Genny Obert: A Unique Voice, Silenced
Genny Obert, a good friend to the staff of european car and a valued contributor, died on July 21, 2003. We shall miss her dearly, and our thoughts go out to her family and friends.
Were I to have been given the opportunity to drive around the world, I'd have invited Genny to come along. Friendly, informed, a multilinguist and curious about everything life offered, she would have made an ideal travelling companion.
Her mettle for endurance driving was proven in 1997, when she shared a 1970 Hillman Hunter with Linda Dodwell on the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge. Genny's writing talent, already well known to readers of european car, was demonstrated to a wider audience when her chronicle of that event, "Prince Borghese's Trail: 10,000 miles over two continents, four deserts, and the Roof of the World in the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge," was published, winning the Dean Batchelor Award from the Motor Press Guild for the best print work of 1999 as well as becoming a featured selection of the Book of the Month Club's Quality Paperback Book Club.
Genny graduated with honors from UC Santa Cruz and earned a Masters Degree in International Business from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in 1988. Genny came to know cars through her husband, Chris, a lifelong aficionado of Italian cars. It was natural enough, then, that Genny preferred to write about Italy's automobiles and the culture which surrounds those wonderful machines. Her studies helped her form, with Chris, the firm of C. Obert & Company, the largest importer of Fiat, Lancia and Abarth parts to North America. This background gave her the technical acumen to match her skill with words and ensured that her articles were as authoritative as they were entertaining.
Genny had written about her 43-day Peking-Paris adventure in the March 1998 issue of european car, and it was just one of almost 70 articles she penned which have appeared in the magazine or on our Web site. Her first submission, about Volkswagen's vintage museum, was published in 1996, and I'm gratified to say we have more of Genny's entertaining articles in the files waiting to be enjoyed by those who came to admire her work and to those yet to discover her fresh approach to well-trodden territory.
Among her many interests, Genny was especially captivated by women in racing. At the time of her death, she was working on a book honoring them, called "Fast Women: A History of Women Auto Racers."
I wish she was around to finish it
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