Gone, but not forgotten

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Detroit Historical Society
Lee Iacocca in the 1960s | Detroit Historical Society

As we begin a new year, we take time to remember some of those in the classic car community who left us in 2019 (presented here in chronological order of their passing):

Peter Giddings, vintage racer

Michael T. Lynch, historian and author

Glen Wood, longtime NASCAR team owner

Robert Hubbard, inventor of the HANS device used in racing

John B. Haynes, founder of the Haynes Manual publishing company

Bob Nixon, former American Motors designer

Charles Whiting, longtime Formula One race director

Arlen Ness, custom-motorcycle builder

Jim Russell, racing champion and driving-school founder

Howard Danino, FIVA vice president

George Drolsom, racer and Amelia Island Concours board member

Heidi Hetzer

Heidi Hetzer, round-the-world driver in her 1930 Hudson Great Eight

Niki Lauda, Formula 1 champion

Jack Martin, restoration shop manager, Branson Collector Cars

Robin Herd, Formula One racing car designer and co-founder of March cars

Norman Dewis, Jaguar test driver

Jaguar
Norman Dewis

Richard Kughn, car collector, museum owner and reviver of Lionel trains

Gene Romero, motorcycle racer

Rod Hall, off-road racer

Monte Shelton, longtime import-car dealer and vintage racer

Nicole Meguiar, founder, Benedict Castle Concours

‘Cactus Jack’ Gartley, early collector car auction founder

Kenneth Behring, founder, Blackhawk Collection Museum

Lee Iacocca, ‘father’ of Ford Mustang and Chrysler minivan

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Mitsuo Ito, only Japanese rider to win Isle of Man TT

Don Sommer, car collector and co-founder of the MeadowBrook/Concours of America

Dick Jordan, longtime U.S. Auto Club public relations director

Don Roberts, driver of “winningest” Shelby Cobra

Ferdinand Piech, chairman of Volkswagen, former head of Audi, Porsche racing

Ferdinand Piech

Jessi Combs, speed-record racer and TV personality

Mike Stefanik, 9-time NASCAR modified or truck series national champion

Luigi Colani, car and industrial product designer

Chuck Stoddard, racer and one of original Porsche dealers in U.S.

Andy Cohen, co-founder, Beverly Hills Motoring Accessories

Ron Watson, founder, Motorsports Hall of Fame of America

Louis “Sonny” Meyer Jr., 15-time Indy 500-winning engine builder

Walter “Wally” Miller, museum founder and automotive literature collector

Jerry Hirchberg, Buick and Nissan designer

Print editions of AutoWeek, Automobile, Lowrider and more than a dozen other car magazines

Bill Simpson, Indy racer and safety-equipment pioneer

Junior Johnson, moonshine runner turned stock car racer

Horst Kwech, two-time Trans-Am racing champion

Syd Mead, illustrator and futurist


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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Too bad John Haynes’ son and his corporate henchmen did not learn from John but rather felt no issue in ending many senior manager’s careers (all males over 50 interestly enough) in the US. So much for decades of loyalty to a company. No wonder the company is for sale. Hope they get pennies for it. They deserve nothing less.

  2. 99% never take a second to appreciate the people and technology that gets them back and forth. I used to work in the oil and gas industry and nobody takes a minute to think about the work that is required to obtain the oil to refine a gallon of gas.

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