By on September 17, 2010

Almost exactly a year ago, I received a phone call informing me that the founder and editor of The Truth About Cars, Robert Farago, would be leaving the site. Robert and I had already discussed (in theoretical terms) the possibility of such a move, and he’d mentioned that I would be in line to replace him when the time came.  Still, nothing could had prepared me for the actual realization that TTAC had become my baby. A year later, the shock is still wearing off.

And why not? Comments in our posts announcing the transition overwhelmingly expressed disappointment to be losing Robert, and a kind of tentatively supportive “don’t screw this up for us” attitude towards my succession. The term “big shoes to fill” figured heavily in much of the commentary. And as usual, the Best & Brightest had it right: stepping into Robert’s shoes has been the challenge of my (not particularly long) lifetime.

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of taking stewardship of the brand Robert had built from nothing was the fact that I simply could not replace him. Having built TTAC from nothing, Robert literally poured himself into this site. Its tone, work ethic and editorial focus all reflected his personality, his passion. When I first started writing at TTAC (some 3,649 posts ago), things were easier: I worked for and with the man who embodied this site… and luckily I shared many of his values. When he stepped down, however, I suddenly felt very much alone.

Luckily, I was not alone. Though several writers left TTAC’s orbit around the same time Robert did, I had the immense fortune of retaining the core of TTAC’s contributors, and over the past year that core has grown and solidified. The writers who stuck with TTAC during the difficult transition of a year ago took a leap of faith that can not be underestimated. Like me, they knew that Robert had created a community and a brand that held immense promise… but they surely had a difficult time imagining TTAC without Robert. I know I did.

Today, much work remains to bring TTAC to where it needs to be, but after a hectic, exhausting year, I finally feel confident that TTAC has survived its transition to the post-Farago era. In fact, we’ve more than survived: we’ve seen some of our best traffic in the site’s history, we’ve had our opinions solicited by some of the most influential outlets the mainstream media (and some of the least)… hell, we even touched a nerve in the White House. What 12 months ago seemed like an impossible dream at the end of an endless struggle is now reality: today, TTAC is healthy, vibrant, relevant and sustainable.

Credit for this happy state of affairs goes first to you, our loyal readers. TTAC’s “Best and Brightest” have long made this site what it is, and their faith in TTAC’s brand and values is what made the site’s transition possible. In fact, were it not for the knowledge, experience, courtesy and relentless feistiness of the B&B, I might never have survived as even a writer here.

Possibly the most important realization I came to, after just weeks as a freelance news blogger here, was that I would never know as much about any given topic as at least one of TTAC’s commentators. This freed me from the burden of trying to be an expert (which, at the time, I couldn’t have been less of) and allowed me to focus on starting conversations that would bring out the knowledge and insight of TTAC’s commentariat. The truth can not simply be written and published… it evolves as a conversation. I can not thank the B&B enough for continuing to make this conversation possible.

The other element of TTAC’s success is our team of conversation-starters: the bloggers, writers, editors, reporters, historians, and analysts who inform, provoke, and entertain us each day. Their dedication, diversity and talent is as crucial to TTAC as anything else, and several individuals deserve special recognition.

Bertel Schmitt, TTAC’s Overseas Editor, has been a true rock for this website. His depth of experience in everything from computer science to automotive advertising has been a constant resource for TTAC, often in ways that aren’t obviously manifested in its content. From his Beijing headquarters, Bertel is also perfectly positioned to keep TTAC’s readers abreast of the latest developments in the (new) largest car market in the world. Though we do get the odd “too much China news” comment from time to time, the Chinese market is as crucial to the car industry as Bertel is to us. As the car industry changes, you’ll be glad you kept up on developments in the Middle Kingdom.

I’ve always focused on the big picture issues here at TTAC, which is why Michael Karesh is such an important member of the team. Our Chief Road Tester a “product guy” par excellence, with broad experience and unimpeachable credibility. His years of compiling reliability and pricing data at TrueDelta make him a goldmine of information, while his presence in the Detroit area and reputation for even-handed reviews keep him driving the latest cars. He’s also the only TTAC contributor I’ve actually met in person, which is more important than you’d think if you’ve never worked on the internet before.

Jack Baruth has become an indispensable element of the TTAC formula, injecting our often-nerdy discussions with what he once described as his “blood-and-thunder, guns-and-butter” style. I was deeply dismayed when our tame racing driver (understandably) ditched TTAC a year ago, and his decision to return was the answer to quite a few editorial prayers. Jack’s unique perspective and no-holds-barred approach is crucial to the diversity of TTAC’s content mix… so much so, in fact, that I never know what he’s going to write next. I may not always agree with him, but his talent, knowledge and ability to provoke discussion are unquestionable.

Sajeev Mehta has been crucial in keeping the TTAC community together. The social media expert and Fox-Body fanatic pioneered our write-in advice columns with his beloved Piston Slap series, which has since been expanded to include the car-buying advice column “New Or Used?” (alongside  Hammer Time scribe Steve Lang). Sajeev has also single-handedly revamped TTAC’s Facebook presence, providing fans an opportunity to create their own discussions about cars, the car industry, car culture, and even TTAC itself.

When Ronnie Schreiber first started commenting at TTAC, he labeled himself “TTAC’s official Detroit defender.” Since then, he’s gone from keeping us honest to keeping us reading, with his in-depth histories and penetrating book reviews. From his “Magazine Memories” series to becoming TTAC’s point man on the print media, Ronnie has carved out a place for himself in the TTAC brand.

Though her nom de plume has changed, Cammy Corrigan has been commenting at and contributing to TTAC for longer than I have. Keeping an eye on the British and European markets, Cammy makes up for the fact that I’ll never be quite the anglophile Farago was. And if we somehow miss a significant story anywhere in the world, Cammy brings it to our attention.

Marcello Vasconcellos provides indispensable insight into the wacky and wonderful world of the Brazilian market. Another growing market that will become increasingly important to the future of the car industry, Brazil’s automotive scene is as unique, intriguing and diverse as Marcello’s dispatches.

Finally, and most importantly, I must thank Paul Niedermeyer. TTAC’s resident historian and my father was absolutely crucial in the transition of a year ago. Faced with the overwhelming challenge of taking on the TTAC burden, I asked Paul to be my managing editor last year. His help, support and passion for cars was the key to getting through my first few harrowing months as TTAC’s Editor-in-Chief. When he left the site this spring, it was like being forced out of the nest all over again. Having him back is a privilege. Working with your father isn’t always easy, but the rewards are immense. And since I wouldn’t have been born or considered working at TTAC without him, it’s no exaggeration to say that he’s made all of this possible. Plus, Curbside Classics may just be the best running car column anywhere, print or online.

Other contributors have helped make TTAC what it is as well. Steve Lang’s Hammer Time is one of the longest-running staples at TTAC, providing a peek into the world of used cars, auto auctions, and dealer finance. Ken Elias hooks up the occasional analyst insights. Alex Dykes helps bring some of the hottest reviews to TTAC from his home base in San Francisco. David Holzman occasionally chimes in from New England, Walter Foreman sends news and reviews from South Korea, Tal Bronfer reviews cars from Israel, Martin Schwoerer and Mike Solowiew have contributed from Germany, and Thor Jonsen reports from Sweden.

In fact, TTAC’s community is so strong, it would be impossible to thank everyone who has sent in a crucial tip, provided valuable information, corrected errors, caught typos, or generally kept TTAC on its toes. Your dedication to TTAC’s vision helps make us the site we are.

Of course, we must thank VerticalScope, who pays our bills and lets us write whatever we want. You can’t knock that.

Finally, it would be churlish not to thank the folks on “the dark side,” the OEM PR and brand management folks who have taken a chance on TTAC over the last year. For a bunch of deceitful, manipulative flacks, you’re actually incredibly nice people. It’s heartening to see that so many of you do appreciate TTAC’s contributions to the automotive media, and are willing to take a chance on the truth.

After a whirlwind year of transition, TTAC’s future is wide-open and I aim to keep pushing this site to become the most relevant, respected and well-rounded car blog on the internet. In fact, I’m so confident that we have the foundation for success laid, I’m actually going to take a week of vacation (beach, Mexico, one week from today) before tackling the next year of TTAC excellence. Thanks to our fantastic staff and vibrant community, I know TTAC won’t skip a beat. That alone proves how far we’ve come in a year.

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77 Comments on “Has It Really Been A Year?: Reflections On TTACs Past And Future...”


  • avatar
    friedclams

    Well said Edward. TTAC still has the special sauce.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    EN, you’ve done a wonderful job maintaining and improving TTAC throughout the past year.  I was a fan of RF, but you have built upon his foundation to broaden the appeal of TTAC.  The variety of flavors coming from the contributors is excellent.
     
    And yes, I enjoy the to-and-fro banter of the bloggers on every subject – GM interiors, UAW, paint color, Volt, Ford’s non-bailout bailout, Fiat, the Booth Babe, and Unintended Acceleration, just to name a few.  I’ve even learned from some of you with whom I often disagree.
     
    Keep up the great work; we’re looking forward to what the next year brings.

  • avatar

    Congratulations. TTAC is always a joy to read. Many thanks to all of the contributors and the B&B.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    The truth can not simply be written and published… it evolves as a conversation. I can not thank the B&B enough for continuing to make this conversation possible.

    Socrates once said this as well.  His style that annoyed the big mouths of his time was to not just disagree with a comment and start an argument, but to begin a conversation with the speaker.

    By doing this, by the simple asking of probing questions and letting the discussion evolve to a final truthful conclusion was I believe you are now doing at TTAC.

    Throw the thought out and let the discussion begin.  Eventually lots of great and informative thoughts come flowing back.
    Thanks, Ed, for the direction and openess by which you have managed and directed TTAC.

  • avatar
    StevenJJ

    Well done to all involved.
     
    I am on here daily whether at home or work. Essential reading for anyone with an interest in anything with four wheels the world over.

  • avatar

    you’ve done an admirable job retaining and adding to the talents of TTAC. from the investigative look into Toyota acceleration to insight of booth babes you have kept it interesting and informative. even so, nothing can replace the wit and reflections of the illustrious Mr. Farago.

    I truly enjoy the site and appreciate the efforts of all concerned.

  • avatar
    nonce

    While I loved a lot of the style of the place RF created, I think it’s better out from him. He was super-sensitive about any criticism of his baby, which is understandable as a parent.
    Now it can stand and move on its own.

  • avatar
    Amendment X

    This is the ONLY website I visit on a daily basis. Well done, sir.

  • avatar
    Alexdi

    A large part of your success in the last year has come from telling the truth without being strident. I’d almost abandoned this site in the months prior to RF’s departure. It’s since become daily reading. There are still things I’d change about the site design, but on the whole, job very well done.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I do visit this site multiple times per day, and I have other sites I visit daily, but TTAC is the ONLY automotive site that I visit.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    I concur; the site is still worth reading on a daily basis.  Still, I’ve lost interest in the auto industry in the past year.  I hope to find a new job in a different, more vibrant industry, like insurance.

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    Wow, a year already??? Where does the time go…
     
    For what it’s worth, I think all of you are doing an incredible job, and it’s great having all of you involved in my daily routine. My day just isn’t complete without stopping by here at least a couple of times.
     
    I think we should have a big get-together this January at NAIAS, y’all come up to Michigan!!!

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    I think I should mention that the main reason I came back to TTAC was the quality of the commenter base. While many of you don’t like me, and some of you hate me, I appreciate each and every one of your contributions and thank you for reading.

  • avatar
    redmondjp

    Web-searching about Pedalgate is how I discovered this site (which, along with Autoblog, had THE BEST technical-based discussion of the issue to be found anywhere) and I’ve been hooked ever since!  Multiple daily visits by me as well.

    I’m addicted to Curbside Classics and could write a few myself, having grown up in Eastern WA where cars tend to live a really long time (much longer than the paint/vinyl on the roof does). 

    I really appreciate the dedication and hard work of all of this site’s contributors, being extremely busy myself with two small kids, full-time job, major house projects, multiple 10+ year-old cars, etc.  So kudos to all of you for finding time to write amidst all that is happening in your lives.

  • avatar

    I’m probably one of the biggest jerks on this forum (I didn’t start out with that intent) but I really appreciate what TTAC represents: the unvarnished truth about cars, presented with real wit and intelligence. Well done, everyone.

    The Booth Babe is nothing but an ill-considered misfire, though.

  • avatar
    obbop

    More dumpster diving writing, please.
    Gotta’ keep up with growing trends.
    Tips and tricks, local laws and recent legislation.
    Just another growing trend here in the US of A.

  • avatar

    Farago did a terrific job launching this thing, nurturing it, growing it, banning flaming from the comments (truly an amazing feat; threads used to degenerate into boring invective)… He’s a tough act to follow.
    You have your own style–less flamboyant, perhaps, but IMO the integrity level is as high as it gets, and while other car sites cater to the lowest common denominator, this one maintains the same high standards it’s always had.
    I still come here more than daily. Yes, I’m addicted.

  • avatar
    quiksilver180

    Edward, you have done a great job. This site has continued to grow over the last few years, and you have been handling it well. I’m a Portlander too, so I’ll buy you a beer if you’re free.

  • avatar
    RGS920

    You’ve done an amazing job Ed.  Cheers! 

  • avatar
    majo8

    Keep up the good work!
     
    I also check in here daily, and thoroughly enjoy the style of the commentators.
     
    Have to agree with Ed’s  comment about “Curbside Classics” — I look forward to reading every one and remembering cars I’ve owned, longed after or laughed at, and being re-introduced to cars I’ve forgotten about or never heard of.
     
     

  • avatar
    IGB

    I wondered what would become of the site after Farago left. It had become such a mold of his personality.
     
    It has matured. It was good before. Now it’s stellar.
     
    BTW, did you forget to acknowledge the Booth Babe?

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Ed, I think you’ve done a splendid job. I couldn’t do as well even if I had ten friends helping me. It’s true that Farago was an original, but he could be exhausting at times too. For the long haul, I think someone with your temperament (and modesty) suits this new phase. Last point: I can’t imagine how anyone could possibly hate Jack Baruth.  While sometimes a bit self-dramatizing,  he’s nonetheless  clearly a brilliant guy who’s good at describing a world I, at least, know little about and find most interesting. I would really miss him if he weren’t around.

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    I’d like to see more from Schwoerer, Solowiew, and Lang.  All in all, not too bad though.  I am glad that Baruth is back and Metha never left.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Ed…just one little point…

    You look a bit serious.
    I bet Paul lives a lot longer than you do.

    He at least seems to be having fun.
    Let your hair out and enjoy the moment.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    Yes, you’ve done a great job. And so does everybody. It’s turned out far better than I could ever hope.

    The only thing that I miss is Faragos relentless persistence, the truth be told, no holds barred position, whatever the consequences. I miss the spice, the spark, the acid, the venom. Reading Farago was like watching an acid burn on the rotten corpses of corporate hypocracy. It was absolutely smack packed with funny insights, tidbits, and broadsides to mainstream media, the big three, and all the corporate bullshit that they spin. The content is still there, possibly even more poignant sometimes. I just miss the showmanship, it was so much fun. And he couldn’t just let go. He couldn’t stop himself from kicking in that wide open door and tell the emperor was not only naked but had a small dick as well. Jack Baruth can pick up some of that slack, but it’s not nearly enough. I still think TTAC needs more sparks and acid burns…

    Oh, and another thing. Isn’t it time to take away the black flag on Faragos name? Every time I mention him, my posts are flagged as “awaiting moderation”. One year in Siberia is enough…

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      I definitely agree.
       
      I do also miss his Death Watch series and how he knew things like the domestics were turning off the escalators and removing batteries in clocks, and not plowing top levels of the parking garages to save money.
       
      I miss that acid and that hatred within the domestics.
       
      Hearing about China is always interesting..
      But I do wish there was more of a insider feeling towards pretty much every automaker.

    • 0 avatar

      “Thanks to you know who you are.”  hmmm…

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      Buickman:
      I enjoyed hearing you on last week’s Autoline Detroit: After Hours, as well as any auto related discussion.
       
      I’m sure you are also quite clued in to the comings and goings of what is going on in the Ren Cen among other places.
       
      Very much appreciated.. that’s the kind of info I miss from TTAC.
      I love the China news as well as the reviews and the Jack Baruth world. But, frankly I miss knowing who sneezes in the Ren Cen and who doesnt get the exec washroom key. I am sure there is a lot of good hard heavy politics going on inside GM with the recent turn over as well as rumors of who is taking over Mulally’s seat.
       
      Personally, that’s what I miss: Farago’s Acid.

    • 0 avatar

      there is lots more than could be told but won’t break a confidence or betray a trust.

      conversely, there are also a lot of hard working, dedicated folks doing a fine job day in and day out at General Motors. they make it happen in spite of the stuff we so correctly criticize.

    • 0 avatar

      get your dose from the acidic critic at http://www.GeneralWatch.com

  • avatar
    amazon ray

    I have been a reader for 3 years now.
    I think the site has just been getting better and better.
    Life is all about change. I think the changes on TTAC have all been an improvement.
    I visit the site several times a day. And I learn something I didn’t know most everyday.
    Kudos to all concerned.

  • avatar
    star_gazer

    Edward:

        Robert Farago had wisdom in selecting his successor.  Thanks for supporting TTAC!  Although I don’t post often, I visit daily.  Throughout the years many of the B&B became almost like family to me (I’m looking at you, Mikey). 

        Here’s to a new year at TTAC.

    Stargazer

  • avatar

    You’ve left out some rather inconvenient truths about how the transition occurred. But never mind. I’ve found a new home on the web—writing about guns, no less—and you’ve done an excellent job defending and extending the TTAC brand. Congratulations. I look forward to watching the site evolve. It will evolve, yes? I kid. Have fun.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey Robert, what’s going on?
      Is it wrong to say that I want a Chevy Volt?

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      I’ve found a new home on the web—writing about guns, no less

      That’s one way to make sure you don’t get flamed in the comments…

      It’s kind of interesting that you’ve chosen to write about two products that require licenses, can kill people if used improperly, and can never be fully exploited in public. I guess maybe airplanes are next?

    • 0 avatar
      forraymond

      Please be proud of the evolution of your creation.  You are to be commended for all your hard work and endless hours developing such a positive brand.
       
      Many thanks,
      Raymond

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      BTW, Robert tastefully refrained from plugging his new site. But I will: http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/  What name did you think he would use?
      Anyway, it does like he could use a few more readers/comments, so check it out.

  • avatar

    I think you did a damn good job over the year, keep it up!

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Good job with the transition.  While RF was crucial to building the foundation of TTAC, he eventually began to hold it back.  Your approach modernized the site and allowed for better expression and made the TTAC experience that much better.  I have spread the word to quite a few people.  And a good word must be given for the posters here.  The vast majority have been a source of quality input, and I even say that for those who are the polar opposite to my philosophy.  It is one several key reasons this site is so much better than the others.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m actually going to take a week of vacation (beach, Mexico, one week from today) before tackling the next year of TTAC excellence.
     
    You know, Ford sells the Focus RS in Mexico.
    Just in case you can’t stay away from work for a whole week…

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    Why so serious? Life is too short, enjoy yourself.

    I was dismayed when RF announced that he was leaving. I loved his acerbic style. One year later and I’m still here. Yes, it’s different, but just as good and maybe, sometimes, even better.

    Shhhhh. Don’t let RF know. He may be listening.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    Congrats Jim,
    They are (somewhat voluntarily) drinking the Flavr-Aid!
    I stop by when I’m bored. The site is now merely a shadow of its former self.
    Rupert’s LCD mentality <i>will</i> rule the world!
     

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    I showed up here last fall looking for information on the Saab 9-5. TTAC hated it. I love mine, and keep coming back here for the commenters, ccs, and stories about jack baruth’s sexu… Automotive escapades.

    Before I came here I didn’t even know what an a-pillar was. Now I’m pointing out high beltlines to my wife. It helps that a huge part of my business has been Detroit-driven in the last 12 months, but it takes something special for TTAC to hold the attention of a guy who cares little for street cars and owns probably the car that reviewed so badly that the writer actually called for the shutting down of the manufacturer. TTAC, stop the Saab hate and you’ll have an unreserved convert! As it is I’ll just keep coming back every day anyway. :)

    • 0 avatar
      forraymond

      off topic, but I had an 86 Saab 900 turbo that was a blast to drive.  I was also able to put a full sized washing machine in the hatch and could close it up tight.  That thing was truly cavernous.  GM screwed it up by making a functional car into a wanna-be luxury car with the sedan only offering.  I have HIGH hopes that the new owners have the creativity make the car functional, fun and relevant again.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr Strangelove

      “Before I came here I didn’t even know what an a-pillar was. Now I’m pointing out high beltlines to my wife.”
       
      I’m sure she is thrilled about it.

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      @Dr Strangelove
       
      She’s surprisingly indulgent. We actually had a fun time once with her trying to tell whether something was a wagon, crossover, or SUV.
       
      She must think it’s a bit odd though; for the first nine years we knew each other I didn’t give a hot god damn about anything that didn’t run on a road course; now I’m noticing stretchy headlights that’ve been facelifted on to old car schnozes, resulting in expanses of grey plastic under the lenses…
       
      She wasn’t too interested in my pointing out that damnable sharp crease running up the side of every new car in the world, always at a 10 degree angle and always at or near the door handles. The car styling business is more me-too than almost any other – maybe even surpassing fashion for capriciousness and lack of imagination.
       
      But I digress.

  • avatar

    Congrats on your first year Ed.

    I’m new to this site, I found it the way I’ve found many of my favourites, while looking for something else. I think it was a link in an article I was reading. I’ve made it my home page! It’s the articles and the way they read. Those on other sites I’ve visited have often seemed stiff, more like infomercials. Boring.

    I live in and was born and raised in London, SouthWestern Ontario. I grew up watching Detroit TV so an interest in cars just sort of happened. Almost subliminal. I come from the era when wide-whites weren’t a special order and like many of my generation, lost interest in North American autos sometime in the mid to late ’70s when catalytic converters and low comp. ratios took the fun out of getting excited about going to the local dealerships to peek behind the paper covered windows for a look at the new offerings. After reading comments here over a few week period I realised that there are still a few out there who still have the passion, and that performance is making a comeback.

    Keep up the good work! I think I’ll stick around for awhile. :-)

  • avatar

    Congratulations Ed and crew on being such Heroic undertakers! Excellent work!
     
    I’m very happy the site is still around.
     
    -Even with Jack, who has decided to become my mortal enemy by criticizing Top Gear.
     
    Bertel, please stay weird. -And grumpy.
     
    Also: if you’d only do an annual vlog or a podcast in the style of my local PBS station’s fundraisers, where they show you 30 mins of content and 180 mins. of near-comatose presentation of why one should become a member of Public Television, I would totally drop a fiver in the PayPal tip jar.
    Oof!, wearing really awful sweaters during the fundraiser would be good, too!
     
    Thank you, smart commenters, also.
     
    +Can you please add one of those onLoad embedded sound-clips, so it plays the air-horn solo from the General Lee every time I load up the TTAC homepage? Thx.

  • avatar

    Thanks to everyone (especially Ed and RF, for obvious reasons that I won’t get mushy about) for keeping TTAC alive and kicking for another year.  Quite frankly, I remember my life before I started writing here in 2006…but it wasn’t especially noteworthy.
    TTAC rocks.
     

  • avatar

    First-time poster…don’t destroy me for this!

    Wow LOL, am I the only one who thought Ed was the dad?  Sorry Ed, but it speaks to the wisdom in your posts.

    Love the site; check it every day…keep up the good work.

  • avatar

    Thanks Ed. It may sounds traitorous, but a couple of years ago I jumped ship to AutoBlog and TopGear. The highly charged and personalized content on TTAC at the time become too much for someone like me who just wanted the wheels to have center-stage. There was an agenda behind TTAC at the time, other than merely chatting about cars to a bunch of salivating car Nuts! the agenda took on a life of its own and became, IMHO, toxic, both for the writers and readers. Maybe you will agree.
    Bring down GM at all cost!
    Slander Daimler-Chrysler! (even if their vehicles were er slanderous!)
    As Top Gear’s almost universal success points out, cars need not be taken too seriously to provide the much needed diversion that we all need and enjoy! Let the cars success or failure speak for themselves. Throw in a little sauciness and good humor, and Car Nuts will show up. Guaranteed.
    I am still an AutoBlog and TopGear patron for the most part, but keep up the good work. I do come back from time to time, hoping that TTAC will ultimately evolve into the good-natured, entertaining, easy-chair site that I always longed for it to be.
    Oh yes, and I am British, so this very much explains the fact that the only thing we do take very seriously is not taking things too seriously!
    Best of success TTAC!

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    I seriously miss Robert Farago. VirticalScope had slashed his income to the point where it was insulting.  From nothing, to a million visitors, then tossed to the curb.  Who could blame him.
     
    I was disappointed with the new “happy” TTAC that Edward initially launched.  Thankfully, the original extra crispy recipe is slowly coming back. 
     
    Oh, and what ever happened to Jay Shoemaker?  Edward, did you forget to invite him to the party?  

  • avatar

    Congrats on your anniversary, Ed, thank you for doing an excellent job as managing editor.
    I also want to tip my hat to the excellent writing staff, the contributing authors, and of course, the B&B commenters. The combination continues to make this the best auto site on the web, and one of the best sites on the web period. Thanks to everyone who has helped make this site such a special place to visit.

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming

    Farago is a uniquely talented automotive journalist, but his single-minded crusading ultimately got the best of him.  Whatever VerticalScope’s sins, Farago needed a time out.  Edward has admirably steered the ship through difficult waters.  TTAC’s editorial voice has been a bit muddy at times, but there’s a pretty good mix of writing talent and comments moderation has by and large been refreshingly genial.  With Jalopnik’s quality in decline TTAC would seem to be well positioned to pick up some of its readers/commentators if it continues to be both an informative AND a fun read.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    Robert built TTAC into a successful site from nothing, signed a deal with VerticalScope, and when the economy tanked his salary was slashed to nothing. 
     
    “…but his single-minded crusading ultimately got the best of him.  Whatever VerticalScope’s sins, Farago needed a time out”. 
     
    Ellsworth Toohey is alive and well and contributing on the pages of TTAC.
     

    • 0 avatar

      “Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received—hatred. The great creators—the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors—stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.”
       
      Howard Roark

      consider that Robert Farago is a “producer”, not a “looter”, and to hell with the Tooheys of the world.

  • avatar
    Daanii2

    After first not liking the change from Farago to Niedermeyer, I’ve grown used to the new TTAC. In some ways it’s better. In some ways worse. But it still stands out on the Internet as a site worth visiting.
     
    Apart from losing Farago and some other writers, a lot of the former best and brightest seem to have left. Thanks to those who have stayed around. It’s nice to read both articles and comments on this site.

  • avatar
    Bridge2farr

    Of course we all miss the beloved (and now illustrious) Robert. I do enjoy the site now though. (Wiping teart from my eye).

  • avatar
    shiney2

    Congratulations on your first year!! – Well done.
     
     

  • avatar
    jamie1 (of Ford)

    As a representative of ‘the dark side’ may I take this opportunity to say well done on a year post-Farago. While we sometimes disagree with some of the posts and always disagree on the comments of a certain Ford-hater who shall remain unnamed, you remain entertaining to read and always on the money.
    Best wishes to you and all the TTAC readers from the team at Ford.
    Jay Ward
    Ford Communications

  • avatar
    dastanley

    Congrats on making it one year, post Robert Farago.  Personally, I like the softer nicer TTAC, especially that Paul is back with CCs.  RF was a brilliant writer, but his perpetual hard-on towards GM got a little old after awhile.  I could do without the BB – I’m not sure what TTAC hoped to prove or gain by featuring her every week (other than hits and gender based controversy for it’s own sake) - but that’s just me.  This is a great site to relax and enjoy when I have a few minutes of down time.  Thank you and keep up the good work!

  • avatar
    Andy D

    Keep  up  the  good  work  Ed. You have  filled  some  pretty  big shoes rather well

  • avatar
    eastcoastcar

    Ed,
    This is a fantastic site, and I hope you are able to continue to offer it to us.  Lots of hard work goes into this, and we all very much appreciate it.  The ‘Curbside Classic’ reports are priceless.
     
     

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    Interesting,
     
    Only the cheerleader comments are responded to…
     
    Where did the TTAC soul go?

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    Pathetic and sad,
     
    Panther <i>appreciation</i> week. Really?
     
    A celebration of the definition of mediocre becoming a statement. Really?
     
    Were RF  dead, he’d be spinning in his grave. How do you sleep at night?


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