Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management from Texas State University, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism from Austin Community College as well. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including and, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram and Facebook to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

Derek can be contacted at [email protected]

Is there a 9 Series on the Way?

In the last several years, BMW has branched out into using digits previously not found on the tail ends of roundel-badged cars, such as 1, 2 and 4; however, the 8 Series has not been revived. But the Bavarian automaker might shoot straight past that to the number nine.

  Comments | By - April 7, 2014

Autoblog Reviews the Dinan S3-R BMW 1M Coupe

Dinan Engineering adds power and improved handling to the 2011 BMW 1M Coupe, and let’s not forget irony. Irony? Yes, because the S3-R, an extensively tuned version of the Bavarian pocket rocket, doesn’t come across as a modified car — it’s not an unreliable, one-dimensional creation.

  Comments | By - April 4, 2014

Throwback: Top Gear Tests the ALPINA Z8

This video took everything I thought I knew about tuners and turned it on its head. See, until now, I was of the understanding that modifiers make cars more powerful and (more often than not) ruin the appearance of the vehicles upon which they lay their hands. ALPINA proved me wrong.

  Comments | By - March 28, 2014

Take a Tour of Dinan Engineering with Steve Dinan

Future presidents take their first steps down the path of leadership as broke law students. Successful comedians begin their careers making their friends laugh. Steve Dinan laid the foundation for his tuning empire in his home garage in 1979. Now look at him. His eponymous company has won two Rolex 24 at Daytona championships and three Rolex Sports Car Series top trophies. Dinan Engineering now operates out of a 33,000-square-foot facility in Morgan Hill, California.

  Comments | By - March 26, 2014

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