‘Memoirs of a Hack Mechanic’ Book Review

a picture of the cover to Rob Siegel's Memoirs of a Hack MechanicRob Siegel, author of "Memoirs of a Hack Mechanic", might be best known for his love and affinity of BMW (he's written a monthly column called "The Hack Mechanic" for the BMW Car Club of America's magazine for the last 25 years) but that doesn't mean he's not a Porsche fan or owner. In fact, he drops a metaphoric Porsche "bomb" right up front and sets the tone for what's to come...

"So. You’re a car guy. Now you need to establish your dominance in the pack. How do you do it?

The classic thing to do is to procure some American iron. A muscle car. Something big, nasty, and brutish, with fat tires, a loud exhaust, and lots of swagger. Maybe a ’69 Camaro with glass packs. Vin Diesel on wheels. Or you could go expensive and metrosexual, maybe a late-model Porsche. Forget the image of Porsche guys with gold chains and slicked-back hair; it’s the money that does the talking, baby, and nothing says money like dropping “the Porsche” into a sentence. Especially when it’s mispronounced using the popular but incorrect single-syllabic form, rhyming it with “porch” (it’s actually pronounced “Por-sha,” and don’t get it wrong if you wish to be taken seriously in the car world).

(The alert reader will notice that, before the end of this book, I, in fact, will have dropped the P-bomb multiple times, but the Porsche that I own is an ’82 911SC, worth less than ten grand, and I pronounce it correctly, so we’re good.)"

This is Not a Book About Cars

Surprisingly, Siegle's book is not what you think. Yes, there's plenty of trivia and minutia for even the most die-hard car fanatic (a decent bit of it Porsche related), but I don't think that's the point of his book. Instead, Memoirs of a Hack Mechanic explores the obsession passion of a car collector (or any hobby for that matter) and the inter-personal relationships that grow out of it.

Extremely well written, funny and engaging this is a book that even a non "car guy" can enjoy. In fact, if you find yourself constantly trying to defend your Porsche obsession to your family or significant other. Give them a copy of this book. More importantly, you read it and see how you can engage them in your passion.

Published by Bentley Publishers*, Memoirs of a Hack Mechanic is available for purchase on Amazon.com for

Other Porsche Blog Posts You Will Enjoy
The Essential Buyer’s Guide: Porsche 930 Turbo & 911 (930) Turbo
The Lost Spyder Book Review
Review of Hunt for 901 by Kevin Gosselin
Porsche Books We’ve Reviewed

*Bentley Publishers provided us with a copy of this book to review.

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  1. Todd Paul says

    I am reading this book currently and am enjoying it immensely. The author has a very relaxed, and readable, writing style. He doesn’t just cover the enjoyment of repairing and maintaining cars himself, but has many life stories that are just a blast to read and sometimes relate to. I’m not in any hurry to get to the end of this book, the chapters are mostly short and quick to read, and everything flows pretty smooth. Again, Rob Siegel’s writing style is what makes this book one that I look forward to picking up and reading for 15-60 minutes or longer, at a time. Highly, highly recommend it!

  2. Jim says

    I would love to read this book — his writing sounds good in the paragraph you reprint. For us early 911 guys, the book to end all books is Carrera RS by Thomas Gruber; And Georg Konradsheim; Grap (1992) usually very expensive (over $1000) because it is a collectible.

  3. Bob McHugh says

    I enjoy Rob Siegel’s article every month in Roundel. I am on my 117th car since I started driving 29 years ago. 19 Porsche’s,34 BMW’s,18 Mercedes,12 Audi’s,5 Volvo’s and 3 Saab’s. The rest are not worth bringing up!! I can relate to the obsession oh wait I mean passion.

  4. Todd Paul says

    I continue to go pull off the shelf my ‘The Complete Book of Porsche 911’. I’ve read through it several times, enjoy the pages on the 356, and just sometimes find myself staring at the pics! Written well too with just the right amount of general information and detail throughout.

  5. Chuck says

    Approaching the rear of the BMW I took the Point-By and scrolled on to the end, but now I have returned to read about the book and it sounds worthwhile to read and enjoy. My favorite Porsche book is Randy Leffingwell’s “Porsche 911, Perfection by Design” large format book with lots of great photos.

  6. Everett Anton Singer says

    Easily the most beautiful and evocative book ever done on Porsche is “Liebe Zu Ihm”. This fantastic book published by the Factory with Christophorus photos and those from owner/enthusiasts all over the world, has comments in 5 languages. Long out of print since it’s publication in August 1960. If I could only have one Porsche book…this would be it !

  7. says

    Please enter me in the drawing! One of my favorite books over the years has been, The Porsche Book by Lothar Boschen and Jurgen Barth. It has been an invaluable resource for determining the model year changes in older Porsches.

  8. says

    This book looks like a great read! It is certainly on my to do list… My favorite Porsche Book is Porsche 911: Perfection by Design by Randy Leffingwell Must read for every enthusiast.

    You do a great job with the Flatsixes emails. Keep up the great work!!!

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