The Guild is deeply saddened to report the passing of good friend and colleague Neil McIntee, following a short battle with cancer.
A highly respected and knowledgeable automotive journalist, Neil studied at the University of Leeds, before starting a career in the music business as an A&R man. Among others, he discovered Lena Lovich, whose single Lucky Number went to number 3 in the UK chart in 1978.
He might well have become a veterinary surgeon, following in his father’s footsteps, having acted as his assistant as the course vet at Wolverhampton Race Course. However, his father was also a keen amateur rally driver, kindling Neil’s interest in all things automotive.
Neil got into motoring journalism in the passenger car market, working for Autosport, Autocar and Which Car? magazines, where his prowess behind the typewriter was equalled by his abilities behind the wheel.
Neil moved to commercial vehicles in 1993, when he became the editor of What Van? He held that position for more than 16 years, leaving to establish the VansA2Z website with close friend Kevin Gregory in 2010.
Neil was a very popular member of the commercial vehicle press, both with colleagues and with manufacturers. Having attended van and pick-up launches and exhibitions across Europe and beyond for many years, he was a highly skilled driver and an experienced editor. Yet he was happy to share his expertise and knowledge with others, making everyone feel welcome and included.
Steve Banner said: “Neil and I attended umpteen vehicle launches, at home and overseas. Driving together, we managed to get lost in almost every country in Europe, due mainly to my inability to read a map. Thankfully Neil was a far better driver than I was a navigator, and we always reached our destination, eventually.”
Dan Gilkes added: “It was always a pleasure to spend time with Neil, whether tackling unknown city streets behind the wheel of a van, discussing digital camera technology or simply finishing a bottle of red as we watched the sun set on a far-flung launch event.
“Seeing his name on a list of attendees meant that it was going to be a good trip. A great journalist, a great driver and a great friend.”
Everyone within the Guild and the wider automotive media world will, I’m sure, wish to send their sincere best wishes and condolences to Neil’s wife Sirpa, and to all of his family and friends at this time.
By Steve Banner and Dan Gilkes
Sirpa has created a JustGiving page in his memory and in aid of the Princess Alice Hospice. Donations are welcome.
Neil’s funeral will take place on 15 July, at 11.20am, with a webcast on this link. After clicking on the link, on the top right of the screen enter the username:
followed by the password:
before clicking the ‘log-in’ button.
Photo: Neil McIntee (centre) at the 2018 Silverstone Classic, with Jim Loveridge (left) and Guild vice-chairman Guy Loveridge. Taken by George Loveridge.