In 2010, the storied book publisher Penguin Putnam had a creative idea to celebrate their 75th anniversary: they bought a MINI Cooper, painted it their signature orange, and sent it across the country on a 20 city book tour. At every event, the author signed the dashboard of the car with a special large silver Sharpie. Nantucketers may remember that the car even came to the island for an event with Nat Philbrick at the Atheneum!
Its adventures were chronicled on Penguin’s Follow the Car Blog.
At the end of the summer, the one-of-a-kind car was put up for auction benefitting the New York Public Library. We were lucky enough to wind up the winner, and the MINI returned for good to its new island home. It now promotes Nantucket Bookworks and Mitchell’s Book Corner as it cruises the cobblestones.
When notable authors visit the island for signings or for the Nantucket Book Festival, we try to be sure to pull them aside to add their name to the car. It’s getting crowded but we love it.