Eoin Young, Autocar’s longest-standing contributor of the modern era, died last night in New Zealand, close to where he was born 75 years ago.
A brilliant, self-taught journalist, he will be best remembered for his gossipy, fearlessly written column, Straight From The Grid (later simply From The Grid and then Eoin Young's Diary), that mainly discussed motorsport but covered all things motoring.
Such was its popularity that we published it for 31 years from 1967. At one stage it also appeared in seven other publications around the world, which gave its author a worldwide notoriety and influence few can attain.
Born in 1939, Eoin Spence Young started work as a bank clerk in Timaru, in New Zealand’s South Island, and soon began writing motor sport stories for his local paper, the Timaru Herald, as a hobby.
He became friendly with a talented local club driver, Bruce McLaren, and when McLaren won New Zealand’s 'Driver to Europe' scholarship, Young stayed in touch by ghosting his columns in New Zealand publications.