A big thanks, to a great man

This issue marks an important milestone — but one that I’d just as soon not write about.

It will be the last column penned by our Tech Talk columnist Gerry Malloy. He’s hanging up his pen.

Gerry has been an automotive journalist for more than 25 years, and has been among a handful of people at the top of that game. He’s a three-time winner of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada’s (AJAC) Automotive Journalist of the Year Award, and the recipient of multiple other awards for his automotive writing.

Some of you might also have seen Gerry’s work as a long-time columnist and feature writer for the Wheels section of the Toronto Star.

He’s the founding editor of Canadian auto dealer, and is easily one of the best writers I’ve worked with over my 25+ year career as a journalist and editor.

For starters, Gerry is one of few automotive journalists who really, really understand automotive technology. He holds Bachelor’s and Masters degrees in Mechanical Engineering and spent more than 20 years as an automotive test-and-development engineer — before starting his journalism career.

So, clearly, he knows what he’s talking about. But it’s more than that. Perhaps better than anyone I’ve worked with, Gerry has the ability to write clearly, and plainly, and can make the most technical subject in the world — accessible.

For someone with an engineering background, that’s no mean feat. For someone not “classically-trained” as a journalist, it’s all the more remarkable. Writers who have access to the most complex language available, but choose instead to simplify and clarify are at the top of my list of great writers. In effect, he’s the Ernest Hemmingway of automotive journalism in Canada.

Now, Gerry will hate everything about this editor’s note. Especially that last line. When he decided to step aside, he booked a meeting with myself and Publisher Niel Hiscox (who he’s known and worked with even longer) and told us about his decision. A class act in itself.

When we told him we’d like to write about his retirement in the magazine, in true Gerry fashion, he said he didn’t want any of that, and just wanted to quietly ride off into the sunset. That’s just Gerry. A shrug of the shoulders and a sly smile, giving you the sense that he’s got something else to say, but chooses not to.

So what else can I say about Gerry?

I’ll never forget the time he took me for a rip around the Test Fest track in Niagara in an Audi R8. I was both terrified and exhilarated as he whipped us around the track at breakneck speeds, and it’s when I discovered he was as skilled a driver as a writer.

He’s been a columnist for the better part of a decade and is always the first or among the first to submit it on time. A true professional.

I’ve learned something new from every column he submitted.

He’s as humble a guy as you’ll ever meet, gracious and generous with his time and ideas to others, and practices the kind of loyalty you just don’t see these days.

Simply put, they don’t make the Gerry Malloy model anymore.

While that’s really sad for me, and for the rest of you, all I can say is: Gerry, thanks for all you’ve done. You’ve made our industry better, and informed so many consumers and people in the auto industry along the way. Enjoy retirement — you’ve earned it.


About Todd Phillips

Todd Phillips is the editorial director of Universus Media Group Inc. and the editor of Canadian auto dealer magazine. Todd can be reached at tphillips@universusmedia.com.

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