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Top motoring scribe calls it a day
Ron Hammerton retires after 43 years in journalism, automotive public affairs
5 Mar 2013
By JOHN MELLOR
THE managing editor of GoAutoMedia, Ron Hammerton, 58, has retired after 43 years in journalism and automotive public affairs.
Mr Hammerton’s career began as a copy boy on the Sunraysia Daily in Mildura in 1970 where he quickly assumed responsibility for the weekly motoring page.
His first road test was conducted from the passenger seat of a Range Rover with the car salesman driving because he was only 17 and too young to hold a licence.
In 1976 he transferred to the Bendigo Advertiser where he became deputy chief sub-editor and two years later joined The Sun News Pictorial (now Herald Sun) where he rose to deputy chief sub-editor.
In 1986 he was attracted into the role of motoring editor at The Sun – Australia’s biggest-selling newspaper – reviewing cars and covering both the motor industry and motor racing.
Mr Hammerton says the standout story of his career was when a copy of Holden’s legal letter from GM Holden to Peter Brock ending their relationship “fell off the back of a fax machine”. The fax contained “chapter and verse” all the inside details of why Holden was ending the relationship. The story started out on page three but the ongoing story led The Sun for another week.
In 1991, he became editor of the Automotive Business section of The Australian which was produced by John Mellor’s Melbourne-based editorial team, before switching to the other side of the automotive industry fence in 1993 to become public relations manager for Honda Australia where he rose to the top ranks of management.
From 2001, he spent eight years providing writing services to GM Holden. During that time, he also indulged his passion for motor racing by accepting the media manager’s role with the HSV Dealer Team as it won back-to-back V8 Supercar championships with Rick Kelly and Garth Tander in 2006-07.
In January 2009, Ron returned to John Mellor’s GoAutoMedia, this time as a sub-editor and senior writer for GoAuto.com.au and the weekly newsletter, GoAutoNews.
He was appointed managing editor last year.
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