september 2009 newsletter

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the road ahead

A chance glance at a pithy thought printed on a T-shirt took Huffington Post blogger Schuyler Brown through a door to the future and “The Golden Age of PR.” The phrase: “Nothing Is More Abstract Than Reality,” brought Brown a vision of “what’s changing as we enter the wild west of information dissemination is that the concept of journalistic integrity has nearly disappeared and concepts like ’the truth’ and ‘reality’ have become so abstract as to be meaningless.” The Road Ahead: September 2009

Photo By: Cheryl Leinonen

Reduced ad budgets (down $1.7 billon in auto advertising alone during the first half of the year) has freed funding for actual and virtual consumer interactions, clever spins and artful image-building event marketing to move product and ease our existential discontent with “old realities.” Diana Verde Nieto, writing for Media Post Publications, says, the new reality involves, “taking the message of a brand and using it to produce entertainment that consumers are interested in and want to engage with. By producing these new entertainment experiences brands gain significant publicity.”

Current examples, Buick’s "Art of Taste” events in several cities in conjunction with Uptown Magazine that combine music, culinary arts and entertainment to showcase the 2010 LaCrosse for the magazine’s affluent African-American audience, Scion’s sending an art collection on tour and then auctioning if off for charity, Audi’s “Youth Mobile 2030 Los Angeles Design Challenge", Ford’s “You Speak Green” Facebook promotion and B.F. Goodrich’s “Nation of Go” traveling road show and multi-platform interactive tie-ins.

Frank Rich offers a more somber vision of the road ahead in The New York Times (Is Obama Punking Us?) when he writes, “What disturbs Americans of all ideological persuasions is the fear that almost everything, not just government, is fixed or manipulated by some powerful hidden hand, from commercial transactions as trivial as the sale of prime concert tickets to cultural forces as pervasive as the news media.” As an example of the latter, Rich offered his paper’s report that the corporate bosses of MSNBC and Fox News sanctioned an agreement to tone down the on-air war between their respective cable stars. Rich said the report, “fed legitimate suspicions on the left and the right that even their loudest public voices can be silenced if the business interests of the real American elite decree it.”

A questionable prospect for auto journalists: knowingly or not, feeding fantasy as reality to abet the financial interests of their employer. Tom Kelley provides one answer in this month’s Tom-Tom: become truly expert in one or two areas. This viewpoint is supported by a recent comment by Alan Press, senior marketing vice president for the very successful publication, The Economist, “There is a myth that people are looking for sound-bites and celebrity...The reality is that there is a growing demand among the educated for intelligent news, analysis and entertainment that challenges, amuses and informs." (Quoted in Wooden Horse News, Sept. 1)

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new roads

Eric Killorin has published the first issue of the Car Pub Insider blog which he says, “gathers, researches, analyzes, and comments on the unprecedented challenges facing our industry” . . . Race Fan Radio has introduced Next Level, a new 60-minute interactive show devoted to young, up-and-coming racers. To learn more, check To book someone for the show call 877-596-7223 or email

New to AWCOM is the more than 50 hybrid related blogs and websites, According to Jeff Carey, monarch of this kingdom, “Rather than build one website/blog to write about all aspects of hybrid-electric vehicles, we are building specialized niche sites for hybrid SUVs, hybrid cars, hybrid trucks, the 3rd generation Prius, and more. The most popular of them currently is  . . . Another new and unusual blog brought to AWCOM’s attention is authored by John Walker who says it is an “Experimental fiction concerning the life of a surviving identical twin who inherits an Oldsmobile 442 and slowly becomes the man his brother might have been while coming to terms with death.” . . . Yet another Blog new to AWCOM is The Cultural Blog Garage, “a social site for those whose common bond is a passion for all things combustion. It meets at the cross streets of automobiles and culture.”

USA Today has a number of mobile editions in the works. “Company officials forecast a huge market for mobile readers in the near future,” according to Media Daily News. . . . The Rocky Mountain Independent is a news Web site serving residents of Denver and surrounding area. It is staffed by former editors of the shuttered Rocky Mountain News. Steve Foster, Cindy House and John Moore are co-editors. For more information, check


the tom-tom

Autowriters.Com invites readers to submit their own Clog
(Online Column).  Your reward: a byline and an audience of your peers.  All submissions are acknowledged, queued and used at the editor’s discretion. 

Tom Kelley is a freelance auto journalist specializing in trucks. He is founder of the Southeast Automotive Media Organization and Executive Director of the Truck Writers of North America. Reach him at:

Auto Journalism 3.0 - Specialization In The Digital Age Tom-Tom: Tom Kelley

Tom Kelley

"I specialize in murders of quiet, domestic interest." - Agatha Christie

Earlier this year, we took a look at the "How" of Journalism 3.0, examining the delivery mechanism and how the new structural paradigm compares to the old. In this installment, we'll take a look at "What" one should consider covering as automotive media evolves.

As a second-generation automotive journalist who's about to round the half-century curve, I've had the unique opportunity to follow the highs and lows of our craft almost since the time it became a recognized subset of journalism.

During what my father sometimes referred to as "the bygone era of byzantine opulence in automotive public relations," there were rare occasions when not just spouses were invited along to a preview, but offspring of nearly all ages were welcomed as well. While the adults were inside feasting on prime rib and being entertained with live music, my fellow rug-rats and I were outside flogging brand-appropriate go-karts around the parking lot, getting our fill of soda, hot dogs and popcorn.

Although the fog of time may have impaired my memory regarding all of the specifics, the relatively unchanged capacity of some event venues backs up my estimation that the mainstream automotive press corp numbered only in the dozens back in the auto industry's glory days of the 1960s. If one adds in the members of the "enthusiast" and motorsports press of that era, the total number might have passed the 200 mark, but only barely so.

But then as the baby boomers came of car-buying age, the auto industry and its press corp grew exponentially over the next few decades, to the point where recent auto show statistics quote press registrations in the range of 3,000 to 4,000, not including many of the bloggers and new-media attendees.

Until recently, virtually every metro area in the U.S. with a population of a few hundred thousand or more was supporting a daily newspaper, and with it, their own dedicated autowriter riding herd on no less than a weekly auto section.

Unfortunately, those at the helm of many newspaper organizations confused their actual product with the idea that they were primarily in the business of printing on paper, secondarily acting as pundits outside the narrow constraints of the op-ed pages, and on a barely tertiary basis, serving only a portion of their readers with hard news and useful information. The inevitable result of this market blindness is that many mid-sized daily newspapers, along with a few of their big-city brethren, are currently heading the way of the buggy-whip.

With the demise of a significant portion of the newspaper business, a substantial numbers of auto journalists, hundreds maybe, find themselves looking for a new outlet to distribute their sage words of automotive wisdom. When these ex- or soon to be ex-newspaper auto journalists were "the" car guy at their paper, they had no choice but to be generalists, covering all things automotive, because nobody else at their paper had the knowledge or connections to cover the topic.

When the newspaper business was at its peak, there was a market for several hundred automotive generalists in the U.S. But now that the scope of an automotive media outlet is no longer limited to the reach of the local auto dealers, the market for generalists is drying up, just as many automotive generalists are out looking for a new home.

The obvious answer, of course, is to specialize. Not within one specific media format, and not to the exclusion of all else automotive, but to become truly expert in one, or just a small number of automotive topic areas.

The concept of specialization within the automotive journalism community isn't new, but it does seem to be nearly unheard of among the more recent generations of autowriters. There are some specialists in the autowriting biz, but with all due respect, most have been around since Henry Ford was learning to drive. Yes, it does take time to become one of the few recognized as an expert in a particular automotive topic, but one never becomes expert if one never starts to specialize.

Before the hands go up volunteering to specialize in reviewing luxury cars, how many luxury cars have you purchased new? Before you volunteer to specialize in test-driving sports cars, can you explain vehicle dynamics to your grandmother more understandably than Bob Bondurant or Jackie Stewart can? Realistically speaking, if your goal is to become a sports car expert, start by writing interviews and biographies of legends like Bondurant and Stewart, get your SCCA competition license, build and wreck your first few race cars, and really learn about sports cars hands-on, before you ask to go along on that Lambo ride & drive.

More practically, look for topics that have broad appeal, but are rarely covered. There's a huge potential readership out there for trailer towing information, but in hundreds of ride & drives, I've met less than a dozen autowriters who were capable of backing up a trailer. Everybody who drives will experience adverse weather on the road sooner or later, but little is written about the pros and cons of various features in relation to driving in bad weather (this one is easier to write about in Seattle than San Diego).

If nuts and bolts are your thing, learn enough to be "the" guy/gal for engines, or transmissions, or even engine-cooling/HVAC (yes, Paul really will retire some day).

Just as the physical structure of the news organization is changing, who's to say that a single car review in 2019 won't be the collective work of the engine expert, the towing expert, the handling expert, the working mother expert and the resale value expert? Where the mid-sized newspaper never had the budget for this panel of experts,  nor did it have local access to this range of experts, the geographic constraints are gone in Journalism 3.0, so an online outlet with national readership can draw from topic experts spread to the four corners of the map.

As noted in this piece from min Online, "The Web 2.0 ethic of crowdsourcing all information and relying on the purported wisdom of the crowds has natural limits. . . . The users can't answer everything. The role of expertise in a Web 2.0 world has been diminished, and people will seek out our experts." Similarly, users will soon tire of the auto websites that rely mainly on the latest fad in coding and web design to deliver reprinted press releases wrapped around a few obligatory lines of punditry.

The Internet has democratized publishing, everybody has an opinion, and many can express their opinion capably in writing, so much of journalism's cachet is no longer unique to journalists. What will separate tomorrow's journalist from everybody else is the depth of their expertise within a specialized topic area.

Speaking of specialization, Kelley asks, does your current beat or area of interest include commercial use trucks? Whether as small as a Class 1 Ford Transit Connect, or as large as a Class 8 Kenworth T2000, if it’s used in a business setting, it’s a commercial truck.

If your job involves communicating about trucks, on either side of the Press/PR fence, you should know about the Truck Writers of North America (TWNA). Founded in 1988, TWNA is an organization of professionals who are involved in gathering, writing and reporting news and information about trucks, trucking and the trucking industry.

TWNA’s membership is composed of writers, editors, freelance journalists, public relations and communications specialists, sales and marketing personnel and others involved in the business of producing information related to the world of trucking.

TWNA also serves as an information source and referral service for the non-truck trade media as it reports on the trucking industry.

To learn more about TWNA, please visit  on the web.

Comments? Please go to:

 Tom-Tom rants, raves, rambles and ruminations are volunteered
and express the opinions of the writer.


autowriters spotlight Autowriters Spotlight: Harold Gunn

Harold Gunn

Harold Gunn is a life long car nut who is in his third term as President of the Texas Auto Writers Association. Taught tools by his Dad, at age 14 he rebuilt his first car, a '48 Ford convertible, from a clunker to a driver.

Through the years he's owned some pretty impressive iron including a '59 Ferrari Testa Rossa that he foolishly sold in 1969 and has regretted it ever since. In the late sixties he began performing in radio and television commercials. Shortly thereafter he formed a production/advertising/public relations company that is still operating. Gunn began regular radio and television programming in 1972 and has not been off the air since.

For seventeen years he has been producer/host of the country's number one syndicated outdoors radio program that includes a vehicle feature, Texas Outdoor News. Eight years ago he was asked to produce an automotive television show and that prompted him to create the syndicated radio program, The Automotive Reporter, which he has produced and co-hosted for seven years.

His automotive background goes from drag racing in the early 60's to head of public relations for Texas World Speedway, and director of public relations and promotions for motorsports events in Houston's Astrodome for fifteen years. As to his opinion of the state of the automotive industry Gunn says, "I see things improving and feel we automotive journalists can help. American manufacturers are building their best vehicles in history, but the public’s perception has not caught up with the reality. We need to promote the positives. The industry has faired better in Texas than most parts of the country because our love affair with cars and trucks is genetic and contagious."

As an award winning broadcaster and journalist, Gunn is most proud of being named a Pioneer of Broadcasting by the Texas Association of Broadcasters and this November he is being inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.

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road signs

Wooden Horse News (July 12) reported, Car and Driver and Road & Track have now been re-organized by owner Hachette Filipacchi under the umbrella Jumpstart Automotive Group, named for the vertical online ad network that Hachette bought in 2007 for $84 million. Buried in the article about this reorganization in is some interesting news about these two magazines. First, they will upgrade their paper stock. Second, the automotive news, which has played such a big part for both magazines, will be mostly moved online whereas print will feature more content-rich material. In addition, both magazines will relaunch their websites this summer. Although this reorganization follows the lead of Hachette's other magazines, pundits speculate whether the publisher is preparing to sell them.”

Onine Media Daily reports, “new research from social media platform Wetpaint and digital consulting firm Altimeter Group found that companies with the highest levels of social media activity on average increased revenues by 18% in the last 12 months, while the least active saw sales drop 6% over that period.” Starbucks and Dell were winners. No word on car companies but that, reportedly, is available at The Road Ahead: September 2009

Photo By: Keith Syvinski

In case you missed it, News Corp. Chairman, Rupert Murdoch says the vast communications conglomerate will charge for all its news web sites. Faced with a $600 million quarterly loss. Murdoch was quoted by David Wilkerson in MarketWatch as saying in a conference call with analysts and reporters, "Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting.” . . . And, it may become the province of the privileged if trends across the pond presage the future of journalism here. Media Digest, compiled by the Immediate Network, reports in its August issue that a survey shows journalism there is no longer “a working class trade,” with more and more “hacks” (their word) coming from well-off families. But that may be irrelevant as in the same issue Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired, author of “The Long Tail” and just out, "Free: The Future of A Radical Price", is quoted as telling the German weekly Spiegel, “ I don’t use the word media, I don’t use the word news. I don’t think those words mean anything anymore. They defined publishing in the 20th Century. Today they’re a barrier standing in our way, like a horseless carriage.”

AOL.Com, fortunately, is going all out to become ”an online media powerhouse”, according to Michael Arrington writing for He reports the company now has 1500 people writing content, 1,000 full time, the others freelance and it plans to have 2 to 3 times more writing across its multiple sub-brands in a year -most of them coming from print media. Meanwhile, the AP has initiated a new tag and tracking system to protect the content it distributes and the scribblers who provide it. Some see this as a preemptive move versus Google’s predicted expansion from a platform to a content provider as well. Google-owned You Tube, ”self proclaimed ‘biggest news platform in the world,” writes Theresa Cramer in's Newsbreaks, is actively seeking partners for its “News Near You” section. It provides video feeds  from professional provider partners within 100 miles of section visitors’ computers. This avoids the problems attending use of amateur content and advertising.


pit notes

At least one well-established automotive journalist has experienced what he believes are shrinking press fleets. AWCom knows of no comparative figures to access the situation – although shrinking budgets likely affect this activity – along with a believed shrinking regard for journalists, as PR becomes increasingly a subservient marketing function.

For auto journalists seeking fame and fortune by writing a book, TechNewsWorld describes a new software application, Scrivener that reportedly speeds up the writing processes, if not content creation. The developer, would-be novelist Ken Blount, told McNewsWorld "I had chapters and research scattered in documents everywhere, not really organized and if I wanted an overview of my work, I'd have to go back to the documents and summarize what I'd done." When he couldn’t find a program to keep it altogether, he created Scrivener and sells it through a company he formed, Literature and Latte. John Mello, Jr. reports Scrivener has drawn raves with one established writer saying, "The great strength of Scrivener is that it sees a book as a mosaic of scenes and chapters that you can move around and juggle in very fine detail, or pull back and see the bigger picture of the chapters or the whole book."

Sue Elliot's "Automotve Custom Interiors"A new book that did it without Scrivener is Automotive Custom Interiors by Sue Elliott. She has painstakingly provided an exhaustive, inspirational and informative mosaic of what can be done to make over a car’s interior to show class quality and how to do it. She’s organized and captioned 388 photos to illustrate nine chapters, each devoted to a specific aspect of custom interiors. Another 100 or so provide glimpses of what can be done with door cranks and handles, pedals, dome lights and other detailing touches that complete the job. A 10th chapter tells how to take an inspiration from idea to reality. To order, go to  . . . And, for an inside look at how Joe Rosen built, campaigned and marketed the Baldwin Motion Camero and other supercars of the 60s, Marty Schorr provides it in MOTION Performance: Tales of a Muscle Car Builder. With a forward by Joe Oldham, it is 176 pages hardbound and has 262 photos. Media reviewers can contact Nicole Schiele at

For those who can’t get enough, the Porsche Book issued to celebrate the company’s 60th anniversary should do it. Hardcover, it comes in three volumes with slipcase and contains a total of 1500 pages, 2,012 photos and 99 illustrations. It is priced under $300 - $299.95 to be exact. Also celebrating the brand is Porsche 917 X 17 by Jeffery Zwart, forward by Derek Bell. It, too, is hardcover and a more modest 264 pages at $149. 95 It has 190 photographs including studio studies of the car and some of the racecar's most famous drivers. Both books are available from Bull Publishing, . . . For those trying to figure out what is happening in the world of mass communications, Advertising Age columnist Bob Garfield has written The Chaos Scenario, a book elaborating on his much-praised and insightful column of a two years go. It is available through Stielstra Publishing.

For those who respond to the word “free” Landspeed Louise Noeth has posted her shots of the recent record setting steam car runs at Edwards Air Force base. But you will have to contract for reproduction rights at Louise Ann Noeth at 805.312.0893 or . . . Also in the free to see category is Craig Pike’s posting of photos from Bonneville Speedweeks at Organized by car types, they also include salt covered non-racers at the nightly Nugget Casino car show and people shots capturing some of the fun and camaraderie at the event. Direct links to the various categories include: Roadster Race cars; Doorslammers and Modifieds; Streamliners and Lakesters.

Valuable film from other times and venues are in danger of being lost according to National Automotive History Collection trustee, Larry Gustin. Because much historical commercial footage is wrapped in money concerns, Gustin urges folks with amateur footage to make it available before it is inadvertently discarded or deteriorates – frustrations the former Buick PR man experienced in trying to enrich the historical archives of the GM Division named for David Dunbar Buick (who knew?). Contact the NAHC or Gustin through:

Wooden Horse News (Aug. 2) describes what sounds like a helpful new answer engine that aggregates information from multiple sources to provide answers rather than a list of references: at  . . . Ever optimistic Doug Stokes is booking press interviews now for his boss, Gale Banks, at the SEMA Show in November and the PRI show in December. . . . After five years has 42,126 members reporting actual experience on 51,647 cars. Publisher Michael Karesh says, “We have a Car Reliability Survey that is 14 months ahead of the "leader." The Gas Mileage and WNTC Surveys provide information available nowhere else, he says.

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lane changes
Robert Farago resigns from The Truth About Cars

Robert Farago resigns from
 The Truth About Cars

Robert Farago has resigned from The Truth About Cars blog he founded and ferociously energized for 10 years. No explanation or hint of future plans. Edward Niedermeyer, succeeds him as editor of the feisty web site.

Welcome news for auto writers is that Amos Automotive is increasing the frequency of its enthusiast publications and is adding a new print and digital title, Chevy Enthusiast. Richard Truesdale, who edits his own web site,, is the editor and welcomes feature pitches for the publication, For more details on the changes at Amos, plans for the new magazine and how best to pitch Truesdale, check the full news release on the Blog

Ruth Ferguson editor@northdallasgazette publishes a car review per week. . . . Reporter William Johnson, , is the automotive contact for the Opelousas (LA) Daily World. . . . Kevin Kelly is Senior Editor of Automotive Design and Production and a new title the company acquired this year, Time Compression, which focuses on technology designed to speed product development, whether it be CAD/CAM or PLM systems, as well as rapid prototyping and is a member of Consumer Digests’ Best Buys Jury. . . . Veteran automotive PR operative Dan Passe writes that the doors of Passe Consulting Incorporated (PCI) are now open in Charlotte, NC with "a network of professionals that allows the company to be a ‘one-stop shop' for all of a client's needs or to provide targeted support in a given area."

The My Favorite Car column at the Modesto Bee is no longer staff written. Now, readers are invited to submit write ups and photos conforming to a specific format . . .Sunset Custom Media currently does not have an auto related publication but is in talks with several companies . . . AutoWeek Radio has been launched on Radio America with Thomas Berg as the host. . . . Editor Vince Bodiford reports that The Weekend Drive has been relocated from Colorado to Scottsdale, Ariz. And that it has been greatly overhauled in the process with new content, style features and color palette, upgraded consumer offerings, videos, a new blog, a Twitter page feed and most importantly a much larger team of regional editors and contributors that are listed at Additionally, The Weekend Drive is contributing and sharing content with Speed and will produce video broadcast packages from various show venues for SpeedTV.

Tress Eveleth is now editor-in-chief of Dupont Publishing . . . Jonathan Stein has returned to Detroit from Europe to take on the duel role of editor of Automotive News and of Automotive News Europe. . . . Mark Fulmer of the Auto Channel recently changed his email to  . . . Marti Longworth has departed Diesel World Magazine and executive editor Chris Neprasch is the press contact:

Source Interlink has shortened its email domain name to . . . Joe Arellano is The Car Blog’s lead editor at: . . . . The correct email address for The Diesel Show in Birmingham, AL. Is . . . Steve Purdy, Detroit Editor for The Auto Channel, has changed his email address to: . . . Long time Detroit area auto journalist and PR operative, Marge Sorge, now runs The Detroit Regional News Hub with the avowed purpose of leading visiting foreign as well as local journalists to positive stories in and about the Motor City. Sponsored by local and regional civic organizations, the web site is:  . . . Bernie Woodall joins the automotive team in Reuters’ Detroit bureau. . . . ATV Television has switched to the full-feed broadcast service, Untamed Sports TV that is available to 18 million households via Direct TV and 18 million via digital broadcast and cable providers, not necessarily unduplicated.

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- 30-


Glenn F. Campbell

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Landspeed Louise Noeth has been named “2009 Goodguys Woman of The Year".

Gertrude Crain, who helped grow Crain Communications to one of the largest
privately owned business publishers (Automotive News among them) was posthumously awarded the Mildred Marcum Pioneer Award by the Women In The Winner’s Circle Foundation. Lynn St. James, president of the Foundation, made the presentation. Milded Marcum and her husband, John, founded ARCA.


September 2009
21 MAMA Luncheon, Oakbrook Terrace, IL, Buick Ride & Drive
24 SAMA Luncheon, Rusty Pelican, Miami, FL,
26 Ironstone Concours d'Elegance, Murphys CA, featured car: 1937 Airmobile
29 The Future of Personal Mobility, Advance Tech. on Horizon, Ypsilanti, MI
30 HIS Global Insight Global Automotive Conference, Detroit, MI
October 2009
1 APA Luncheon, Detroit, MI, BMW
5 Alt Wheels 2009, Staples World Headquarters, Framingham, MA
6 MAMA Manufacturers Dinner, Hoffman Estates, IL
7 Antique Automobile Club of America Charity Auction, Hershey, PA
7 MAMA Fall Rally, Hoffman Estates, IL
8 MPG Luncheon, Proud Bird, Los Angeles, CA, TBA
13 APA/NADA Luncheon (Tentative), Detroit, MI
14 SAMA, Luncheon, South Florida Dealer Association, TBA, Miami, FL
15-18 TAWA, Truck Rodeo, San Antonio, TX
16 'STYLED FOR THE ROAD: THE ART OF AUTOMOBILE DESIGN 1908-1948', Wolfsonian International University, Miami Beach, FL
19-21 The Business of Plugging Insm, Conference, Detroit, MI
22 MAMA Forum, Oakbrook Terrace, IL
23 SAMA, Annual Auto Show Kickoff Breakfast, Miami Beach, FL, Jaguar
26 Ironstone Concours d'Elegance, Murphys CA, featured car: 1937 Airmobile
27 APA Consumer Reports Luncheon, Detroit, MI
27-28 MPG Track Day, Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, CA
28 Summit: Automotive Supplier Finance, Dearborn, MI
November 2009
12 Tribute to Trans-Am Opens Petersen Museum, Los Angeles, CA


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motoring press organizations

The 15 regional automotive press associations provide information and background not easily found elsewhere.
  If they are too distant to attend their meetings, belonging usually gives you access to transcripts or reports of these events and other benefits.


Automotive Press Association, Detroit - Katie Kerwin


International Motor Press Association, NYC, Fred Chieco, President -,


Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association


Midwest Automotive Media Association, Chicago -


Motor Press Guild, Los Angeles -


New England Motor Press Association, Boston -


Northwest Automotive Press Association, Port Orchard, WA-


Phoenix Automotive Press Association, Phoenix, Cathy Droz, President-


Rocky Mountain Automotive Press, Denver


Southern Automotive Media Association, Miami FL, Ron Beasley, President,


Southeast Automotive Media Organization, Charlotte, NC


Texas Auto Writers Association, Harold Gunn, 


Truck Writers of North America, Tom Kelley, Executive Director,


Western Automotive Journalists, San Francisco -, Ron Harrison


Washington Automotive Press Association, D.C., Rick Trawick,

talk back

Nice write up on Bruce Smith in "Lane Changes." One minor correction: my email address is  (got an extra letter in there).

Larry Walton
Editorial Services West LLC
Smith-Walton Productions
P.O. Box 307
Jacksonville, OR 97530


My "First Tuesday Car Lunch Bunch" at the Waikiki Yacht Club gets more and more popular as 40-50 gearheads meet to talk cars each month with newest and oldest car models at the Curb. Last Tuesday 1966 Mustang.2010 Shelby and video clips of 1970's Trans Am with Parnelli and George Follmer. Then we hooked up a phone call to George in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho for a Q&A. Fellow scribe Gary Witzenberg spoke several months ago, as did Barry Meguiar. Open invitation to all readers to be our guest when visiting Honolulu. Next month Porsche is the honored marquee.

Ohana Road

First boat across the finish line to win the 104th running of the Trans Pac Long Beach to Honolulu 2152 mi ocean yacht race was ALFA ROMEO 100 ft, monohull and crew of 16. from New Zealand. Owner is the Alfa distributor for N. Zealand and when asked what it takes to win replied "Money" The race boat was met at Diamond Head by eight members of the Hawaii Alfa Romeo Club. More summer reading
LA CARRERA PANAMERICANA by Johnny Tipler the most complete, definitive history of the week-long, 2000 mi event from 1954-2007. ALL the storied names/ pilotos. Fangio, Shelby. McGriff, Lang, JHerman, Rutman, Kling, Bettenhausen, Taruffi. 260 pages. A keeper.

Bill (Maloney)

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