Autobooks-Aerobooks America’s Automotive Book Store
We drive a lot in Southern California, and many of us love our cars. Other than car shows and museums, however, where do we go to indulge our affection? Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank.
Autobooks-Aerobooks is the second-largest automotive book store in the world. At 3,500 square feet, only the Libraria dell’Automobile store in Milan, Italy is larger. In addition to more than 7,000 titles for sale, you can pick up vintage literature, posters, scale models, DVDs, and car magazines you never knew existed.
The late Harry Morrow founded the store in 1951. He was a mechanical engineer, racer, track operator, and contributor to Road & Track magazine. Tina Van Curen and Chuck Forward acquired the business in the summer of 2007 after a succession of owners. As genuine automotive enthusiasts, the husband and wife team are more than capable stewards of the institution.
The bookstore publishes its periodical, the Automotive Calendar of Events (ACE). Available throughout Southern California, the magazine lists not only car shows and races, but also cruise-ins, car clubs, museums, and services. Several writers contribute to the eclectic mix of articles, providing something of interest for every car nut.
Like any quality bookstore, A-A hosts author lectures and book signings. Usually held Saturday mornings, the events are part of the store’s Original Cruise-in. The store opens up early (8 am) to host a gathering of enthusiastic car people. They may not have an in-store Starbucks, but they do serve delicious free coffee and pastries.
You never know who will show up, or what they will be driving. The store’s comprehensive inventory attracts all facets of automotive interest—foreign, domestic, new, classic, hot rods, muscle cars, tuners, trucks, off-road, motorcycles, and all types of racing. These are real car-people, staging weekly, impromptu car shows.
That’s the bottom line to the store’s success—the people. There are many slick places to buy books, but only Autobooks-Aerobooks offers the camaraderie and expertise of its staff and patrons. Everyone in the store loves cars (and/or airplanes). Star sightings are frequent. One of A-A’s most loyal customers, Jay Leno gets to park his fabulous show cars on the sidewalk in front of the store.
Obviously, the store also serves aeronautic enthusiasts at the same, high level. You can’t miss the large-scale airplane models hanging from the ceiling. One colorful customer present on one of my visits was replete, in his vintage leather aviator jacket—his silk scarf was probably at the cleaners.
3524 W. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505