Peter Egan, editor-at-large for Road & Track and Cycle World magazines, is the winner of he 2008 Ken Purdy Award, presented annually by the International Motor Press Association to honor excellence in automotive journalism.
The winning entry, a two-part article, “Hank’s Last Drive,” appeared in the April and May issues of Road & Track.
In it, Egan chronicled a journey he and a friend took retracing the route country music legend Hank Williams and his chauffeur followed on Hank’s final journey from his home in Montgomery, Ala., to Oak Hill, W. Va. Williams died near Oak Hill in the back seat of his 1952 Cadillac convertible.
For the long-planned expedition, Egan bought – and spent two years meticulously restoring – a 1953 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special which took the pair on the 2,600-mile odyssey beginning and ending at Egan’s Wisconsin home.
A University of Wisconsin journalism school graduate, Egan began his writing career as a freelance journalist contributing stories to Cycle World. He worked full-time for the magazine from 1980 until 1983, when he moved to Road & Track.
After a seven-year stint there, he returned to Wisconsin, where he continues to write columns and feature stories for the magazines, many of which have been republished as books.
He also restores cars and motorcycles, mostly British, and plays guitar in a garage band near his Madison-area home.
Many of his Road & Track “Side Glances” columns, Cycle World “Leanings” columns and feature stories have been reprinted as books. Egan previously won the Purdy award in 1984.