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March 22nd, 2006

Tony Adriaensens
Author of the Otto Vu Epic

Tony Adriaensens today.

After looking at what can only be described as a magnificent opus on the OttoVu, we knew that Tony Adriaensens must be an interesting guy. What on earth compelled him to write a two volume epic, and what kind of life led to a work of this sort?

Tony, however, was hesitant to talk about himself. We twisted his arm. After all, the authors have to sell themselves as well as their work. We think Jackie Collins started that idea. Or maybe Hemmingway.

Adriaensens was born in Antwerp on April 17 , 1966. “My parents are from Antwerp as well and they had an education in graphic arts.” Graphics, photography and layout, then came naturally to Tony. Cars did too. “It was my father who gave me the bug for motorsports and both my brother and me are now stuck with it - I guess for life. Father was a strong supporter of Formula One and I remember that he never missed an event.”

Racing takes its toll, however, particularly during the 1970s. “My favorite driver was Ronnie Peterson and I felt pretty bad when he fatally crashed his black & gold JPS Lotus.” But the hobby stayed with him.

Tony's brother inherited the mechanical genes and today restores his own cars, while Tony is into more creative things probably due to his education. “Instead of working on the machinery I bought books. From the beginning it was obvious that my main interest went to Italian cars.”

Tony's the little guy here, with his brother at left. Nothing like an Abarth Record Car to capture one's interest.

His first real interest was the Alfa Romeo GTA and the lack of good detailed info made him decide to do a book on the car. “Having worked as an assistant graphic designer I learned how to make a book and it was obvious from the start that I would do all myself.” As soon as “Alleggerita” (1994) was published Tony started with the Fiat 8V project which was almost automatically linked to SIATA.

Tony’s interest in the Otto Vu took flight in the mid-eighties when an 8V Zagato caught his attention, along with an Italian version of Automobile Quarterly which had the famous article on SIATA by Griff Borgeson . “I was hooked on those gorgeous 208CS Coupes!”

Unfortunately, Tony’s father, who had provided the inspiration, never had the chance to see the 8V-project as a finished book, having died a sudden death at the age of 59. “That's why I dedicated these eleven years of research to him.”

Another work of art in progress--Tony's Siata Daina (note the spelling of Daina; it is correct!)

Even though Tony has now acquired a Siata Daina, he feels that it is more important for him to collect old negatives and slides on motorsport. “During my research for Otto Vu, I was offered the chance to buy a collection of glass plate negatives all on racing, taken at Spa-Francorchamps from the late '20s and the Liege Rome Liege rallye. With my photography background on hand and the knowledge of (sometimes) high copyright fees I knew that this was a one-time chance and I bought it. (the Fiat 8V book-cover shot is one of that collection).

Since then Tony has purchased other collections, mostly from California. “Three of these American collections are the basis for my next book…a 600 page, massive work on the early road races in California, to be published in original color.” The title will be “Weekend Heroes“. Planned publication date is early 2007.

Past Issues


Graham Gauld

Otto Linton

Giulio Ramponi Part 2

Giulio Ramponi Part 1

Curtis LeMay

Graham Robson Tells All

Jason Castriota, Pininfarina

Tom Tjaarda

Bob and Dennis Show

Ed Hugus, Obit

Joe Nastasi, Part II

Joe Nastasi, Part I

Tony Adriaensens

Otis Chandler Obit


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