Hello, F24 family! Welcome to the first installment of “Drivin’ L.A. with Andrew Chen.”
I polled my friends and colleagues for ideas on what to call this weekly column, and chose “Drivin’ L.A.” because it best communicates the themes and adventures that I’d like to share with you, which include Southern California driving culture, car industry news, and a behind-the-scenes look into my life as an automotive journalist.
Let’s get you up to speed: my background is in chemical engineering, and I worked with “big oil” for the first part of my professional life — feel free to ask me why premium fuel isn’t better for a car that doesn’t require it; seriously, it isn’t. My foray into writing started with a personal blog, which proved that I could string together grammatically-correct sentences, and helped me land a role as a content editor with MotorheadMedia.com.
With my auto-journo card in hand, there was no stopping me. I made connections wherever I could, seeking introductions to manufacturers the only way I knew how: as a consumer. A few weeks after approaching a Mopar display at an NHRA drag race, I found myself in my very first press vehicle, a 2014 Dodge Avenger R/T.
Thankfully, these opportunities have continued to present themselves, and I’ve been lucky enough to review many awesome cars on a regular basis. I’ve learned to appreciate the different details of each car I’m driving, making it difficult to choose “the best” make or model — it’s a question I’m often asked by friends or those looking to acquire a new car, and my response is usually “the best car is whichever one makes you smile the most!”
Cars and automotive manufacturing have improved vastly over the years, meaning there’s so much more to love about driving these machines, and it makes my job as a reviewer that much more fun.
Through “Drivin’ L.A.”, I hope to share the joy that I experience each time I’m behind the wheel of a new car, whether it’s something practical like a Subaru Outback or outrageous like a McLaren 570S or Aston Martin Vanquish.
Currently, I’m livin’ large in a super-comfy 2017 Dodge Durango GT, and on the schedule is quality time with a 2017 Nissan GT-R along with a first-drive in a 2017 Aston Martin DB11 at the end of the month.
If you’re curious about what I’m up to or would like to suggest topics for me to cover, hit me up on Twitter: @lagraffiti.