About Rick DeBruhl

Rick DeBruhl is a self-professed car geek. Maybe it was the car wallpaper his mom hung on his bedroom walls. Perhaps it was the elementary school field trip to the Fisher Body plant in Van Nuys, California. Whatever the source for the automotive germ that entered his body early on, it has taken hold with a vengeance. First there were car magazines that filled his school binders. That led to two hours of auto shop every day in high school (remember auto shop?). It finally began to pay off in college when Rick worked at Sears Automotive earning tuition money. After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in journalism, Rick launched his broadcast career. There was a short stint in radio and then he quickly moved on to television working for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California. A year later he moved to Phoenix, Arizona, joining KPNX-TV. It was a job that he would enjoy for 31 years. rick indycar small

But local news wasn’t enough. Rick wanted to play with cars. So, in 1987 Rick added a side career in race broadcasting. His first event was the Trans Am race in St. Petersburg, Florida. The next year he started working races for ESPN. Since then Rick has covered events ranging from Formula One to Pikes Peak. After leaving KPNX-TV in 2009, he started his current ESPN assignment, covering the IndyCar series which includes the Indy 500. Because you can never have too much automotive fun, Rick also works for the Velocity network covering the Barrett Jackson collector car auctions. In his spare time he picked up a Master’s in Journalism degree from the University of Missouri and continues to write new car reviews. It just proves that all those wasted hours reading car magazines and hanging out in high school auto shop are finally paying off!


16 comments on “About Rick DeBruhl

  1. I was in the Marines w/ a Charles “Buddy” Debruhl from Greensboro N.C from 1957-1960. Are you any relation?

    • All DeBruhls are related, and while there is a big crop in NC, I’m from the western portion of the family and grew up in California.

  2. Hey Rick! Glad to see the little car is still around. Did you have it painted green again?
    Jim Bell
    Celestian (Class of “73”)

    That’s right… I’m the same guy who had a crush on your next door neighbor in the 6th grade! (Susan Hillman)


  3. Hi Rick, I just read that you bought the Isetta from Mr. Hodgens. Thanks for the great pictures of him and the car. I love the car, but it was soooo good to see Mr. Hodgens. What year did you graduate? I am trying to figure out if I knew you or not. You said you married another alumni. May I ask who? I graduated in 1979.

    Sounds like you have a fabulous life since school – congratulations.

    • I’m a 73 grad and my wife, Patty, graduated the same year. We’ll have the Isetta back for the 100th anniversary for Canoga in October. Make sure you’re there!

  4. Rick, I have a 1941 dodge deluxe with 22,000 original miles. Everything is original, runs fine, wish to sell. Auction, eBay, Craig’s list. Would appreciate your opinion. Gary

    • Gary,
      Impressive to have a survivor. A lot of things will affect the price. Low miles survivor is a big plus, but there is a point where mediocre condition will degrade that value. Good condition and survivor status can help a car jump higher in market value. The downside is that 41 Dodges aren’t hugely popular. In an auction you won’t have a lot of people bidding for it. You will get more money if it’s a coupe. Check the NADA guide to see it’s range.

      Each selling method has its highs and lows. Craig’s list is the cleanest method. It’s simply an ad that doesn’t cost you anything. The downside is that it’s generally limited to your geographic area. Great if you’re in Los Angeles, lousy if you’re in Bismark. Yours is the type of car that may have to get relisted multiple times because it’s a limited market.

      The advantage of eBay is that it has a larger market reach. I’m always amazed that people in Florida will buy a car from someone in California sight unseen, but they do. There is always the risk that it will belly up and you’ll have to start all over again. You can set a reserve which means you’ll limit how low it will sell.

      Auctions have highs and lows. Barrett Jackson acutions are generally no-reserve. That means the car will sell for whatever it is worth to the people in the room at that time. It’s a pretty honest way of selling since there are plenty of knowledgeable people there who don’t let cars sell too low (although it occasionally happens). Other auctions allow you to set a minimum sales price. For a bunch of reasons, I prefer no-reserve as a buyer (I’m more likely to bid if I know the car is really going to sell and there is no artificial pushing the bid to the reserve), but I understand the concern of sellers. Plus you have to pay a seller’s premium (probably about 8%), not to mention transportation costs depending on the location.

      Your best bet might be Hemmings. You pay for the ad, but the folks reading it are collector car enthusiasts who are looking for the kind of car you’re buying. It’s like having more truly interested parties in the same room. The downside is they’re spread out all over the country.

      Be as honest as you can with the description. You can’t say too much about both the highs and the lows. Make sure you include plenty of pictures.
      Good luck!

  5. Have you analyzed the 2015 Hyundai Genesis, V 8 or V 6 ? I usually drive a Cadillac for the best ride. Which new sedans give the most comfortable ride now? Enjoy your web site.

    • I haven’t driven the Genesis sedan, but I have driven the Equus (read the review here). It’s an impressive car chasing the Audi A8 and Lexus LS460. I think folks will have a hard time paying big bucks for a Hyundai badge, but there’s no doubting you’ll get plenty of quality and performance. I’m scheduled to drive the Kia K900 soon which should be a solid competitor.

  6. Hey Rick, just read your piece on the Isetta. Great write up and I love your sense of humour. You can tell I’m from Canada by how we spell humour, eh! I’m a muscle car gramps in the process of deciding which Chevy Nova should receive a rebuilt 454ci, the ’64’ or ’67. Both cars I own are not the coveted 2 door hard top but rather the working mans 4 door sedan. Nonetheless I’m surprised that “more doors” are gaining respect based on ones budget. Assuming both cars are in pristine shape which one would command higher resale value with a 454 install pushing close to 500hp, the ’64 or ’67?

    • It may not make a huge difference, but personally I’d go with the 67. Although they are very similar, I like the styling a little more on the 67 (the headlamps have a better look). Plus, 67 is a year people associate with muscle cars. As with any custom, everything is built to the owners taste and there is always a question of whether it will bring resale value on the other end. I’ve seen plenty of people overbuild cars and then not understand why the buyers wouldn’t spend the bucks. Four doors may be getting respect, but two doors are king. Remember that and don’t get too carried away. The bottom line is that you should build what you’ll enjoy and any money you make on the back end is just a bonus.

  7. Just wondering – we now live in Arizona, but several years ago we lived in Moorpark, CA and a neighbor across the street was an auto writer – name sounded like yours. Same person?
    Any thoughts on the Lexus GS350 sport?

    • I used to live the San Fernando Valley and hung out in Thousand Oaks a lot, but never lived in Moorpark. If you mean the F Sport, that’s one serious car. The F range with Lexus is a great way to get serious performance. The only down side is you’ll spend a lot of money, but not get a lot of bling. As long as you don’t mind being slightly anonymous with your performance car, it’s a solid choice.

  8. Hey Rick,

    I have noticed something recently while driving around the Phoenix area — on regular streets and the various highways. It seems that more and more vehicles, of all types – luxury, compact, new old, etc.- have faulty turn signals. I know that all of these drivers would not intentionally switch back and forth between lanes or turn without signalling, so it MUST be a faulty turn signal in the vehicle, right?

  9. Rick, for next race season, will we have a Weeknight Live Auto Racing because I sense Hollywood is in bad need of repair.

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