Les Jackson is a professional automotive journalist who test-drives and reviews approximately 100 new vehicles yearly. He has written scores of technical and “how-to” articles for many publications including The Washington Times, Car and Driver, AutoWeek, AAA Buying Guide, Microsoft Motorsite, Modern Maturity, Chicago Tribune Media Services, Journal Newspapers, Family Health and Safety and a number of specialty publications catering to automotive enthusiasts. He currently writes a weekly column, Ask Dr. Crankshaft, for the 255-newspaper Journal Register chain.
He has been a “gearhead” since childhood, having purchased his first car at the age of 14 and learning to operate it in his parents’ driveway until old enough to get a license. By that time he had already begun repairs and updates on the car.
Les is Co-Host and Technical Expert of Cruise Control where he fields questions from listeners and adds his special brand of humor and insight to the discussions. He is past-President of the Washington Automotive Press Association, a member of the International Motor Press Association and a consultant to several high-level OEM manufacturers, as well as an expert witness in automotive-related cases in the DC area courts.
He has taught automotive theory courses since the early 1970s and currently teaches classes on new-vehicle buying and older vehicle restoration. He is completely at ease in any vehicle, from race cars to locomotives. He’s driven them all.
Mr. Jackson’s educational background in mechanical engineering and laser physics has enabled him to stay abreast of all aspects of automotive technology for over 40 years. He has personally, hands-on, restored 15 classic automobiles and is the executive editor/restoration expert of the internet’s only tutorial auto restoration website, http://www.secondchancegarage.com.
For over twenty years Fred Staab has been a journalist working in a variety of roles in the television industry and other media disciplines, including his current role as part of the award-winning Cruise Control. He has worked for three television major networks and has been involved with several major news magazine shows as well as one wildly popular Fox tabloid show known as “A Current Affair.” Currently he creates feature segments for a popular network television morning show.
At the age of eight his life was changed when he heard his first nitro dragster go down the drag strip, from that point on something clicked in Fred’s head and he was visibly affected when he heard a car with open headers or a big block V8. During his college years he owned several project cars he brought back to life with parts gathered from salvage yard donor cars, as well as one pretty
“trick” Chevrolet Nova. Fred has also traveled extensively by motor home around the United States and Canada and has toured close to 50 states.
Through they years he has become consumed with talking about, writing and producing stories involving cars as well as motor sports. His work has been seen on ABCNEWS.com, thecarconnection.com, ESPN and the Fox network. For his journalistic endeavors, Staab has received a Radio and Television News Directors Association “Edward R. Murrow Award,’ a “Telly Award” for writing and producing and has been nominated for two national Emmys.
Fred also heads up his own production company Summit Media Communications and is a member of The International Motor Press Association (IMPA), and a graduate of Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School.