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AskPatty Highlights Jean Jennings and Denise McCluggage for Women's History Month

Published Mar 17th 2014, 8:00am by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

Denise McCluggage 1957 Watkins Glen Racing AwardIn the video below, Jean Jennings (one of the most respected women among automotive journalists) gives a video homage to Denise McCluggage (another one of the most respected women in automotive journalism, and in the racing world too). It seems a valuable and entertaining segment to share during Women’s History Month.



Jean Jennings

Who is Jean Jennings?

Jean is the president and editor-in-chief of Automobile Magazine, where she started as executive editor more than 28 years ago. Before that, she worked as a test driver/mechanic in the impact lab at the Chrysler Proving Grounds.

Jean has been profiled in The New Yorker and has been a guest on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. She was a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show, teaching Oprah and her studio audience how to change a tire and to jump a battery. Jean was Good Morning America’s automotive correspondent from 1994 to 2000 and then did the same thing for the Oxygen network. She has won awards for feature writing, car reviews, and her monthly Automobile Magazine column, “Vile Gossip,” including the 2007 Ken Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism. She is a regular on-air contributor to Fox Business Network; CNBC’s Closing Bell, Squawk Box, Behind the Wheel, and Power Lunch; MSNBC; CBS This Morning and Evening News; and CNN’s American Morning and Headline News.

With this background, it’s obvious that Jean knows cars, which leads to her personal project, a website called JeanKnowsCars.

If you want to find Jean at an event or autoshow, you need only keep an eye open for the woman wearing the best hat in the room; her flamboyant taste in millinery rivals anything you might see on a royal’s head.


Denise McCluggage

Who is Denise McCluggage?

Denise McCluggage is an American auto racing driver, journalist, author, and photographer. Now more than 85 years old, McCluggage was a pioneer of equality for women in the United States, both in motorsports as well as in journalism. She earned the respect of her male counterparts racing Porsches, Maseratis, and many other marques professionally for more than 10 years; her trademark was a white helmet with polka dots. She ended her racing career in the late 1960s and eventually became founding editor of the U.S. automotive magazine AutoWeek.

She holds both the Ken W. Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism and the Dean Batchelor Lifetime Achievement Award. She was presented a lifetime achievement award by the IAMA and is the only journalist to be inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. She even had her own exhibit at The Henry Ford Museum. Her weekly syndicated column called "Drive, She Said" appears in some 90 newspapers across the U.S. and Canada.

Find out more about this amazing woman at Wikipedia, or at her own website,


When you’re done reading this, we suggest you enjoy a feature that Jean wrote about Denise at JeanKnowsCars in October 2013, which is where we found the video we are sharing here.





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