2013 represents a period of growth and change for this site. As well as a rebrand during the year, the site will also be an opportunity for other writers to showcase their talents in addition to their existing outlets.

Here, the contributing writers introduce themselves and offer opportunities for you to get in touch with them.

  • Liam Bird
  • Sam Sheehan
  • Sophie Williamson-Stothert
  • Nick Johnson
  • David Hammond
  • Isabel Carter

Liam Bird

Liam Bird

Hi, I’m Liam, a freelance motoring writer based in the South Shropshire Marches. I’ve been a car fan for as long as I can remember and currently write car reviews and road tests for a number of regional lifestyle magazines and newspapers which are distributed throughout Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Wales and, thanks to the Internet, far beyond.

As a member of the Welsh Group of Motoring Writers I’m as happy behind the wheel of a supermini as I am in the in the latest supercar. Some of the pictures which accompany my words prove I’m not too uncomfortable behind a camera either.

Having gained press accreditation with most of the major motor manufacturers there’s usually something on my driveway ready to be reviewed.

Find more of my work here www.liam-bird.com or follow me on Twitter.

Sam Sheehan

Sam Sheehan

Hi, my name is Sam and I’m something of a car fanatic. For as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed about all things on four wheels; so much so that even as a baby I substituted the conventional teddy for a toy car.

In an attempt to be the next Michael Schumacher, I spent much of my teen years racing karts at national level with great success. But like most racing hopefuls, money restricted my cause and I unfortunately had to retire from competitive racing before I had finished school. The racing might have stopped but my love for cars remained fully intact.

After a slightly off course journey into the world of automotive writing, including gaining a degree in Environmental Management, I have happily found a new angle to satisfy my car addiction. Writing about cars has become a fantastic way for me to share my passion with other motoring enthusiasts and a great way for me to spend my time talking about what I love.

With my contrasting background of racing in thirsty, two stroke karts, followed by gaining a degree focused on the future sustainability of our world, I have a fairly unique viewpoint of the motor industry. As a result I am excited by both high performance supercars with racing pedigree, as well as eco-friendly vehicles that prioritise emission reduction over 0-60 times. I look forward to delving deeper into the automotive world and writing about the exciting developments that this fast paced industry provides.

To contact me you can reach me at samsheehan@live.com rr follow me on Twitter.

Sophie Williamson-Stothert

Sophie Williamson-Stothert


Hello there, I’m Sophie and known among many people as a female petrol head. My craving for speed, adrenaline and all-things cars stem from my childhood years, when I spent many hours working on various cars with my dad, happily getting covered in engine oil. I learnt to drive when I was just 10 and when I reached the age of 12, I got behind the wheel of my first racing car – an original Mini Cooper.

Current Work and Achievements

Throughout my racing years, I decided to write my own weekly race reports, which ultimately inspired me to pursue in motoring and motorsport journalism. Through studying Motoring Journalism at the University for the Creative Arts and spending most of my free time on work experience placements, I am now a published automotive writer specialising in both Print and Broadcast (television) Journalism. I have worked with and alongside many publications in both the automotive and motorsport industries including, Autosport Magazine, Motorsport News, Propel Technology PR and Dunlop Motorsport. I am also the Motoring Columnist for regional title Exclusive Magazines, the Motoring Correspondent for The Bottom Line newspaper and the Editor of the British Women Racing Driver’s Club magazine, Racing Vogue. In December 2012, I was truly honoured to be Highly Commended for the Guild of Motoring Writers’ very prestigious Sir William Lyons Award.

From heart throbbing classics such as the legendary E-Type and iconic Austin Mini, to monstrous machines like the Nissan GT-R or Ferrari 458, I’m interested in all areas motoring. However, along with my passions for high-octane performance cars, I’m extremely interested in the future of motoring and development of electric and hybrid vehicles. Is the future electric? And how long will it be until we’re driving these exciting pieces of kit on a regular basis?  Join me in a whole new world of innovation.

The Aim

Through my writing, I aim to inform and inspire my readers with all the latest news, accompanied by reliable facts and enthusiasm. From indulgent features, punchy news stories to quirky interviews, I work on a variety of platforms to deliver my readers with fresh automotive content. You can view at my own site, Girl Behind The Wheel.

If you would like to contact me, please do email me on Sophie.WilliamsonStothert@gmail.com and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter.

Nick Johnson

As well as running car finding (think Kirstie and Phil but with cars, not houses) business MyCarCoach, Nick has been into cars since he was in short trousers and regularly reviews cars and writes articles for his motoring blog, as well as attends press events, media days and launches. For many years he has driven a Smart Brabus Roadster, which certainly attracts a lot of attention. Nick particularly loves cars from the 1996-2003 era, and who can blame him?


David Hammond

Well done, you’ve guessed correctly – David is our Editor Oliver’s father, and like son, he also owns a Renault Vel Satis. David’s obsession with French oddities doesn’t stop there, as he also owns a Renault Avantime. Actually, all the cars he has owned over the last couple of decades have been Renaults! Before you run a mile, David is also a huge fan of V8s and Maseratis, so does have impeccably good taste. He also appreciates oddball oil-burning luxo-barges too, like the V10 Volkswagen Phaeton. David is the most mechanically-minded of us all, handles a lot of the photography for Oliver’s road test reviews and has attended SMMT Test Day along with other media driving days on several occasions. He’s yet to embrace Twitter or Facebook, but maybe you can help change that!

David Hammond Petroleum Vitae

Isabel Carter

Being married to our editor, Oliver, with his regular stream of press cars, it didn’t take long for Isabel’s interest in cars to increase enormously. Over the last few years she has torn around Millbrook on SMMT Test Day and driven the majority of the motors which have graced their driveway – but despite being momentarily impressed by various V8s and the like, Izzy still has a predominant ‘thing’ for well-built, economical cars. Having said that, she wouldn’t think twice about swapping her SEAT Altea for a Range Rover SDV8, which is her favourite car so far! One of her main passions in life is photography and Isabel produces the majority of the photographs published on petroleumvitae.com. She also relishes statistics, so enjoys attending automotive news conferences and presentations.

Isabel Carter Izzy motoring car photographer