Cliff Leppke, Contributor

Cliff is a Milwaukee-based automotive writer and American studies scholar who works as an electronic journalist for a TV station. Born in 1958, he's originally from St. Louis but has lived in Chicago, Minneapolis, Rockford and Indianapolis. After completing an electrical engineering degree with an emphasis on TV broadcast technology, he went back to graduate school and studied mass communication at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Since then he did further graduate work in the history of American technology at the University of Minnesota and American Studies at St. Louis University. His specialty is American postwar material culture. He has received several awards including one from the American Advertising Federation for a public service campaign and two for his work in preserving roadside architecture. His wheels: a Team Mercier road bike, a Team Miyata track bike, a 1938 Ford, and a 1974 VW Karmann Ghia.


Festa Italiana:  Fiat's 500 is Here!

Festa Italiana: Fiat's 500 is Here!

Whether it's clothes, food, drink, women or cars, Italians have style. And it's a mouse-like four-wheeler (the 1957 Fiat Nuovo 500), that enlivened postwar Italy's motorways. Many Americans might recall Federico Fellini's carnival of 500s, as seen in movies like La Dolce Vita or 8 1/2. This...

February 25, 2011
Press impressed:  Farley answers traditional media's questions

Chicago Auto Show: Jim Farley, the 2011 Ford Explorer, and Social Media

Ford's group vice president Jim Farley delivered the 2011 Chicago Auto Show's keynote media address. He says the annual Chicago event is the "largest consumer auto show."... read more February 14, 2011

Wide-body, rakish short windshield

Porsche Portrait: 911 Carrera GTS at Chicago Auto Show

Porsche's area vice president Doug Battie outlined the racecar brand's long history of responsibility to the environment. He argues that Porsche's engineers do more with... read more February 10, 2011

2011 Sonata Hybrid

2011 Chicago Auto Show: 2011 Hyundai Sonata, Family Honor

Chicago Auto Show, February 9, 2011: Midwest Automotive Media Association announced its Family Vehicle of the Year winner--the 2011 Hyundai Sonata. MAMA is nonprofit... read more February 10, 2011

Mopar's Sex Appeal

Chrysler Sizzles at 2011 Chicago Auto Show

You might call it the Italian Job One. Chrysler's revamped product line (Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler, Ram) and its new controlling owner Fiat took up much real estate at Chicago's... read more February 10, 2011


Train Rocks VW's 2011 Detroit Fire Haus Preview Night

Before VW unveiled its New Midsize Sedan, it held an invitation only clambake (yes, shellfish and other hor d'oeuvres). There, guests mingled with VW's designers, engineers... read more February 2, 2011

Fiat's Winsome Press Kit

Best Detroit Show Press Kit: It's Inside Fiat's Box

Major auto shows stage media events. It's a verity. At these "pressers," carmaker barkers, concept cars, new production models, and human eye candy vie for photographer and... read more February 2, 2011


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