The Humble Giant: Terry Page 1950-2017

Page One Automotive founder Terry Page
Terry Page.
The automotive world lost a visionary, a major player and a truly nice guy last weekend.  Terry Page, the founder of Page One Automotive, a Bay Area-based company that, in addition to providing event services, is one of only a handful that manages and maintains manufacturer vehicle press fleets and handles the logistics of getting them from one automotive journalist to another so you can read about them, passed away of cancer at the far too young age of 66.

Terry revolutionized the way guys like me get the cars you read about.  Time was, each manufacturer maintained their own fleets and hired several someones ( often individual people) to manage it for them.  Terry was handling it for Ford in Northern California more than 30 years ago when he realized there was a better way for everyone involved.  I said Page One was one of a handful...it was also the pioneer. Roughly half of the thousand or so cars reviewed in the eight and a half years of TireKicker's existence thus far have come to us through Page One.

Terry was also a major and early supporter of Western Automotive Journalists, the Northern California professional association of automotive journalists, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.  When I relocated TireKicker World Headquarters to Northern California in the fall of 2013, I joined WAJ and three weeks later, found myself sharing a table with Terry at the annual holiday party.  We've bumped into each other at events since, and chatted a bit.  Many people knew him far better than I did, but every single one of us has the same bottom line:  Unfailingly kind, smart, gracious and open.

If you've never heard of Terry, that's because, to Terry, it was never about him.  The photo you see above is the one on the internet...from Page One's own website, in the smallest resolution (250x250) possible.  And I'll bet that's exactly what Terry wanted.  It was about the work, the product, the people he served and the people he employed, not him.

I have the good fortune of working fairly closely with his people in both the Bay Area and Phoenix, and to say they're devastated by the news of Terry's passing would be putting it mildly.  There are too few like him in any business.  I'm thankful I was able to meet him, and get to know him a little.  I wish I'd known him better.