Michael Witzel, Historian and Author


Author Michael Karl WItzel
Michael Karl Witzel's articles and photographs have appeared in numerous periodicals, including American Heritage of Invention & Technology, Motorhome, Volkswagen World, Texas Highways, Rider Magazine, New World Outlook, Mobilia, Check the Oil!, Chickadee, Horseman, Texas Co-Op Power, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and Route 66.

The first edition of his non-fiction best-seller,
The American Gas Station: History and Folklore of the Gas Station In American Car Culture was published by Motorbooks International of Osceola, Wisconsin in 1992. Witzel's mongraph was awarded the Antique Automobile Club of America's Thomas McKean Memorial Cup and the Society of Automotive Historians Nichlas-Joseph Cugnot Award of Distinction for 1993. With sales over 100,000 copies, this best-seller was later released in a soft-cover edition and French language translation (ETAI Publishing).

Witzel continued to chronicle American car culture with Gas Station Memories (1994) and The American Drive-In: History and Folklore of the Drive-in Restaurant in American Car Culture (1994). An eclectic history of the “Mother Road,” Route 66 Remembered (1996) came next, followed by the MBI Enthusiast Color Series Drive-in Deluxe (1997).

Michael Witzel's Published Books
The American Gas Station
Gas Station Memories
The American Diner
Drive-In Deluxe
Route 66 Remembered
The American Drive-In
Cruisin': Car Culture in America
The Gas Station
The American Motel
Gas Stations Coast to Coast
Les Stations-Service Americaines
Hit The Road!
Soda Pop
Sparkling Story of Coca-Cola
Roadside Americana
Barns: Styles and Structures
Legendary Route 66
Barbecue Road Trip

Michael Witzel's Published Articles
Texas Highways
Rider Magazine
Mobilia Magazine
Check The Oil! Magazine
Invention & Technology
New World Outlook
Volkswagen World
Horseman Magazine
S.C.A. Journal
Route 66 Magazine
Car Toys
Fort Worth Star Telegram
Texas Co-Op Power


Author Photo by Nicole Mlakar-Livingston


As the burgers sizzled, Cruisin’: Car Culture In America (1997) roared off the presses, winning the prestigious International Automotive Media Awards (IAMA) Silver Medallion for 1998 (this title features specially commissioned artwork by cruise culture artist and co-author Kent Bash). Witzel took the pause that refreshes in 1998 and penned Soda Pop: From Miracle Medicine to Pop Culture, a picture-packed history of carbonated beverages. This nostalgic title was co-authored with his wife, Gyvel Young-Witzel (both are members of the American Society of Journalists and Authors).

In 1999, MBI Publishing released Witzel's retrospective of the classic filling stations of yesteryear entitled Gas Stations Coast to Coast (1999). Concurrently, The American Diner (1999) hit the bookstores, showcasing the streamlined dreams of stainless-steel clad eateries. This tribute to comfort food garnered a 1999 Book Achievement Award in the Merit Award category for an Art-Photo-Coffee Table (style) book, presented by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association.

Witzel followed up both roadfood titles with his critically-acclaimed The American Motel (1999), a nostalgic time-trip documenting the history of roadside tourist cabins and their metamorphosis into the modern motel. Later that year, Witzel again teamed up with co-author Young-Witzel to release a picture-packed chronicle of America's favorite soft drink, The Sparkling Story of Coca-Cola: An Entertaining History Including Collectibles, Coke Lore, and Calendar Girls (1999).

Additional non-fiction books followed, including Witzel's lavish photographic treatment of classic farming structures entitled Barns: Styles & Structures (2003). The author returned to the Mother Road in 2007 with the publication of Legendary Route 66: A Journey Through Time Along America's Mother Road (2007), also co-authored with wife Young-Witzel.

His most recent title, Barbecue Road Trip: Recipes, Restaurants, & Pitmasters from America's Great Barbecue Regions is a return to his passion for food, published by Voyageur Press in October of 2008.



Contact the author via email: Michael Karl Witzel  
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