Obituary: David E. Davis Jr., 80; dean of automotive journalists

David E. Davis, Jr. (b. November 7, 1930, Burnside, Kentucky; d. March 27, 2011, Ann Arbor, Michigan) was the founder of Automobile Magazine and a long time Car and Driver editor. His distinctive voice defined modern automotive journalism. He is survived by a wife, Jeannie, a daughter, and two sons, many friends, and a generation of automotive writers and car lovers. Services are pending.


Automobile Magazine: Davis was a lifelong car enthusiast who worked in all corners of the industry, from racing to advertising to editorial and publishing. He was well-regarded in the industry for the profound impact his work had on many modern car journalists, not to mention readers. 

Eddie Alterman for Car and Driver: He was a champion of the automotive good life, and he lived it right to the very end. I hope he forgives me for using his sign-off, but: Freedom and Whiskey!

Laura K. Cowan: Rest in Peace David E. Davis, Jr. "He refused to use the subjunctive case in his writing, because he hated the way it sounded."

Autoblog: Ever eloquent, where others might simply inquire "How are you?", Davis was known for asking colleagues and friends "Is your life a rich tapestry?"

Jalopnik: Davis had a long and full career in the automotive world, starting as a racing driver and car salesmen and leading to a position as a copy writer for Road & Track before becoming a writer for Car and Driver

University Record, 2004, on the occasion of his spring commencement address. "In 1955, at age 24, he flipped his race car upside down during a national championship in California. He lost his left eyelid, the bridge of his nose, the roof of his mouth and all but a half-dozen of his teeth."

Robert Farrago "The Truth About Cars" video interview, Fired for Truth Telling, 2009. "The “fun” starts at about 11:00 in, where the former Car and Driver Editor reveals that Ziff-Davis fired him for not apologizing to Blaupunkt for dissing their products." 

Edward Vielmetti's other vehicle is a half million dollar hybrid that runs on biodiesel, of which Automobile Magazine says they were "most impressed by the hybrid bus's braking power".

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