Terry Page, the man who founded and managed Page One Automotive, passed away last Saturday, way too soon. This gentleman, who changed the way manufacturers distribute their cars to journalists like me, was always kind, classy, and welcome. His personal support and guidance helped establish the Western Automotive Journalists (WAJ), which is celebrating a quarter century of bringing car writers together in Northern California.
I remember first working with Terry back in 1993. I was helping him plan out a drive route for the WAJ Media Days event in Marin County in the beautiful back roads. It was a lovely day, and we were driving a red 1994 Nissan 240SX.
This man, and the many people who worked for him over the years, are always a huge presence at the annual WAJ Media Days event. We’ll miss Terry a lot at this year’s event, but I know that the experts who manage and work for Page One will continue the very high level of quality that we’ve all become used to.
It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to be an auto writer without Terry and his organization. Of the 1,200 cars I’ve gratefully tested since 1992, more than half were from his fleet.
Page One is a model of efficiency, courtesy, and frankly, magic. They help you plan a schedule of weekly test cars, deliver them clean and full of gas, and then pick them up or bring another a week later. They are adept at managing complex events, too. This model is worlds better than the situation before, when journalists were on their own, working directly with manufacturers. I owe much of my ability to write and enjoyment of this privilege to Page One and Terry Page.
It’s been a long association. Here’s me with my first car from Page One, a 1992 Chevrolet Lumina LTZ, in March of 1992.
Here’s my most recent Page One car loan, a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, which I turned back to them this morning.
Goodbye, old friend.