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Dave and Lesley Brown have been loyal clients of ClassicLine Insurance for many years. As NSRA members, and Dave has been a classic and American car lover for more than fifty years and as someone who has been along for the ride for most of that time, it was inevitable that some of it would rub off on Lesley. But it wasn’t until 2007 when Lesley laid eyes on a beautiful Ford Model ‘A’ Phaeton in a showroom in Denver, Colorado that she finally ‘got it’.

Seven years, 32,000 miles, and 22 states later, the couple experienced so many incredible adventures in that car, living The American Dream. Their Model A Phaeton is now a familiar sight at hotrod and classic car shows across the UK and cruising around the countryside. With another 25,000 miles added to the clock, many more fabulous memories have been made.

So, with a car mad husband and a drag racing champion for a son, Lesley’s adult life has been dominated by wheels and horsepower as she immersed herself in their passions. Meanwhile, Lesley harboured an ambition of her own – to write a novel. Like most class car restorers, Lesley suffered from procrastination and excuses. More in hope than expectation, she added ‘write a novel’ to the list of 60 things to mark her impending 60th birthday to spur her on. Finally, in late 2021, she put pen to paper and began creating Finding Carla. More than two years later, Lesley proudly held a copy of her first novel in her hand.

They say to write about what you know. Lesley had so many experiences in the USA to draw from and used these to write a tale about Carla, a prematurely retired 50-something mum and grandmother who jets off to America for the trip of a lifetime along the legendary Route 66, after her husband ups and leaves her out of the blue. All bar one of the characters are fictional, but many of the events happened in real life, with the more outlandish stories actually being true! The book chronicles the background and landscapes of historic Route 66, bringing it to life through Carla’s eyes during an exhilarating and sometimes perilous journey in a classic 1960 red Corvette (Lelsey’s dream car!). The adventure continues through California, a land of beautiful sunsets and Pomona Raceway, where Carla catches a fix of nitro and thunderous horsepower (it had to be done!).

Lesley tells us, “I have been delighted by the positive feedback and reviews I’ve received so far from men and women alike, including this five star review on Amazon:

I found it to be a gripping story that kept me enthralled throughout, wanting explanations. Enjoyed the differences between the English and American cultures and personalities. I can highly recommend this book, especially for anyone who has contemplated or taken a road trip along Route 66.

Finding Carla is published by Wrate’s Publishing. Signed copies can be purchased directly from Lesley, details via Facebook page Lesley Anne Brown – Finding Carla. Copies will be available purchase to at the Classic Corvette Club UK Summer Nationals and the NSRA Hot Rod Supernationals in August. Kindle and paperback versions are also available from Amazon.

If you have an incredible motoring-themed achievement or story to share, why not get in touch with ClassicLine. We’d love to hear more!