Dmitri Nabokov, Car Guy: Take Two

By Roger Boylan 

In November 2009, Techshake published a short piece of mine entitled “Dmitri Nabokov, Car Guy” about the cars in the life of Dmitri, son of the great writer Vladimir Nabokov, and himself a man of letters, noted car buff, and former racing driver. For the article I used mostly generic photographs, obtained online, of the models of cars referred to in accounts by him and various interviewers. Then, shortly thereafter, I entered into correspondence with Mr. Nabokov on this and other subjects, and he sent me what amounts to a family album of the cars of his life: a gesture typical of the generosity that has characterized his part in my dealings with him. 

I have included his photographs in this short addendum to the previous piece. They and their captions are Dmitri Nabokov’s; the bracketed insertions, mine. 



My very first car, a pedal-powered Mercedes 

1959, Triumph TR-3A (my first race, in Monza) 


My dear mother [Véra Nabokov] with the Bizzarrini Strada 


My Alfa GTZ at the Parabolica curve, Monza 


My turquoise 1957 MGA 


Four of my cars in Switzerland: Ferrari 348 TB, Ferrari 456 GT, Viper, my second Ferrari 308 (GTBi Quattrovalvole) 


My first red Viper RT-10 


The Triumph again, in San Remo, with my parents [Véra and Vladimir Nabokov], aunt, and cousin 


The last of my four Vipers, a rare GT2, of which 100 were built to celebrate Viper’s GT championship 


The 308 GTBi with radio-controlled helicopter on the roof 


The 348 TB near my place in Montreux 


The first of my two MG TCs 


My mother with my first Ferrari 308 


My last Ferrari 308 (GTBi Quattrovalvole)


Aside from being the only Techshake writer , Roger Boylan is an American writer who was raised in Ireland, France, and Switzerland and attended the University of Ulster and the University of Edinburgh. His novel “Killoyle” was published in 1997 by Dalkey Archive Press and has been reprinted four times. In 2003, a sequel, “The Great Pint-Pulling Olympiad,” was published by Grove Press, New York. Roger’s latest novel, “The Adorations,” in which a Swiss professor named Gustave, Adolf Hitler, Hitler’s mistress, the Archangel Michael, and a journalistic sexpot meet at the intersection of history and fantasy, has been published as an e-book and is now available on and other online bookstores. Boylan's light-hearted memoir, "Run Like Blazes," has also been published as a Kindle e-book and is also now available on

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  1. Quite the automotive history here; much more interesting than my list of Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles, Hondas, Nissans, Toyotas, Saturns, and Cadillacs.

    All these Ferraris, and no Dodge Ram or Jeep Grand Cherokee. For shame. 🙂

  2. The Bizzarrini Strada seems as fine an example of the Grand Turismo styling that was ever rendered.

    All the more impressive that it was fitted with a Chevy 327.

  3. Dear Roger,
    Is there any chance to get more info, like chassis number, on the Bizzarrini Mr. Nabukov had?
    Many thanks in advance,

  4. The history of life is written in the art we admire. Cars are art.

  5. What a well-written article! Very interesting subject matter and a fascinating read?

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