Wheels

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Scribe -

IIn 1963, Bill Tuckey changed the world. As edi­tor of Wheels mag­a­zine, he in­tro­duced the world’s very first Car of the Year award – an hon­our that went to the Re­nault 8.

If that had been all he achieved in his ca­reer as a mo­tor­ing jour­nal­ist, it would have been enough. But Tuckey did a lot more to bring cred­i­bil­ity and clout to the mo­tor­ing beat, as well as es­tab­lish­ing him­self as the best of his breed – any­where in the world.

“Bill took mo­tor­ing jour­nal­ism to new heights of re­spectabil­ity within jour­nal­ism and the mo­tor in­dus­try.

“He un­der­stood how cars were cre­ated and de­vel­oped, how they were sold. Bill be­lieved there was no rea­son why a car mag­a­zine shouldn’t aim for the high­est stan­dards of jour­nal­ism,” says Peter Robin­son, the long­est-serv­ing Edi­tor of Wheels and him­self a pow­er­house in global mo­tor­ing.

“Bill brought fresh­ness, en­ter­tain­ment, a sense of hu­mour, and – most of all – bril­liant writ­ing. He in­vented com­par­i­son tests, at least among Aus­tralian mag­a­zines, and was never afraid to crit­i­cise a new car. He took the lo­cal in­dus­try se­ri­ously and ef­fort­lessly im­parted his knowl­edge and enthusiasm for both cars and mag­a­zines.

“It helped that he could drive and was an in­sight­ful road tester. What he brought was the abil­ity to put the reader be­hind the wheel, es­pe­cially in sto­ries for Sports Car World.”

Robin­son says there were things he hap­pily con­tin­ued at Wheels.

“The ob­jec­tiv­ity of his com­par­isons, the need for each is­sue to con­tain a ‘good read’, and a cul­ture that took the reader be­hind the scenes to make them feel they be­longed to an exclusive club of like-minded en­thu­si­asts.”

And he has no doubt about the his­tor­i­cal im­por­tance of that fledg­ling Car of the Year award.

“COTY gave Wheels cred­i­bil­ity and Bill built on this so that it be­came, and re­mains, the Aus­tralian in­dus­try’s high­est and most-soughtafter award.”

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