NY TIMES CONTRIBUTOR | EMMY WINNER

TOM VOELK

AUTOMOBILE ENTHUSIAST & EXPERT

driven car reviews

Authentic & accessible auto reviews since 2002

Driven Testimonials


ABOUT TOM

Early on, cars were Tom’s “useless command of knowledge”. He helped his fifth grade teacher, Mr. Peterson choose his station wagon. Seriously. Study hall was for sketching vehicles, some of which he sent to Mattel to be Hot Wheels cars (dang, should have kept the rejection letters from Ruth Handler, the woman who invented Barbie). He checked out “Cars of the Future” from the library so many times, the librarian finally told him to keep it.

Tom got his media start at East High School as a yearbook photographer. After graduation, he was employed at KDLH in Duluth, MN as a gopher when the news director discovered his photography skills on his application. First sent out to shoot some shots of city busses, a new career in broadcasting began.

He soon moved to WCCO TV in Minneapolis, then to KIRO TV in Seattle before settling down at the nationally respected KING TV. As a video photographer, editor, and writer, he was a natural to produce any automotive segments. He weaseled a few trips to Detroit and California to produce special reports.

A chance meeting with a writer for MSN Autos led to the discovery that there were press vehicles in the Seattle area. Soon, with a haircut and some new clothes, Tom was on the other side of the camera reviewing cars for KING. He shoots, writes and edits all his videos. His signature “TP Trunk Test” has been a feature since the very first video. He hates doing it on mini-vans.

After an NYT editor discovered his videos on the web, The New York Times approached him in 2013. He considers it an honor to contribute to the world’s most respected media organization.

Tom’s family owns four automobiles- a 1990 Mazda Miata, a 2008 Volvo XC70, a 2012 Kia Soul, and a 2014 Cadillac ELR.

A runner since the age of 15, Tom has completed 40 marathons including eight Boston Marathons. He also enjoys mountain biking, skiing, and occasionally embarrassing himself at golf. He lives in Seattle with his wife of 30 years Mariko Kakiuchi who could really care less about cars. They have awesome children, Maya and Sean who are both smarter and better looking than their dad.

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