Mead is an inductee in the Pioneer: Journalism category.
Sue Mead likes to think she began her automotive career as a
young girl, riding her bike as fast as she could down hills
large and small. As a teen, she graduated to an on/off-road
motorcycle with knobby tires and fell in love with riding in
the woods and on dirt trails. As a senior in high school, when
she lived in Washington, D.C. Mead rode a Honda 50 cc motor
scooter to school, and used it to explore the capital region.
Sue was born in 1950, in the
Berkshires of Massachusetts, where she makes her home today.
She graduated from Woodrow Wilson H.S. in Washington, D.C. in
1968, completed an Associate’s Degree in Psychology/Sociology
at Montgomery College and a B.A. in Psychology at Goddard
College. For many years, Sue worked in the field of mental
health and as a part-time photojournalist/ freelance writer
for the Associated Press and newspapers in New England. Her
prayer to use writing and photography skills as a means to
travel the globe and to have an ever-changing “view from my
desk” was answered.
Sue began her automotive
career as a part time, freelance evaluator for Four Wheeler
Magazine in 1988. It was the first team that included women as
test drivers. After spending one week on that year’s “Four
Wheeler of the Year” evaluation, driving from the busy L.A.
freeways, to the desert sands of Death Valley and on to the
rigorous rock climbs on the trails of Lake Arrowhead and Big
Bear, Sue was hooked. Over the next few years, she began to
work as a freelancer for all the major 4WD magazines in the
U.S., setting up off-road drives and adventures in places near
and far. In 1994, when her daughter, Brooke, went to college,
she followed her out the door and hasn’t stopped since.
She has been a participating
journalist on Camel Trophy adventures in Borneo, Mongolia and
Central America. Mead has also participated in three
record-setting adventure drives: the Arctic Circle Challenge
‘95, the Tip to Tip Challenge ‘96, and the Transamerica
Challenge in ’97.
She served as a co-driver for
Rod Hall in the 1996 Baja 1000 (1st place finish), Darren
Skilton in the 1999 Baja 1000 (1st place finish), and the
Paris-Dakar-Cairo 2000, the world’s longest and most difficult
off-road race, which they completed.
She drove her first off-road
race behind the wheel with Skilton in 1999, winning first
place in Class 3 in the SCORE Primm 300. Mead was also a
co-driver in the Tecate SCORE Baja 2000 on the internationally
ranked Mitsubishi team (1st place finish), and with the
Scaroni Motorsports Team, in 2001. Mead also competed as a
co-driver in the Nevada 1000, and is featured in the off-road
documentary, Into the Dust, as a member of the Toyota
Motorsports Team. Mead also competed behind the wheel on two
Wide Open Baja/ Centrix Teams in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in
2002 and 2003, and appeared in the movie “Dust to Glory.”
Sue has written three books:
“Monster Trucks and Tractors”; “Off Road Racing, Legends and
Adventures”; and “Rock Crawling”, published by Chelsea House.
Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers
worldwide, including the New York Times, Boston Globe, The
Washington Times and the Houston Chronicle. She is currently a
correspondent for Motor Trend Radio. Sue is a member of the
International Motor Press Association and has also been a
board member of Tread Lightly! Inc. She has received two
awards from the International Automotive Press Association for
excellence in writing. Sue Mead is being inducted into the
Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in the category of Pioneer:
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