Jim Blackstock

Jim Blackstock

Jim Blackstock has been a motoring journalist for more than 30 years and is currently carrying out product testing for What Car?.

He began his publishing career on modified-car magazines in the early 1990s, including Max Power and latterly, founded and successfully ran its sister title, Revs. He went on to work on numerous magazines as editor, production editor, product editor or contributor, in subject areas including motoring, motorcycling, motorsport lifestyle, Lego lifestyle, photography, camper vans and caravanning.

He also enjoyed a period of working in public relations and press communications for manufacturer teams competing in the FIA World Rally Championship as well as a major engine manufacturer in Formula One, Champ Cars, MotoGP, Endurance Racing and the WRC. He went on to represent automotive brands, personalities and competitors in a range of disciplines before returning to his first love; magazines.

In his current role, Jim is responsible for the product content and testing for a monthly consumer motorcycle magazine as well as testing products for What Car?. He has an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering and is usually partway through the restoration, rebuild or recommissioning of something one step removed from the scrapyard.

 Jim is an expert in:

  • Automotive product testing
  • Motorcycle product testing
  • Route planning
  • Adopting technology to road use
  • Modern classics

Jim Blackstock Q&A

What is the best piece of advice you can offer a potential product buyer?

You get what you pay for. I have seen this time and time again; if something is exceptionally cheap compared to its peers or seems too good to be true, it probably is. Look for established and respected brands in reputable retailers.

What’s your most important aftermarket purchase?

I love music so unless a vehicle already has an excellent OE stereo, I’ll replace it with an aftermarket version. I have a favourite brand, as I like its particular style of sound and I’ll generally make sure it has DAB radio, can connect to and control the music app on my phone and crucially, offers voice control including hands-free phone use.

What’s the best car you have ever driven?

I prefer older cars and probably the best car I ever drove was the original Renault Clio Williams. It was an absolute riot; so easy to slide and control in the safe environment of a racetrack – a superb trackday car. My favourite rear-wheel drive car was a first-generation Ford Sierra Cosworth; it was mildly modified to 270bhp compared with the standard 220bhp or so and it was exhilarating and forgiving in equal measure.