It was with great sadness I recently learned that gifted motoring writer, LJK Setright passed away after succumbing to cancer.
For me, LJKS will always be one of the giants among British motoring writers, someone I’ve never spoken to, and yet I feel I knew, because he allowed his unique personality to shine through in the pages of CAR magazine.
Setright was one of the characters who I grew up with, and as an impressionable youngster reading (and cherishing) CAR magazine during the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties, it took me a long time to penetrate his technically dense, yet erudite work. It was always worth the effort though, because once you found the way in, his writing was hugely entertaining, and would tell you all you needed to know about the subject in question.
LJKS will always be one of the giants
among British motoring scribes because
he allowed his unique personality to
shine through in the pages of
I always hoped that I would meet him, as we had a shared acquaintance in David Price, former owner of my old SD1, and editor of Hi-Fi World magazine – the journal LJKS wrote for in later years. David had a few interesting anecdotes, which revealed a lot about LJKS’ personality – such as his ability to produce work that would never need editing – and his uniquely quick and clinical driving style.
I spotting the unmistakable figure LJKS at the 2004 Birmingham motor show, and finding myself too nervous to introduce myself to him, I let him o by without saying a word. It is with great sadness that I realise I’ll never meet him now.
With the passing of LJKS, we have now lost the entire CAR magazine ‘dream team’ of columnists that I so found myself enraptured by in the late Eighties and into the Nineties. We’ll never again see the likes of Bulgin, Bishop, Setright and Llewellyn.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.