[vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” padding_bottom=”20″][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text el_class=”milepost-dateline”]MilePost – The Journal of the Motor Press Guild / Vol. 24, No. 1, January 2014[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”16506″ alignment=”center” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]


Peter Brock captures the 2013 Dean Batchelor Award

The revered automotive designer, racer and author wins for his timely new book on the original Corvette Sting Ray.

— Story by Brad Nelson; photos by Myles Regan

Peter Brock took home the Big Prize from MPG’s 19th annual celebration of excellence in automotive journalism, capturing the Dean Batchelor Award for his new book, “Corvette Sting Ray: Genesis of an American Icon,” in front of an appreciative audience at the Petersen Automotive Museum on December 10, 2013. Brock’s latest work also won Best Book of the Year. (Brock is pictured at left)

The ceremonies began with Best Book of the Year, presented by Eric Dahlquist, Sr. who presided over the judging panel with Larry Crane and David Woodhouse. In addition to Brock’s book, two more made the finalist grade: Tyler Alexander’s “McLaren from the Inside,” and “The Cars of Vel Miletich and Parnelli Jones” by Jim Dilamarter and Ren Wicks, Jr. Dahlquist shared some of the judge’s comments on all the books but those for “Genesis” were telling: “A real page turner.” “The characterization of people like Bill Mitchell were spot on.” “Picture selection and illustrations were perfect.”

Next up, Peter Starr presented the Best Audio/Visual of the Year award. Starr was head judge of the class with help from co-judges Steve Heuer and Tyler Purcell. The finalists were, “Where They Raced: Speed Demons in the City of Angels” by Harold Osmer and Harry Pallenberg (pictured at right); “2013 Tesla Model S Review – L.A. to Vegas the Hard Way” by Micah Muzio and Michael Delano for KBB.com; and “Jeff Zwart – Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb 2013” by Will Roegge. Osmer and Pallenberg’s film about racing in Los Angeles took the prize. Said Starr, “It is an engrossing and well-produced film about a subject which appears to have been lost and buried in the ever-expanding metropolis of Los Angeles. For a car guy who is a lover of racing and fascinated with history, it’s engaging and will teach you something about the genesis of racing history in Los Angeles.”

MPG’s “unofficial official” photographer, Myles Regan (pictured at left), presented the Best Photograph of the Year. Mark Elias and Ed Justice, Jr. also judged. Three finalists vied for the award: “Time’s Up” by Bob Chapman, published in Porsche Panorama; “Dicing with Giants: Aston Martin GT4” by Robert Kerian, published in Road & Track; and “Frozen in Time” by Randy Wells, published in Porsche Panorama. Chapman took the prize for his photo of a Porsche GT, which Regan described: “As photographers, we know how tough it can be to get an image of a race car that we haven’t seen, and Bob’s image of a Porsche GT through the trees is a fresh example of a competitor at speed. This image really tells a story and reinforced the narrative.”

Mark Vaughn and Rex ParkerThe Best Article of the Year finalists covered a broad spectrum and MPG’s Aaron Gold led the judging panel, ably supported by Mark Vaughn and Zach Bowman. Vaughn presented the award in his inimitable style, elevating the already lively mood. “Anyone that is selected to be a judge for the Dean Batchelor Award must first of all have not been nominated,” said Vaughn. “I’m not hurt that my own ‘Hyundai Elantra Mid-Cycle Refresh’ was not chosen.” No worries, Mr. Vaughn—there were some very worthy finalists for Best Article: “GM’s Road Not Taken” by Robert Cumberford, published in Automobile magazine; “How Honda Hustled to Redo Civic” by Mark Rechtin, published in Automotive News; and “Theater of the Absurd” by Pete Stout, published in Porsche Panorama.

“This year’s writing entries were the most impressive we’ve received in a long time,” noted Vaughn. Robert Cumberford won for “GM’s Road Not Taken.” “We like it because it carries a strong opinion which is something you don’t often find in articles like this,” said Vaughn. “It’s an enjoyable mix of subjective and objective, and it’s well written and well presented.” (Vaughn is pictured at right with Rex Parker far right, who accepted for Cumberford.)

Jeff DunhamAfter all the “Best Of” winners were announced, more levity ensued when ace ventriloquist and comedian Jeff Dunham took the stage. Dunham began with a photo retrospective of some favorite cars from his past and present, revealing a notably eclectic love for the automobile. The passion had to start somewhere and the Bradley GT was it for Dunham. Other favorites included the second-generation Batmobile and a ’71 Mercury Marquis that went particularly well with his light blue prom tux back in the day. “Some of these crap cars, they have souls,” noted Dunham. Indeed. After his crazy car tour, the master of speaking without moving lips and his prickly buddy Walter gave their own rendition of “The Night Before Christmas.” Santa may have cringed a little but a hoot was had by all.

The Dean Batchelor Award presentation was the last of the evening and Brock’s outstanding work had three tough competitors to overcome. It wasn’t easy to choose a winner but head DBA judge Jason Fogelson and his panel, Preston Lerner and Tara Weingarten, found inspiration: “We tried to channel our inner Dean Bachelor. We took the word “excellence” very seriously and we applied it rigorously to each of the four MPG Best of the Year category winners.” Ultimately, “one work clearly stood out for us,” he said.

With all the recent attention paid to the new 2014 Stingray (one of the winners of MPG’s 2013 Innovation Vehicle of the Year award), the timing of Brock’s book seems serendipitous. The process of creating new vehicles, especially those that inspire passion like the new Stingray, is often complex and fraught with both engineering and political challenges. “Genesis” is perhaps proof that it has always been thus, while letting the rest of us in on some fascinating details—all told with excellence.

Congratulations Peter, and to all the Best of the Year winners! We look forward to more great automotive journalism in 2014.

More on the ceremony:

More on the winners:

  • Click here for excerpts and info on “Corvette Sting Ray: Genesis of an American Icon.”
  • Click here for a trailer and info on “Where They Raced: Speed Demons in the City of Angels.”
  • Click here to view the “Time’s Up” photo.
  • Click here to read “GM’s Road Not Taken.”

MPG thanks the following sponsors for their generous support of the Dean Batchelor Award banquet:

2013sponsors[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center” thickness=”2″ width_in_percentages=”” up=”40″ down=”40″][vc_column_text]


With the North American International Auto Show dominating the automotive landscape in early-to-mid-January, MPG luncheons will take a break. Stay tuned for an announcement for the February monthly gathering.


Position Available: Technical Editor—Automobile Industry

Pelican Parts is the leading online source of car parts for German automobiles including Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Audi, Saab, Volvo, and Mini. We offer the most extensive and competitively priced selection of Genuine, OEM and aftermarket parts in the industry. We also produce and manage thousands of articles to help the DIY enthusiast with projects for their Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Mini Cooper. Our sponsored community is one of the largest 500 communities in the world and these enthusiasts provide hundreds of thousands of comments across countless topics involving your German automobile.

We have a long history of providing technical content—primarily do-it-yourself articles— around the repair and projects associated with German automobiles. We are always adding to the vast library of content that has already been created. We currently have a staff of writers creating new articles that will be posted to our website.

The Technical Editor will be a full-time salaried position at our Harbor City, CA location. The position has a lot of growth potential, initially reporting to the COO and eventually the head of marketing. Compensation will be based on experience.

Scope of work and responsibilities

  • Manage a group of technical writers creating new articles
  • Hire new writers as necessary
  • Review and edit all writer-submitted articles for grammar and content accuracy
  • Provide writers with guidance on all articles
  • Ensure consistency in establishing, monitoring and reinforcing editorial standards and style guides
  • Create goals and establish deadlines to meet content objectives
  • Provide recommendations when a project is not meeting expectations
  • Lead efforts to choose upcoming vehicles for new articles
  • Provide regular updates to the executive team on project progress
  • Maintain and enhance the company article flow process
  • Own the content side of the website, looking for opportunities for continuous improvement to this section
  • Be a resource for our marketing team in the development of content for our newsletters


  • BA/BS degree required (English, communications or journalism preferred); graduate degree a plus
  • 10 years of professional editor/writer experience in the automobile industry
  • General understanding of most automotive systems as well as repair and maintenance methods
  • Possess excellent writing skills and demonstrate a mastery of grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Detail-oriented and results-driven
  • Well versed in the use of MS Office Suite

Send a cover letter and resume to jobs@pelicanparts.com. No phone calls, please.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center” thickness=”2″ width_in_percentages=”” up=”40″ down=”40″][vc_column_text]


Aaron Gold

Hi everyone!

I was tempted to start this message off with “Dear John,” because by the time you read this column, I will indeed be gone: 2013 marks the end of my tenure on the MPG Board of Directors.

This week, the Board will meet to seat our new three new Board members: Shad Balch of General Motors, Mike Harley from Autoblog, and Chris Woodyard of USA Today. As President, I’ve been lucky enough to preside over a Board stocked with smart folks who care deeply about the Motor Press Guild. I think Shad, Mike and Chris will be excellent additions to this group, and as an MPG member, I look forward to seeing the changes and improvements over the next year.

Two other directors besides me will be leaving the Board. First is John Clinard, who allegedly retired from Ford’s PR department, but still seems to work there. Having an industry icon like John on the Board has been both a treat and a godsend: Not only has he been willing to devote his seemingly endless reserve of time to MPG projects, but as those who know him are aware, he is both highly intelligent and a proper gentleman. I have often sought his council, and thanks to his sage advice, I come across as smarter and more diplomatic than I actually am.

Our second departure is Chris Martin of Honda. Chris and I have a working relationship that predates our tenures on the Board; I go to him when I need advice from a PR person’s perspective, and I can always count on him for a straight answer. Chris brought this same candor to the Board, and his input has been invaluable, especially when planning events like Track Day and Trail Day. I know there are some who question the presence of PR people on the Board of a press organization, and I always point to Chris as an example of why we want them there. (Chris also provided us with meeting space at Honda’s HQ, which we appreciate.)

We have another departure this month: Brad Nelson, our Web/Communications Manager – whose job includes writing MilePost – has taken a position with Honda’s PR department. Brad has been a pleasure to work with, always flexible and friendly, even when conditions bordered on the adverse. The Board appreciates his contributions, and we are very pleased for both him and Honda.

This month’s MilePost will cover the Dean Batchelor Award ceremony. I cannot tell you how pleased I was with this year’s event. As the guy behind the microphone, I got a lot of kudos, but the ones who deserve the credit are Joni Gray, Jason Fogelson, and Toni Honsowetz. Jason organized the judging and wrote and produced the ceremony. Joni and Toni organized an amazing banquet, and Joni took on the ever-important job of securing sponsorship. And once again, our faithful Business Operations Manager, Larry Rusznak, ensured that no “i” remained undotted and no “t” uncrossed. As President, it was one heck of a good note on which to leave.

Not that I’m leaving completely – I plan to stay actively involved in the Motor Press Guild, both as a member and a volunteer (I’ve already put in my request to run Trail Day again). I know the Board has some terrific ideas for the future, and I’m looking forward to seeing MPG continue to advance.

Thank you all for your support and for a terrific 2013. It truly has been an honor and a pleasure to serve.

— Aaron Gold
Soon-to-be-ex-President, Motor Press Guild

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Tokyo Motor Show – A Long-Running Love Affair

— by Steve Laser

laser - tms1When fall is in the air my thoughts turn to Japan and the Tokyo Motor Show. Way back in 1993, I made my first journey to attend media press days. I brought a translator – my born-and-raised in Japan girlfriend. Toyota introduced the first RAV4, Nissan unveiled the Rasheen crossover – and I asked her to marry me.

Fast-forward to November 2013 and we made the journey again (for the ninth time) to celebrate our 20th anniversary. Many things are different, while others seem to never change. The show moved from Makuhari Messe in Chiba to Tokyo Big Sight in Koto-ku. Passenger cars and commercial vehicles are now merged into one show. The domestic market continues to embrace tiny “Kei” cars. While most are shaped like boxes to maximize cabin space with a minimum footprint, Honda’s S660 concept bucks the trend as a diminutive pocket roadster that evokes its first car, the S360 from 1962, and the mid-engine Beat from the ‘90s. The Fit-based Vezel crossover also made its debut, previewing a model we expect to see in the U.S. next year wearing a different name.

Toyota looked to the future with its new FCV hydrogen fuel-cell concept that’s set to transform into a production model by 2015. We were smitten with the JPN Taxi, a concept that morphs the London cab’s silhouette with a van-style high roof, sliding doors and a cheeky attitude.

Nissan NismoWe were prepared to see Nissan’s wild BladeGlider, a delta-shaped three seat EV inspired by its ZEOD RC racecar. Yet when CEO Carlos Ghosn arrived onstage in a mysterious yellow car, we looked at each other and smiled. The rumors about a sporty rear-drive coupe were true. IDx Freeflow features the long hood, short rear deck profile epitomized by the Datsun 510 and Nissan 240SX (Silvia in Japan). We barely caught our breath when another surprise occurred. Ghosn unveiled a second IDx wearing a paint scheme that paid homage to Nissan-Datsun’s racing heritage. IDx Nismo is a tribute to the ‘70s Trans-Am winning BRE 510. Of all the concepts at Tokyo, IDx tops our wish list.

Some brands that abandoned the U.S. market are still going strong. Suzuki showed a quintet of concepts including the strangely named Hustler and Hustler Coupe Kei cars. Daihatsu challenged Honda with its own Kopen micro roadster while the FC Deco Deck was a tongue-twisting cab-forward fuel cell mini-truck.

We also relished the opportunity to see what’s new from several European brands including BMW’s i3, Radical’s SR3 SL and Citroen’s Grand C4 Picasso. “Carrozzeria” or coach-builders displayed custom vehicles from Ken Okuyama design, Campagna and Takayama Cars.

“Smart Mobility City” was a separate second-floor display with the theme “Karuma Networking: Vehicles connecting with people’s lives and society.” Exhibits ran the spectrum from Toyota Home with autos connected to smart houses and appliances to Nissan’s autonomous driving technology, and personal mobility devices like Honda’s Uni-Cub. A test-drive area offered rides in micro-mobility vehicles including Nissan’s New Mobility Concept, an egg-shaped tandem two-seat EV currently in a public ride-sharing program in Yokohama.

In addition to exhibit halls connected with airport-style moving sidewalks, Tokyo Big Sight includes a six-floor conference tower with glass and titanium panels that look like four huge inverted pyramids mounted on steel-frame legs. One of the biggest thrills is walking underneath the 6,500-ton structure that appears to be floating above you.

We took a time-out to visit Mega Web, Toyota’s permanent automotive “theme park” one train stop away from Tokyo Big Sight. This is a must-see attraction for Japanese classic car buffs. In addition, there’s a multi-story new car showroom plus a short track where consumers can test-drive models that we never see stateside including Toyota’s Crown Majesta sedan and Vellfire minivan.

With tired feet it was time to return home. Our love affair with the Tokyo Motor Show continues as we recharge our batteries and look forward to the next chapter in November 2015.

— Steve Laser (pictured at right)

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Any member is welcome to submit items to this monthly newsletter that are of specific interest to fellow members:

  • Member Chronicle stories
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Job Openings

Acceptance and revision are at the discretion of the Editor. MilePost does not publish general industry PR or paid ads. Member Chronicle stories can be adventures you’ve had, special talents you possess, what you drive, your first car, a car you crashed, one you lived in, epic (or not so epic) drives, etc. In other words, think freely and keep things in good taste. Shoot for 400-800 words and include some images if you have them.

Deadline is seven days before the end of the month. Send both words and pictures (small JPEGs, please) to: milepost@motorpressguild.org

NOTE: Members who wish to publicize non-MPG events or announcements may do so themselves on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/motorpressguild. And be sure to “like” our page while you’re there.

Motor Press Guild, P.O. Box 4215, Redondo Beach CA 90277 • 323-374-3674[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center” thickness=”2″ width_in_percentages=”” up=”40″ down=”40″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1431038828070{padding-left: 20px !important;}”][vc_column_text el_class=”milepost-sidebar” css=”.vc_custom_1437627355048{padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;}”]MilePost is the monthly online newsletter of the Motor Press Guild


2013 Dean Batchelor Awards
President’s Message
Member Chronicles
Contribute to MilePost


Aaron Gold, President
Joni Gray, Vice President
Darryll Harrison, Treasurer
Jeff Glucker, Secretary
Mike Antich
John Clinard
Brendan Flynn
Jason Fogelson
Chris Martin
Deb Pollack
Doug Stokes


MPG Business Operations Manager
Larry Rusznak

MPG Web/Communications Manager
Brad Nelson

Media Guide Manager
Pete Evanow


The Motor Press Guild is the largest automotive media association in North America. This exclusive, non-profit organization is dedicated to upholding the highest ideals in automotive journalism and promoting education and information exchange within the motoring press. Members include print journalists, photographers, broadcasters and new media professionals, as well as public-relations representatives, consumer groups, and governmental bodies tied to the automotive industry. Student memberships are available as well.For more information, please visit www.motorpressguild.org.

Motor Press Guild
P.O. Box 4883
Orange, CA 92863[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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