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 JK-Forum.com and Ford-Trucks.com, 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]

First Drive: The Gladiator Is Reincarnated & Ready to Fight Dirty

jk-forum.com 2020 Jeep Gladiator Media Launch

Reincarnated Gladiator brings Jeep’s legendary off-road prowess and topless fun to the midsize truck segment.

  Comments | By - April 3, 2019

TJ Wrangler Battles JK in ‘Cheap Jeep Challenge’

jk-forum.com Cheap vs. Expensive Jeep Wrangler Challenge

Cheap but legendary 2.5-liter four-banger, or the super-capable but pricey 4.0-liter straight six? Which one reigns supreme?

  Comments | By - February 13, 2019

XJ Cherokee with Reversed Steering Is Just as Disastrous as You’d Think

jk-forum.com XJ Jeep Cherokee Goes in the Opposite Direction You Steer It

Hoonigan takes this anxiety-inducing Jeep through an already-stressful obstacle course. This should go well.

  Comments | By - February 6, 2019

Jeep Gladiator Triumphs Over ‘Crusher’ in Super Bowl LIII TV Spot

jk-forum.com Jeep Gladiator Rubicon Super Bowl Commercial

New Gladiator Rubicon is reborn in moody Super Bowl ad that provides another peek at the hotly-anticipated Jeep.

  Comments | By - January 29, 2019

Jeep to Produce Hercules, an F150 Raptor-killing Hemi Monster

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

Rumors from Jeep Gladiator Forum suggest it will be a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 version of the Gladiator with 475 HP 470 lb-ft of grunt.

  Comments | By - January 21, 2019

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