NACTOY Mourns Death of Former Juror Paul Brian


In Memoriam: Paul Brian, 1951-2024

Paul Brian former NACTOY juror

Former NACTOY juror Paul Brian passed away this week. Current juror Lauren Fix offers the following memorial, and NACTOY will make a $1,000 donation to the Allen J. Lynch Medal of Honor Veterans Foundation in his honor.


It is with a very heavy heart that that I share some sad news. Paul Brian passed away peacefully at home with his daughter, Lesley Durkan, his granddaughter, Quinn, and his wonderful girlfriend Pam. We hope God gives him a garage with endless cars.

Paul had an impressive life. For those who never had the pleasure of meeting and knowing Paul, like I did, he was more than just my co-host and driving buddy. Everywhere Paul went he made friends and left an impact.

Paul loved cars. He loved to drive them, talk about them, doodle them on cocktail napkins, and have deliciously fun talks (and sometimes arguments) about them with friends. For most of his life he did just that, and now he joins fellow car friends including Carroll Shelby, who became a 45-year friend and mentor. Paul was also passionate about art, science, food, wine, fashion, music, and fashion – because no car was ever built or bought without at least a little of each of those elements.

Paul Brian was regarded as one of our nation’s best-known, respected, and in-demand automotive industry experts. He was marketing manager on the Alfa Romeo Indy Car team. He was the automotive voice of Chicago for 35-plus years. He headed the communications and marketing team for the Chicago Auto Show and hosted his “Drive Chicago” radio show on WLS Radio for 20 years. He was an honored juror for the North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards (NACTOY), served as president of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, recipient of two Emmy awards, and he was inducted into the Legends of Motorsport Guild’s Hall of Fame.

Paul Brian was, to quote himself, “Always entertaining and sometimes actually informative.”

Paul Brian was a proud veteran of the US Army, serving as the Director of the Armed Forces Radio and Television network while stationed in the Panama Canal Zone during Vietnam in the early 1970s. His love and devotion to the Army lived long after his service to our country. He spent decades serving veterans through philanthropic work and served as a founding member of the Allen J. Lynch Medal of Honor Board of Directors.

Paul would do anything to help another veteran. In lieu of flowers, Paul wished for donations be given to the Allen J. Lynch Medal of Honor Veterans Foundation in his name. This was another of his passions, to help other soldiers who sacrificed so much. The Allen J. Lynch Medal of Honor Veterans Foundation provides grants to those who are engaged in providing educational programs, PTSD and direct assistance to veterans.

He will be missed. Rest in peace.

Allen J Lynch Medal of Honor Veterans Foundation (501(3) organization)
6615 Grand Ave Ste B PMB 415
Gurnee IL 60031


Paul Brian NACTOY juror