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Cole Coonce (born 1961) is an author, auto journalist, and musician. He has written two books covering the drag racing business, and was a member of the short-lived industrial rock group Braindead Soundmachine.


Coonce started writing for automotive and drag racing magazines in the 1990s, with a series of "new journalism"-type features published by Super Stock & Drag Illustrated, Popular Hot Rodding, Hot Rod Magazine and Wired (magazine).

He is also credited as founder of the first drag racing website, Nitronic Research.[1]

He penned the non-fiction novel Infinity Over Zero, a history of the land speed record that is the only non-partisan account of how Andy Green and the Thrust SSC jetcar broke the sound barrier while setting the only supersonic Land Speed Record. (The only other book on the subject is Thrust: The Remarkable Story of One Man's Quest for Speed and is a memoir written by the car's owner, Richard Noble OBE.)

The publication of Infinity Over Zero solidified Coonce's reputation as hot rodding's definitive gonzo journalist, as evidenced by the book review in AutoWeek asking the reader to "imagine Dennis Hopper from Apocalypse Now writing a history of the Land Speed Record."

In 2001, he was honored by the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association for "Outstanding Journalistic Vision."

In 2004, he won the Los Angeles Press Club's Best Sport Feature Award for "VIVA LA NITRO!" a cover story for Los Angeles CityBeat that re-lived the sojourn of Chicano Funny Car driver Tony Pedregon, as he won a professional drag racing points title.

Following the publication of VIVA LA NITRO!, Coonce abandoned drag strip journalism and branched out into covering and critiquing the fields of pop culture and rock music, which lead to the publication of his second feature length book, Come Down from the Hills and Make My Baby which is billed as "a book to curl up on someone's sofa with a warm crack pipe and enjoy."

Partial Bibliography[edit]

  • Infinity Over Zero, KeroseneBomb Publishing, USA, ISBN 0971997705
  • Come Down from the Hills and Make My Baby, KeroseneBomb Publishing, USA, ISBN 0971997713

External links[edit]

  1. ^ "Cole Coonce Innerview" by Darr Hawthorne, Drag Racing Online, August 8, 2003. Note that this interview claims a date of "'94 or '95" for a domain that wasn't registered until mid-'96 (from Whois) and is now just a squatter page

Category:American non-fiction writers Category:American novelists Category:American journalists Category:American music critics Category:Living people

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