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Joe Dematio

Joe DeMatio

Deputy Editor
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Joe DeMatio
I landed a job at the then-fledgling Automobile Magazine by answering a blind ad in the Ann Arbor News for an “editorial assistant at a national magazine.” I knew that both Automobile Magazine and Car and Driver were based in Ann Arbor, and I knew the story of how David E. Davis, Jr., had left Car and Driver to found Automobile Magazine with, as he liked to say, “Rupert Murdoch’s money.” So I dearly hoped, as I carefully composed my cover letter and printed it out on 100% cotton stock, that I was applying to one of Ann Arbor’s two automotive enthusiast magazines rather than to Mathematical Reviews magazine, which was also (and still is) based in Ann Arbor. After all, I had barely passed rudimentary calculus at the University of Michigan.

My cover letter was not as carefully composed as I thought, as it contained a typo, so the managing editor at the time threw it into the reject pile. Only after interviewing an assortment of poorly dressed and groomed losers did she, out of desperation, fish my resume out of the pile and call me in for an interview and a battery of quite difficult editing, proofreading, and typing tests. Yes, I took a typing test to get my job at Automobile Magazine, so when people ask me the inevitable question, “How did you get that incredibly cool job?” I can honestly answer, “through a classified ad in the newspaper, and because I took typing in high school.”

Fast-forward a couple of decades, and I’ve had a variety of positions at Automobile Magazine: editorial assistant (in which role I answered Jean Lindamood’s reader mail, including to inmates on death row); copy editor; associate editor; and senior editor. I also was the editor of our annual Buying & Leasing Guide for many years, which allowed me to spout off powertrain specs on virtually every car on the market. Along the way I learned to drive (I mean really drive, not what you learn in drivers training); to write and edit to the high standard that has been Automobile’s raison d’etre since Vol. 1, Issue 1; and to produce a monthly magazine, with all that entails.

And the cars. Yes, the cars. I’ve driven them all, I’ve written about many of them, and I’ve edited others’ writing on the rest. Well, I missed the Ferrari Enzo and the Porsche Carrera GT, but I’ve driven every Lamborghini since the Countach, every mid-engine Ferrari since the 355, and, most recently, the Bugatti Veyron, which was even better than I had hoped. Having access to so much hot metal surely is hazardous to one’s driver’s license, no? Yes, indeed, it is. I’ve spent more than my share of time at the side of the road having conversations with police officers, and I’ve begged and groveled for mercy in front of many traffic court magistrates. Funny thing is, I’ve had more speeding tickets in workaday vehicles like minivans, economy cars, and family sedans than I have had in exotics.

If I had to pinpoint two cars that have meant the most to me during my time at Automobile Magazine, it would be the Porsche 911, in all its series and iterations, partly because a 964-chassis was the first car I ever drove cross-country; and the Mazda Miata, a car that fits me physically and philosophically and which has been around since I stuffed that cover letter and resume into an envelope.

articles by Joe DeMatio

Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Group 2
News & Rumors

Pebble Beach – Roaming Around the Peninsula in Search of Cars and Cool

Photos, observations, and more from the big weekend.
Automobile Staff
| Aug 19, 2014
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2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI
Road Tests

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI S Performance Pack Review

Driving the seventh generation on American soil.
| May 27, 2014
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Ferrari LaFerrari Production
News & Rumors

Building The Ferrari LaFerrari

How to assemble a hybrid hypercar.
| May 14, 2014
View Photo Gallery
2014 Ferrari LaFerrari
Road Tests

Ferrari LaFerrari Review

The user-friendly, hybrid supercar.
| Apr 29, 2014
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Porsche 918 Spyder Manager Dr Frank Walliser
News & Rumors

Six Questions for the Porsche 918 Spyder Manager

Frank-Steffen Walliser talks about his supercar.
| Apr 10, 2014
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2015 Porsche 918 Spyder
Road Tests

2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Review

Hitting Circuit of the Americas in the outrageous hybrid supercar.
| Apr 10, 2014
View Photo Gallery
2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible California
Long-Term Tests

2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Convertible - Life in California

The Beetle makes friends out west, usually of the female persuasion.
| Mar 05, 2014
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2015 Ford F 150 Debut Pair
2014 Detroit Auto Show

Detroit 2014: Hits, Misses, & Revelations

The highs, the lows, and things we heard at this year's Detroit auto show.
| Jan 16, 2014
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2014 Cadillac ELR Front Three Quarter View 06
Road Tests

2014 Cadillac ELR Review

Cadillac wants to be the new Tesla.
| Nov 27, 2013
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2013 porsche cayenne diesel
Editors Notebook

2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel

Shockingly good fuel economy for a 4800-pound luxury vehicle.
| Aug 05, 2013
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2013 mini john cooper works gp
Editors Notebook

2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP

The most hardcore version of the Mini Cooper is so, so fun.
| Jul 26, 2013
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2014 subaru forester
Editors Notebook

2014 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring

A crossover for drivers who wouldn't be caught dead in a crossover.
| Jul 24, 2013
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