denise mccluggage

Birthday : 1927-01-20
Deceased : 2015-05-06

Biography Denise McCluggage

Denise McCluggage
Denise McCluggage

Born in Eldorado, Kansas, Denise McCluggage started a neighborhood newspaper when she was twelve. Years later, after getting a degree in philosophy, economics and politics from Mills College in California, she began her journalistic career with the San Francisco Chronicle.

In early 1950s San Francisco she met Briggs Cunningham, the builder of the first American cars to race at Le Mans. She bought her first MG TC sports car, and began racing at small club events. In 1954 she moved to New York to work at the New York Herald Tribune as a sports journalist. Women sportswriters were rare and she was known for doing what she wrote about, whether racing, skiing or parachuting.

The MG was replaced with a Jaguar XK140, and she began to race professionally. As she began to drive professionally in the mid-1950s she earned the respect of her male counterparts. Her trademark was a white helmet with black dots. Her racing achievements included winning the grand touring category at Sebring in a Ferrari 250 GT in 1961, and she scored a class win in the Monte Carlo Rally in a Ford Falcon in 1964. She also participated in the 1000-km race at the Nürburgring. She drove Porsches, Maseratis and other racing cars of many marques, often with her compatriot Pinkie Rollo. She ended her racing career in the late 1960s and eventually became founding editor of the U.S. automotive magazine AutoWeek,where she remains a Senior Contributing Editor.

She became a member of several racing and rallying teams in the U.S. and abroad including the North American Racing Team, British Motor Corporation, Ford America, General Motors and Team Volvo. Among her chief successes, first in the GT category driving a Ferrari at Sebring in 1961 and first in class at the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally driving a Ford Falcon.

Her books include, By Brooks Too Broad For Leaping and American Racing.