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Tony Swan, Dean of Automotive Journalists, Dead at 78

“Drive fast. Take chances.”

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Sep.28, 2018

For some, the love of things that go "vroom" starts at a very young age.

I’d expected to see Tony Swan looking frail and subdued. He had, after all, just gone through the latest in a seemingly endless series of chemotherapy sessions, never mind surgeries. But things were as lively as ever at the Ypsilanti home he shared with wife Mary Seelhorst as I arrived for the annual holiday party. No question, Tony had been to hell, but he was back, and he had transformed the detritus of his chemo treatments, bags, tubes, rack and all, into a mad take on a Christmas tree.

Whether on track or behind the keyboard, Tony Swan maintained a zest for life and a passion for automobiles in every shape and form until almost the very moment he passed on last night. Indeed, he had gone on several media events over the last couple months, and attended a nearby Concours just a few weeks ago.

The Last Word!

“Drive fast. Take chances.” It was a clever coin of a phrase, but it was also one Tony lived by. Given the chance to do just one thing with his life, he’d probably have chosen racing, he would admit on occasion. Even after age and illness made it increasingly difficult to maintain the pace of his addiction he continued on a slower scale, partnering with friends and former colleagues on the LeMons circuit, championing vehicles that wouldn’t even have qualified for rent-a-wreck status.

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