John Lamm, acclaimed automotive journalist and photographer, has died in California. He was 76.
In a vocation that spanned nearly fifty percent a century Lamm wrote plenty of magazine and web stories and authored dozens of textbooks, most of which showcased his possess photos. His crafting gained him the Ken Purdy and Dean Batchelor awards, two of automotive journalism’s greatest honors, and his photographic expertise were utilized by Porsche and Ferrari, between other people.
What produced Lamm the consummate storyteller and visible artist was his genuine enthusiasm for all issues automotive. He liked autos, and he liked the individuals who built them, engineered them, created them, raced them. Even when he was in his 70s, bustling all around a crowded European automobile demonstrate, a camera slung in excess of each shoulder, racing to get the pictures he wanted to mail again to the States later that evening, he’d cock his head a little and grin: “One working day I’ll get a serious career.”
John Lamm was a car or truck dude. An fanatic. One particular of us.
Born and elevated in Wisconsin, Lamm determined to grow to be an automotive journalist at the age of 15 just after watching auto races at Elkhart Lake and studying a story by Bernard Cahier about heading to Monza to exam an Abarth athletics vehicle. He studied at the College of Wisconsin and served in Vietnam prior to relocating to California and landing a job at MotorTrend, getting – in his have text – “the worst handling editor in the historical past of the journal.”
Lamm favored producing stories and getting shots to driving a desk, and right after 6 yrs with MotorTrend, he went to Road & Monitor, wherever he stayed 37 years and created a formidable community of contacts, specially among the Europe’s supercar companies and design and style homes.
He subsequently also wrote for Car or truck and Driver, and for Auto journal, starting to be one of the couple of senior automotive journalists of his period to have been revealed by all four of America’s mainstream automotive media brands. Over the yrs his tales and photographs also appeared in many international publications, like Australia’s Wheels and Which Automobile? journals, as nicely as Japan’s respected Auto Graphic magazine.
In addition to his enthusiasm for new cars, Lamm experienced a great like for automotive history, and for motorsport. He was a fixture at the Pebble Seaside Concours and the Monterey Motorsport Reunion every single yr. His extensive friendship with America’s to start with Method 1 earth champion, Phil Hill, was shut: He grew to become godfather to Hill’s son Derek. He had a delicate location for Italian classics, owning a Lancia Aurelia B20 coupe for 30 yrs before at some point providing it to Ford CEO Jim Farley, and rated the Ferrari 250 GTO as his beloved vehicle of all time.
However Lamm began his job in an period of typewriters and film, he commonly embraced personal computers and digital cameras, seeing them as useful resources somewhat than threats. “Electronic cameras make it so a lot simpler, mechanically and technically, to choose a picture,” he claimed, “but it is really even now hard to choose a excellent photo.” Nonetheless, he regretted the influence of electronic media platforms on standard car publications: “It truly is pleasant to make one thing you can keep in your palms.”
John Lamm put together his love of all issues automotive with an insatiable curiosity. He needed to know, he wished to learn, and he preferred to share what he had arrive to know and what he had appear to discover with other fanatics. It’s what stored him operating, as significantly as he was able, appropriate until finally the very end.
-Photographs by Richard Baron and Patrick Hong