Caffeine&Machine cultofmachine People C&M People: Phill Tromans

C&M People: Phill Tromans

Equally long of hair and industry experience, Phill, our Managing Editor, oversees C&M’s written and visual content output.

What does it take to keep a rowdy team of writers, photographers, and videographers in check? Someone like Phill Tromans. With more than 20 years of experience in the car journalism game, he’s written, edited, and presented for a huge variety of publications. Basically, he knows a thing or two about what makes car content work. Phill now oversees the creation and rollout of our digital and social content, normally from his remote post on the south coast, where he’s one of an alarming number of C&M team members slowly giving their life over to an old BMW.

How did you get started in car journalism?

Well, I sort of fell into journalism and then specialised. I’d started a website on rollerblading, my main hobby as a teenager, and on the back of that got a job as a junior reporter on my local newspaper. I then did my journalism qualifications, moved to a larger, daily paper, and then decided to focus on another hobby – cars. There wasn’t much of a career path for rollerblading journalism…

I got a job as a news writer for Fleet News and stayed there for three years. Through that, I got to know various people in the industry, and heard about a job opening in Dubai, working for the Middle East edition of Car magazine. I became Online Editor there, although got made redundant shortly afterwards as the 2008 financial crisis hit. But I stayed in Dubai, and ended up working alongside Phil McGovern, who would go on to co-found Caffeine&Machine. Back then, he’d decided to make his personal car blog into a business, and I helped to run that, as well as the Middle East edition of Evo magazine. After a few more years having lots of fun having adventures there, I moved back to the UK, and have since worked as a freelancer, and as staff for Auto Trader, Cazoo and DriveTribe, covering everything from road tests and videos to production and strategy. Phil and I stayed friends, and when he wanted to start introducing content into C&M, he asked me to help. It’s funny how things come around!

What do you enjoy about working at C&M?

I really enjoy the variety within the business, and the fact that it’s essentially driven by passion. The people that work here and the people that visit are all basically chasing the thing that they love, and that really shines through day-to-day. I’m also very lucky to work with some very talented people, so helping to pull them all together and drive the business forward is very rewarding. 

What do you drive at the moment, and why?

I’ve got a BMW E46 330d Touring that I’m doing up, but also daily driving. I reckon the E46 is one of the best-looking BMWs and I love an estate. I’ve got bikes and a small child, so practicality is a priority too. It wasn’t too expensive to buy, although I’ve since spent a small fortune trying to stop it rusting away. In hindsight it was a terrible financial decision, but I do love it, and plan to get it back to factory fresh condition at some point within the next 30 years. 

What’s your dream car?

I’m lucky enough to have driven all manner of cars over my career, and I’m not sure there’s any one car that would be top of my list – it changes all the time. If my lottery numbers come in, I’ll buy a big warehouse first, and then start filling it with a bit of everything, from hypercars to estates to quirky things, and all manner of cars in between.

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