New editor of Wheels is Top Gear’s Bill Thomas

The new editor of ACP’s Wheels magazine is Bill Thomas, the magazine publisher has announced.

He joins from Top Gear Magazine in the UK and replaces Ged Bulmer who is leaving is become managing editor of News Ltd’s Carsguide.  

The announcement:

Bill Thomas WheelsBill Thomas has been appointed Editor of Wheels at ACP Magazines.

Thomas, 43, is an expat Aussie who joins Wheels from BBC Magazines, where he was Deputy Editor of the UK edition of Top Gear Magazine. He replaces Ged Bulmer, who is leaving ACP after 14 years for a role at News Ltd.

Wheels, which launched in 1953, is Australia’s oldest and most respected motoring magazine and Thomas will become only the eleventh editor in the 57 year history of the iconic masthead.

Thomas has been writing about cars for 15 years – and reading about them for a lot longer. He was 11 when his father brought home the December ’78 issue of Wheels – a first look at the brilliant new Holden Commodore – and the kid from Petrie in the northern suburbs of Brisbane has been a Wheels reader ever since.

He has spent much of the last two decades in the UK, including spells at EMAP Publishing, where he worked on tuning magazine Max Power, before a return to freelance writing for The Times, CAR magazine and EVO.

Thomas then ran his own contract publishing company, before joining weekly UK car bible Autocar as Deputy Editor in 2003.

In 2006, he joined Top Gear, and as Deputy Editor worked with three blokes of tall, medium and slightly less-than-completely-medium stature to put together the magazine version of the famous TV show.

Like his Wheels predecessor, Thomas is a fervent supporter of the Queensland Rugby League team.

He has driven an Austin Maxi (nee Kimberley) from London to the Sahara desert, driven Sebastien Bourdais’ 700bhp Championship-winning Lola Champ Car in the damp around a 2.4km banked oval, driven a Falcon Ute up the Stuart Highway, driven a Lamborghini Murcielago to an indicated 350kmh in the desert near Abu Dhabi, driven the entire FIA GT3 grid in a single day at Paul Ricard Circuit in France not long after driving a Mitsubishi iCar from Osaka to Tokyo, staying only in capsule hotels.

And he reckons he’s just getting started.

“As a bloke who grew up with Wheels and knows it to be one of the world’s great car magazines, it’s a tremendous honour to be joining as Editor,” Thomas said. “I hope to maintain the fantastic standards of the inspirational editors who have gone before me.”

Wheels Publisher Michael Koslowski added: “Selecting the next editor of Wheels was a tough process – we had some exceptional candidates seeking to join a very select editors’ club. But in the end, Bill’s creative vision for the next era for Wheels, combined with his passion for all things motoring, won through.”

ACP Group Publishing Director Phil Scott said Bill Thomas’ work has a distinctive voice and great originality which has gained him an international following.

“Bill really is the perfect choice for Wheels,” he said.

Thomas will begin on November 14, following relocation from the UK.

Source: ACP press release


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