David E. Davis Jr., the writer, editor and publisher who helped influence the form and tenor of feature-based automotive journalism, died on Sunday evening at the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ypsilanti, Mich. He was 80.
The cause was complications following surgery for bladder cancer.
News of Mr. Davis’s death spread quickly, with colleagues and admirers — many of them citing Mr. Davis as their principal inspiration for pursuing careers in automotive journalism — taking to the Web to share their remembrances and condolences.
As Eddie Alterman, the editor of Car and Driver magazine, noted, Mr. Davis developed in print a dynamic persona in which he could effect the gentleman driver, the industry gadfly, the garage tinkerer or the auto-show raconteur with equal believability and panache:
He was so in love with the craft and subject matter of car magazines that he came to inhabit an archetype. He was the dashing, witty, high-spirited, and deeply knowledgeable writer/editor who brought the automobile to life, whose personal flair transferred to whatever he was writing about.
Under his editorship in the ’60s, Car and Driver — until then an enthusiast’s title with little casual readership — became a magazine where stories featured pacing and inventive narrative structures reflecting the best popular-culture journalism of its day. Indeed, Mr. Davis cited Tom Wolfe, the novelist and cultural observer, as an influence on his approach to automotive journalism.
As Edmunds Inside Line wrote on Sunday, “At Car and Driver in the early 1960s, Davis made himself important, yet he also made automotive journalism important.”
Mr. Davis later founded Automobile magazine in 1986 and helped to establish Winding Road, the Web-based automotive magazine, in the middle of the last decade. He returned to Car and Driver in 2009, where he wrote regularly and entertainingly well into March.
NOTE: As a former Detroiter I remember him well. When I first became interested in the automobile I greatly enjoyed reading his articles. First, in Road & Track. He was a young man then, and I was just a teenager.
Stanley. “Wacky” Arnold was an eccentric American automobile enthusiasts and business man who was one of the first to pick on the sports car trend after world war II . Believing that a mix of Italian styling and British mechanics would prove popular with amateur racers. Arnold planned for a new racer when MG failed to meet his demand for a chassis, he turned to Bristol for the underpinnings and had Bertone’s pen for a distinctive roadster body for his sporting car. The heart of the Arnolt Bristol was the six cylinder engine derived from BMW’s 328, which also had been put o use in the AC Bristol and Frazer-Nash . Along with a number of SCCA club racing victories, a 1,2,4 finish in the 2 litre class at the 1955 Sebring 12hours is one of Arnolt Bristols crowing achievements.
In 1959 when, W.M Hurt of New Jersey purchased this Deluxe roadster which he raced. Further suggesting this history of competition was a roll bar mounting found during restoration , some unique racing features we fitted at the factory include a front sway bar, larger brake drums, and adjustable torsion bars.
After it’s time with Mr.Hunt, the car went to James Rodgers, and engineer with Chrysler who served as a point of contact with Bristol cars. Rodgers began the process of bringing the car back to its original specifications and went to great lengths to purchase a number NOS parts and rare trim pieces.
In recent years a comprehensive was coordinated by using several Chicago based specialists including Beil’s upholstery and Northshore Sports Cars, with detail work completed under the guidance of the leading Arnolt experts. The restoration saw the body work stripped to bare metal, repaired and re-painted as also the fitting of a new interior and top. The engine was rebuilt and highly detailed for showing, and includes a new wiring harness. This careful restoration work was validated at the 2008 Masterpiece Concours in Milwaukee, WI. The received a Best in Class award as well as Best open post war sports car. Today the car remains beautifully presented and is offered complete with side curtains and full tonneau cover.
One of the more fascinating and resourceful cars to be built during the heyday of the sports car, the Arnolt Bristol is an unforgettable participant from this glorious era. Offering impressive performance, dramatic styling and precise nimble handling. It would be quite a feat to find such a fine example as the car presented here. It is estimated only half of these remarkable cars have survived. Less then 150 cars were produced and this is a special Deluxe roadster and differs from the basic Bolide model. It offers its passengers a fully finished interior, unique instrument binnacle and weather equipment. This stunning freshly restored Deluxe Roadster is an exceptional example of these unique automobiles. Arnolt Bristols are considered by some as the rarest and most desirable sports cars of the 50’s.
Also a race with the usual suspects coming in 1-2-3. Last year's champion, Dario Franchitti, comes in first followed by Will Power and Tony Kanaan. With very good finishes for Simona de Silvestro and Takuma Sato, 4th and 5th.
Starting the season a little late due to the turmoil in Bahrain it looked like a remix from last season. Sebastian Vettel, last year's champion, jumped out in front and stayed there. Lewis Hamilton, pulled into second, so it looked like all the usual suspects. Wait a minute! Who is that in third, with his first podium finish, Vitaly Petrov from Russia driving for Renualt. And you should have seen the rookie from Mexico, Sergio Perez, do his stuff. Driving for independent team Sauber, he and his teammate came in 7th and 8th. Only to be disqualified for technical reasons. To be appealed and I hope they win.
Blue metallic with Red leather interior and Red carpeting, Restored, 2-Owners from new, Numbers Matching, Original California Black license plate sill with 1967 and 1968 registration stickers attached, Excellent Southern Califorina history.
The AC Bristol is powered by a 1,971 CC OHV Inline 6-Cylinder Engine with Triple Solex Carburetors and produces 125 BHP at 5,000 RPM. The drivetrain runs through a 4-speed manual gearbox, it has Girling front disc brakes with rear drums and 4-wheel independent suspension. In the day, the Ace Bristol was a very responsive and capable package and “the car” to have.
This AC Bristol was sold new in Los Angeles, California. Early in its history this Bristol participated in local racing events including the 1959 Willow Springs Hill Climb.
In their day, Ace Bristols found a devoted following and were among the “hot cars” of the late 1950s. Not only were they quick, the AC’s graceful alloy coachwork instantly placed the Bristol among the most beautiful roadsters ever designed.
Acquired in 2005 from only its second owner, it was an extremely original example still equipped with its original engine and red leather upholstery. The alloy bodywork, which rarely survives well, was exceptionally straight.
The car was then the subject of a sympathetic body-off restoration by Charles Crail of Santa Barbara, California, the quality of which is immediately apparent upon inspection. No detail was left untouched during the restoration. Since being restored, this Bristol has seen little use, recently it returned to Charles Crail’s workshop for mechanical servicing, sorting and meticulous detailing.
A unique car built by Lola for John Mecom and driven by Augie Pabst at Nassau, Sebring 12 Hours, Guards Trophy (Brands Hatch), Riverside etc. Originally constructed in 1963 with a Ford 289, Mecom sent the car back to Lola to be fitted with a 6 litre Chevrolet in 1964, following the purchase of the design by Ford to start their GT40 project. Weighing around 820 kgs and with a potential 540 bhp it should be more than a match for GT40s in historic racing.
Dr. Ferdinand Porsche's wide-ranging interests in all things mechanical - and practical - led him to include designs for farm tractors in his project portfolio beginning in the 1930's. As with all things from Dr. Porsche's fertile creativity, the tractors owed little to convention and much to efficiency and imagination. The first Porsche air cooled Diesel tractor designs were completed late in the Thirties. Commercial production was resumed after the war by two licensees, Allgaier and Hofherr Schrantz. The tractors' reliability and efficiency proved popular and in 1956 Mannesmann AG set up a subsidiary company to consolidate production under one roof - the former Zeppelin factory near Friedrichshafen - under the name Porsche - Diesel - Motorenbau G.m.b.H. Popular not only with collectors of agricultural equipment but also those who appreciate the performance and ingenuity of Porsche automobiles, Porsche tractors come in a variety of sizes and capabilities. This 1958 Junior is a single cylinder diesel equipped with lights and a buddy seat on the left fender. Known by some as the "Volks-Schlepper", its data plate records that it was originally sold by Ateliers Ph. Goetzmann in Strasbourg, France. it has been restored to very high standards including a stainless steel exhaust system and is equipped with the hydraulic implement mounting system that made Porsche tractors, along with their competitors from Ford-Ferguson, especially adaptable and practical in a variety of applications. A serious Porsche collection is not complete without a Porsche Diesel tractor, capable of double duty both as a striking display and performing agricultural duties around the collection's grounds. There are none finer than this.
Framed Giclees on canvas by Colin Carter. All are 48 X 36 and are on special sale for the next 72 hours from the First Thursday segment of Sports Car Market magazine. Regular price is $1,100 and the special is $750 plus $60 shipping in the United States.....$100 to everyone else.
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