By Ed Justice Jr.
Tom Madigan, an award-winning automotive author and journalist who documented more than 50 years of automobile racing, died peacefully in his Sonora, California, home, March 28. He was 80 years old.
Madigan spent the past 50 years in the midst of the high-performance automotive culture. He was the 2005 winner of the Motor Press Guild’s coveted Dean Batchelor Award for his book, Edelbrock: Made in the USA, the story of the famous Edelbrock family, Vic Sr. and Vic Jr., and their high-performance business.
Madigan was also the owner/driver of a fuel dragster in the ’60s before joining Argus Publishing Co. in 1967, where he quickly became the editor of Motorcade magazine. Later in his Argus career, he became the feature editor for Popular Hot Rodding magazine, and then the editor of Off-Road magazine. After nine years, Madigan left Argus to start his own company, Tom Madigan Productions. His client list soon included Petersen Publishing Co., and he provided articles for Hot Rod, Motor Trend and Car Craft, and also wrote many Petersen “one-shot” publications.
Madigan created the Concours Automotive Video Series and wrote many of the episodes featuring Tony Nancy. He also teamed with Dave Marcus to produce a NASCAR episode for the TV program, “Those Who Dare.”
Over the last 10 years, Madigan had teamed up with Ed Justice Jr. and ejje Publishing Group to produce three books that contributed to the recorded history of racing and the automotive world. At the same time, he continued to contribute to noted automotive publications. He had authored many definitive books in print for some of the nation’s top racers and performance industry giants: The Loner/The Story of a Drag Racer; Boss/The Bill Stroppe Story; Edelbrock/Made in USA; Fuel & Guts/The Birth of Top Fuel Drag Racing; Snake vs. Mongoose/How a Rivalry Changed Drag Racing Forever; Hurricane/The Bob Hannah Story; The Chrisman Legacy/Always Faster; Follmer/American Wheel Man and Legacy of Justice/An American Family Story. There are several books that were written prior to his death that will be published in the future.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, April 13, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 127 West Jackson St., Sonora, CA. Private interment will be in St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery in Sonora.