Remembering David Bull, 1961–2021

Remembering David Bull, 1961–2021

Vintage Motorsport / Historic

Remembering David Bull, 1961–2021


A tribute to David Bull, by Janos Wimpffen…

Last weekend the world of automotive publishing lost its greatest stalwart, David Bull. To all who knew him he was far, far more than merely the creator of some of the best works of art between book covers. He was a friend, a caring family man, a great intellect, and wicked fun.

We should all be grateful that we had 10 more years of him by our side than anyone expected. In 2011 David suffered devastating injuries in a near fatal motorcycle crash. Indeed, his heart stopped twice and he was not expected to make it through the night. He not only survived but he persevered and even thrived when others would have given up. Though paralyzed, he made a life for himself so that he could continue his passions, being there for his two growing children and continuing to produce some of the finest books in the genre. However, the complications from those injuries finally caught up to him and with his family by his side at his Phoenix home, the struggle came to an end.

You could always spot them when browsing the shelves of an automotive bookstore or most enjoyably at some great venue like Goodwood or Monterey. There was always that special presentation of a David Bull book. There was meticulous attention to every detail. Many of the several hundred books released by his firm won major awards around the world.

A native of Boston, David learned his craft with Bentley Publishers but soon struck out on his own, founding Bull Publishing in the mid-1990s. It was soon afterward that he and I met and began a fruitful collaboration that resulted in five of my six major books. He exuded a measured calm in managing the sometimes irascible nature of this author, and no doubt the others in his stable. There was no one with whom I enjoyed arguing professional points with more than David. His broad knowledge of racing and automotive history, keen business acumen, and precise sense of the literary and visual meant that he usually won the argument — and I was the better for it.

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