7.03.2009

Patrick Bedard Retires from Car and Driver


Patrick Bedard just announced (in print, in the August issue of Car and Driver) that he's retiring. August is his last column.

Damn.

In 41 years at C/D, Bedard could be counted on to tell it straight...even (make that especially) the stuff you didn't want to hear. Like how the automotive air bag is the first "safety device" in history to have a warning label saying that properly used, the device can cause death.

He called BS on a number of things that needed it...shortened yellow light times that started showing up when red light cameras did...incessant and insane attempts at regulation...I'd need a while to fill out the list. Simply put, if it deserved calling out, Bedard did it.

And he knew of what he spoke...not because he was a journalist (see David E. Davis' August column for the best line about journalism in a while), but because he was an engineer. He not only knew about cars...he knew how to (and not to) design and build them.

After 41 years, I can't begrudge Bedard his retirement. But I'll miss him...and coming at a time when C/D appears to be heading to new heights, I'll always wonder how much better it would be had he stuck around.

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