Oct. 29, 2021

How JOHN DINKEL joined ROAD & TRACK Magazine

John saw an ad in COMPETITION PRESS AUTO WEEK that CAR LIFE (sister magazine to ROAD&TRACK) was looking for an engineering editor ...


John saw an ad in COMPETITION PRESS AUTO WEEK that CAR LIFE (sister magazine to ROAD&TRACK) was looking for an engineering editor ...

Transcript

Unknown Speaker  0:00  
I saw an ad in competition press auto week that a magazine called call life was looking for an engineering editor. And so I look up call I can call it is essentially the fifth the publication Road and Track, John Bond and Elaine bond, what road and track towards debts. The magazine actually started in a place where I grew up as Long Island. So I tell people, two great things came out of Long Island, Dan Gurney and Road Track. So the guys who started road, in fact, did three or four issues before he just sort of floundering. And so John and Elaine bond, and John was the technical side, Elaine was the business side. They bought it and moved it out to California, call life. John John loved call life more than he loved Road and Track. And why is that? Road Track by the time I got there, and 72 was a cash cow. They were making a ton of money with Road Track because of what had happened in the car world and the the growth of performance cars, what cars etc. But John love car life because he had gone through GMI he had been and worked at General Motors. And so he loves the Detroit business more than he really loved the import business. But the magazine wasn't successful and it wasn't as big. But we had but they were looking for an engineering editor to replace a guy who who was going back it was interesting because it was the guy by the name of John MacKinnon. John Mckibben was a Chrysler engineer who worked for the I think it was the I was gonna say golden commandos. It could have been the RAM chargers, but it was the two factory racing teams that were run out of Chrysler by engineers. So they were factory, but they were all engineering guys at Chrysler, who did the drag racing with the golden commandos and the RAM shots. And John Mckibben was part of them. When he left, he was the engineering editor of color, like he got hired away by the NHTSA to do the first vehicle safety call that the DLT did. And he took what he used what he did, he took a 1970 Chrysler C body, which was one of the big ones with all the tumblehome that they had back in those days. And they couldn't sell them until General Motors came out with similar designs the next year. And he had a facility out in the Ontario area where he was developing this car. So they needed another engineering it and that's how I found on that note. The guy they I interviewed with the then editor of call Life magazine in Detroit. But they hired the perfect guy who was already in LA was a guy by the name of Dave Veen, he worked for air research, they were in a turbo charging company, right in the business. He had a lotus seven that he raised, that he was a very good ratio. And he was a hell of a writer. So he could have had a career in that business forever, except for one thing. And it was it was one thing that doomed him from a career in writing, and that one thing was deadlines. He couldn't make deadlines. So a year after they hired him, they let him go. And they came back and found me. And then editor Alan Gertler hired me to become the engineering editor. And that was in 1970. This has been Jeff Sterns connected through cars

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

John Dinkel

R&T Illustrated AutoDictionary and others on Mazda

John Dinkel earned BS and MS degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and is an automotive industry expert with over 40 years experience. His areas of expertise include engineering, journalism, testing and analysis, product development, product planning, advertising, marketing, website development and content, internet automotive retailing and public relations. 
Most recently he has been a consultant to privately-held companies specializing in the commercialization of alternative automotive powertrain vehicles/technologies, the importation of Chinese vehicles into North America, an automotive crowdfunding site called FundingGarage and an automotive retail website.

Motivo specializes in developing new products for complex engineering problems.

Dinkel was a competitive race driver for the Bakeracing Corvette team (two SCCA Championships), worked directly with Goodyear in the development of the Gatorback tire for showroom stock racing and developed the first computerized road testing equipment in the automotive industry. Dinkel was Editor of Road & Track, one of the most popular consumer automobile magazines in America, developed some of the earliest Internet-based automotive material and helped create an automotive website. Dinkel is author of the Road & Track Illustrated Automotive Dictionary and has written three books on Mazda and a comprehensive history of Toyota. He is a member of SAE, SCCA, Road Racing Drivers Club and the Motor Press Guild, serving as this organization’s president in 1991. Dinkel is also a regular contributor to the SAE’s Automotive Engineering magazine and a variety of automotive magazines and websites, including, www.SAE.org and http://wheelstv.tv.