Louise-LandSpeed-herHighway

Louise LandSpeed Automotive Journalist>

Louise Ann Noeth founded LandSpeed Productions in 1984 after years of freelancing where she had developed storytelling skill sets that included; creative writing, photography, stock library, fine art, graphic design and public relations.

Ms. Noeth’s award-winning writing and photographic works have been published around the world in several languages. From Sports Illustrated to The Late Show with David Letterman and onto the international arena, her client list is diverse, thought-provoking and for the most part — fun. Dubbed, “LandSpeed Louise” (LSL) by the late Gray Baskerville, HOT ROD Magazine’s irreverently brilliant automotive journalist, she concentrates on land speed racing, mesmerized by amateurs, common folks who do extraordinary feats by designing, building and driving the fastest cars, trucks and motorcycles on earth.

A fancy moniker for what she does is “photojournalist”, but she prefers “storyteller.”

“I want people to be comfortable, become enthused when they venture into my stories and come away with something useful for the time spent,” explains Noeth.

Unlike most journalists, writers, photographers, artists, and publicists who focus on only one, or perhaps two disciplines, LSL noticed that she could get editors to give her more assignments if she could provide words and pictures — photographed or drawn.

“The hard part was convincing them that I could deliver quality in both areas, because my skills came from ‘on-the-job training’,” she adds, “I’ve never had any formal, academic training, just an overwhelming abundance of enthusiastic curiosity and I’ve discovered that, occasionally, I can whup a hot shot PhD in this news game.”

After several years of touring North America as a professional auto racer campaigning a 250 MPH jet dragster, she became a member of the Fourth Estate when she was hired by Petersen Publishing Company in 1979. As the first female editor-in-chief of any of the firm’s automotive publications, she produced: HOT ROD Industry News and
SEMA Show HOT ROD Hotline she was a member of the development team for: HOT ROD Nationals and
CAR CRAFT Nationals.

Her column, Fuel For Thought, appears monthly in the GoodGuys Gazette provides readers with an insiders view of land speed racing that has captured numerous peer-reviewed accolades.  She is authoress of the critically acclaimed, award-winning “Bonneville Salt Flats: The Fastest Place On Earth” currently in its seventh printing.

Noeth is a judge is several areas for the Society of Professional Journalists, International Automotive Media Awards and a variety of  hobbyist photography groups including the prestigious St. Louis Camera Club, the second oldest in the nation.

As one of few women auto writers/racers in America, her moniker “Landspeed Louise” is well-deserved and hard-earned. She has served on several auto industry technical committees developing self-regulating guidelines in tires, suspension, emission controls and contributed to regulatory discussions with the Secretary of Energy in Washington, D.C. that resulted in a shift in national policy. Comfortable and competent behind the wheel of any car, or truck, she is also an accomplished motorcyclist, licensed pilot and blue water sailor.

Who have you mentored, or/and did someone mentor you in this industry to help you get started?  

Ha. When I started in this car circus there were very few women so I guess you can say I barged my into the testicular car haven. My heroine was, and still is, Denise McCluggage. I met her after several years in the automotive media biz and now happily call her “friend”. The late Dean Batchelor also made a big impression on me and taught me how to do new car reviews by example and the occasional scolding.

As a woman what features are your favorites in a car?
First and foremost, a very powerful, obedient drive train. Fluff me up with A/c in the seats which of course must be 6-way adjustable, just like the steering wheel. Leather bolstered seating. Plenty of power hook-ups, cup holders and easy to reach spots to park my junk so it won’t fly across the car when I apex a turn at speed.

Why does the auto industry seem like a difficult environment for females?
Unlike guys, who often inhale anything on cars, most women choose NOT to become familiar with car/truck/motorcycle details until just before they go buy one. I have found that for those who spend some time becoming familiar with the models, tech and features that they attract willing male mentors who are thrilled to share their treasure chest of automotive knowledge.

Land speed racing is an excellent example. There lots a gals involved as drivers, mechanics and crew. Many, many female motorcycle riders and there are 5 women who have set speed records in excess of 300MPH!!!

Why did you want to work in the auto industry?
I am possessed of a an unquenchable desire to understand the mechanical details of damn near everything. It is not good enough for me to know that something works, I want to know HOW it works, WHY it works and WHAT I can do to fix it if it breaks. Science, technology and engineering have always held my attention, just as much as where to get a good manipedi, massage, facial and a good deal on colored diamonds.

First automotive job?
Crew member for the Green Mamba Jet Dragster Professional Racing Team. Toured the USA and Canada racing and making exhibition runs on ¼ mile tracks as well as performing car-burning shows at oval tracks.
I then left to become the first female editor-in-chief of Petersen Publishing’s HOT ROD Performance and Custom Directory, developed the HOT ROD and CAR CRAFT nationals and was part of the management team for the SEMA Show before it was taken over by a professional management concern.

Proudest professional achievement?
2 things.
1.    Publishing “Bonneville Salt Flats: The Fastest Place on Earth” which went onto 7 printings over 11 years.
2.    Conceived and now manage a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO that permits land speed racers to access the tremendous science and engineering facilities while providing cadets real-time, active learning opportunities that will make our nation’s defense stronger and hopefully set more speed records safer!

Current challenge at work?
Finish my new book!

Dream job?
Head of a foundation dedicated to the preservation of land speed racing history in the USA.

What sports or activities did you enjoy in school or/and currently?
Nothing in school, couldn’t wait to get out – too much fighting over stupid things. Today I love swimming and yoga.

What you do to relax?
Museums, swimming, social interactions with friends, singing with choirs (secular and sacred).