Riding Along In My Automobile isn't the normal fare to be found within the pages of Brain Damage, although the book, with photos by Rupert Truman, text by Storm Thorgerson, and an entertaining foreword by Nick Mason (not to mention some images by Duggie Fields) could well spark your interest.
As befitting a StormStudios publication (taking a break from album covers for the likes of Pink Floyd, Steve Miller and 10cc to name just three) the book is glossy and gorgeous from beginning to end, with that careful eye for detail and quality of reproduction. It catalogues a particular trip made to Cuba in January 2012, specifically for the array of classic American cars from the 1950s and 60s that fill the streets - lovingly restored, or run until they turn their final corner. Despite the financial restraints on many Cuban citizens, love and care is lavished over the cars, with replacement parts somehow being found (or fabricated out of whatever they can to get the car working again). The livery in particular is incredible - paintwork in sometimes shocking colours, alongside chrome fins, grills, "spaceship tail lights" and much more.
As StormStudios note, "this lovely coffee table book doesn't pretend to know anything about cars - we were completely ignorant about them, their year of manufacture, the engines... We like the design! We are designers after all..."
As such, it therefore has no information about the mechanics of the cars - it's all about the look. For all they care, the cars could have a family of racoons under the bonnet! In Nick's foreword, he talks of Storm's "minimal" knowledge of cars, and indeed Nick himself only extolls the cars within aesthetic parameters: "Their eco-credentials are somewhat nearer to a coal-fired power station; seat belts and airbags a distant dream, and drivability would be laughable were it not so frightening..."
However, for all that, Nick shares his admiration for the mechanics managing, against all odds, to keep these beautiful machines running, and looking so good. Their days are surely numbered, a principal reason for this book: to capture them before they all disappear.
With the only Floyd connection being Nick's foreword, we know that some of you will not be particularly keen on this book. However, as a fascinating document of US car design from half a decade ago, it's enthralling. With Storm's typically witty and engaging text, Riding Along In My Automobile is a fun book to laze in front of the fire with, wandering through the pages. We thoroughly enjoyed it, and it is one of those books which may well take you by surprise!
You can get this book through Amazon UK, and you can also order it direct from StormSight.co.uk.