Pride comes before the fall. So it’s only fitting – -as we approach the fall of 2010 and begin plans for Automobile Magazine’s twenty-fifth anniversary — that we share our pride in this freshly redesigned magazine. And although I’m loath to advertise the company jewels, it pleases me to no end to come to work every day and see the abundance of talent packed into the second floor of 120 East Liberty.
Universities have been very, very good to us. In the spring of 2008, George Washington University sophomore Jeffrey Jablansky sent us a bold e-mail asking for an internship. Deputy editor Joe DeMatio was in D.C. by chance, checked his BlackBerry, and met Jablansky for lunch on campus. We were lousy with intern candidates that spring, so clearly DeMatio was just trying to weasel a paid lunch. The coveted internship went to Eric Tingwall, who’d just finished his junior year (double major in journalism and mechanical engineering) at Michigan State.
Tingwall had already won a contest to go to the 2007 Frankfurt motor show with Saturn to drive the Astra, which propelled him into some writing for Edmunds.com. (Tingwall’s future has turned out much better than Saturn’s.) We worked him like a proper slave all summer, and upon his graduation in 2009, we snatched him out from under a job offer from Honda R&D to be our associate editor. Today is his one-year anniversary here. In the past month, he’s been to the Nuerburgring to test an Aston Martin V12 Vantage, to Barber Motorsports Park for laps in the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Hybrid, and to Virginia International Raceway for the launch of the Ford Shelby GT500. Not bad.
While waiting for Tingwall to finish school, we landed young David Zenlea, fresh out of University of Maryland J-school and with two years of real newspaper internships on his resume. He had us at: “But despite the apparent maturation, I have been unable to shake my desire to write for an auto magazine.” We brought him to Ann Arbor in the fall of 2008 as a writer. His craziest assignment? Driving the new M-B SLS AMG on the old Panamericana route in Mexico two months ago.
Young Jeffrey Jablansky, you ask? The little moptop eventually interned here so successfully (and joyfully) last summer that he stepped out of college and into the role of associate web editor alongside Evan McCausland (who published a bus freak’s reference guide to General Motors Rapid Transit buses while still in college). Jablansky started his job today, curls shorn. Don’t tell the mother.
The new two-man creative team at Automobile Magazine comes with thirty-two years of combined magazine design experience, none at a car book.Creative director Kelly Murphy rides a BMW K1200S, sports a mohawk, and bombarded us with imaginative missives insisting he was our man. We agreed. He then blew us away when he went to North Carolina and convinced Matt Tierney, his top rival for the job, to come to Ann Arbor and work with him as art director. Unlike Murphy, Tierney has been reading car magazines for thirty years–three-fourths of his life. His childhood auto art (included in his resume) involved painstaking renditions of auto ads and of cars he saw in magazines. This issue is the beginning of a beautiful friendship, and of another twenty-five years of design excellence.
From top to bottom, Automobile Magazine is produced by smart, funny, passionate people who love cars and every way they make our lives better. We are blessed with some of the best car magazine executives and writers and web site producers, as well as the most enthusiastic of minimum-wage interns and motor gophers. Don’t scoff. Our former gophers are now journalists, web producers, marketing and public relations execs, and car dealership owners and managers.
(Top: Wordsmiths Eric Tingwall, Jeffrey Jablansky, and the short-but-not-that-short David Zenlea. (Tingwall is a giant.) Right: The art team, Kelly Murphy and Matt Tierney. A striking resemblance? We have no idea what you’re talking about.)
Written By: Jean Jeannings