Automotive Journalist Dick DeLoach Succumbs to COVID-19
Dick DeLoach, a 44-year automotive industry journalist, who was instrumental at Lowrider magazine and many other automotive enthusiast publications, died on November 9, 2020, following complications from COVID-19. He had been admitted to Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Ontario on October 25th.
DeLoach, 76, of Chino, California, spent his career in the industry as an editor, writer, and photographer. A veteran journalist who specialized in technology, product guides, how-to articles, celebrity profiles, and business features, DeLoach could often be found covering industry and enthusiast events.
Among the publications he worked for were Truckin’ magazine, Lowrider magazine, DUB magazine, LFTD X LVLD, Parts & People, and Aftermarket Matters Weekly. In addition to his broad career, DeLoach made friendships in and out of the industry and served as a trustee on the ASC Educational Foundation.
I first met Dick when he was on the staff of Truckin’, then owned by McMullen Publishing, and I was a contributor to Custom Rodder, another McMullen title. DeLoach was affable, easygoing, and intelligent. He and I were reunited for a short time at Lowrider, which was not a good fit for me but was for Dick, judging by the number of years he was with the magazine.
Lowrider was an icon of Chicano culture that existed for decades, offering a mix of cultural and political content alongside cars and trucks of that genre. As a staff member who covered the growing popularity of the lowrider movement, Dick played an essential part in chronicling it.
Lowrider played a critical role in forming the culture and image of the lowriding lifestyle and its aesthetics. Popular among Mexican-Americans, the magazine was as much a statement about Chicano identity and pride as it was about ground-hugging vintage cars. By the fall of 1988, Lowrider hit 60,000 in monthly newsstand sales, and by 2000, it was among the bestselling newsstand automotive periodicals in the country, with an average monthly circulation of about 210,000 copies.
DeLoach’s humor could be found in his biography, in which he said he wrote some 30,000 articles. I would tell him whenever we saw each other at a show or event that I was getting close to his total, if only he would stop and take a break for a while.
[Images: Courtesy of Tate DeLoach]