On the tenth anniversary of Automobile Magazine, I was moved to reprint a page of my favorite memos from the founder of this magazine, David E. Davis, Jr. It was a tiny window into the daily cataclysm of life with the most interesting, most difficult, cleverest, darkest, most erudite, dandiest, most inspirational, charismatic, and all-around damnedest human being I will ever meet. I have loved him. I have seriously not loved him. But this isn't an obituary, so we don't have to get into any weepy crap here.
The magazine you are reading would not exist without him. I mean that in the most present of tenses. Only David E. could have started "a high-style magazine for high-profile car enthusiasts" in 1986 that not only succeeded, but changed the face of car magazines in America forever. Twenty-five years later-although he has been gone since 2000, a situation that was not part of his grand plan (I'll get to the flying grand piano later) -- his stamp remains indelible. The travel, the adventure, the exotic comparison tests, the staff road trips, the importance of car design, and the quality of the writing and art are the bedrock of every issue. His will be done.
When David E. asked me to leave Car and Driver with him to be the executive editor, I figured that if this effort failed, I was only thirty-one and could always drive a cab again. The idea of returning to the mean streets of Ann Arbor perhaps ensured my laserlike focus on making the dream reality. He was fifty-four years old.
We did not fail.
David E. would tell you that it was the magazine of his dreams. And, of course, it was. All his. I had no dreams whatsoever -- I was only five years removed from being a mechanic, for God's sake. And what was he thinking, dragging me with him? Never mind. I was very happy to follow a man with a plan, especially with a plan as big as his and which included an unbelievable role at the top for a girl with a permanently interrupted college education.