Jim Dunne to Receive
Lifetime Achievement Award at
Car of the Year Awards
November 6, 2006 - Veteran automotive journalist and spy photographer
Jim Dunne will become the 4th recipient of ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine's (RTM) annual Lifetime
Achievement Award, at RTM's annual International Car of the Year Awards (ICOTY)
on January 6, 2007.
It’s likely that you’ve read many of Jim Dunne’s automotive stories, as they’ve graced the covers of magazines, newspapers, radio and televisions stations nationwide. But what is even more likely is that you’ve been captivated by one or more of this spy photography pioneer’s shots – capturing glimpses of future cars for the curious eyes of hungry auto lovers and proud display on newsstands worldwide.
Having shot his first spy photo at GM Proving Grounds in Milford, Michigan, over a fenced area now dubbed “Dunne’s Grove,” Dunne was off to a racing start. Freezing in time an image that blended real-life testing and mystery, Dunne was able to sell his photo to a national “car book.” One editor simply replied to Dunne, “Get us more.”
Crediting his U.S. Army service as a precursor to a big part of his life’s work, Dunne says that spying from unlikely places on the Intelligence and Reconnaissance Squad served him well as training. Considering that his photo opportunities take place in the bitter cold of Kapuskasing and Bemidji, the dry heat of Death Valley and the jungle-like districts of Alligator Alley, Dunne’s extreme “training” experiences seem fitting.
But long before Dunne was peering over fences, he was sitting behind writing desks. For the past twenty-one years, Dunne has served as the Detroit editor of Popular Mechanics magazine where his writing focuses on developments in the auto industry and how they affect those in his native Detroit.
Before Popular Mechanics, Dunne wrote a column for national magazines (and continues to do so) revealing the secrets that auto companies strive to keep from the public – with an emphasis on those that reveal the shape and substance of their future vehicles.
Dunne also worked for thirteen years conducting on-track testing of new vehicles. He studied the differences between comparative models in performance area of acceleration, high-speed handling, low speed maneuverability, fuel economy, noise levels and extreme braking. Even today most national car magazines imitate his track testing formula in their new product reviews.
While writing experiences have kept Dunne busy for years, other non-publishing encounters stand out in his lifeline, including being sued for millions over a story written on the unproven benefits of so-called “miracle gas savers,” and being investigated in a matter of purloined proprietary photographs.
But there was life before journalism and now, outside of it. Dunne, a life-long sports enthusiast, holds a rating of 3 to 4 in an open league tennis team. Sport fishing and reading – history and fiction – are also past times, as well as traveling. A graduate of the University of Detroit, Dunne is the father of seven grown children and now resides in Grosse Pointe.
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Info: Courtney Caldwell - 248-546-4646