Sam Mitani (born May 29, 1966) is a Japanese American writer and author, best known for his work as International Editor for Road and Track magazine. Born in Tokyo, Japan, Mitani moved to the United States at the age of two.
His responsibilities include covering and test driving cars from around the world. His expertise and knowledge on Japanese automobiles makes him one of the foremost authority about these popular imports from Asia. He was the first Asian American senior staff member of an English language major automobile publication.
Mitani has also been published in magazines in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan. He currently writes a monthly column for XaCAR, and regularly contributes to Best Car, two of Japan’s most popular auto magazines.
His travels around the world inspired him to author a book, Fielding's Malaysia & Singapore The Adventurer's Guide to the Wonders of Malaysia and Singapore. He also co-authored a book about traveling in Asia titled Fielding’s Far East.
Mitani also appears as a guest host for the Best Motoring DVD series. He also has an Emmy Award to his credit for his hosting of the Los Angeles Motor Show for KABC’s Eye on LA television series.
As part of his job, he participated in a number of adventurous races. He ran in the Dakar Rally in 1996 (then known as the Granda to Dakar Rally), as well as two stints in the Malaysian jungle in the Trans Peninsula Rally. He also drove in the Baja 2000, an off-road race through the famous desert peninsula. Also of note, he was part of the first American motorcycle tour of Vietnam since the war. The exploits of this trek was chronicled in Cycle World magazine.
In 2010, he set a speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in a Suzuki Kizashi, going 203.7 mph. This run also qualified him to join the exclusive 200 MPH Club.
A practitioner of judo, Mitani holds a 4th-degree black belt he also placed as high as third place at the World Masters Championship International Competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil.