My dad took me to my first auto show when I was three, at the legendary Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. He didn't know if I would like cars, but he certainly hoped I would. It turns out I did -- and it quickly became a passion.
I went from knowing what cars all of my teachers drove in elementary school (I remember when my fourth-grade teacher traded her Chevrolet Monza for a Volvo), to trying to figure out what car I wanted when I was old enough to drive. My list started short -- Jaguars and 911s -- and the long list now includes many, many more. When I was in junior high, I was the only one of my friends who was reading car magazines (my dad's, of course), and while I was absorbing everything I could about the automotive industry, it was through that reading that I learned about a new car that was coming. It was a Japanese roadster designed in the spirit of British and Italian cars from the 1960s, and from that point on, I paid special attention to any news about that roadster. It was the Miata, and while I didn't get to own one, I tried really hard to convince my parents that it was a good idea for them to help me buy one for my college commute. That didn't fly.
When I was older, my dream was to write for an automotive magazine. I was convinced that the best way to get into the business was to get an internship at a magazine. At the very least, I thought, I could learn how the business operates. I had no luck getting an internship through UCLA (long story), but I got one in a rather unconventional way. I was waiting tables to help pay for tuition, and one day I started talking Jeeps with the guys at one of my tables. They were impressed that I knew about the history of Jeep, and it turned out each of them worked for a different four-wheel-drive enthusiast magazine. The next thing I knew, I had an internship at Four Wheeler magazine. That turned into a full-time job after I graduated college. I went to a few different titles within the automotive industry, learning a lot about Jeeps, pickups, and four-wheel-drive along the way, and eventually moved over to Motor Trend and Truck Trend, and have been thrilled to be here ever since.
These days, my daily driver is a truck, which is great fun. I am truly grateful that I have been part of some fantastic off-road adventures, all over the world. And if/when I ever get the urge to get a project vehicle (I'm considering saving up for a Willys Wagon), I already have the tow vehicle that can bring it home.