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, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. 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 JK Forum 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 JK Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

He can be reached at [email protected]

I Got Stung by the Fiat 124 Abarth Rally Car and I Liked It

The rally car version of Fiat’s two-seater is part regular 124 Spider Abarth, part Alfa Romeo 4C, and 100 percent fun.

  Comments | By - May 10, 2019

Track Time in Fiat’s Abarth Performance Models, Part 2

Skip Barber Racing taught me about understeer, oversteer & weight management in the Fiat 500 Abarth & 124 Spider Abarth.

  Comments | By - April 23, 2019

Track Time in Fiat’s Abarth Performance Models, Part I

With help from Skip Barber Racing School, I learned more about vehicle dynamics in the Fiat 500 Abarth and 124 Spider Abarth.

  Comments | By - April 22, 2019

Porsche 718 Cayman T Proves the Middle is a Great Place to Be

teamspeed.com Porsche 718 Cayman T

T model keeps the same engine and output as the base 718 Cayman, but has performance goodies that make it more engaging.

  Comments | By - March 26, 2019

Lamborghini Huracan EVO is a Great Place to (Re)start

teamspeed.com Lamborghini Huracan EVO Track Test

New EVO model of Lamborghini’s entry-level supercar features a refreshed design, updated infotainment, advanced dynamics systems, and improved performance.

  Comments | By - February 25, 2019

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