John Lamm, Acclaimed Automobile Journalist and Photographer, Has Died

John Lamm, acclaimed automotive journalist and photographer, has died in California. He was 76. In a occupation that spanned almost half a century Lamm wrote many magazine and internet stories and authored dozens of guides, most of which featured his own images. His composing gained him the Ken Purdy and […]

John Lamm, acclaimed automotive journalist and photographer, has died in California. He was 76.

In a occupation that spanned almost half a century Lamm wrote many magazine and internet stories and authored dozens of guides, most of which featured his own images. His composing gained him the Ken Purdy and Dean Batchelor awards, two of automotive journalism’s best honors, and his photographic competencies were employed by Porsche and Ferrari, amid some others.

What designed Lamm the consummate storyteller and visual artist was his genuine passion for all factors automotive. He beloved vehicles, and he beloved the men and women who built them, engineered them, constructed them, raced them. Even when he was in his 70s, bustling close to a crowded European car show, a digicam slung in excess of every single shoulder, racing to get the pictures he required to send out back to the States later on that night time, he’d cock his head a bit and grin: “One day I’ll get a genuine task.”

John Lamm was a auto person. An fanatic. Just one of us.

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Lamm decided to grow to be an automotive journalist at the age of 15 immediately after looking at vehicle races at Elkhart Lake and looking at a tale by Bernard Cahier about going to Monza to examination an Abarth sporting activities car or truck. He researched at the University of Wisconsin and served in Vietnam in advance of moving to California and landing a position at MotorTrend, getting to be – in his have phrases – “the worst handling editor in the historical past of the journal.”

Lamm preferred composing stories and using pics to driving a desk, and soon after 6 years with MotorTrend, he went to Road & Observe, where by he stayed 37 decades and crafted a formidable network of contacts, particularly among the Europe’s supercar makers and structure residences.

He subsequently also wrote for Car or truck and Driver, and for Car magazine, starting to be one of the handful of senior automotive journalists of his era to have been published by all four of America’s mainstream automotive media makes. About the years his stories and photographs also appeared in numerous intercontinental publications, like Australia’s Wheels and Which Auto? journals, as very well as Japan’s respected Auto Graphic magazine.

In addition to his passion for new autos, Lamm had a great adore for automotive heritage, and for motorsport. He was a fixture at the Pebble Beach Concours and the Monterey Motorsport Reunion every year. His extensive friendship with America’s first Method 1 entire world winner, Phil Hill, was near: He turned godfather to Hill’s son Derek. He had a delicate place for Italian classics, proudly owning a Lancia Aurelia B20 coupe for 30 decades right before finally providing it to Ford CEO Jim Farley, and rated the Ferrari 250 GTO as his favourite car or truck of all time.

However Lamm started his occupation in an period of typewriters and film, he conveniently embraced computers and electronic cameras, observing them as useful equipment rather than threats. “Electronic cameras make it so a lot a lot easier, mechanically and technically, to consider a picture,” he claimed, “but it’s even now complicated to consider a great photograph.” However, he regretted the impression of digital media platforms on regular car journals: “It can be good to make some thing you can keep in your hands.”

John Lamm combined his appreciate of all factors automotive with an insatiable curiosity. He desired to know, he wanted to master, and he preferred to share what he experienced arrive to know and what he had come to study with other fans. It truly is what kept him performing, as a great deal as he was equipped, ideal right until the quite conclusion.

-Pics by Richard Baron and Patrick Hong

Ann Mosty

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