Gerry Durnell

Gerry Durnell was a continuation of “the greatest generation.” So named for their bravery, patriotism, and creativity. Gerry flew 180 reconnaissance flights in Viet Nam and Cambodia during the Viet Nam Conflict as it is now called. Conflict seems a stretch of definitions when people are shooting at you. He told me once he always flew with a 12”x12” ¼” piece of steel under his seat! This was a man that was a great judge of character.

He was also a generous and creative soul. Among other entities Gerry was involved in, he was the creative force behind Automotive Quarterly, THE standard for journalistic excellence- automotive or otherwise. Gerry suggested the program for the Concours to be in the mirror image of AQ. We have strived to uphold that level of excellence for not only Gerry’s memory, but as a standard to attain. 

Gerry quipped at one of our board meetings “I have the feeling that this group feels that good enough isn’t.” That was Gerry’s mantra as well. – Tom Jones, Chair of the Keeneland Concours d’Elegance


Gerry was known for his personal involvement, dedicated work ethic, and passion. It was said – This man exuded an aura of kindness and goodness.

Gerry (Bear) Durnell was the sponsor of the Automotive Art awards at the Keeneland Concours in Lexington, Ky. He was the publisher of the AFAS book and a fantastic proponent of automotive art. Going forward, the award will now be known as “The Bear” in his honor.
– Jim Cox, owner of The Branson Auction and a member of the Keeneland Concours Board of Director’s

special note:
Automotive Quarterly (A.Q.) operated from Spring 1962 to its final issue in 2012. A.Q. was and is still considered the benchmark of automotive publication. Its outstanding photography, excellent writing and it’s collector style presentation still sets the standards for all automotive publications.

Quick facts:

April 27, 1942 – May 23, 2011 – 69 years old; losing his courageous battle with cancer. 

Vietnam War veteran who flew 180 reconnaissance missions before being hit by a SAM missile.

Served three terms in the Missouri House of Representatives.

Founded the Pizza Today magazine and the Pizza Expo food trade show.

College degrees were pre-med and fine art. Appreciated fine art and the printing of highest quality books.

Gerry Durnell purchased Automotive Quarterly on October 2000.

Creating Automobile Heritage Publishing & Communications, LLC – New Albany, Indiana


Gerald L Durnell (The Bear)
https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/louisville/obituary.aspx?pid=151315322

Automotive Quarterly / Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automobile_Quarterly

Gerry Durnell / Hemmings Daily
https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2011/06/03/gerry-durnell-1942-2011/comment-page-1/