(Image courtesy of the Hemmings blog)

(Image courtesy of the Hemmings blog)

Ernest “Ernie” Hemmings, founder of Hemmings Motor News in 1945, died early this morning while sleeping in Quincy, IL. He was 89.

Ernie Hemmings inherited Standard Auto Parts—a parts business started by his father—in 1945, and began stocking parts for antique Fords like the Model A and Model T. According to Hemmings, there was growing interest in parts for these cars that, in 1945, were simply used cars that hadn’t received the iconic collector status they have earned today.

Because of all the interest from owners of these vehicles, Ernie Hemmings created a newsletter catering to them. It didn’t take long for Ernie Hemmings to morph from a parts dealer to a magazine editor.

Ernie Hemmings sold the publication in 1969 to a classic-car enthusiast named Terry Ehrich, according to Hemmings. Today, Hemmings Motor News and its three associate titles—Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car, and Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car—are owned by Charlotte, NC-based American City Business Journals.

We extend our gratitude to Ernie Hemmings for his contributions to the automotive industry, as well as our thoughts and prayers to his family and many friends.

You can read more about Ernie Hemmings at the Hemmings blog, and in this story from Road & Track.

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Author: Matt Griswold

After a 10-year newspaper journalism career, Matt Griswold spent another decade writing about the automotive aftermarket and motorsports. He was part of the original OnAllCylinders editorial team when it launched in 2012.