Note: Oilleaks.de is not funded, supported or related to Mr. Siegel, Bentley Publishers or Amazon.
Rob Siegel is no stranger to American BMW enthusiasts. He is well known inside the community due to his column “The Hack Mechanic” he writes for the Roundel for over 20 years now. Roundel is the member magazine of the BMW Car Club of America.
“Memoirs of a Hack Mechanic” was already released back in 2013, but I discovered it just recently. Tough neither the book nor Mr. Siegel is known in Germany, I decided to give it a trial.
It is not like a typical memoir. It’s more or less a collection of stories, mostly taken from his column in the Roundel. In between the reader will find ‘actual useful’ stuff. It is things like trouble-shooting or a how-to on classic car deals. I don’t always agree with the author on the mechanical topics, but it could be a cultural thing.
“What it means to be a car guy…”
What I definitely agree on is his passion for cars, especially old BMWs. Rob Siegel is totally crazy about cars. More than 50 cars went through his hands. If there’s one thing he loves more than cars then it must be his family.
The reader gets to meet the Siegels and finds out about a collection of exotic insects and Land-Cruiser trips to Nantucket. Sometimes Mr. Siegel is like an inverted Robert M. Pirsig. He actually found a way to bond with his sons and keeping himself sane. It turns out that fixing cars is a Zen-like therapy. Things should rather be working than perfect. He teaches the reader why it ‘s important to stay humble, faithful and passionate. A lot of times I thought that he is a wise-ass, just to find him chastened on the next page. Often he learned things the hard way and is not shy to share it with the world afterwards. He always does that in a vivid and self-ironic way.
The reader will be taken on a 40-years trip through Mr. Siegel’s life. Starting with a passion for bicycles that evolved into countless BMW 02s, a few VW Vans, and even a Porsche 911. His collection leveled off to eight cars at a time – including daily drivers, as well as a rare BMW Z3 M-Coupe and a beautiful 3.0 CSi.
“Memoir of a Hack Mechanic” is a great read – not only for car people. Quite often a car is just a metaphor for something more important in life. His humorous writing will make you enjoy reading about them – even if you don’t care about cars. Another passion of Rob Siegel is music, especially Neil Young. But let him tell you that first-hand.
Rob Siegel: “Memoir of a Hack Mechanic (A memoir with actual useful stuff)” is available on Amazon.de for 22.65€