May 15, 2022

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Wheels Car of the Year 2022: The Judges

Alex Inwood

Moved onwards and upwards from the Wheels editorship two years ago to head up our video operations, but remains intrinsically involved with magazine content simply to show us he’s got the biggest ‘editorial brain’ in the building. Became a first-time father recently so can talk ISO-fix points and ease of loading of baby strollers at length to anyone who can stay awake to listen. Despite rigorous gym sessions, still has a pair of legs like pipe cleaners, yet they appear normal in his videos. Rumours of CGI manipulation continue to swirl.

E Dewar 220209 COTY Judges Alex Inwood


Dylan Campbell

Left the Wheels editor role last year to seek his fortune in the fast and treacherous world of freelancers, but returns here for his second year as a COTY judge. Still enduring the “need a booster seat?” jokes with his usual good humour, but we’re only game to rib him because this is not America, and procuring a firearm is difficult. Continues to sink time/money into his Toyota AE86 project car in the belief that dynamic Nirvana is within sight, if only he could locate the source of that mysterious front-end knocking.

A Brook 220211 COTY Judges Dylan Campbell


Jez Spinks

Not his first COTY rodeo, but this is his first in the saddle as a judge, and he didn’t spare the whip hand. Another veteran journo bringing nearly 20 years of road-testing experience to the process, Spinks left his native UK back when Jesus was still in short pants, yet still sounds like he’s on the set of Coronation Street. Since COTY testing concluded, he’s joined Wheels Media in a managerial position, thereby ensuring he’ll receive nothing but reverential treatment in these pages. Handsome bugger.

A Brook 220211 COTY Judges Jez Spinks


Curt Dupriez

A 26-year veteran of automotive publishing who’s worked at all the major outlets and built a vast road-testing knowledge bank along the way. When he’s not doing car stuff, you’ll find Dupriez accumulating electric guitars, with his vast collection now believed to rival Imelda Marcos’s shoe stash for cost and scale. A handy steerer who’s also an accomplished shredder, he swears he’s never played ‘Smoke on the Water’ in a guitar shop when testing out a new axe.

A Brook 220211 COTY Judges Curt Dupriez


Daniel Gardner

A former BMW tech in a past life, Gardner makes his debut as COTY judge, bringing a decade of journalistic experience to the production. A gifted writer and video presenter, Dan is also happily domiciled with rally ace and Extreme E champion Molly Taylor. The upside? On pub nights, his designated driver always knows a shortcut home – through the bush, sideways. Downside? Despite his wheel skills, Dan is officially the slowest driver in his household.

E Dewar 220209 COTY Judges Daniel Gardner


Richard Ferlazzo

A 32-year career at GM Holden saw Richard rise to the top rank of Design Director, until closure of the brand in 2020. He’s best known for designing the wild EFIJY Concept car and the VE Sportwagon, among many. These days he applies his talents as a design consultant in various fields of design. His mantra is, ‘good design improves people’s lives’. Weekends see him tinkering with his 1973 Fiat 124 Spider.

A Brook 220211 COTY Judges Richard Ferlazzo