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The passing of Malcolm Kinsey, one of KZN’s prominent freelance journalists was recently announced. Malcolm played a major role in his lifelong relation to the motor industry. He managed to carve out a living at many levels from writing for periodicals, news articles and for many other top trade journals.
Malcolm’s obsession early on was with racing motorcycle photography where he became one of Honda Motor Company’s first official racing correspondents covering the incredible Mike Hailwood and Jim Redman era, who had multiple world championship wins. Based in Durban, Kinsey became the glue that bound the Guild of Motoring Journalists together as he intertwined his freelance posts with various clients.
Malcolm and I were judges on the SAGMJ Car of the Year for almost two decades. As my driving partner, I got to experience his off-the-wall sense of humour and take on life. One year in the Car of the Year Competition, I sat as a passenger as Malcolm gently steered the new car with his knees while peeling a nartjie! Perhaps not quite the performance one would expect from the doyen of the motoring journalist industry I thought, but that was Malcolm.
Malcolm took up a special task within the motoring arena when he started his Kinsey Report – a parts price survey. Conducting these inquisitions with ruthless honesty, his parts pricing calculations forced many motor manufacturer suppliers to take a whole new look at some of their previously excessive mark-ups and adjust them to new levels of cost and affordability. The family run company made a major change in the way that these parts baskets were analysed in South Africa.
Subsequently Malcolm enjoyed a great working relationship with importers and manufacturers and conducted special parts pricing analysis for them on an ongoing basis.
It could be said that he was never driven by any type of blind ambition in the way of money and was always comfortable working as he did without a permanent position and without a boss for the last 50 years. Malcolm enjoyed his major hobby long distance cycling and competed for many years in club events in KZN, even though he suffered bouts of asthma from time to time. The result in his own words of a misspent youth. Another area where Kinsey shone was in the fuel economy runs where he would inevitably win his class with flying colours.
Married to Jill for a lifetime, he also has two sons Tony and Tim and a daughter Sandi. He was always a huge family man and loved them deeply. Malcolm’s devilish sense of humour and the twinkle in his eye was truly memorable, but he was ever the gentleman with a gentle demeanour. Ruthlessly honest one minute and about as far as you can get stage left in the 21st century the next, he was a wonderful friend to many.
Perhaps that’s what endeared him to one and all, his straightforward and all-round honesty in all things – including business relationships – that helped him cultivate them so successfully.
He, along with the best collection of truly colourful and “out there” trademark shoelaces, will be greatly missed from a fashion statement point of view. The team at Automotive Refinisher are keeping the Kinsey family close in our hearts and prayers at this difficult time. It’s truly tough to think of him leaving this world forever.
Mike Winfield
Respected and retired motoring journalist and sub-editor Mike Winfield died recently as a result of Covid-19 complications.
“My brother Mike died today, after contracting Covid in the hospital he went to for treatment to a back injury. He appeared to have survived the Covid infection, but his diabetes may have complicated his recovery. He was an intelligent, gentle man with an incisive intellect and a keen sense of humour. RIP Mike, I’ll never stop loving you,” his brother Barry announced on Facebook.
Mike Winfield worked out of the Pretoria News office for most of his career and his knowledge and love of cars steered many young reporters in the right direction when it came to purchasing their first vehicle. He was a true gentleman with a great intellect to match and he will be missed.