L. J. K. Setright

Journalist, Author

1931 – 2005


Who was L. J. K. Setright?

Leonard John Kensell Setright was an English motoring journalist and author.

Born of Australian parents in London, his father Henry Roy Setright, was an engineer who invented the Setright ticket machine used on buses and trams. Setright studied Law at the University of London and practised for a time but hated the profession. His National Service was served in the Royal Air Force as an air traffic controller.

After writing for the engineering magazine Machine Age in the early 1960s, Setright became a motoring journalist and author. He contributed to CAR Magazine for more than 30 years and wrote several books on cars and automotive engineering. Setright often espoused the virtues of Bristol cars and the Honda Prelude, amongst other things, while holding a consistent dislike for diesel-powered cars. His writing style polarised readers as some considered it to be pompous and containing excessively esoteric quotes, while others found his erudite style and engineering knowledge a welcome change from the usual lightweight and largely non-technical journalistic style. He also wrote about music, motorcycles and high-fidelity sound systems, and contributed to among others Punch, The Independent, Bike, Back Street Heroes and Car and Driver. He was also known for his love of smoking tobacco, in particular of Sobranie Black Russian cigarettes.

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Aug 10, 1931
  • Jewish people
  • United Kingdom
  • England
  • University of London
  • University College London
Sep 7, 2005

on July 23, 2013


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