Bill Boddy, the founder editor of MotorSport magazine and a leading light in the vintage car hobby for more than 80 years passed away today, 7 July. He was 98.
Writing until his last days, William "Bill" Boddy was also a prolific author on historic motorsport throughout an epic career that began when he first visited Brooklands circuit in 1927.
Three years later he published his first article in MotorSport, on the history of the circuit – the nation’s first purpose-built facility. By 1936 he was asked to edit the magazine following a change in ownership.
Before the outbreak of World War 2, Boddy successfully campaigned the likes of an HRG, Lancia and Aston Martin in various hill climbs and was a passenger with Sydney Allard when the latter won the last speed event before war commenced.
During the hostilities, Boddy was employed by the Ministry for Air Publications but he managed to keep MotorSport going in his spare time.
When peace broke out, Boddy famously recruited Denis Jenkinson and went on to create the 750 Motor Club and inspire the 500cc racing fraternity. He also founded the Brooklands Society, which was instrumental in saving the famous banked circuit.
During his career – the longest of any motoring journalist – he wrote several seminal and definitive books including The history of Brooklands motor course (1957), Montlhéry: The Story of the Paris Autodrome, 1961 and The history of motor racing, (1977)
He edited MotorSport until 1991 and was a regular columnist until his death.