Ben Oliver began his motoring journalism career at Autocar, succeeding Andrew Frankel and Chris Harris as Road Test Editor before realising he wasn’t a good enough driver and departing for CAR magazine, where he still finds excuses to take cars to odd, remote or dangerous parts of the world he wanted to visit anyway.
His work has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world and garnered awards, which can add up to a fiver to his fees, though not at The Intercooler. He subsidises his motoring journalism by writing speeches for people who’d prefer you to think they write their own, and with a business that does public relations and makes podcasts.
A used 1987 Nissan Micra bought from my hard-headed grandmother for full market value
Honoured to write for Ti alongside three of them: Robinson, Nichols and Frankel
Fondest driving memory:
Taking a standard Mini to 18,000ft in the Indian Himalayas: not sure if ‘fond’ is the right word though
"Writing about cars allows you to write about almost everything. The car influences and is influenced by so many aspects of our lives and society – travel, tech, the environment, the law, finance and the rest – that being a motoring journalist has never felt like a constraint"
I Witnessed: Lotus launch five cars at once
Could Lotus really bring five brand new cars to market? At the 2010 Paris Motor Show it briefly looked like it might. An agog Ben Oliver was there
Crossing the Darien Gap
Fifty years ago today, two rather second hand-looking blue Range Rovers arrived at Cape Horn, the southernmost point of Chile's Tierra del Fuego...
Fangio and my father
The Platinum Jubilee may be dominating the headlines and the life of the nation as we publish this, but another anniversary is being more quietly marked...
The van of my dreams
Judged on fitness for purpose alone, you could argue that the Ford Transit is the best vehicle on sale: up there with the Rolls-Royce Phantom, the Ariel Atom...
Our Cars: Ben’s 205 GTI
Ten years ago, CAR magazine turned 50. To celebrate, it assembled what its writers felt were the 50 most significant cars of the previous 50 years – significant to enthusiasts, anyway...
Tell Tale: The birth of petrol
Petrol was invented in the East End of London. I don't mean the actual substance: a great brown-black crude oil gusher didn't suddenly erupt on the Bethnal Green Road...
Tell Tale: World leaders’ wheels
At 11pm on July 4, 1976, the sentries guarding the main terminal building at Uganda's Entebbe airport saw a long black Mercedes saloon approaching fast, followed by...
Tell Tale: The real Elon Musk
I first spoke to Elon Musk in 2008, long before he became the second most controversial American. His public image is now an odd hybrid of Willy Wonka, Dr. Strangelove...
Tell Tale: The car industry’s great dynasties
It seems odd to run a modern multinational car company the same way as a long-established high-street butcher, or England before the Glorious Revolution of 1688...
Tell Tale: Riots, violence and car factories
Espionage, riots, corruption, beatings and murder. Not subjects you expect to encounter on Ti, but all part of the sometimes scarcely believable secret history of the car factory...