Meet the Authors
"The Japanese auto industry has a sixty-year legacy in the United States, yet no one has created a serious and beautiful book for collectors and enthusiasts...until now. Through A Quiet Greatness, our hope is to inform enthusiasts of Japan’s great automotive accomplishments and legitimize their place in the collector car spectrum."
- Authors Mark R. Brinker and Myron T. Vernis
Authors Mark R. Brinker (left) & Myron T. Vernis (right) fight over a trophy at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
About the Authors of A Quiet Greatness – Japan's Most Astonishing Automobiles
MARK R. BRINKER
"There has never been a truly comprehensive book about the universe of collectable Japanese cars including JDM models and models exported to other markets. Many of the greatest cars from Japan never made it to the U.S. or other parts of the world. Many of the fantastic cars covered in A Quiet Greatness are largely unknown in the automotive hobby. We wanted to create a reference work to educate those interested in learning more."
- Mark R. Brinker
MARK R. BRINKER is a graduate of Tulane University and Tulane University School of Medicine. In addition to his medical career as an Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in complex fractures, Brinker is an automotive enthusiast, collector, racer, and journalist.
Brinker’s interest in the automobile began as a child. His father was a bit of a sport and enjoyed owning a string of Cadillac Eldorado convertibles and even a Mercedes-Benz in the 1970s. His uncle was a Brooklyn street racer in the 1950s and passed on his love of sports and competition cars. His mother was, and remains, a movie buff and Mark vividly recalls falling hard for the cars of James Bond, Grand Prix, Johnny Dark, Bullitt, and Le Mans.
Brinker’s first car was a 280ZX and his current collection includes postwar sports and competition cars from Italy, France, Austria, the United States, and (of course) Japan. The Japanese portion of his collection includes a Datsun Fairlady SPL212, a “short windshield” Datsun Sports 2000, three Toyota Sports 800 (because he hasn’t yet found a fourth), a Series II Mazda Cosmo Sport, an Isuzu Bellett GT-R, a Nissan Fairlady Z432, a Nissan Cherry X-1R, a Mitsubishi Colt Galant GTO MR, a Nissan March R (EK10FR), two Nismo Edition Nissan Pulsar GTiRs, an Autozam AZ-1 Mazdaspeed, a Subaru Impreza WRX 22B STi, and a Toyota VM180 Zagato.
He enjoys showing cars and has collected First-in-Class trophies at numerous concours including Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, St. John’s, and Keels and Wheels. He has also vintage raced with CVAR and General Racing Ltd., including a decade of racing at Steve Earl’s Monterey Historic Automobile Races at Laguna Seca. Most recently, Brinker has set eight land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats, two of which he still holds, and is currently building a Toyota Sports 800 to race there.
A prolific writer, Brinker co-wrote the screenplay for the major motion picture Untraceable, which was released in 2008 staring Diane Lane. He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles and has written numerous medical textbooks.
In the automotive realm, Brinker co-authored Vintage American Road Racing Cars: 1950-1970 which was nominated for the Motor Press Guild’s Dean Bachelor Award. For more than a decade he also penned a monthly column for Vintage Racecar entitled Hidden Treasures. In addition, Brinker has also written feature work for Octane, Sports Car Market, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Petersen Museum's Finish Line, Vintage Racecar, and Vintage Roadcar.
Brinker lives in Houston, Texas with his wife Newie, their daughter Sloan, and two Maltese - Tootie, and Charlie. This is his second automotive book.
MYRON T. VERNIS
"There are many beautiful books about Ferraris, Porsches, Delahayes, and more. A Quiet Greatness is the only book to put Japanese cars on the same pedestal." - Myron T. Vernis
MYRON T. VERNIS is recently retired from a career in country club and resort management. Being a lifelong automotive enthusiast and not a golfer, large expanses of lush green turf have always appealed to him as potential concours sites. As such, he was a co-founder and director of the Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles for 18 years. He has also been a frequent exhibitor and occasional judge at other premier concours events such as Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, St. John’s, Eyes on Design, the Elegance at Hershey, and Radwood.
Spending the early years of his life on the Greek island of Crete, he was both blessed and cursed with an extreme case of automotive A.D.D. since birth. Although his father regarded cars as a necessary evil and his mother never drove, he spent most of his pre-school years car-spotting from the balcony of his family’s apartment and sneaking down to the bakery below to convince the owner to take him for a ride in his bright red Jeep.
His family moved back to the States permanently when he was four, settling in Akron, Ohio. At the time, Akron was known as “The Rubber Capital of the World” and had one of the highest per-capita ratios of automobile ownership in the world. His car-hating parents had unknowingly planted their car-crazed son into a mecca for auto enthusiasts.
Myron’s exposure to a vast variety of interesting cars and their respective cultures was the basis of his passion for everything automotive as an adult. Over 40 years later, he still has his first Porsche 356. His current collection consists of everything from exotic sports cars and historic race cars to classic hot rods and classic pre-war luxury automobiles. Cars from eight different countries are represented in the collection but his focus over the past several years has been on great Japanese cars that have remained relatively unrecognized outside of their homeland. He currently has over a dozen special JDM cars in his collection, thus the impetus for this book.
Question: What is the standout vehicle you covered in, A Quiet Greatness? "Although not the most important, beautiful, or expensive vehicle in the book, the Autech Zagato Stelio AZ-1 became the standout for me. The more I researched, the more I wanted one. Even though only 88 were built and never sold in the United States, I was finally able to acquire one in 2019." - Myron T. Vernis
Myron and his wife Kim still reside most of the year in Akron. In addition to being supremely tolerant of her husband’s automotive obsession, Kim is a first-rate enthusiast in her own right as a holder of an SCCA competition license and regularly daily driving her vintage Studebakers and Porsche 928. They have two grown daughters; Zoë is a teacher of the visually impaired in the Detroit area and an owner of an AMC Pacer. Youngest daughter Allie is a lawyer residing in Cleveland Heights, Ohio with a BMW 2002tii. Both have active sidelines as car spotters for their dad.