It was a bit of a random whirlwind that landed me here at Automobile. When people ask me, it goes more or less along these lines.
How did you get into cars?
I grew up in Philadelphia, constantly begging my dad to take me for rides in his 1962 Morgan 4/4. He bought the car right around the time I was born, so I’ve witnessed the Mog’s various growth, transformation and setbacks as I went through my own mirrored experiences. My dad took me along to British car meetups and drives as well as Morgan Club events. I was hooked. I voraciously consumed everything from Automobile to Autoweek and Hemmings Motor News. My sense of direction even around my own neighborhood was pretty terrible, since every second spent on the road was devoted to proudly identifying the year, make, and model of every passing vehicle.
Did you study journalism in college?
Nope. I majored in Art History and Russian Studies. As totally out of left field as that seems, I was always looking for ways to tie in my love for cars. I spent hours in the art library voluntarily reading up on the BMW art cars, and I wrote an entire term paper for a history course on the role of the international auto industry during World War II. I even submitted that paper as my writing sample when I first applied to Automobile.
How did you end up at Automobile?
I’d say the answer to that question is a cocktail of luck, timing, and patience. Out of college I had no particular prospects, and emailed Jean Jennings feeling like I had nothing to lose. Jean responded with a friendly “I’ll deal with you later if you don’t stalk me.” My resume was eventually pawned off on a begrudged Joe DeMatio, who despite professing to be unimpressed with pedigreed alma maters from places like Vassar, conceded that some of his best hires had come from similar cold contacts.
After a full year was spent working in the curatorial department at the Guggenheim Museum in New York while simultaneously waiting tables in a neighborhood Brooklyn pub, DeMatio emailed me. A month or so later I was moving to Ann Arbor, in perpetual fear of the call back that would inform me there had been some terrible misunderstanding and I could kindly stop packing.
What are some of your favorite cars, classic and modern?
As incredibly frustrating as that question is, I’d have to settle on a Mk II Mini Cooper S and a late-model BMW Z3. It’s nigh impossible to withhold a smile when a classic Mini zips by on 10-inchers, and while most people here would rather have a Miata for a roadster (and they do), I dig the Z3’s retro styling.