OCW reader Jim Schild dropped me a sad note to report that “Duesenberg: The Pursuit of Perfection” author Fred Roe passed away Nov. 12. I learned from Kit Foster, Old Cars Weekly‘s Q&A guru, that Fred had suffered a massive stroke earlier this year that left him unable to communicate.
I collect a lot of books, but “Duesenberg: The Pursuit of Perfection” is among my most read. The book has rather a simple format: lots of photos and deep, informative captions. In writing “Cadillac: 100 Years of Innovation,” I used this format for each photo I selected, thinking that, as a reader, I enjoyed information shared this way.
Roe also set a template for how I believe all books on rare cars should be presented: car-by-car with photos and captions for all known examples. Other books on cars of a similar nature that do not follow this format, regardless of lay out, all fall short, in my opinion.
As someone who really enjoys Duesenbergs, I was always a big fan of Roe and finally met him one year at Hershey. I was even able to give him some rare factory photos I had collected that he had not seen. I very much enjoyed corresponding with him on the occasion.