in the winter of 2003, enthusiasts were enjoying 84 pages of car care, tools, and garage products!

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3: Handbook 288 (1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B)

Last winter, we were fortunate to have in our midst a truly spectacular automobile. Fresh off its Best of Show win at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours, this 1938 Alfa Romeo was the perfect backdrop for Griot’s Garage Machine Polish and Carnauba Wax. After all, these products were used to perfect the car’s paint before the big event!

A prestigious grand touring car in the 1930’s, this Alfa is as distinctive as it is elegant. Unique and functional coach features, like cooling slots in the rear fenders and hood louvers that extend into the cowl, are finished in deep, dark blue. A supercharged straight-8 is the same mill that powered Alfa Romeo Grand Prix race cars of the period. Only 33 were completed for road use, with this vehicle being one of six privately commissioned Berlinettas. It carries a competitive pedigree, having won the first race held at Watkins Glen, in 1948.

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2: Handbook 270 (1957 Ferrari 250TR Scaglietti Spyder)

This exceptional automobile is the first prototype of the famed Testa Rossa which, in Italian, means “red head”. Completed in early 1957, it was returned to the factory after its first two races, converted to the final 1957 Testa Rossa engine/transmission combination, and rebodied by Scaglietti. Chassis 0666TR is powered by a 2953cc V-12 with a single overhead cam. It makes 300 bhp at 7200 rpm, and is capable of speeds of up to 165 mph. This storied Ferrari has been raced at Le Mans, the Targa Florio, and many others.

Pictured alongside the 250TR on our cover is a truly unique Fiat Tipo 642 Ferrari Transporter. This is one of two transporters custom made for Ferrari in 1957. It was used until early 1969, delivering both race and client cars. It can transport three cars, has an internal work space, two bunk beds, and seating for seven.

Now a question: Would you use a machine to polish this priceless automobile? Watch Richard Griot do just that at the end of this video!

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1: Handbook 254 (1966 Batmobile)

The landslide winner of our Top 5 voting was the famed Batmobile, which was piloted by Adam West (aka Bruce Wayne, aka Batman) in the original 1960’s television series. The car features gadgets like a nose-mounted aluminium chain slicer, lasers, rockets, an on-board telephone and computer, radar, dash monitor, and police beacon. To discourage pursuit, it is equipped with a smoke emitter and a nail spreader. If required, the Batmobile is capable of a quick 180-degree “bat-turn”, thanks to two rear-mounted ten-foot parachutes.

This cover shoot starred none other than Adam West himself, alongside Richard Griot and Richard’s father. The Griot’s are long-time friends of Mr. West, and the actor is credited with igniting Richard’s love of automobiles. Read the whole Bat Story here!

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There you have it… the Top 5 Griot’s Garage Handbook covers, as voted by us! Which is your favorite? Or is there another cover more deserving? Dig through your stacks of old Handbooks (or see some more recent covers here) and let us know in the comments.

Thank you to all our loyal customers for making the 300th book possible. We look forward to many, many more!

Have fun in your garage!

7 Comments

  1. Sorry anything with Adam West in it gets my vote.

  2. Jennifer1784 says:

    Hands down Batman! He always gets my vote!

  3. The other four catalogs are beautiful and the cars and history they represent are incredible but you could put Adam West on almost anything and it instantly becomes ledgendary. It’s pretty darn cool to know the story behind The Griot’s / Batman connection!

  4. Jennifer says:

    If I had to pick a second favorite it would be cover #155. Reminds me of when I used to watch Family Matters, that being the “Urkle Car.”

  5. One day a CSL will decide to grace the cover!

  6. Anytime you can have a cover with yourself and your father, Adam West is just icing on the cake, it has to be a favorite.

    I feel that perhaps, like Richard, not only did I learn so much from my father, but my father has been and continues to be a great role model for me and probably the best friend that I have ever had!

    Here’s to our fathers!

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