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Journalist and Racer Denise McCluggage Dead at 88

Le Mans, 1958. Denise McCluggage is the first to interview winners Olivier Gendebien and Phil Hill (at the wheel). World Copyright: LAT Photographic.

Pioneering racer, historian and automotive journalist Denise McCluggage passed away on Wednesday, May 6 at the age of 88.

One of the first female sportswriters in the 1950s, McCluggage covered motorsports and skiing for the New York Herald Tribune (ABOVE: McCluggage, with camera, readies to be among the first to interview Le Mans 24 Hours winners Olivier Gendebien and Phil Hill in 1958) before carving out an equally pioneering role as a successful racer. She scored class wins at Sebring in 1961 driving with jazz musician Allen Eager in the GT category driving a 250 GT Scaglietti-bodied, short-wheelbase Ferrari Berlinetta, and at the prestigious Rally Monte Carlo in 1964 driving a Ford Falcon.

Along the way, McCluggage befriended many giants of the era including Hill, Juan-Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss. She went on to enjoy a long career as a published author on racing and motoring – and helped found Competition Press, which later became AutoWeek, where she wrote a weekly column for many years.

McCluggage was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame and the SCCA Hall of Fame, and also received the Ken Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism, the Dean Batchelor Lifetime Achievement Award.

Source: Historic – Journalist/racer pioneer Denise McCluggage passes away at 88

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Co-founder of Race Legends, life-long gearhead and with a passion for the Ford GT 40.