Skip to the content

Pre-order your auto-AC history books!

If you want the most compelling, enthralling guide to the fascinating history of automotive air-conditioning, you will want to pre-order Cool Mavericks, the upcoming book produced in partnership with VASA that explores how air-conditioning became a standard feature in every new car on sale today.

The product of many years’ research and interviews with pioneers in the field of automotive air-conditioning on three continents, and tells the story through their experiences.

Cool Mavericks is the story of the colourful characters who leapt into the unknown and made air-conditioning everything on wheels a highly successful and quite accidental industry.

It has more than 600 pages of facts, figures, photos, diagrams, and anecdotes that will keep you enthralled from start to finish.

Cool Mavericks coffee table book

Cool Mavericks is still in the final stages of production with the aim of an official release in the second quarter of 2024. However, due to the uncertainties of the publishing industry, we cannot yet guarantee an exact on-sale date.

By pre-ordering Cool Mavericks, you will help fund the last steps of this ambitious project and ensure its success. If for some reason the book doesn’t get printed, VASA will refund your money in full.

This early bird, VASA members-only price of $54.95 inc GST per book represents a saving of more than 20 per cent over the anticipated retail of $69.95 inc GST when Cool Mavericks is officially released in glorious hardback coffee table book format.

Authored by founding VASA president Mark Mitchell and VASA’s first CEO Ken Newton, Cool Mavericks traces the beginnings of the mobile air-conditioning era in Australia and the emergence out of the blue of what became a temporary, but highly lucrative and frantically busy industry.

Most people probably assume that the air-conditioning in the family car was always there, and that the car makers installed air conditioning in their factories.

Cars, and indeed all vehicles on wheels or tracks, were never intended to be air-conditioned. That’s why cars had windows, and some of them had fans that blew ambient air into the cabin.

Some vital discoveries had to be made before it was possible to air-condition anything that moved. It wasn’t until the 1940s in America that a cooling system based on refrigeration that would work in a moving vehicle was developed.

In Texas, USA, some maverick mechanics and businessmen pinched the only ideas that were available from Detroit. Others jumped on the bandwagon, and these independent aftermarket players in America, Australia and Japan were inventing, experimenting, and designing air conditioning systems that could be fitted into almost every vehicle on the road.

The car-makers had missed their opportunity and would not get it back until the ‘factory air’ started becoming common in the 1990s.

Cool Mavericks is the first book to comprehensively capture the global development of a unique industry that dominated the aftermarket, paving the way for air-conditioning to become a non-negotiable standard feature on new vehicles worldwide – not to mention a key component of driveline and battery thermal management in the shift to electrified vehicles.

Free Industry News

Stay up to date with the latest industry news with our free monthly newsletter!