Under The Hood

Remembering Beverly Rae Kimes

It is with a heavy heart that I post this message about the passing of our hobby’s foremost and most beloved historian, Beverly Rae Kimes. She died May 12.

Beverly was a very prolific researcher and writer known for such books as “The Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1805-1942,” “The Star and the Laurel” and “Packard: A History of the Motor Car and the Company.” Most recently, Beverly was the executive editor of the Classic Car Club of America, and had been a longtime editor of Automobile Quarterly.

Such accomplishments would humble anyone, including myself. I felt like I was meeting a star when I first met Beverly at the Society of Automotive Historians’ 2002 banquet held in Hershey, Pa., during the AACA national fall meet. I was immediately struck by her class and grace, which came through in every article she wrote and every issue of the CCCA’s “Bulletin” publication she edited. Such elegance permeated every other conversation I was fortunate to share with Beverly, whether it was in an e-mail, in person or on one of her little yellow Post-It notes with a personal note stuck to the cover of the latest CCCA “Bulletin.”

In memory of Beverly and in lieu of flowers, her husband wishes donations be made to The National Kidney Foundation at www.kidney.org where there is a “make a gift” form, or via FAX to 212-889-2310 (National Kidney Foundation, 30 East 33rd Street NY , NY 10016).

We’ll have more details on the life of Beverly in the next issue of OCW. If you’d like to share your thoughts, I welcome you to do it here.

6 thoughts on “Remembering Beverly Rae Kimes

  1. Gregg D Merksamer

    Beverly Rae Kimes was truly a one-in-a-million inspiration to countless automotive historians who came up behind, beside and even before her (Henry Austin Clark, her great mentor, must have been proud). As much as I’ll miss her letters & e-mail, I take comfort in believing she is not going anywhere, as her books and articles will always be at the fingertips of anyone who wants to do an old car story right. In my office, proof positive can be found less than two feet behind my shoulders as I’m writing this, in the form of the most dog-eared and tattered 1805-1942 STANDARD CATALOG OF AMERICAN CARS you are ever likely to see. For anyone with gasoline in their veins, or maybe steam in their condensers, Beverly will be indispensable for all time!

  2. Gregg D Merksamer

    Beverly Rae Kimes was truly a one-in-a-million inspiration to countless automotive historians who came up behind, beside and even before her (Henry Austin Clark, her great mentor, must have been proud). As much as I’ll miss her letters & e-mail, I take comfort in believing she is not going anywhere, as her books and articles will always be at the fingertips of anyone who wants to do an old car story right. In my office, proof positive can be found less than two feet behind my shoulders as I’m writing this, in the form of the most dog-eared and tattered 1805-1942 STANDARD CATALOG OF AMERICAN CARS you are ever likely to see. For anyone with gasoline in their veins, or maybe steam in their condensers, Beverly will be indispensable for all time!

  3. Paul

    My father and I had the pleasure (as well as all others in attendance) to enjoy Beverly’s commentary that accompanied the parade of entrants at the Concours d’Elegance of the Eastern United States in Bethlehem, PA for many years. Placing each car within the historical context of its era with pop culture references was a fantastic way of entertaining and educating both novices and experts alike. Hearing her sing the praises of our car as we rolled up on the red carpet was the highlight of our day, and a moment that we’ll always remember.

  4. Paul

    My father and I had the pleasure (as well as all others in attendance) to enjoy Beverly’s commentary that accompanied the parade of entrants at the Concours d’Elegance of the Eastern United States in Bethlehem, PA for many years. Placing each car within the historical context of its era with pop culture references was a fantastic way of entertaining and educating both novices and experts alike. Hearing her sing the praises of our car as we rolled up on the red carpet was the highlight of our day, and a moment that we’ll always remember.

  5. Margus H. Kuuse

    As the oldest auto scribe and historian of a huge area once called the USSR I was honoured being able to name Beverly Rae Kimes among my pen pals. Since nineties I have lost nearly two dozen of internationally known authors with whom we worked together, trying to bring unknown western automobiliana closer to our innocent public. Now she has joined the sad long list, too. Lately we discussed a very important idea of launching an unprecedented in former Socialist bloc Auto Almanac which brings the period 1886-2016 first time really close to our readers.
    Not an Encyclopedia – Internet raplaces most such these days effectively -, but one with 16-20 pages/35-55 illustrations articles, each of which can replace a 200-250 pages book in some way or another (the latter are not going to be issued in natio-nal languages of ex-USSR ever). I, and now my younger daughter, too, whose initial works about women & autos have been published in Estonian and in Russian, continue to be inspired by Beverly´s fantastic work.

  6. Margus H. Kuuse

    As the oldest auto scribe and historian of a huge area once called the USSR I was honoured being able to name Beverly Rae Kimes among my pen pals. Since nineties I have lost nearly two dozen of internationally known authors with whom we worked together, trying to bring unknown western automobiliana closer to our innocent public. Now she has joined the sad long list, too. Lately we discussed a very important idea of launching an unprecedented in former Socialist bloc Auto Almanac which brings the period 1886-2016 first time really close to our readers.
    Not an Encyclopedia – Internet raplaces most such these days effectively -, but one with 16-20 pages/35-55 illustrations articles, each of which can replace a 200-250 pages book in some way or another (the latter are not going to be issued in natio-nal languages of ex-USSR ever). I, and now my younger daughter, too, whose initial works about women & autos have been published in Estonian and in Russian, continue to be inspired by Beverly´s fantastic work.

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