Current Projects

The 2018 Automotive Heritage Awards

Mission: to recognize, honor and promote excellence within the automotive heritage community by presenting awards for journalism, projects, organizations and people focused on this important field of interest.
Lead Sponsors: Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s; Brembo; National Automotive History Collection at the Detroit Public Library
Supporters: MotorCities National Heritage Area, Society of Automotive Historians, America’s Automotive Trust, the LeMay-America’s Car Museum
Awards Event10 AM, Sunday, July 29, 2018 at the Brembo media hospitality tent during the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s

Continuing the tradition initiated by our friend and colleague Tom Kelley, who tragically passed last fall, we are presenting auto journalism and related awards at the Concours d’Elegance at St. John’s in July. The Automotive Heritage Awards are focused on “heritage” themes – automotive history and culture, antique, classic and collector vehicles and related topics.  We’ll continue the Concept Vehicle of the Year and, most important, the Lifetime Achievement Award. We’ve also added the Future Collectable Vehicle of the Year, a project of the trustees of the National Automobile History Collection at the Detroit Public Library.

The meat of the AHA is the Automotive Heritage Journalism Awards. We have 10 categories: Best Travel or Adventure Story, Best How-To or Fix-It Story, Best Car Culture Story, Best Marque-Specific Story, Best Facility Story, Best Heritage Motorsport Story, Best Restoration Story, Best Personality Profile, Best Blog or Column and Best Student-Produced Story. Details will be on our Website launching the first week of May.

The entire awards program, a project of Shunpiker Productions, will be managed on the Web.

We have defined levels of support and sponsorship from $100 to $3,500. All sponsors will appear on the Website and on signage at the event. A portion of the net proceeds will be shared with automotive history preservation projects in partnership with the MotorCities National Heritage Area and with the Concours d’Elegance.

Alex Buchan, renowned automotive fine art sculptor, will be producing some, if not all, of the trophies.

Chief judge is Brian Baker, Society of Automotive Historians.

© Steve Purdy, Shunpiker Productions, LLC

The Auto Channel – Detroit Editor

As Detroit editor I write weekly automobile product reviews, produce travel stories,  provide event coverage and create other features. I typically post one to two stories per week. (Go to, put my name in the search box, browse and enjoy.) I’ve produced around eight hundred product reviews over my 15 years with this major automotive Website, from a Kia Rio to a Rolls Royce Phantom, from an F350 Super Duty pickup to a Smart city car. I cover the best classic and collector car shows, some of the major new car shows and auto industry events like the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars and the annual Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress. My coverage of classic and collector car shows like the Concours d’Elegance of America, EyesOn Design and the Orphan Car show have resulted in colorful stories and thousands of dramatic photographs for The Auto Channel, and other outlets.

A Shunpiker’s Journal Radio Program – Creator, Producer and Host

Launched in February of 2010 and relaunched in 2014, A Shunpiker’s Journal is my monthly Web-based radio program for those to whom an automobile is more than transportation. Content encompasses those topics, people, places and automobiles that I encounter in my journalism activities. The program was originally part of the start-up network created and managed by long-time area newsman Walt Sorg. When that network failed (not my fault, I assure you) we transitioned to the Michigan Business Network, another Web-based entity created by one of Lansing’s leading businessmen, Chris Holman. We have interviewed many leaders of the auto industry and the collector car world like: Ralph Gilles, FCA design VP; Henny Hemmes, our regular European correspondent, A-list auto journalist and race driver from The Hague; Ken Lingenfelter, car collector, racer and speed equipment entrepreneur; Ed Lucas, the voice of many of the finest classic and collector car shows in the world; Bert Levy, prolific author and racer; Mark Gessler, president of the Historic Vehicle Register; Ed Welburn, former GM VP of Design; world renowned artist Tom Hale; David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research and auto industry pundit; and many, many more.

The Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s Automobile Fine Art Exhibit

I will be only the second photographer ever invited to be one of the artists participating in this prestigious Concours event. The first was our friend and colleague Jim Haefner. The St. John’s show is one of the top Concours events in the country and has featured some of the best fine artists in the world for whom the automobile is a central theme, including members of the Automotive Fine Art Society. I will have about 20 large framed pieces and as many dry mounted prints. Most of the images are of classic and collector car hood ornaments, similar to what I presented in the gallery space at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn

National Motorists Association – Michigan Chapter Activist

The Michigan Chapter of the National Motorists Association has been one of the most active and consistent of that organization’s state chapters. For over 30 years I’ve acted as spokesman, member support contact and occasional lobbyist for the NMA- the single most significant player in the movement for more reasonable speed limits and watching over drivers’ rights issues. I organized two “Civil Obedience Drives,” protesting the National Maximum Speed Law and help keep the Michigan Chapter active.

Sirens of Chrome: The Motion Picture – Associate Producer

Margery Krevsky owns the premier talent agency providing models, or more accurately “product specialists,” to the auto industry for advertising, auto shows and events. Along with Detroit area author Maureen McDonald she produced a coffee-table book called Sirens of Chrome chronicling the history of the profession and the transition from models just being a beautiful woman in a gown drawing attention to a car to being a deeply knowledgeable representative for the vehicle . . . and being mighty good looking besides. Videographer Mark Ducker, Margery and I initiated a project to do a documentary film based on the book.  Margery then enlisted John Lauri to take over as producer/director and take it in a different direction, making it into a docudrama. I stayed on as associate producer primarily helping with auto industry connections and occasionally consulting on script and other elements of the film. Expected release for this motion picture is late 2017 or early 2018. One of my hood ornament images appears in the book, by the way.

The Individual Communicators Network

The ICN is a network of freelance business communicators formed in 2001. I am one of the founding members. We at the ICN brought back the International Wheel Awards, a long-standing automotive journalism awards program that was originally part of the Detroit Press Club Foundation. I chaired that effort for the first years. The ICN also brought back the Michigan Excellence in Journalism Awards chaired by David Adrian. Along with other members of the ICN I helped bring the old Detroit Press Club back to life as well and served as president for the first few years. The Detroit Press Club has now become an entity under the ICN umbrella as it continues to searche for its new niche.

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