steve purdy


A SHUNPIKER’S JOURNAL RADIO PROGRAM   - go to “Listen Now” at 1PM and 7PM every Wednesday and 1AM and 7AM every Thursday. Then, shortly after each show airs, Podcasts become available.

The current program is all about the classic and collector car hobby. We talk with Tabatha Hammer from Hagerty Insurance in Traverse City about: that company’s efforts to promote interest in old cars and boats; the Historic Vehicle Association founded by Hagerty where special cars are recognized and honored like historic buildings; Tabatha’s experience driving in the epic Great Race; and other topics. Then we catch up with our friend, well-known muscle car collector Ken Lingenfelter who talks about the business and hobby of car collecting.

Future shows will cover a variety of auto industry issues, special cars,  museums, some of our exceptional summer show and whatever strikes our fancy.


The ICN brings back the notorious Detoit Press Club

The Individual Communicators Network has explored strategies to bring back the International Wheel Awards for a couple of years. One of those is about the resurrection of the Detroit Press Club, the organization that founded the awards. We ran that idea up the flagpole, so to speak, at the auto industry’s annual Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City. It garnered such an amazing level of enthusiasm that we pulled the trigger and within a month the new club was up and running. I was designated to preside over the project and we hosted our official launch event at the historic Anchor Bar in downtown Detroit in mid October of 2014. In January of 2015 I passed the presidency of the club along to Maureen McDonald and the club is going strong. See:


The Motor City Automobile Fine Art Show - Compuware Building

The “Detroit Knows Cars” automobile art exhibit, now in its second year, ran throughout January 2013 in the dramatic atrium lobby of the Compuware Building on Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit. Mark Ducker and I  assembled the works of 12 of the finest automobile artists to show that the automobile is certainly the subject of “fine art.” Planning is under way for 201 as we design an international automobile art competition with three large cash awards big enough to draw entries from artists around the world. Stand by for that one. Details at:


We at the Individual Communicators Network (a consortium of independent business communicators that I co-founded in 2001) is working on the resurrection of the historic and respected International Wheel Awards formerly presented by the Detroit Press Club Foundation. The ICN brought the awards back to life for the DCPF in 2004 and it lasted until the industry went bust in 2008. Now that the DCPF no longer exists we will create a new foundation to host and present these awards honoring excellence in automotive journalism.


Thirty of my hood ornament and badge images were on display in the new gallery space at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn from October through January. I’m the first artist to be featured in that space. My show was replaced by our Detroit Knows Cars show which moved to the AHoF when it left its downtown venue. I have works in that show as well.

See some of the images here on the Web site under “Photo Collections.” This display of thirty (or any other number you may need) images are available for rent, lease or sale to decorate your home or office space, or to illustrate your editorial piece.


You’ll find in these pages the words and photos of this dedicated “shunpiker.” I’ve been seriously writing and shooting for over 30 years with special interests in automobiles and travel, hence the “shunpiker” persona.

My stories and photos have appeared in a variety of magazines like Car Collector, Corvette Magazine, Collectible Automobile, Cars & Parts, Automobile Quarterly and MoPar Enthusiast. And, as Detroit editor for, my stories appear there as well, including weekly product reviews.

Travel stories that have not been published will appear here as well. My pretty wife and I travel extensively and each trip results in a narrative illustrated with plenty of photos.

Most of my words and photos are for sale or rent. Give me a call (517-655-3591) or shoot me an email ( and we’ll talk. I’m also available as a speaker, writer, photographer, producer or project manager. “Have Words - Will Travel.”


Launched in February of 2010 my Web-based radio program covered all the automotive topics I cover for plus whatever else struck my fancy. The show ran for 14 months on the network  until that fledgling Web-based network went belly-up. (It wasn’t my fault - honestly.) We’ve been asked to resurrect the show, so we are looking for appropriate sponsorship. We finally agreed to do one show per month to be aired repeatedly according to whatever schedule they determine. Most of their listeners get the content through podcasts where my program will also reside. Beginning in late October you’ll find it on

SIRENS OF CHROME: The Motion Picture

Author Margery Krevsky, producer/director John Lauri are producing a film adaptation of Margery’s beautiful coffee-table book called Sirens of Chrome: The Enduring Allure of Auto Show Models. I continue as an associate producer on the film project having launched it with Margery and Mark Ducker  some years ago.  Details of the book and the film project can be seen here.


Self published a couple years ago, I ghost-wrote a book about the Lorenz Bros., their family and business history. The Lorenz family owned the Buick dealership in Lansing for 65 years and during that time operated a variety of related businesses. John Lorenz and I wrote what is essentially his memoirs covering this wonderful local history. The book is available from me for - $20 (regular retail $23.95) and I have just a few left. John passed away last year


As Detroit editor for, the largest independent automotive Web site in the U.S., I write weekly new car reviews, cover new and collector car shows, write about industry news and technology, write book reviews and a variety of other automotive stories. I’ve been contributing to for over 11 years.




  1. *We’ll be off to Europe soon for a Viking Cruise down the Rhine and the Danube from Amsterdam to Budapest with a side trip to Prague. I plan to blog about that experience along the way and will produce a travel narrative about the whole trip when we return. I’ve pulled an old ragged copy of Mark Twain’s “Innocents Abroad” to take along and perhaps emulate. Watch this space for details.

  2. *We’re just back from a family trip with my pretty blonds brothers and their wives to Yosemite and Lake Tahoe in a 2015 Chevy Suburban. What a great vehicle for six people and all their stuff on the mountain roads. Click here for our story on TheAutoChannel.

  1. *In early March we’re off to Amelia Island, FL for the first, and one of the most prestigious, Concours d’Elegance in the country. I’ll be photographing and writing about it for TheAutoChannel and Larry Edsall’s site.

* The story of my late brother Warren’s CanAm race car, a Lola T-290 now being campaigned in vintage races by “The Flying Judge,” Joe Di Loreto in California is languishing on my desk. Victory Lane magazine wants the story so I’ll get it out soon.

  1. *I’ve written the story of the discovery of the Founders Week Cup, one of the three most important trophies of early auto racing, lost for 80 years and found among the possessions of a 90-year-old Birmingham, MI women who died recently. Sold to AutoWeek, the story never ran, nor was it paid for it - so it is available. A fascinating story, indeed. It recently ran in the newsletter of the National Automotive History Collection at the Detroit Public Library.

  1. *Next book project will be one called “Cargasms,” a compilation of interviews with car people about their favorite cars, and those cars that really ring their chimes.

  1. *Subsequent book will be a coffee table book called “Mascots of Motion,” about mascots, hood ornaments and badges in consultation with Ed Lucas and Don Sommer. We’re pitching the book to a couple of publishers now.


shunpiker: (n) one who shuns the turnpike, taking the back road instead of the highway, in the spirit of Charles Kurault, Jack Kerouac and William Least Heat-Moon.