2004, RTM introduced an award to honor people
people who write about cars
but not just any people. ROAD & TRAVEL
MAGAZINE'S Lifetime Achievement Award is about honoring those who have
achieved a lifetime of outstanding contributions to our industry.
3rd annual recipient has done that and more
"the dean of automotive journalists" by none other than Time Magazine,
and recognized for his unique writing skills, his obsession with all things automotive,
his love of magazine editing and his bon vivant if not flamboyant lifestyle, David
E. Davis has for nearly six decades been an automotive journalist to be reckoned
with by carmakers and to be read and cultishly followed by car enthusiasts around
college dropout (actually, he was kind of thrown out of Olivet college, but that's
another story), David is probably best known for literally losing half his face
in a racing adventure in his M.G. in Sacramento nearly fifty years ago -- and
living to tell the tale.
how he's told it! Not just the tale of his short-lived racing career but, more
importantly, of his lifelong love affair with all things automotive. From his
days at Road & Track to his copywriting days on corvette at Campbell-Ewald
advertising to his reinvention of car & driver and his founding of Automobile
magazine, David has entertained and educated literally millions of readers with
his insights and observations about cars and the people who build and drive them,
his criticisms and praise, and his tales of the good and sometimes not-so-good
life that goes with it all.
master storyteller and a friend to probably every important automotive executive
and race car driver of the past several decades - and a mentor to many of them
- David E. is a man's man and a driver's driver.
without ego, in his book entitled, "thus spake David E.," RTM's 3rd
lifetime honoree offered the following advice: "Get rich. Get rich. Then
sleep 'til noon and screw 'em all!"
he thought about sleeping because that's what he was doing at 7 a.m. that fateful
day back in 1985 when Rupert Murdoch rattled him out of bed and asked him to launch
what ultimately became automobile magazine. "Don't lose more than $4 million
in year one or I'll fire you," Murdoch said. "And don't make less than
$1 million in year four or I'll fire you."
didn't do either but Murdoch didn't fire him, which, David says, proves that you
can't trust anyone!
of an honorary doctorate in humane letters from the university of Michigan in
2004 (he finally got a degree!) Doctor Davis is truly one of the finest writers
-- of anything - in our generation. Ever since he saw his first black jaguar XK
120 back in 1949 he's been hooked on cars and writing about them for our delight.
But as one reviewer of his book noted, he doesn't just write about cars. He also
writes poignantly about "the joys of living life to its fullest wherever
you find it."
think David's fellow journalist and friend, David Halberstram, summed up the man
we honor tonight the very best when he wrote: "for six decades he has been
the most important and authentic voice of one of America's great industries -
alternately enthusiast, scold, nag and lover, depending more on the performance
of the industry itself than the whim and mood of the writer
a great, uniquely
American voice for a great, uniquely American industry.
Video Testimonials From:
Shelby - President, Carroll Shelby Enterprises, Inc.
Wagoner, Chairman & CEO, General Motors Corporation
Tom Purves, Chairman
& CEO, BMW North America
Jim Press, President and COO, Toyota Motor Sales,
Barry Meguiar, President and CEO of Meguiar's, Inc.
Foster, Executive Creative Director/Sr. Partner, Brogan & Partners