Carmencita Sewell

Carmencita Sewell

Published: 12 Nov 2023


Brock Yates, a name that resonates with automobile enthusiasts and racing fans alike. He was a true legend in the automotive world, known for his remarkable contributions as a journalist, author, and racing driver. With a career spanning over several decades, Yates left an indelible mark on the industry and became a household name.

In this article, we will delve into the fascinating life of Brock Yates, uncovering 20 mind-blowing facts that showcase his immense talent, relentless drive, and unwavering passion for all things automotive. From his groundbreaking work as the founder of the Cannonball Run to his influential writings in esteemed publications, Yates’s impact on the world of racing and car culture cannot be overstated.

So fasten your seat belts and get ready for an exhilarating ride as we explore the intriguing anecdotes, triumphs, and lesser-known aspects of Brock Yates’s extraordinary journey.

Table of Contents

Born on October 21, 1933

Brock Yates was born on October 21, 1933, in Lockport, New York, USA. His birthday is a significant day for motorsports enthusiasts around the world.

Founder of the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash

Brock Yates is widely recognized as the founder of the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash. This infamous cross-country race captured the imagination of many and became the inspiration for the classic film “Cannonball Run.”

An Acclaimed Journalist

Yates made significant contributions to the field of journalism. He worked as an editor and columnist for esteemed publications such as Car and Driver, Road & Track, and Popular Mechanics, earning him a reputation as a leading authority in the automotive world.

Author of “Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races”

In addition to his accomplishments as a journalist, Yates penned the book “Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races,” offering an in-depth look into the life and legacy of the iconic founder of Ferrari.

Co-creator of the TV Show “The Hot Rod Magazine Power Trip”

Brock Yates teamed up with Hot Rod Magazine to create the TV show “The Hot Rod Magazine Power Trip.” The show highlighted the latest developments in automotive technology and the excitement of the racing world.

Strong Advocacy for Automotive Safety

Yates was a vocal advocate for automotive safety, actively campaigning for improved safety measures and regulations within the industry. His dedication to promoting responsible driving and vehicle safety is an enduring part of his legacy.

Coined the Term “One Lap of America”

Brock Yates coined the term “One Lap of America,” a grueling event where competitors drive across the United States, visiting various racetracks along the way. The event continues to attract fearless drivers and racing enthusiasts to this day.

Longtime Contributor to Playboy Magazine

In addition to his work with automotive publications, Yates was a regular contributor to Playboy Magazine. His insightful and entertaining articles graced the pages of this iconic publication, reaching a wide audience around the world.

Passionate Supporter of American Muscle Cars

Brock Yates had a deep affinity for American muscle cars and was known for his unwavering support and promotion of these powerful machines. His love for these iconic vehicles resonated with fans of all ages.

Host of the Talk Show “Car and Track”

Yates hosted the popular talk show “Car and Track,” where he engaged in thought-provoking discussions with industry experts and showcased cutting-edge automotive technology.

Enthusiastic Vintage Car Collector

Yates had a passion for vintage cars and maintained an impressive collection of classic automobiles. His dedication to preserving automotive history was evident through his love for these cherished vehicles.

Collaborated with Steve McQueen on the Film “Le Mans”

Yates collaborated with legendary actor Steve McQueen on the iconic racing film “Le Mans,” bringing his expertise and knowledge to the production. Their collaboration resulted in a movie that is still regarded as a classic in the racing genre.

Founder of the One Lap of America Event

Building on the success of the term he coined, Brock Yates founded the One Lap of America event. This challenging endurance race continues to attract drivers from all walks of life, testing their skills on various racetracks across the country.

Inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America

In recognition of his significant contributions to the world of motorsports, Yates was posthumously inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, solidifying his place among the greats of the industry.

Dedicated Family Man

Apart from his professional achievements, Brock Yates was a devoted family man. He cherished his wife, Pamela Yates, and their children, and his family continues to honor his memory and his contributions to the automotive world.

Passionate Advocate for Racing as a Sport

Yates was a firm believer in racing as a sport that transcended mere competition. He viewed it as an expression of skill, artistry, and bravery, celebrating the talent and determination of the drivers and teams involved.

Hosted the Popular TV Show “Car and Driver Television”

Yates’s captivating personality and extensive knowledge of the automotive world led to him hosting the highly acclaimed TV show “Car and Driver Television.” The program provided viewers with an up-close and personal look at the latest cars and automotive trends.

Legacy of Inspiring Automotive Journalists

Many aspiring automotive journalists credit Brock Yates as an inspiration for their career choice, his trailblazing work setting the stage for a new generation of passionate storytellers and industry experts.

Champion of Automotive Innovation

Throughout his career, Yates championed automotive innovation, consistently showcasing the latest technological advancements and pushing the boundaries of what was possible in the world of racing and performance automobiles.

Fondly Remembered as a Motorsports Icon

Even after his passing in 2016, Brock Yates is fondly remembered as a motorsports icon whose contributions to the industry continue to resonate with racing enthusiasts and automotive fans worldwide.

These 20 mind-blowing facts about Brock Yates showcase his immense impact on the world of motorsports and journalism. His legacy as a pioneering figure, passionate advocate, and visionary in the automotive industry will forever be etched in the annals of racing history.


In conclusion, Brock Yates was a fascinating individual with a multitude of accomplishments in the world of celebrity. From his iconic role as the creator of the Cannonball Run to his deep impact on automotive journalism, Yates left a lasting legacy in the entertainment and racing industries.

Through his wit, charm, and expert storytelling, Yates captured the hearts of millions and inspired a new generation of race enthusiasts. His influential work continues to be celebrated and admired to this day.

Whether you’re a fan of the Cannonball Run movies, an avid follower of motorsports, or simply someone intrigued by the world of celebrities, Brock Yates will forever be remembered as a true icon in his field. His unique contributions and passion for all things automotive have left an indelible mark on popular culture, making him a beloved figure in the hearts of fans around the globe.

Rest in peace, Brock Yates. Your incredible journey will continue to inspire and captivate us for years to come.


Q: What is Brock Yates famous for?

A: Brock Yates is most famous for being the creator of the Cannonball Run, a cross-country car race that became the inspiration for a series of successful movies.

Q: How did Brock Yates contribute to automotive journalism?

A: Brock Yates was a prominent automotive journalist, known for his work in Car and Driver magazine. He provided unique insights and captivating stories that helped shape the way automotive journalism is perceived today.

Q: Did Brock Yates have any other notable achievements?

A: In addition to his involvement in the Cannonball Run and automotive journalism, Brock Yates also authored numerous books, including “Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races” and “Sunday Driver: The Writer Meets the Road at 175 MPH.”

Q: What is the legacy of Brock Yates?

A: Brock Yates’ legacy lies in his contributions to the world of celebrity and motorsports. His creativity, passion, and knack for storytelling continue to inspire and entertain millions of fans around the world.

Q: Where can I learn more about Brock Yates?

A: To learn more about Brock Yates and his remarkable career, it is recommended to explore his books, watch the Cannonball Run movies, and read articles and interviews featuring his insightful perspectives on the automotive industry.