Born in 1942, Terry was a member of the Squires of Chatham, NJ hot rod club before he got his driver's license. He was the flag starter at Island Dragway in Great Meadows, NJ when it opened in 1961. He wrote a column for DRAG NEWS under the pseudonym "Broomfoot" in the early 60's, moved to LA in 1964 and worked as a full time staff writer for DRAG WORLD for several years. In 1966 he went to work as a writer at CAR CRAFT Magazine, later becoming the editor during the golden years of that publication. He then moved across the hall at Petersen Publishing to become the editor of HOT ROD for 1972-73.
In 1974 Cook moved back to New Jersey because his wife hated earthquakes. Terry started VANS & TRUCKS with publisher/owner Phil Engledrum and edited that magazine for several years until the van craze crashed. He did freelance writing and in 1976 worked for a year in Manhattan as a staff writer (The Turtle Wrangler) for CAR AND DRIVER under the infamous David E. Davis, Jr.
Cook started EASTERN ROD NEWS which failed financially after publishing 18 issues.
In 1983 Cook started an event called LEAD EAST, World's Biggest 50's Party. In 2007 it celebrates its 25th Anniversary. Held at the Parsippany, NJ Hilton every Labor Day weekend (end of Aug.-start of Sept.). It has attracted participants with old cars from 22 states because it offers 33 bands, drive-in movies every night and much more. LEAD EAST is the largest old car event in the NJ/NY metro area and the best oldies (50's) weekend on the planet.
In one final effort to own his own car magazine, Cook also started the ill-fated SCRAPE Magazine for Lowriders and Euros with partner Adrian Lopez, publishing six issues before it crashed and burned. Better to have tried and lost than to have never tried at all.
From a hot rod youth, Terry Cook has made a
transition to the Concours environment.
Above: At the RM Auction at Pebble Beach 2005,
his Maserati powered Boattail in the foreground
(sold for $110,000) is flanked by a 1937 Bugatti Type 57 Stelvio Drophead Coupe (sold for $365,000), a 1938 rebodied Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster (sold for $1,017.500) and a 1938 Talbot Lago T150-C Teardrop coupe (sold for $3,685,000).
Read "Carrossier Renaissance"
Terry Cook's Coachbuilt article
in AUTO AFICIONADO magazine (2/2007).
Terry sitting in his DECO RIDES Boattail Speedster
on Mulholland Drive in LA California
After focusing his energy on building the SCRAPE Zephyr, in 1999 Terry had molds made off the car he designed and started DECO RIDES, a division of his Appleton Productions Inc. He sold the car for a record $275,000 in 2000 at Pebble Beach and subsequently sold about 50 fiberglass Zephyr bodies and then, in conjunction with Speedster Motorcars in Florida, close to 50 complete Zephyr "turnkeys." DECO RIDES is presently selling fiberglass Zephyr bodies and Boattail Speedster bodies and turnkeys. His cars are all over the USA as well as in Moscow, New Zealand, Australia and Slovania.
Up until the end of the last century Terry was a devotee of hot rods. In the past decade he has "evolved" away from street rods toward the sensuous streamlined coachbuilt French cars of the mid and late 1930's. Today Cook is "living his dream", re-designing and having DECO RIDES fiberglass and DELAHAYE USA aluminum bodied classics built by a variety of vendors.
The creation of DELAHAYE USA in April of 2007 has taken him to the next level fulfilling his fantasy of building aluminum bodied cars, including a Shah of Persia Type 57 SC Bugatti and a Figoni & Falaschi Type 165 Delahaye.
By taking the time to periodically investigate this website you can keep up on the numerous projects that are rattling around in Terry's head. You can keep up with his "24 volt life in a 12 volt world." Like Captain Kirk, he is going where no man has gone before in the car enthusiast world, except Cook's rides look a lot zippier than The Enterprise!
August 1964, Great Meadows, NJ: Don Garlits breaks the 200 mph drag racing "barrier."
That exceptionally thin, 22-year-old in the orange T-shirt is Terry Cook, an aspiring writer/columnist for a California weekly newspaper called DRAG NEWS.