Attending a new car launch for Ferrari, Maserati, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Bentley and other performance and luxury manufacturers is like going to the Super Bowl and being invited into the locker room before the game.
At most launches everyone drives the same car model over the same route, and has access to the same executives, designers and engineers. So how do you add layers of depth to your work so it stands out?
My approach has been to focus on automotive DNA. The marques I’ve covered over the years are filled with illustrious histories, and I’ve been very fortunate to drive many of their earlier landmark cars. These days, with the huge escalation in values, such models hardly ever see the light of day. They are tucked away in some secretive garage or warehouse, or are an integral part of an asset class for some “investor.” Having decades of on-road experience in such machines when they were just “cars,” gives one an entirely different point of view that is now lacking.
I feel equally blessed to have known and interviewed many of those responsible for the creation of those landmark models. A good number of times these key people have shown me cars long before they became public knowledge, or were given a proper product launch.
The depth of this accumulated knowledge provides a viewpoint that goes beyond a manufacturer’s message of the moment, and allows examination of deeper, more interesting and nuanced questions such as: Is a new car true to the company’s DNA and model name? Does the model indeed represent what the manufacturer says, and what the name implies?
Of course, being bombarded by g-forces under hard acceleration, braking and cornering, all while hearing an engine’s wail overwhelm the cabin…well, that is a glorious part of the job, too!
And a great way to spend a day or two in the office…
Here are several of my favorite covers:
Some of my favorite articles are:
California vs. California (FORZA) One of my best “DNA tests” to date, I brought together Ferrari’s brilliant current California, and the genesis point for the Ferrari California legend, the prototype 250 Spyder California. The end result had me questioning everything I believe.
Lamborghini Murcielago (Sports Car International) There is nothing like getting the world exclusive road test on a car such as this. Especially when the magazine gives you space for a true DNA approach.
Shelby DNA (Automobile Quarterly) When I purchased a 2007 Shelby GT, I loved the car but wondered if it was the real deal or a slick marketing exercise. My deep dive into Shelby mythology was chronicled in this article that appeared in Automobile Quarterly.
A Week in the Life of Aston Martin (Automobile Quarterly) A true dream assignment was jetting between England and Italy, photographing and chronicling the construction of Aston’s model line up at its different factories. The company was in the midst of its incredible expansion, and interviews with key personnel show where Aston was at the time, and where they saw it going.
Mustang Build (Motor Trend) The first new car I bought was a custom ordered 2006 Mustang GT. What could be better than going to the factory and watching your baby being created.
Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Drive (Octane) The landmark, championship and Le Mans winning 250 Testa Rossa remains the greatest car I have ever driven. Here is why.
Prancing Horse Classics (Robb Report) With the stock market fluctuating constantly, currencies being devalued and gold and silver soaring, there is another type of precious metal that makes a pretty good investment: Ferraris. Just be sure to purchase the right tier of car. Here is your guide.
My work has appeared in more than 60 outlets in nine different countries. Below is a list of all the publications and websites.
- Auto Aficionado (USA); text, photos
- AutoCapital (Italy); text, photos
- Autocar (England); text, photos
- Auto Club (China); photos
- Automobiel Klassiek & Exclusief (Holland); text, photos
- Automobile (USA); text, photos
- Automobile Quarterly (USA); text, photos
- Automobile Year (Monaco); text, photos
- Auto Motor Klassiek (Holland); text, photos
- Autoweek (USA); text, photos
- Autoweld (Germany); photos
- Bimmer: The Magazine About BMW (USA); photos
- Car & Driver (USA); photos
- Cavallino (USA); text, photos
- (Thoroughbred &) Classic Cars (England); text, photos
- Classic & Special Interest Cars (USA); text, photos
- Classic & Sportscar (England); text, photos
- Collectible Automobile (USA); text, photos
- Concours Italiano Annual Program (USA); text, photos
- DuPont Registry (USA); photos
- Ferrari Club of America National Meet Program (USA); text, photos
- Ferrari Magazin (Germany); text, photos
- Ferrari S.p.A. 1994 & 2005 Annual (Italy); photos
- Ford Focus (Ford Motor Company, England); photos
- FORZA Ferrari Magazine (USA); text, photos
- Gente Motori (Italy); photos
- La Manovella (Italy); photos
- LOTS Quarterly (USA); text, photos
- Millionaire Autos (USA); text, photos
- Motor Trend (USA); text, photos
- Mustang Monthly (USA); text, photos
- Octane (England); text, photos
- Palo Alto Concours Program (USA); text, photos
- Pebble Beach Concours Program (USA); text, photos
- Performance Car (England); text, photos
- Road & Track (USA); text, photos
- Road & Track’s Exotic Cars (USA); text, photos
- Rosso Ferrari (Ferrari North America, USA); photos
- Scuderia (Japan); text, photos
- Shelby Annual (USA); text, photos
- SPORT AUTO (Hungary); text, photos
- Sports Car Illustrated (USA); text, photos
- Sports Car International (USA); text, photos
- Sports Car Market (USA); photos
- Supercar Classics (England); text, photos
- Vintage Motorsport (USA); text, photos
- Cigar Lifestyles (USA); text, photos
- Esquire (USA); photos
- Forbes (USA); photos
- Fortune (USA); photos
- Fortune on-line (USA); photos
- Millionaire (USA); text, photos
- Opulence (USA); text, photos
- Peninsula Times Tribune (USA); photos
- Playboy (USA); photos
- Polo.com (USA); text
- Popular Mechanics (USA); photos
- Robb Report (USA); text, photos
- San Diego Union Tribune (USA); photos
- San Jose Mercury News (USA); photos
- Smoke (USA); text, photos
- Stuff (USA); photos
- The Sun (England); photos
- V-Life (USA), text
- Worth (USA); text, photos