Shifting Gears

Tales of Pistons, Paint Cans & Personalities

As experienced by "World Famous" Tony Vickio

Shifting Gears paints the picture of Tony Vickio's adventures experienced through his life as a racecar driver and as a sign painter. You'll see the behind-the-scenes of the racing world as a race track prepares for the cars before the green flag waves. You'll read his story of shifting gears through life — between speed and paint - and you'll see how they quickly blended together. Who should read Shifting Gears, Tales of Pistons, Paint Cans & Personalities? Anyone who enjoys the high-speed world of motorsports or who has had a hand in the sign industry... or if you're just the type of person who sees something they like and just goes for it — full speed ahead.

EXCERPT FROM Shifting Gears
“In the 1976 Formula 1 added the Japanese Grand Prix (at the Fuji Speedway) to the schedule. Watkins Glen used to be the last race on the schedule until then. The cars would stay at the track for a week after the race at the Glen. The crews would stay and get them ready to ship to Japan. I would go up during that week and letter some of the cars that needed changes. Teddy Yip, a Japanese Shipping Tycoon, owned two Formula 1 cars. He told me he wanted them lettered in Japanese for the race in Japan. He drew the layout on a sheet of paper and I carefully lettered cars. He was happy with the result. "
"Not long after that, I was in the Ten Limited Tavern in Watkins Glen having a cold Genesee Cream Ale and a few of us were talking about lettering that Formula 1 car in Japanese. Someone said, "Hey Vickio. Since your lettering is now going all around the world, you gotta be World Famous." That's how I got the nick-name, 'World Famous'.”

Author’s Note:

Tony Vickio

This book started because I was always telling everyone about the exciting, funny and unbelievable tales I've experienced, most of which you'll find in this book. A friend of mine (Michelle Benjamin) always told me that I should write these stories down, so one night I just started typing notes... it snowballed and I just couldn't stop.

Writing the book was quite an experience - in all honesty, I'm not a reader, but to tell my story and relive it all, man, that was fun. I couldn't stop. I relived many memories and as I look back on some of them, I honestly cannot believe that I actually did them!

I don't know of many other people who have jumped in to two careers at the same time, without hardly any training in either one, and went full throttle with both (Is that determination? Stupidity? I'm not sure.. but it worked.). Through auto racing and through sign painting, I have quite a unique tale to tell.

paperback, 9 x 6, 350+ pages
ISBN: 978-0-9725571-6-0