Motoring journalist Jonny Smith is completely, hopelessly obsessed with cars. And he’s been lucky enough to turn that obsession into a career.
From scouring scrap yards and tinkering with cars as a kid, he landed a job writing for the infamous magazine Max Power, when it and the car culture it celebrated were at their absolute height.
Then he picked up what must surely be the dream job of every petrolhead, presenting Channel 5 car show Fifth Gear. His first film about running an old Mercedes diesel on used chip fat set the tone for Jonny’s work on the show, shining a light on lesser-known parts of the motoring world.
Jonny still presents Fifth Gear – now shown on History – alongside Tiff Needell and Vicki Butler-Henderson, and has branched out with other shows alongside great mate Tom Ford. He remains an inveterate car collector and recently built the Flux Capacitor, an Enfield invalid carriage that’s now Europe fastest electric car.
Only Motors caught up with Jonny to talk about a life spent roaming Planet Car.