Today we lost a huge force in our world.
Before AGirlsGuidetoCars, there were a few women who wrote about cars in a way that female audiences understood: straight forward, human, real. Holly Reich was one of those writers. She embraced the automotive world by viewing it through her own lens, that of a woman, a mom, a lover of the arts , style and majesty. She wasn’t a gear head, mechanically obsessed or even by her own admission, a skilled driver. But she liked cars and dared to go places and tell stories other women shied away from, to extract the lingo and boil down the story so it was meaningful and insightful. Holly confidently ventured out, often the only woman among a group of men, to experience the latest in automotive innovation and to relish it in ways the boys couldn’t understand but girls would.
When AGirlsGuidetoCars started, Holly sought us out. She wanted to bring her view to this movement; she saw in us a natural place for her stories. And we were grateful for them.
Holly’s stories connected our lives
Holly loved to write about cars the way women think about and drive cars—it’s where we put on makeup before heading out into the world, where we spend valuable family time, what we dream of when we enter the lottery. Holly also focused on how the industry is thinking about us, designs for us and brings us new kinds of adventures. She loved the unexpected stories that brought cars and art together and those that inspired a higher mission.
And she loved challenging people’s notions and helping them to learn something new. Just two years ago she took her Aunt Mimi to the Texas Truck Rodeo and taught her to drive off road; she shared the experience here:
No battle scars for Holly; she danced through it all
Through all her adventures you’d never guess her secret: She’d been in a 20 year dance with cancer. She called it a dance, her husband Michael says, “because she floated across the floor, living her life to the fullest, enjoying every moment. Cancer never stopped her during this 20-year dance.” Holly was casual and confident about fighting her cancer. She was realistic, too. She shrugged away the worry and didn’t let it stop her fun or curb her smile.
A life lived large and lovely
Holly made friends everywhere she went, including hundreds of journalists and executives in the auto world. She always had stories to tell about the life she lived large: she loved travel, art, entertainment and food. And she loved style. When I once complimented her very chic outfit framed around a pair of ripped jeans (that she pulled off flawlessly) she said with a sly smile, “The jeans are my daughter’s.”
The best story of all–the one she wouldn’t write
A native of Bethesda, Maryland, Holly lived in a tall building on Manhattan’s West Side where with her husband, they raised their two now grown children, Dylan and Jenna. Her husband and children were her world, and the focus of the one car story Holly wouldn’t write: The annual vacations to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Each year they would set out, sometimes battling hurricanes, tornadoes and traffic for a cherished week together. And always, she arranged a chic Range Rover or other four wheel drive to make the trip. I saw this as a great story in the making and asked her to share it with us. No, she said. Time with my family is too precious, I don’t want to spend it working.
We will miss you, Holly. Thank you for all you gave us.