Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Miss Henry Manney

Seeing Peter Egan at the Legends of Motorsports event in Birmingham a couple of months ago got me thinking about the sports car magazine I read during my misspent youth - Road & Track - and my favorite writer of that era, Henry N. Manney, III.

While I would devour each issue, the first page I would flip to would be Henry Manney's "At Large" column to see what his take was on whatever had his attention at the moment. The column was always illustrated with a woodcut image of something completely off the wall (a manacled individual about to get his head sliced off?) and a photo of "Yr Faithful Srvnt", as he referred to himself. One photo that stands out in my memory is of Henry dressed in full knightly armor atop a motorized skateboard, legs akimbo, right hand pointing forward. What did it have to do with the subject of the article? Not much - it was just classic Henry Manney.

I bought a collection of Henry's writings called Henry Manney, At Large and Abroad a few years back and enjoyed laugh out loud reading. I'm not sure if its available any longer, but you might be able to find it on one of the many used booksellers on the Internet.

Henry died in 1988 after battling a long illness.

With all the instantly available information on the web, I am saddened that there is not much out there about Henry Manney.
Too bad, really.

5 comments:

  1. I had the very fortunate pleasure of having lunch with Henry one day at the Carson mall.He would visit a shop in carson ca called Racing Services West owned by a New Zealender Steele Thurklsen. My friend Greg Vusovich and I happened to be there when Henry came by one day so we all went out to lunch togethere,that was a lunch I shall never forget.
    Steve Temoshek

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    1. I am Henry Manney's no. 2 son, and noticed your post. I remember visiting Steele Thorklsen: he gave me, on that occasion, an Ausin seat that we plopped into the infamous and much-mentioned $75 Fiat 600. I subsequently drove it to Virginia, thence to Ohio. We miss him as well. A belated thanks for the touching note.

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  2. I have always considered Henry Manney to have been a brilliant motoring journalist. His writings in Road & Track always left me laughing out loud. Henry's no. 2 son can be eternally proud of his Dad.

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  3. Knew HNMIII very well from my misspent college summers working at R&T in the daytime and racing Ascot whenever I could, chasing miniskirted SoCal birds in between. Great influence in my life, always advising to live with it, but stressing the "live"...whatever "it" was. Wondrously knowing of many (if not always useful) things, a sage of merit, not with us nearly long enough. What a curmudgeon should be.

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  4. Thanks, everybody, I wondered what had happened. Funny how somebody so large, so memorable, can have faded from the public discourse in such a short time. Manney was huge to us car guys B.I., Before Internet. Anyway, we'll not forget him, not while we're still around.

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