José Rodríguez Jr

José Rodríguez Jr

Staff Writer

José is a staff writer at The Drive. He was raised in the bed of a single-cab Mazda B2000 and, later, in the jump seat of an extended-cab Ford F-150, which should have come with a LOBO badge. José’s parents were migrant workers who drove all across the American South, so he spent his formative years on the road and now finds the comfort of home on the highway. Cars are cathedrals for him where individuals can commune with the self. That’s why he loves small cars like his 1997 BMW 318ti—the smaller, the better. José is also an avid motorcyclist who enjoys spotting bike cameos in the works of Akira Toriyama and Studio Ghibli.


– José is from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, which is full of single-cab pickups driven by people who inherited a love of trucks from their families. José’s own love of trucks is more nostalgic than practical, and he’s been in a love-hate relationship with his daily driver BMW E36 for over a decade.

– José is a native Spanish speaker who loves to argue with Siri and other digital assistants who claim to be bilingual. His preliminary testing shows that they are woefully bad at code-switching. 

– José’s byline has appeared on Jalopnik, Road & Track, and now The Drive. His areas of expertise include pickups and the off-roading segment, as well as auto manufacturing in Mexico and other overseas markets.


José was formerly a staff writer at Jalopnik. He’s also worked as a translator to bring American scholars the works of Mexican philosophers who have been largely overlooked by academia until the last decade or so. This work is partially featured in textbooks published by Oxford University Press.


José studied philosophy at the University of Texas—Pan American, pairing the study of Gaston Bachelard and Gloria Anzaldúa with a steady diet of Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway for a bachelor’s degree with a double major in philosophy and English. He returned to the renamed University of Texas Rio Grande Valley for an MFA in creative writing, producing a bilingual master’s thesis inspired by Tomás Rivera. ¡Órale!


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