By on November 17, 2010

From the moment I took over as TTAC’s Editor-in-Chief, I knew that I was going to need a lot of help in order to live up to the brand that had been built here for the better part of a decade. I was stepping into some big shoes, and filling them would have to be a team effort. I was lucky enough to inherit some of the best car writers on the web, and we’ve been able add even more talent to the roster over the last year. Now, as we welcome Murilee Martin (formerly of Jalopnik fame, also of Murileemartin.com and Hooniverse.com), we mark an important point in TTAC’s development: maturity (or something like it).

With the addition of Murilee, TTAC has a dream team of editors who will keep TTAC stocked with the freshest, most engaging car-related content on the web, and as a result we’re moving to a streamlined masthead. My faithful Managing Editor Bertel Schmitt and I will continue to handle major editorial and blogging duties while Paul Niedermeyer, Michael Karesh, Jack Baruth, Sajeev Mehta, Steve Lang and Murilee Martin each tackle the world of cars from their unique perspectives. Thanks to a major commitment from our owners, VerticalScope, we’re now able to keep this core team cranking out regular content while we augment their work with the best contributions from our worldwide  TTAC contributor family and from around the web. The goal of all this is to consistently provide the very highest quality content, to host the most engaging debates and to keep you connected with the latest developments in the world of cars.

So, please join me in welcoming Murilee and thanking our owners for empowering TTAC to be the best damn car site on the web. I’m truly honored to have the opportunity to work with my personal dream team of writers as well as to serve you, our dedicated readers and commentators. Thank you all for making TTAC’s continued success possible.

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74 Comments on “TTAC Welcomes Murilee Martin...”


  • avatar
    Sammy B

    excellent news!

  • avatar
    Jesse

    Wow! This is great news.

    So glad to see Murilee back on the webs.

    Please give him more than just weekend duty!

  • avatar
    Charles T

    Good to have her on board! (old Jalopnik joke)

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    It would be interesting to learn how Murilee came to leave Jalopnik without losing interest in auto blogging. I’m glad he’s here though. He was THE knowledgeable contributor during his time at Jalopnik. The ones who are left wear their ignorances of automotive and racing history like badges of honor. It is turning into a nursery for Dan Neil clones.

  • avatar
    ash78

    I wonder if she’ll FINALLY post those bikini pics we’ve all be clamoring for…
     
    Welcome aboard, MM.

  • avatar
    gessvt

    Kudos to TTAC for adding some much needed feminine insight!
     
    /ducks and hides

  • avatar

    That’s great news, and I’m glad to see Murilee in such good company.
    Does this mean we’ll see a merger of Curbside Classics and Down on the Street?  Cage match?

  • avatar
    John Fritz

    Yay! More Panther articles. Welcome Murilee.

  • avatar
    mrhappypants

    Woo hoo!  Welcome, Ms. Martin!
     

  • avatar
    Buzz Killington

    “as we welcome Murilee Martin . . . we mark an important point in TTAC’s development: maturity”

    um, what?

    ;)

  • avatar
    RGS920

    Great news and congrats Ed!  Welcome to TTAC Mr. Martin. 

  • avatar

    Probably the only auto-blogger weirder than Bertel.
     
    Excellent.
     
    Welcome, MM!

  • avatar
    caveman

    Great News…my visits to Jalopnik have slowed to a crawl since his departure. There isn’t another writer on the web that’s more in tune with how I think about cars than Murilee.

  • avatar

    I gave up on Jalopnik some time ago, but I’m glad the best thing about it is coming here.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    Awesome! You were my favorite writer at Jalopnik. Always look forward to the rantings of an automotive madman.

  • avatar

    He has good taste in embroidered team patches too.

  • avatar
    philr

    Good news! I was missing your posts on Jalopnik!

  • avatar

    Looks like it’s time for me to create a TTAC account. :)

    Welcome Murilee!  (And welcome to me!)  I look forward to your continued contributions to the cult of automofilia.  Err… automobilia…

    • 0 avatar
      Peugeot 504 - the Car for Nigeria

      Second that! It’s remarkable how much Jalopnik has gone downhill without him.
       
      Now to sit back and dream of future Project Car Hells…

  • avatar
    mzs

    Congrats MM! I hope to see you helm DOTS aka Curbside Classics. Good road.

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    Murilee was the definition of Jalopnik.
     
    On the weekends when most auto news was dead I could count on Murilee to keep my head spinning and get me out of work mode and into garage mode.
     
    Welcome.   

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Ummmm….. So did he steal Jack’s look or did Jack steal his?

  • avatar
    keepaustinweird

    This is excellent news! No offense, but FINALLY another contributor on the level of Jack Baruth. Huzzah!

  • avatar
    potatobreath

    Very exciting news :)

  • avatar
    imag

    Oh hell yeah.
     
    Way to go, for Murilee and for the site.

  • avatar
    PaulieWalnut

    Do we get Down On The Street from Portland or Curbside Classics from Alameda?
    Either way it’s win-win!

  • avatar
    Kosher Polack

    Hooray!  To think, back in 2007, if I was a better writer and had taken Farago’s request for an Isuzu I-280 review a little more seriously, I could be working alongside Murilee.  BAH.
    On the other hand, I can only get better with time, right?  First things on the agenda:  A garage and a beard.

  • avatar
    Monty

    Awesome! It’s now official – TTAC is the best Auto Blog on the Intertubes.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    Only TTAC would hire a Robin Williams look alike to increase their maturity.  Nano nano, Murilee!

  • avatar
    K5ING

    Welcome to TTAC, Murilee.  I get the feeling that you’ll fit right in here.  Cheers!
     

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    I first met MM when I drove for his V8olvo team at the Altamont LeMons. In the two and a half years since then I have come to know him as a humble, heartfelt, powerfully erudite man who understands cars at their molecular level. He gave me several opportunities to put my work in front of Jalopnik readers and he introduced me to Jonny Lieberman, who would eventually drag me here so I could drag Murilee here behind me.

    You TTACers cannot imagine how pleased I am.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Hey, hey everybody! It’s hard to type at the moment — instead of a chair I’m sitting on a huge sack of cash GM/Obama gave me for making sure the “just-a-hybrid” Volt got the Motor Trend Car of the Year award and I keep sliding off. Of course, every time I light a cigar with a $50, I get more comfortable.
     
    Anyhow, I just hope you all either know or soon realize how incredibly lucky you are to have Murilee. Not only is he one of my closest friends, but I think he’s one of the best writers going, cars or not.
     
    A little back story, if I may. When I originally tried to sell out and fled Jalopnik and TTAC for Edmunds (totally backfired — I got canned after 4.5 days), I told then Jalopnik bossman Spinellii, “You should hire that commenter Murilee Martin — he’s fantastic.” Spin informed me that he was already planning on doing just that.
    one last thing — maybe if you beg nice enough you can get Murilee to post the video of the time we tried to recreate the Bullitt chase on three-wheeled, 50cc Italian death traps.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      Jonny, so did GM pay more for the Volt COTY than it did for the Vega in ’71 or the Citation in ’80?

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Regardless it was more than they paid for Caprice Classic LTZ COTY.  (I kid I kid, you know I have much B-body love.)

    • 0 avatar

      Nothing could cost more than the heaps of praise bestowed upon the 1997 Chevrolet Malibu.

    • 0 avatar
      FTGDWolverineEdition'10

      So, did MT make any money from the big cash pile GM just made from selling promises to the public?

    • 0 avatar
      Jellodyne

      Johhny — There’s one really interesting long format article on Edmunds which stands out like a sore thumb on the grounds that it’s engaging, way longer than anything else on their site and actually worth reading. But it’s not attributed to a specific writer, despite the fact that it’s very much in one guy’s voice. Do you know who wrote the Confessions of a Car Salesman feature?
      http://www.edmunds.com/advice/buying/articles/42962/article.html
      Also, welcome Murilee Martin! TTAC already replaced Jalopnik as my preferred car site, and scoring the best writer of the Jalopnik old days can only make this site better!

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    Jalopnik is no longer on my bookmarks :)
    Now for some Project Car Hells and occasional road trips to The Island That Rust Forgot.
     
    Welcome!!
     

  • avatar
    th009

    Wait — when did Bertel take over as Managing Editor?  Did I miss that announcement?  Congrats to TTAC for an excellent choice there, too!

  • avatar
    SLLTTAC

    As a faithful reader, I welcome this good news, but Mr Niedermeyer needs a copy editor, too.” Myself and my faithful Managing Editor Bertel Schmitt will continue to handle…” should be “My faithful Managing Editor, Bertel Schmitt, and I…” Clear and correct English will make The Truth About Cars more enjoyable.

    • 0 avatar

      Why hire a copy editor when you guys catch all our mistakes for free? I’ts like you’re trying to kill of the prized “office keg” line item.

    • 0 avatar
      mzs

      Maurice, is that you again?

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      SLLTTAC, welcome to the brave new blogging world. What was once grammatical irregularity is now simply a component of style.  Longtime readers and commenters have noted a singular continuity of unique written-English mechanics here since early in the Farago era. Subsequent editors and contributors have perpetuated them so incredibly consistently that I eventually just assumed that their contracts required them to echo not only RF’s opinions, but also his writing style.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Welcome Aboard!!  I never visited that other site too often, so you will be new to me.  Now, just make sure you are not going to be to mature around here!!

  • avatar

    I am sure us journos (with varying levels of contact to TTAC, past and present) have been yakking offline about this for weeks, maybe months.  I’m pretty sure I mentioned this in an Email to him, but just to go on the record about it:
    TTAC is very, very fortunate to have MM on board, and personally I am honored to share bandwidth with the man…the legend!
     

  • avatar

    The only question I have is how can I take the best advantage of this.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    MM: I raise a glass of glycol and toast your arrival! The TTAC writers’ A100 present/former owners club just doubled in size. It’s nice to know we share at least one thing in common!

  • avatar
    Caffiend

    Outstanding news.  Welcome Murilee.  Loved you at Jalopnik.
     
    But Ed, you screwed up and posted that picture of that guy.  We all know Murilee is a woman!

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming

    I hope Paul will continue to do the CCs.  His research is what sets them apart from similar features.  I also hope this doesn’t mean TTAC is going to start copying Jalop’s basic approach.  Honda didn’t become great by playing follow the leader with Toyota.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      Dr. Lemming: I wasn’t going to say anything, but since you asked, the answer is yes. My agreement with TTAC is to do three CC per week.
      I have been implicated for “copying” DOTS. It certainly was one of my many inspirations, but from the very first CC, I took a very different approach: a long-form based more on text than pictures. DOTS was primarily visual, with a very limited text. They’re apple and oranges, but both based on our mutual love of old cars. CC is somewhere between ateupwithmotor and DOTS, hopefully a Goldilocks size.
      Murilee was and is a lot more than just DOTS, and I’m sure he’s going to cook up lots of tasty dishes which I suspect will be less “lite” than the format of Jalopnik demanded.
       

    • 0 avatar
      scottcom36

      I never considered CC to be a copy of DOTS, Paul. And I love both. You have your own perspective and your own style. Besides, DOTS cars never had moss growing on them!

    • 0 avatar
      Dr Lemming

      Paul, perhaps the general focus on classics was derivative, but I don’t think your approach copied MM.  What I most like about CC is that you bring an analytical point of view to the discussion.  Your research doesn’t tend to be as in depth as Ateup, but the arc of your story line is usually more provocative — in a good way.  You think in historical broad strokes, which is surprisingly rare among the auto buff press.  You also aren’t afraid to criticize automakers and their leadership, which could get one in trouble at Jalop.  And, yes, the guessing game is a fun addition.
       
      I may not be a typical car history buff, but a big part of what intrigues me about the past is what lessons we can apply to the present.  You do a good job of making those connections, which seems quite appropriate to TTAC’s journalistic sensibility.  I hope that doesn’t get diluted, particularly if a goal is building a broader readership.  Jalop already does a decent rendition of Toyota.  Hopefully enough of us prefer Honda in its prime.
       
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      mzs

      Paul N. I made a comment above, firmly tongue in cheek, regarding DOTS and CC. Yes you make it unique. I just wanted to make clear I like CC as well, thanks, and glad to hear that DOTS inspired you to do it.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      Thank you all three. I’m excited to share this space with Murilee, who will bring a whole new talent set to TTAC. The more the better, for us writers to stimulate and challenge each other, and for the readers.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I continue to enjoy the hate-love-hate relationship between Underdog TTAC and the Jalopuggernaut, as well as all of the writer/editor in-breeding. One day soon we’ll have a totally hypo-allergenic auto blogger without a hint of congenital hip displasia who can bark the national anthem backwards…automotively, of course.

  • avatar

    Thanks for the welcome, everyone! Get ready for… well, whatever the hell it is that I do.

  • avatar
    Ronman

    Welcome, and yay to a great team that keeps me entertained and informed all week long. I hope in due time (when i have more time) i can become a contributor… it’s been a privilege seeing this website prosper, and this is from one guy that thought this was all about R.F…. ED, you’ve done very very well… hats off to you and your team…
     
    but i have one request, more Autobiography of B.S: these write ups were and are the bomb

  • avatar
    FTGDWolverineEdition'10

    Murileeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Expect a lot more traffic to the site (and more comments from me, specifically).

  • avatar
    tulsa_97sr5

    This is great news, time to break out my driveshaft through the skull shirt.

  • avatar
    Cole Trickle

    This is great news.  Welcome MM. Loved you on Jalopnik, will love you here too. Now, can somebody over there please get cracking on a mobile version?  Jalop won’t let me comment because I am not cool enough.  TTAC won’t let me comment because my froyo’d android phone won’t recognize the text field once I log in and I am far to lazy to go to the computer more than once a day. 

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Wecome, Mr. Martin!

    Welcome to the “B&B!”, of which I am a tolerated little brother.

    Um, could you tell me what that thing is on the dolly? And why is there so much grease all over everything!!!

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I’ve looked at Jalopnik a couple of times (was not impressed) plus all other auto websites and TTAC is the ONLY one that impressed me and informed me (Ford love, notwithstanding!) and kept me coming back enough to join up and offer what little wisdom I posess. Plus, the commentors here are simply the best as well as the most entertaining. I don’t know of a better place to read as many sordid auto-related stories (and sub plots) and experiences as the columnists write and share with us. Their knowledge of the cars they report on is second to none (unless someone’s having a bad day). This is the greatest auto site on the web and Murilee just raised the bar a couple of notches higher. I suppose we’ll have to raise our individual bars too, and continue to write intelligently and informatively. I’ll do my best.

    Welcome!

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    While you’re “streamlining your masthead” Ed, during your site’s evolution toward a new maturity, may I make a teensy, weensy suggestion…

    Lose. The. Bush. League. Logo.

    Really. Remember all the hand-wringing? Call for entries? Voting? Then plea by almost everyone that professional design help be called upon?

    Yet there it remains. The thumb-up, thumb-down design cliche. Right at the top of the page. Ugh.

    Yes, Ed, I know you meant masthead as in editorial/writer team. But I’m takin’ this chance to jump on the logo issue again.

    It’s time to match the “look” to the talent, especially now that Miss Murilee has arrived.
    One more thing. Let’s go for the trifecta and bring back Loverman. (Though I suspect his eyes are still starry from getting to drive Bugutti’s and car’s of the year over at that “dying rag” that just somehow keeps right on truckin’).

    • 0 avatar

      I hear you loud and clear. We are a premium website content-wise, and I completely understand the need to present ourselves in a more premium light than we currently are. A re-think of our aesthetics is definitely in the works… but as with putting a team together, this will take time. Patience…

  • avatar

    Good stuff- looking forward to more Murilee and all the other writers.


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