Profiles | January 26, 2022

New Contributor, Richard Truesdell

Written by Richard Truesdell, Photography by Richard Truesdell

Welcome long-time automotive photojournalist and historian, Richard Truesdell, to the ShftGate team. He will be contributing here on a wide variety of automotive topics.

Hello everyone. If my name looks familiar, it’s because, over the past 25 years, I’ve written more than 2,000 magazine and web features, served as Editor in Chief of two magazines— Car Audio and Electronics and Chevy Enthusiast —and co-authored three books with automotive historian Mark Fletcher; Hurst Equipped (2012 hardbound, 2020 softbound reissue), 1970 Maximum Muscle: The Pinnacle of Muscle Car Power (2021), and Hemi Under Glass: Bob Riggle and His Wheel-Standing Mopars (2021). And now I’m part of the team here at ShiftGate. Some say I’ve lived a charmed life, getting to travel around the world, driving some of the most interesting cars over some of the most legendary roads for my own website, Automotive Traveler.

Now I’m going to share those experiences with a new audience that the team here at ShiftGate is building. With the impending shutdown of Drivetribe (from the Top Gear trio) on January 28, 2022, I see a great opportunity to build a replacement community here. But recognize it will take time. As one of the first contributors to Drivetribe, I felt its ultimate failure was its European/UK focus. That should not be the issue here.

As many of you already know, I like writing about off-the-beaten-path topics. I guess this comes from being a life-long AMC fan (my very first car was a 1965 AMC Rambler 440H two-door hardtop that I drove my senior year in high school in New Jersey back in 1972-73, this while my friends drove new and late-model Mustangs, Camaros, and GTOs). So if you have your own “first car” story, please share it with me. Especially if you have in-period photos that can be used to illustrate the story.

Some of my contributions here will focus on some of the epic road trips I’ve taken over the last quarter-century. My first road trip contribution here will be my epic 2004 drive from London to Maranello and back in seven days in the then-new 2004 Ford GT and a Dodge Viper. This trip included on-track stops at the Nurburgring and Le Mans. Many times I’ve called it the greatest week of my life. This will be followed in the weeks to come by my 2008 trip in the then-new 2008 Dodge Challenger and a vintage 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T Hemi over the route of the 1971 movie, Vanishing Point. (Yes, there will be a very car-culture theme to my contributions here.)

In between those stories will be others about specific cars that have impacted my life writing about and photographing many of the very special and not-so-special but interesting cars and people I’ve encountered along the way. As I have been a contributor to Classic Mercedes in the UK since its inception (they are now on issue 36), I have a wealth of past features to bring to a new audience. One such Mercedes-Benz is a 300SL Gullwing that was raced in the period up to 1957, then owned for decades by Jim Hall… yes, that Jim Hall of Chaparral fame.

It’s my hope that you’ll look forward to my musings and enjoy my contributions here at ShiftGate.