Tony Swan, automotive writer and editor and a legend in the car reviewing community, has died after a battle with cancer. He was 78.
Swan's career may have begun at the sports desk of the Saint Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota, but it was automotive writing that became his career. Swan wrote vehicle reviews, road tests, and racing stories for Autoweek, Better Homes and Gardens, Popular Mechanics and Cycle World. He was the automotive critic for the Detroit Free Press, a contributor to The New York Times and a staffer at Motor Trend, where he eventually became editor-in-chief. In 1998, he joined Car and Driver, where he served as executive editor from 2000 to 2006 and where he was still publishing articles well past an age where most folks would be contemplating retirement.
But Swan's greatest passion was racing. He competed at the amateur and professional levels, in everything from a factory-backed Corvette to a string of Lemons crapcans. His racing resume included roughly three dozen 24-hour events; he was competing in this year's LeMons series in a BMW 330i coupe with a team of friends from the auto industry and journalist colleagues.
Fans of Tony's writing—and in a career spanning nearly half a century working at the most influential car publications in the world, he amassed plenty of fans—should , written by his close personal friend Rich Ceppos. Tony is survived by his wife, Mary Seelhorst, his son Austin and daughter Hillary, and six grandchildren. The staff of Road & Track send our thoughts to Tony's family, friends and colleagues.