Kim says, “In life, sometimes there are things that you just have to do. In my case many of them relate to my twin loves of 1) motoring, and 2) using writing to convey to others (and share with) my fascination for the subject.
I have been passionate about cars for as long as I can remember, and have always had a thirst for knowledge concerning how and why they work, and how to keep them operating as they should. In addition, I’ve always enjoyed driving, also working on and writing about motor cars.
Being ‘Runner-up’ in the Guild of Motoring Writers’ Sir William Lyons Award (for would-be motoring writers) in 1974 truly transformed my life, for writing about cars was what I had wanted to do since my schooldays, and this Award helped me to achieve my goal. I joined the Guild after taking up my first writing post as a features writer on ‘Practical Motorist’ magazine in 1978.
Turning my ‘Wheels-Alive’ dream to a reality has been a time-consuming operation and has not always been easy but I have enjoyed seeing it come to fruition, and the positive responses from so many readers/viewers have been heartening. Thank you!”
Kim is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and also belongs to the Western Group of Motoring Writers.
If you’d like to read more about how and why I set up ‘Wheels-Alive’, please click HERE.
Please see below to read about our Wheels-Alive contributors, listed in alphabetical order…
Chris Adamson BA has been a journalist for more than 40 years, and since 1989 he has been a full-time motoring correspondent writing for national and regional publications and websites. He is a former winner of the Jet Regional Motoring Journalist of the Year title and currently a committee member of The Guild of Motoring Writers. As well as a modern car, he also owns and regularly drives a 1952 MG YB 1.25 litre saloon, a 1972 MGB Roadster and a more recently acquired 2004 MG ZS.
Kieron has always been interested in cars, his parents complaining that if there was an ‘O’ level in ‘Autocar’ he would get 100%! (He blames his father, whose unusual cars included an Armstrong Siddeley 234 and several Volvo Amazons). With an English & French degree, Kieron worked in sales & marketing , then taught English and French for business. He also made his first foray into auto-journalism; his piece on the Routemaster bus led to a series of car-related features.
Meanwhile the subversive influence of a son souping up Astras and reading ‘Max Power’ caused Kieron (who has run a Vauxhall Nova since new in 1984) to have a mid life crisis which he assuaged by buying an air cooled 911, becoming deeply involved in Porsche in the process. Gradually writing became a fulltime occupation, and Kieron achieved his target of paying for the 911 in five years, through writing. By then his largely historical/research pieces were appearing in the Porsche press in the UK, on the Continent and in the US. Kieron also writes for the Paris weekly ‘La Vie de l’Auto’, and its sister ‘Retroviseur’ – with features on Bristol, Frazer Nash and Alvis. He writes too for Kelsey titles including ‘Classic Truck and Trucking’. He covers new car matters for the Irish Police Journal. Kieron joined the Guild of Motoring Writers in 2009, and is also a member of the Western Group of Motoring Writers.
Rachel grew up surrounded by classic cars, slowly absorbing all the not very useful bits (like how clever the Standard Flying 14’s picnic tables are to fit in the backs of the front seats) and not really taking an interest in anything technical (like how to keep one running). She realised her mistake when she ended up with her own classic Austin to look after, which she has done with varying degrees of success.
Her background is in nature conservation and animal care, and she is currently studying for a Master of Arts in Travel and Nature Writing.
David is the owner and editor of the Miles Better Automotive News Agency, and has spent 50 years in the newspaper industry with the first 20 years working as a staff photo-journalist based in The Cotswolds. This involved covering hard-news stories ranging from the Royal family to military assignments to Concorde, and motoring coverage became an added responsibility. During that time he became a founder member of The Western Group of Motoring Writers and its first Treasurer; he remains a member today.
A career change in 1984 saw him taking over as Head of Public affairs for Mitsubishi Motors in the UK and parts of Europe. During that spell, apart from being involved in the launch of new models, including bringing the world’s first GDI petrol direct injection engine to market, he oversaw the brand’s sponsorship and involvement in such things as the numerous wins in the WRC, Dakar Rally, British F3, UK Touring Car Championship, F1 and Off-Shore powerboating, horse racing championships and The Badminton Horse Trials.
After 20 years David reached the company’s official retirement age of 60. Rather than retiring he started the Miles Better Automotive News Agency. Having worked on both sides of the fence as a journalist and in motor industry Press and PR it had given him a good grounding in what news and information readers really want to know about. Plus of course some of the issues that car companies don’t want us to reveal.
Apart from travelling on long haul holidays, particular favourites are India, Sri Lanka and up to now Tunisia, motoring remains both an interesting job and a pleasurable pursuit. Hidden away in David’s garage, with no time to use it, is a fully reconditioned NG TF, two seater sports car – it has to go so, he says he’s told by his long suffering wife; any reasonable offers considered for the car – not the wife.
Dave has a lifetime connection with the world of motoring. His father was a timeserved engineer from an age when car repairs really meant repairs: he ran his own garage from the 1930s to the 60s, while Mum was the boss’s secretary at a big Austin distributor. Both worked their entire lives in the motor trade, so if motor oil’s not in Dave’s blood, it’s surely a very close thing.
Though qualified in Electronics, for Dave it seemed a natural step into restoring a succession of classic cars, culminating in a variety of Minis. Writing and broadcasting about these, and an ever widening range of motoring topics ancient and modern, gathered pace in the 1970’s, and has taken over since, embracing books, magazines, newspapers, radio programmes, phone-ins and guest appearances – not forgetting hard graft on the garage floor. Latest book: The Efficient Driver’s Handbook. Latest project: That 1968 Mk 1 Mini Cooper S will one day move again…
Dave belongs to the Guild of Motoring Writers, and is also a member of the Western Group of Motoring Writers.
According to Dave, among the first decipherable earthling sounds he made were the names of motor cars. Although his obsession appeared to be inbuilt, it was more than encouraged by his father, who had delivered milk before the war in a converted bullnose Morris at a very early age on a driving licence bought from the post office.
With the additional mechanical knowledge gained as an armourer in the RAF, he set about ensuring the Randles were one of the first families in the road with their own transport – a Morris 8 van. He had all the necessary expertise and state-of-the-art facilities – a wash-house with a bench, a kitchen table big enough to support an engine, and plenty of newspaper.
What he lacked was someone to ‘try it now’, ‘see if the light comes on’ and ‘hold this while I get the first bolt in’. Dave was to be that someone.
Dave has been writing about motors for going on thirty years. He wrote the definitive English language book on Skoda, a history of Baby Fiats, and has written for Driving Now, Future Car, Audi Driver, Fleet Car, Auto-Express, New Car Net, Police Car, Four-Wheel-Drive Mart and numerous other motoring and general titles. He is a member of the Southern Group of Motoring Writers and holds driving qualifications from the IAM and DIA.
Robin, who is Chairman of the Western Group of Motoring Writers, and also a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, is passionate about motor cars and driving them, and is also extremely knowledgeable about the motor industry in general.
He runs his own fascinating motoring magazine website too (www.WheelsWithinWales.uk).
When he’s not swanning around in the latest Bentley or Ferrari test car, he still enjoys driving his beloved Triumph Stag, that he has owned for over 30 years.
Tom has been writing and broadcasting about cars since 1973, originally with the British Forces Broadcasting Service. More recently, for ten years he was the motoring writer for the Reading Evening Post. He now freelances and has contributed to a wide variety of magazines and newspapers. He is a member of The Guild of Motoring Writers and of the Southern Group of Motoring Writers. Tom, although from a family that didn’t own a car, fell in love with vintage cars and bought a 1931 Alvis 12/60 before he’d even passed his test. That was fifty years ago and, many classics later, he now runs an American 1960 V8 powered Ford Galaxie.
Having had a driving passion for all things motoring since a tender age, South African-born Glen started his professional motoring photography back in 1994. That same year, his eagerness to record and preserve motoring and motor sport history through both writing and photography led him to establish Automotive Research.
In 1997 Glen launched Autosport & Classics, a classic motoring and historic motor sport magazine, and has to date not only contributed articles and photographs to numerous motoring magazines, but has also authored no less than eight automotive books, including Jaguar E-type: Portrait of a Design Icon, for which he won the Laurin and Klement ‘Design Writer of the Year’ award.
Glen has been a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers since 1995, as well as the Western Group of Motoring Writers. It is said that, were it not for his beloved wife insisting, he would take his camera with him every time he stepped out the door.
Jeremy Walton trained as an agricultural journalist and some say he is still an earthy fellow. Once qualified, Walton joined for his first motoring magazine, the cult Cars and Car Conversions title, becoming associate editor with the opportunity to steer a special Hillman Imp GT in auto and rallycross. A move to Motor Sport and Motoring News brought ever stronger sporting links. Jeremy began racing regularly from runner-up in a British national series [Ford Escort Sport] to Belgium’s Spa24 hour European Championship events [BMW then Ford]. He subsequently joined Ford as sport and Ford Advanced Vehicles press officer. The Ford stint broadened his horizons and he became a freelance, clients escalating from motorsports and performance cars to TV advertising and the creation of 35 automotive and biographic books. He now lives in Wiltshire and has become very rural.
Freelance motoring and travel writer. Former staff Motoring Correspondent Manchester Evening News 1969-95. Also Travel Editor 1985-95. Multi-award winning journalist at national and regional levels. Northern Motoring Writer of the Year a record seven times.
Inaugural chairman 1973-83 of ground-breaking Northern Group of Motoring Writers. Entered journalism via civil engineering studies (failed) and the exacting discipline of a balloon writer for children’s comics (Dandy Beano group, Dundee). Then a news reporter for the great Harold Evans on the Northern Echo. Later PR for Granada TV (Coronation Street) before the M.E.N.
My first car, co-owned, was in the late 50’s: A much-used and moody 1938 Ford Prefect (E 93 A model) – running boards, unpredictable side-valve engine and failing vacuum-operated wipers whose spindle above the windscreen you twirled between sore finger and thumb. It had been purchased for £25 by a syndicate of five Manchester University students among whom I was the only qualified driver, ie the mug who taxied the others around. So on vacations back home in Sunderland my father’s gleaming white, second-hand 1961 Consul Classic 315 with rake-back rear window and quad-headlamps was relative luxury and something to show off in. My rented honeymoon car was a 1959 Anglia 105E with similar rake-back rear window and muted tail fins.
My first major car launch as a motoring writer was the 1968 Halewood-built Ford Capri in Cyprus. There’s a Ford theme creeping in here, purely coincidental… Cars are as ever a joy to drive, but to a reporter it’s the industry around the world which is forever fascinating in its far-reaching effects on society. Never been known to shirk a factory visit!
Writes for a series of major regional newspapers and websites. Member Guild of Motoring Writers, Northern Group of Motoring Writers, British Guild of Travel Writers, IAM. Life Member NUJ.
John bought his first car, a Morris Minor, for £25 as soon as he was old enough to drive and since then reckons he has driven more than 500 cars. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers and has written for Classic Car Weekly, the Automobile and many other publications, in addition to producing several motoring books, two of them on MGs.
He is glad he has finally got over his addiction to Lancias and now drives a 1999 MX5 for fun and a Volkswagen Scirocco for more serious stuff…”