Steve has been testing and writing about cars for 50 years, spending more than half that time as editor-in-chief at London-published Autocar, the world’s oldest car magazine, founded in 1895.
Cropley began working in journalism in Adelaide, South Australia, in 1967. He joined the staff of Sydney-based Wheels magazine in 1973, working for then-editor Peter Robinson who he has always regarded as the world’s greatest motoring journalist. He moved to the UK in 1978 to join the staff of Car magazine, was appointed editor in 1981 and held the job until 1988, during which time Car became Britain’s best-selling car magazine.
In 1989 he launched his own magazine, Buying Cars, which was bought two years later by Haymarket Media Group, who used its contributors and content to augment its existing titles What Car? and Autocar. He has worked “very happily” at Haymarket ever since. His Autocar column “A Week in Cars” has been a prominent part of the magazine for nearly 30 years.
In 2005 Cropley helped found the world’s first postgraduate course in automotive journalism at Coventry University, where he was appointed a visiting professor. He is also a Trustee of the British Motor Museum, Gaydon. Since 2005 he has organised and chaired a series of technical panel debates for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers at various universities in the West of England, and in 2013 was made a companion of the institution. Cropley claims he remains as much in love with cars - and the industry that creates them - as he was on day one.