Noted automotive journalist Brock Yates died on October 5, 2016, after battling Alzheimer’s disease for over 12 years. He was 82 years old.
Yates came to prominence as the editor of Car and Driver magazine, later becoming a pit reporter for CBS covering NASCAR’s Winston Cup races in the 1980s. He also authored more than 14 books on automotive topics ranging from Harley Davidson motorcycles to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s history.
Yates is most frequently known for founding the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, better known as the Cannonball Run. The cross-continent road race was originally developed as a protest against lowered speed limits when the 55 mph federal speed limit law was passed. Yates and co-driver Dan Gurney, Formula One and Le Mans winner, drove their Sunoco blue Ferrari 365 GTB Daytona to the race’s first win.
He is also credited with screenwriting the movies Smokey and the Bandit II and Cannonball Run.
Our thoughts are with the Yates family in this difficult time.