Some of today’s younger readers may not be familiar with Brock Yates. Indeed, I first became aware of him through his editor’s column in Car & Driver, at first unaware of just what a legend he was to the automotive and racing community.
But Yates was far more than a purveyor of written wit and sarcasm. As one headline noting his passing declared, Yates truly was “a hero to everyone who ever loved great cars and great adventure.” The Korean-era Navy veteran’s decades-long career included stints as a race commentator, an author and, even as an online auto blogger. Still others will remember him as the scoff-law whose genius created the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash. (The Cannonball’s zany history were the inspiration for a pair of hilarious, if low-rent films starring Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLouise in the 1980s.)
Autoweek cited the cause of death as complications of Alzheimer’s. STJ’s prayers go out for Yates’ family.