HomeCar CultureCommentaryFare ye well, Dicken Wear

Fare ye well, Dicken Wear

A tearful goodbye to a close friend


When I would introduce Dicken Wear to people, I would say, “You know ‘the most interesting man in the world’ (from the Dos Equis commercials)? He’s got nothing on this man. Meet Dicken.”

Dicken may have been one of the most influential characters in motorsports and the automobile business that you never heard of. Some of racing’s biggest stars in the last 30 years were part of his karting programs; his grandfather, J.S. Inskip was the American coachbuilder for Rolls Royce – and one of the founders of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA); he took a group of Pixar animators on a trip on old Route 66 to inspire the backdrop for the Disney movie Cars.

In Monterey, (from left) Dicken Wear, Johnny O’Connell, Tom Stahler

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Anywhere you went with him, the insiders knew him and respected him. Dicken passed away on Father’s Day morning after an 18-month battle with prostate cancer. Many of us will miss him greatly. For those of you who didn’t know him, you probably would be attracted to his magnetic humor and outgoing nature.

His entire life was spent in the automotive and motorsports industry. For many years, he worked for his grandfather’s dealership which was the importer/distributor of many English makes — MG, Rolls-Royce, Aston-Martin, Austin-Healy, Iso-Rivolta and Iso-Griffith — in just about every position imaginable. When the family sold the dealership in 1977, he took over the family’s Motorsports Division and Racing Team: “The Original Competition Engineering Since 1954”

A night out during the Long Beach Grand Prix (LtoR) James Groth, an unknown gal, Dicken Wear, Tom Stahler

He has been a race team manager, race driver and mentor to many “stars to be” in karting. He was also a journalist. He founded the Motorsports Report, which will now continue under the leadership of veteran IndyCar and car culture editor, Edmund Jenks.

With Craig Breedlove, Mr. World Land Speed Record.

So many great times. So many great stories. So many late-night drives. So many on-track experiences. Once the last engine was switched off at Laguna Seca at the end of Monterey Car week, the tradition became to make the 20-mile trip north to Watsonville to the Fish House. Come for the fish, stay for the bananas foster.

Tom Stahler, Dicken Wear, John Kraman

What I will remember most is a guy who always had time to talk, help and just be a friend.

I’m missing you already, Dicken.

Tom Stahler
Tom Stahler
Tom Stahler is the Managing Editor of the ClassicCars.com Journal. Tom has a lifelong love of cars and motor racing – beginning with the 1968 USRRC race at Road America, in a stroller, at eight months of age. His words, photos and broadcasts can can be found on a myriad of media. He has won the Motor Press Guild’s Dean Batchelor Award and a Gold Medal in the International Automotive Media Awards.



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