Mel worked for Wheels magazine and edited Sports Car World in Australia before coming to the UK, where he edited Car from 1974 to 1981. He went often to Modena, Turin, Stuttgart and Munich and became known for vivid drive stories in fast cars. Jeremy Clarkson called Mel’s story Convoy! – about driving three Lamborghinis from Modena to London – ‘the best-ever drive story’ and says it inspired him to write about cars.
From 1987 to 2009 Mel was editorial director of Autocar, What Car?, Classic & Sports Car, Autosport, F1 Racing and PistonHeads. He has contributed to Car and Driver and Motor Trend and was a founding columnist of Automobile. His book And The Revs Keep Rising contains 50 of his articles about great drives in fast cars.
1952 Ford Prefect A493A ‘Yardwide’, £70, 36bhp and flat out at 61mph
Richard Parry-Jones, Welsh boy whose influence as CTO of Ford made all cars better
Fondest driving memory:
Modena to Calais in a 1976 Lamborghini Espada: 900 miles in 11 hours
"I’ve loved cars since I was three or four. I was lucky enough to become a journalist; trained in newspapers, then switched to car magazines to combine my passion with my skills and have enjoyed the happiest of careers"
The birth of the Panda
Mel Nichols asks Giorgetto Giugiaro to recall the rapid conception and delivery of one of his cheapest, most basic but brilliant designs
‘The middle manager’s Rolls-Royce’
Having lusted after the Rover P5 Coupé as a boy, Mel Nichols leapt at the chance to drive one years later. It (mostly...) did not disappoint
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Fifty years ago, Car magazine launched the most blunt, trenchant, honest and funny listings guide there has been. Its author, Mel Nichols, recalls its creation
How the Bulldog regained its bite
In 1980 the Aston Martin Bulldog looked like the first 200mph road car, but never got the chance to show it. Now it’s back to prove a point, writes Mel Nichols
The remarkable life of Guerino Bertocchi
Most supercar companies have had a legendary test driver or two. Maserati’s was a law entirely unto himself, as Mel Nichols readily remembers
Targa by Corvette
In the spring of 1973, Sicily was the place to be. The word was out: after this the Targa Florio was losing its World Championship status. The last great road race...
Taking the bat back home
I see it is 50 years since BMW launched the 3.0 CSL, an event now commemorated by the creation of the M4 CSL and, for me, stirring memories of a task...
A drift in a Dino
South of Sydney in New South Wales, a road twists through the gullies of a tall gum forest. Many of its bends curl around cliff faces, climbing all the while...
The accidental hero
When Ford launched the four-door Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth – the last of the fast Sierras – in 1988 it flew journalists like me to Taormina in Sicily to test it...
The first supercar?
There’s a myth that LJK Setright coined the term supercar in 1967 in a story he wrote for Car magazine about driving a Lamborghini Miura 1000 miles from Modena to London...