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Ronald Ahrens

Ronald Ahrens

Contributing Writer
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Ronald Ahrens
When Automobile launched in 1986, my byline appeared with a sidebar to the cover story written by our founding editor David E. Davis, Jr. What had led me to the magazine was a heavily automobile-flavored childhood: my father raced a modified coupe and late-model stocks on the oval tracks around Omaha, Nebraska, where we lived. My favorite uncle preferred drag racing and hot rods.

After earning a B.A. in English from the University of Nebraska, I moved to Los Angeles to become a screenwriter. Instead, I ended up holding cue cards on TV shows, including the soap opera Days of Our Lives. My first magazine story, the inside scoop on how we prepared those cue cards, appeared with my own photos in Soap Opera Digest.

In my freelance career, I’ve now written for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, among others. My stories of Detroit history for DBusiness (“Detroit’s Premier Business Journal”) have been running since 2006. I’ve even compiled a couple of reports for Bon Appétit. But while a food-and-wine tour gets boring after a couple of days, nothing beats a call from Automobile. I’ve been behind the wheel of everything from a Ferrari 458 Italia (“Blood Red to Goodwood”) to the Fiat 500 Abarth and aboard a Ducati (“The Tempest and the Teapot”). On assignment for “Three Zero Heroes,” I co-drove the winning BMW X3 in the 2004 Alcan Winter Rally. Teaming again with navigator Peter Schneider, we won the 2006 Carolina Trophy, bulldogging a 1951 Chrysler Saratoga to the finish for “Substance over Style.”

Other assignments have placed me not only in the driver’s seat of a Porsche 911 Targa for the 2002 Targa Newfoundland, a plummy nod that seemed to indicate my editors’ favor, but also in the co-driver’s seat of a Class 1 buggy for the 2003 Baja 1000, suggesting they wanted me dead. At any rate, as you might guess, there’s no regret about abandoning show biz.

articles by Ronald Ahrens

2015 Shelby American GT Front Three Quarter In Motion 1
Road Tests

2015 Shelby American GT Review

Muscle without the lactic acid buildup.
| Jan 16, 2015
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Man Of The Year Peter Mullin
Car Awards

2015 Man of the Year: Peter Mullin

Visionary collector pushes to advance automotive design.
| Nov 20, 2014
2016 Smart ForTwo
Road Tests

2016 Smart Fortwo Review

Now more of an adjective, less of a verb.
| Nov 12, 2014
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2015 Toyota Sienna SE Front Three Quarter View In Motion 2
Road Tests

2015 Toyota Sienna Review

Nips, tucks, and a well-scrubbed appearance in middle age.
| Nov 05, 2014
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2015 Toyota Yaris
Road Tests

2015 Toyota Yaris Review

A pip without the squeaks.
| Sep 29, 2014
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2015 Toyota Camry XSE
Road Tests

2015 Toyota Camry Review

Flavors beyond vanilla, and a sportive yield for the weekend.
| Sep 21, 2014
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2015 Mini Hardtop 4 Door Front Side View  S Curves
Road Tests

2015 Mini Cooper Hardtop 4-Door Review

Defying tradition should pay off handsomely.
| Sep 17, 2014
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2015 Lincoln Navigator
Road Tests

2015 Lincoln Navigator Review

Face-saving up front and hot pepper under the hood.
| Sep 16, 2014
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2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 4WD LT Crew Cab
Road Tests

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD CNG: Around the Block

Dual-fuel capability for the big Silverado.
| Jul 08, 2014
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Ronald Ahrens Indy 500 Column

Mario Andretti Talks IndyCar Racing

Andretti and Jimmy Vasser can bring Helio Castroneves up to speed.
| Jul 01, 2014
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2015 Subaru WRX STI At Isle Of Man With Bright Sky
News & Rumors

Chasing The Isle of Man Record in a 2015 Subaru WRX STI

Subaru returns to the Isle of Man with Mark Higgins.
| Jun 10, 2014
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Paving A Racetrack Lead Image
News & Rumors

How To Pave A Racetrack In Six Steps

It's far more difficult than you think.
| Apr 25, 2014
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Ford Mustang 50 Years Las Vegas Event
News & Rumors

50 Years of Ford Mustangs

Celebrating the pony car's every permutation.
| Apr 23, 2014
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