Jim Mcilvaine

Jim Mcilvaine lives in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida and if that sounds like a made-up name for a town, just wait until you read the rest of his bio. He started writing for car magazines while playing in the NBA more than 20 years ago. His dad taught him everything he knew about cars from his work as an accountant for Walker Exhaust Systems, which was how to read a balance sheet and income statement for a muffler manufacturer. From there, Jim signed up for "Know Your Car" at St. Catherine's High School and studied under Sr. Therese Rotarius, until the Dominicans discontinued the class due to a lack of college preparatory credits and low attendance (it was just Jim and his best friend, Tony). After retiring from the NBA, Jim became the first Marquette graduate to enroll in the Automotive Tech program at Blackhawk Technical College, where he learned that auditing the course was far less expensive than enrolling to pursue ASE certification and he was still eligible for the student discount on tools. In 2006, Jim and his fiancé drove from Wisconsin to Belize, joined by an old cowboy in a propane-powered Econoline van, near the Mexican border. Jim somehow parlayed all of that into a job with Optima Batteries, where he gets paid to tweet, post car photos on Instagram, and go to race tracks and car shows all year long (among other things).