Brock Yates on His Car and Driver Departure

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

Brock Yates is one of the more divisive figures in automotive journalism. In fact, we feel like a redundant dunce in even saying that, but whatever. Still, we were really shocked when Sweet Peet D. mentioned that Csaba Csere had let Yates go. To us, being thirtysomethings, Yates is more an icon of Car and Driver than David E. ever was. He was the magazine's mascot; he was one of the primary reasons we got into automotive writing. We didn't always agree with the cut of his jib, but we almost always found his words chewing on. His retort to Csere's May, 2006 C/D column posted on the One Lap site wasn't something we noticed 'til today, but we thought it was worth reposting. Check it after the jump.

"Let's set the story straight. Csaba Csere claims I took "early retirement" from Car and Driver. Here's the truth. He came to my home and fired me. He said I was too expensive. A few days later he made me a cheap alternative offer that I refused. My long tenure with the magazine is over. Kaput. A cheap shot that will not be forgotten. That's the way it happened."

Without Yates, Car and Driver has lost even more of the personality that has been slipping away from the magazine over the last year or two. And it's a shame, because it was hugely influential to us, and is still the gold standard for technical specs. Then again, we also hoped the Rolling Stones would never make Voodoo Lounge. YMMV.

A few words from Brock [One Lap of America]

Big Changes Afoot at Car and Driver [Internal]

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Piston Slap Yo Mama

Bravo, Downshift. Yates was why I let my subscription lapse many years ago. He towed the right-wing party line and never brought any new insight to the table. Reading his stuff was like reading the Family Circus comic strip: you know it's not going to be funny but you read it anyway because you're curious just how bad it could be. At least P.J. O'Rourke had a sense of humor about his party affiliations. I'll never forget a line he wrote about road testing a Jag XJS, roughly paraphrased 'wet your finger and stick it in the crotch of the steering wheel and twirl it around...' Lovely.