By on March 23, 2011

“Dude, Jalopnik’s put a hit piece out on you.” The voice on the other end of the phone was on the edge of tears or laughter, I couldn’t tell which.

“What’s a jalopnik?” I responded.

“You know, that website that talks about airplanes, and ekranoplans, and tsunamis, and erotic male photography.” Oh, that Jalopnik. I’d recently offended the nice people at that particular branch of the Gawker Media octopus by pointing out that the fellow they’d praised to the sky for his ethical stance on auto journalism had a little credibility issue. Since the aforementioned fellow has now forgotten all this “ethics” crap and returned to his old job, one might even say I was ahead of America’s Favorite F-15-Crash-Centric Website on that one.

“What’s the name of the article?”

“The Seven Crappy Kinds Of Car Reviews.”

“Well, that’s not fair for them to discuss. I mean, they don’t even do car reviews. It would be like if TTAC did ‘The Seven Worst Kind Of Articles About Large Train Tunnels’.”

“Still, dude, they’re after you. They specifically talked about someone who races Dodge Neons and writes car reviews.” The tension drained from my face. Whew! What a relief. After all, I race a Plymouth Neon. I’ve also raced Mustangs, Mercedes-Benzes, a Supra, the Jalopnik V8olvo itself, the occasional Ford Focus, and a Grand-Am Civic, so I felt pretty sure that Ray’s minions weren’t taking aim at me. No website with Jalopnik’s historically admirable record of fact-checking would call me a “Dodge Neon racer” when I’m obviously a Plymouth Neon racer.

Still, just because I wasn’t on the hit list didn’t mean that someone else wasn’t being unfairly criticized. With that in mind, I’ve found seven people in the automotive world who raced Dodge Neons. Any one of them might be the very person about whom Jalopnik’s prodigal editor, Mike Spinelli, was complaining. Let’s investigate.

#1: John McElroy Yes! It’s true. Until I uncovered McElroy’s Neon-racing history, I was absolutely certain that he was actually a poorly-animated head on a screen, similar to “Max Headroom” but sans the wit and human warmth. No such luck. In April of 1995 McElroy competed in the Neon Challenge, racing a Dodge Neon coupe. No word on whether he won, but since he was facing Lorenzo Lamas and Crystal Bernard, we have to accept that he probably didn’t.

#2: Tiff Needell Starting out in the humble, grounded world of Formula One, the “Fifth Gear” television presenter eventually rose to the rarefied air of Neon-centric competition, participating in 1994. Amazingly enough, in at least one race Tiff found himself out-qualified by…

#3: Tony Swannnnnnnn Four years ago, I drove nonstop from the SCCA Solo National Championships in Topkea, KS to Flat Rock, MI to take a seat in the first-ever full-length 24 Hours Of LeMons. When I got in the car, we were in third place and Car and Driver magazine was leading the pack. I steadily unlapped us, pressuring the C/D guys until they decided to put their “pro”, Tony Swan, in the car. Sadly, after I lapped Mr. Swan a few times, he lost his temper and drove into the wall trying to teach me a lesson. I ended up winning by 52 laps, the largest margin of victory in the history of crap-car racing. Nobody’s seen Swan since, or perhaps they just haven’t checked all the “Applebees” restaurants yet. Or maybe they haven’t even looked.

#4: Denise McCluggage Denise gave the C/D and Motor Trend staffers a hell of a time in the Neon Challenge. To be fair, she was only sixty-seven years old at the time. A few years ago, I attended an Audi R8 event and noticed that only one other driver was matching the Jim Russell guys’ lap times around Infineon. No prizes for guessing that it wasn’t the Top Gear guys, but rather Ms. McCluggage, who was just about to celebrate her eightieth birthday. Honestly, Spinelli, I hope you aren’t messing with her. She’ll tear your head off.

#3: Steven Cole Smith: This guy’s done a ton of racing in the Neon Challenge and elsewhere. I can’t remember a single thing he’s ever written, but it might be because he writes for Autoweek, and I’m currently using the last few issues of Autoweek to protect the bottom of my cat’s litterbox from destructive urine.

#2: Frank Beard. That’s right, the Frank Beard. As in the guy who played drums on “Gimme All Your Lovin”. There’s no record of Mr. Beard ever participating directly in automotive journalism, but given that every autowriter between the age of thirty and forty-five can vividly recount a dream in which Frank showed up, tossed us the keys to the “Eliminator Coupe”, and smiled approvingly as we drove off with two chicks en route to Our First Threesome, it’s possible that Mr. Spinelli, who has never, ever, had a threesome, is taking out his personal disappointment on the Sharp Dressed Man himself. Seriously, Spin, don’t get so worked up. Having two girls at the same time isn’t so great. I mean, you have to keep them both busy, and there’s the matter of who sleeps where afterwards, and… OH WHO AM I KIDDING! IT’S AWESOME AND I PITY YOU FROM THE DEPTHS OF MY SOUL.

#1. You know who this is.

And now we come to the most likely target. Maximum Bob himself. The man who issued a ten-second beatdown to Ekranopolopnik in the CTS-V Challenge. The fellow who kicked Wes Siler right in the ass of his too-tight pants despite the wet conditions and complete lack of Geritol in the vicinity. The alpha male before whom all auto journalists bow. Except for yours truly, of course. I went out in wetter, colder conditions and still beat the old guy. My advice to Jalopnik: don’t mess with the Dodge Neon crowd. It takes a Plymouth Neon racer to do that.

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111 Comments on “This Is The Atomic Explosion That Did Not Occur While I Was Selecting Jalopnik’s Seven Least Favorite Dodge Neon Drivers...”


  • avatar

    Fix the kerning in your splash image. It looks terrible.

  • avatar

    When I crashed my Plymouth Neon, finding the right badge was a problem. I made the shop to peel the old one and reinstall. True story.

  • avatar
    tced2

    And Maximum Bob was running Chrysler when the Neon was developed/built.  He didn’t just drive Neons.

    • 0 avatar

      More to the point, he ONLY drove Neons because he was at Chrysler. Not because he wanted to. I know he does not personally still own one.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, it’s quite clear from the products developed under Lutz’s watch that he prefers his cars big and heavy.

    • 0 avatar

      I heard him tell a female Japanese reporter (who he charmed) that his daily driver was a ZR1. He told me that he had an Lotus Evora on order – perhaps it’s compensation for being on their board.

    • 0 avatar

      Lutz has enough money to buy pretty much whatever he wants, and owns many cars.
       
      But the cars aren’t really the point here. One way Lutz bonds with journalists is by showing them his collection of cars. Ray’s letting us know he’s been inducted into the “Lutz club” — and that Jack hasn’t been

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Well, of course Ray’s in the club. He delivered hundreds of thousands of eyeballs to GM in their darkest hours, he regularly promotes GM, and he serves as an arm of General Motors PR whenever it is in his personal interest to do so.
      All I did was show up, borrow Bob’s car, (and props to the man for permitting it) and do the best I could on an unfamiliar course.

    • 0 avatar

      Michael, I haven’t seen his cars. I’m not in his “club” or whatever — but I do have a copy of his vehicle insurance records that I obtained through a source who received it through dubiously legal means.
       
      I’m not throwin’ down that I’m friends with “Maximum” Bob, I’m throwin’ down that I have good sources for information. You know, like a journalist and stuff.

    • 0 avatar

      @Jack, you’re being ridiculous again. I don’t “regularly promote GM.” You should know by now that the only things I regularly promote are my site’s stories, my writers and myself. In doing that, I have never found it to be in my “personal interest” to “serve as an arm of General Motors PR” or any other PR entity for any other automaker.
       
      Mostly because I can’t think of a reason why. Can you give me an example of a time where it’s been in my “personal interest” to do so? Even looking at the CTS-V Challenge, it would have been more in my “personal interest” to see “Maximum” Bob beaten at the hands of a better car. Hell, it would have been more in my “personal interest” to see someone put Bob into a wall. Why? Note again the listed hierarchy of interests. Obviously, because it would have made for a better story for me.
       
       
       

    • 0 avatar

      Ray,
       
      You did all of that just to check whether he had a Neon?
       
      Why not just ask him which cars he owns? He’d probably love to tell you. (Though maybe he wouldn’t admit to a Neon.) The quasi-legal sleuthing reminds me of My Cousin Vinny, where Vinny was trying to figure out how to get hold of the prosecutor’s files–when all he had to do was request them.
       
      I first realized the “Lutz club” existed about ten years ago. I was at a birthday party for one of my daughter’s friends, and some auto writer I’d never heard of before (and have never heard of since) couldn’t stop talking about the personally-guided tour he and a few other journalist’s received of Bob’s garage. He dripped of infatuation with the man.
       
      Alex Taylor in his recent book confirmed that this sort of thing is Lutz’s M.O. Managing the press, nobody does it better.
       
      Some Lester Bangs line from Almost Famous would be apt, but I’m not the best at the cultural reference thing. Just watch the whole movie.

    • 0 avatar
      beefmalone

      Since Wert personally banned me at jalopynik, I’m probably the last person to take up for him. HOWEVER, calling him a GM shill is a pretty big stretch. I attribute it to this site’s deep-seated hatred for GM. It’s kinda like when left-wingnuts bitch about Fox News. They’re not that far right…everyone else is just so far left that middle-center-right-leaning-just-a-tad looks like the John Birch Society. Same thing with this place and GM. So much hate can cloud the judgement.

  • avatar
    mazder3

    Jack, please, I beg of you, enough. This Jalopnik “hate” needs to stop. Please, write something, anything, not about Jalopnik. We’re all car crazy. Isn’t that enough? I’m no fan of Jalopnik, but this constant ragging is really getting tiring. Constantly ragging on them brings you down to their level. You’re too talented for that. Please stop.

    • 0 avatar
      Facebook User

      +1
       
      It’s amusing that you found 9 other drivers of neons with Maximum Bob being one of them, however I find your other subjects to be far more interesting.

    • 0 avatar

      But without this piece and its attendant comments I’d still be in the dark concerning “kerning” and “ligature.”
       
      A link to the Jalopnik article, in case others are interested:
       
      http://jalopnik.com/#!5784671/the-seven-kinds-of-crappy-car-reviews
       
      I fear my Acadia Denali review was most certainly guilty of #3. Spent an ungodly amount of time on it, much of it trying to cut words, and still ended up near 2,400…

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, I agree in general that the beef-between-rap-stars thing is generally not the most interesting thing in the world, and often downright silly. but this is my best laugh of the week so far. no-one, to my knowledge, does beef better than Jack.

  • avatar
    CraigSu

    I really like how Jack has numbered the seven drivers; in order: 1,2,3,4,3,2,1.

  • avatar
    Strippo

    Jalopnik B Lasts TTAC. TTAC B Lasts Jalopnik. Where does it end?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      IN TEARS!

    • 0 avatar

      Barüth races Neons? I had no idea.
       
      +Respect
      +Respect
      +Respect

    • 0 avatar

      Jalopnik B Lasts TTAC. TTAC B Lasts Jalopnik. Where does it end?
       
      Well, we’ll know for sure that the Moshiach (note to Ray, “messiah” in Hebrew*) is on his way when Jalopnik links to Cars In Depth. Spamming their comment threads with any possible link to Cars In Depth is taking up way too much time.
       
      Ronnie Schreiber
      Executive Editor and Director of Shameless Plugs
      Cars In Depth
       
       
      *was that too condescending? or just condescending enough?

    • 0 avatar

      Jalopnik B Lasts TTAC. TTAC B Lasts Jalopnik. Where does it end?
       
      Well, we’ll know for sure that the Moshiach (note to Ray, “messiah” in Hebrew*) is on his way when Jalopnik links to Cars In Depth. Spamming their comment threads with any possible link to Cars In Depth is taking up way too much of my time.
      Ronnie Schreiber
      Executive Editor and Director of Shameless Plugs
      Cars In Depth
       
      *Was that too condescending? Or not condescending enough?

    • 0 avatar

      Comment by Ray Wert deleted for name calling. Ban to follow at next instance

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      @ Bertel: “Comment by Ray Wert deleted for name calling. Ban to follow at next instance”

      Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • avatar

    Jack! C’mon, it’s me!
    That wasn’t a hit piece, it was a little tweak on the nose. If i’d wanted to do a hit piece, you’d be in your back yard in pajamas, holding the neck of your Studio Zephyr, wondering why there’s a crater where your house used to be!
    C’mon!
     

    • 0 avatar
      MenacingLlama

      It’s great how he can dish it, but can’t quite stomach the inevitable backlash when he constantly rags on everyone’s apparent lack of Baruthness.
      I mean, we can’t all be God’s Gift — I mean, Baruth’s Gift, pardon my blasphemy — to racing, writing, and women.

  • avatar

    Denise McCluggage is a very cool broad. A very nice and classy lady who has real credentials to back up her opinions.
    Denise has won at Sebring in a Ferrari and at the Monte Carlo Rally in a Ford Falcon. She didn’t just write about racers like Stirling Moss, Phil Hill, Carroll Shelby, Dan Gurney, and Juan Manuel Fango, she raced against them.

  • avatar

    You know what surprises me the most? Is the relatively short amount of time it took Jack to write this. Impressive.
    Also, had to look up what “kerning” was – learn something everyday.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Oh, you have no idea. I had to work my real job until 3:45 then drive an hour home. It took me five minutes to do the image (and mis-kern it!) and twenty to write the article. Sadly, I’d already done the Neon racing research a long time ago!

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    I love it when Spin and Ray get all Woodward and Bernstein.  Even better when it flames out fantastically.

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    What a joke.  After that whole crusade over a hack like Scott Burgess, Jalopnik decides to make fun of…hack writers?  I don’t know how they can even do that with a straight face, considering I can’t remember the last time they reviewed anything.
     
    Thing is, they’d be totally justified in making fun of Baruth, since he’s been on a vendetta against them, lately.  But in what’s become typical behavior for that site, they’re denying any ill-intent and Wert’s over here defending the farm while playing grammar/JPEG nazi.  Again.  Stop lying, Ray.  Nobody’s going to take the whole irreverent hipster attitude Jalopnik’s desperately trying to cultivate when you’re constantly bullshitting your readers.
    Also, Jack…stop writing about Jalopnik.  It was kinda cute for awhile, but that site isn’t worth the PR or page views.  Although you’ve succeeded in reminding me why I deleted them from my bookmarks.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, a lot of the ideas came from going back over things I’ve written, and one came directly from a conversation I had with… Jack! Of all people!
      It’s just some funny shit I was thinking about. But I’ll go now and leave you to your hate and paranoid rantings.
       
       

  • avatar
    johnny ro

    I vote that TTAC and Jalopnik drop this creepy competition. There is nothing gained. Mildly annoying at best.
     
     

    • 0 avatar

      “It all started when he hit me back”
       
      Spinelli says that it was all in good fun, and I take him at his word, but he didn’t deny that he was specifically parodying Jack. Spinelli’s parody made reference to a supposed “careerist hack”, undoubtedly a reference to Jack’s criticism of Jalopnik’s coverage of  l’affaire Scott Burgess.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      Except, you know, page views…

    • 0 avatar

      Actually Ronnie — and thanks for making this such an unnecessarily shady situation, by the way. Remind me to thank you for being such an efficient middleman — of course I was tweaking Jack.
      But — strangely enough — I wasn’t talking about the Burgess incident, I was generalizing about Jack’s continued digs at journalists, which to me is getting a little tedious. I wish he’d write more stuff that contributes to good auto writing and spend less time trying to change the world. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
      I kid because I love.
       

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      It all started when I reminded Spin that I owned a copy of this CD and he didn’t:
      http://www.amazon.com/Our-Kind-Soul-Hall-Oates/dp/B0002M6AO6

    • 0 avatar

      Remind me to thank you for being such an efficient middleman — of course I was tweaking Jack.
       
      You’re welcome, but Jack knew about it before I did. I was just trying to boost traffic for all involved. Did you know that Jack also writes for Cars In Depth?
      http://www.carsindepth.com/?p=659

    • 0 avatar

      Jack, we’ll always have “Live from Daryl’s House.”

  • avatar

    Personally I find it gratifying that Wert takes the time to respond to queries and discussions on TTAC. He has little time for the same via his email on his site.

    • 0 avatar

      Ray posting here shows how TTAC punches above its weight. Jalopnik gets many times the traffic that TTAC gets. Ray’s straining against a relative gnat. His posts here do show that TTAC is widely read by influential people, like the editors of Jalopnik.
       
      Whether it’s Jack personally or this site generally, there’s something about TTAC that gets under Ray’s skin. I don’t necessarily mind it, there’s the potential to draw in new readers in any controversy, but I think his comments here benefit TTAC more than Jalopnik.
       
       

    • 0 avatar

      Ronnie: Pat TTAC on the back all you want, because you’re a very relevant site, but the reality is I came over to this post because I pay attention to mentions of “Jalopnik” in Google News, Yahoo News and Twitter. If this story were at cars!cars!cars! or “BobaFett.blogspot.com,” I’d still head over to read it.

    • 0 avatar
      Jerry Sutherland

      I haven’t been here for awhile, but I was really disappointed when I saw that Jim threw his hat in this ring…nobody who gets into this looks good and he looks just like me. Look for a twin fight…

  • avatar
    mrhappypants

    The “what’s a jalopnik?” question hasn’t been answered to my satisfaction.  I still don’t know.
     

  • avatar

    I raced Neons. And a guy in the same Neon with an automatic has beaten me (his name was Keith, not Jack). I only drive cars with a slushbox ever since.

    P.S. What I meant to say, having racing Neons does not make anyone any good. Only winning does.

  • avatar
    Signal11

    Oh yeah!  This is what I come here to read.  Jack and Ray sniping at each other.
     
    Really, it’s getting old.  It’s not particularly clever and it stopped being funny some time ago.
     

  • avatar
    joe_thousandaire

    Keep up the Jalopnik hate as much as you like, rivalry makes good entertainment.  I’ve never enjoyed that site as much as most other car blogs, (‘specially this one) too much pop-culture. Jalopnik is Family Guy to TTAC’s South Park, (that’s a huge insult to Jalopnik btw).

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @joe thousandaire…….Exactly, I read for entertainment, and this is entertaining.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, I never got into Jalopnik at all.
       
      I like Autoblog because it’s the best place for car news, even if it’s often quite boring. When I want a little bit of humor I go to TTAC, even if their news reporting is lacking the speed of Autoblog. I have accounts on PickupTrucks.com, Allpar, The Ranger Station, and JeepPatriot.com, all of which I go to for more specific news on the vehicles I like the most.
       
      Jalopnik I just never found particularly interesting. Less news than Autoblog, not as entertaining as TTAC. There were some good articles, though. I remember one talking about Internet trolling where somebody made something like a 5000-word post on the 100 reasons the greatest car on Earth was a Mustang Cobra. I enjoyed that one.
       
       
      Hey, whaddaya know, found the post:
      http://jalopnik.com/#!5141417/auto-forum-troll-of-the-week-chuck-norris-is-a-mustang-cobra

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Are you kidding? This is more hilarious than watching Csaba Csere fall asleep at a press conference.
     
    All this journo bashing is making both sides the equivalent of glorified professional wrestlers. Hmmm… which brings on the all too obvious question. If car journalists were wrestlers, who would they be?
     
    A few that come to mind…
     
    Jack Baruth: Rowdy Roddy Piper
     
    Mike Spinelli: Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka
     
    Ray Wert: Leaping Lanny Poffo
     
    Murilee Martin: The Junkyard Dog
     
    Sajeev Mehta: The Great Khali
     
    Michael Karesh: Kurt Angle
     
    As for me… I guess I’ll have to take Ron Simmons… Damn!
     
    By the way, I have yet to meet Bob Lutz. But I did get drunk with Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan back in my college days. Between hanging out with a car guy and getting drunk with a professional wrestler, I will ALWAYS take the later. Unless we’re talking about Chyna…now that’s one mamasita you definitely don’t want to mess with.
     

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    I remember reading a quote along the lines of, “Every morning when I get up, I brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue”. I get the feeling that Mr. Baruth has a similar routine – before, of course, spending the 45 minutes it must take to brush his hair.

    You rock, Jack. Infantile flame war or not, if it results in writing like this, I’m all for it.
     

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    Hey Ray,
    Jalopnik 5.0…Nice site or crack pipe?    :^)

    I do like your new “Morning Shift”. 

    OK, now back to the war.
    (insert picture of crazy Libyan rebels here)
    http://msnbcmedia3.msn.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Slideshows/_production/gss-110307-carnival/g-cvr-110307-libya-6a.grid-8×2.jpg

  • avatar
    Scorched Earth

    And the war for who gets the #2 spot in automotive blogging – in itself a third tier media – rages on

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming

    It’s weird to see Ray brag about his journalistic chops.  I get that a big part of his job is p.r., but doesn’t effective spin have to be . . . plausible?

  • avatar
    mazder3

    This has become quite the lulzy little flame war. Please redact my earlier BAAAWWWWING. Now when can we see a race off between Messrs. Wert and Baruth? Neons at high noon?

  • avatar

    I still loved Spinelli’s writing where he could explore car culture beyond what we usually see when he was at 0-60. His writing is too artsy-fartsy for a conventional mag (I may be accusing him of trying out tactics on his own list here), but I’d love to see more pieces closer to the style of his work from the mag days. Truthfully, that mag was in completely the wrong market, with the wrong timing for a paper mag, and it did not have the greatest advertisers for its target market. But at least the writing was good. I have to ask if anyone knows if Harris Publications knew how to advertise for a relatively demographically-widespread audience (unlike a lot of their offerings). I’d love to meet Baruth since he lives within miles of my family. His work lately has been hilarious and biting.

    These spats are getting really entertaining. Keep it up, TTAC-J.

  • avatar

    Last warning: ANYONE  who calls ANYONE an idiot, an ass, or similar will be banned. No STFU either. Fire away, in a civil manner, or get fired.

  • avatar
    Ben

    The fellow who kicked Wes Siler right in the ass of his too-tight pants.

    This article really needed a picture of those spray on pants.
    You’d think with all the UI problems (that will become a case study for future IT professionals for what not to do), the jalops would not have the time to get involved in this kind of mud slinging.

  • avatar
    M 1

    MM should have turned off the lights over there when s/he left.

  • avatar
    TaurusGT500

     ”…caroming athwart a dewy ribbon of Spanish pavement at 9/10ths…. yada yada “  ROFL.

    Got to give this match to Jalopnik w/a resounding TKO. 

    Love it when competing car blogs go all cat-fight on each other. …plus I learned something about kerning and ligature. 

    • 0 avatar

      Your call on that referee’s decision might be too hasty. I’d say it’s a draw. This post got Instalanched today. Ultimately, TTAC’s coverage of the Scott Burgess resignation and Baruth’s commentary on Jalopnik’s own coverage will boost traffic here. Will it spike traffic here as much as Jalopnik got out of Wert hyping the Burgess story? I’m not privy to Jalop’s stats. I do know that controversy and blog fights can spur traffic, for both sites involved in the debate. Since I have links to my own site in this thread, I expect to get some spinoff traffic there as well.

  • avatar
    Birddog

    I think everyone is missing the point here..

    Someone needs to do a slideshow of “Maximum Bob” pics set to Carly Simon crooning Nobody does it better.

    /Tangential thought..

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    OK, i read jalopnick pretty mich every day, much like TTAC.  I dont reacall talks about “airplanes, and ekranoplans, and tsunamis, and erotic male photography”.  Erotic male photograqphy?  HAHA I wish! Where is it???  I’m sure I would have noticed. 

    • 0 avatar

      Search for Steve McQueen. The Jalopnik staff’s man-love for McQueen knows no bounds.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Then I suppose you don’t read it everyday. The first time I checked out that site, there was an article about the Lockheed Super Constellation airliner! I enjoyed it thoroughly, as I previously asked Paul N. if he had one of those up in Eugene for a “CC” article! Haven’t been back more than three times since. Nothing to see there, move along, now!

  • avatar
    Monty

    This thread is epic entertainment! One of the best ever. Now let’s focus Jack back to writing about cars and racing, and focus Ray Wert back to fixing Jalopnik and return the universe to normal, please…

  • avatar

    I came.
    I read.
    I was entertained.
    Props to Jalop and TTAC for making my morning <3.

  • avatar
    Type57SC

    Ugh, Jack please get back to cars and OEMs  rather than this.  There’s little Truth here other than nit picking.  Good for Ray for responding initially but this has no Awesomeness either.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    I love Dodge neons. Why don’t we hear more about them?
     
    They’re affordable, the First and Middle models have soft seats, and they are a decent drive.

  • avatar

    Love this site, so fucking much.

  • avatar

    @JAck… I love how you don’t think Jalopnik was dogging you, (not that I know that conclusively, I stopped caring about ekranoplans) because I’m sure they totally were. But what I love more is that one if their mail-boys is on here defending his romanticized automotive drivel with such zeal! Who has more butane!?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Colin,

      Regarding the Dodge-vs-Plymouth conceit which underpins this particular article, you may want to check to see if your iron-i-meter is broken. Try holding it next to an American Apparel shop, or near any speaker playing music by “Electric Six”, and seeing if it moves to the eighty-percent mark. If not, don’t be surprised that it didn’t move while you were perusing my opening paragraphs. :)

  • avatar
    Ronman

    This is fun!…. Jack you have just become my auto writing hero, at about the closest you can get from Clarky…all that is left is for you to punch the guys a J-a-l-o-p-n-i-k and throw some water in their face… of and get a pie thrown in yours…

  • avatar
    adehus

    I read a pretty eclectic mix of websites, and I’ve bumped into links to this very article twice today already:
    http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/117410/
    http://www.theatlantic.com/personal/archive/2011/03/neon-fights/72985/
    Anybody seen any others?
    Seems pretty clear that there isn’t a lot of Jalopnik love out there in the blogosphere, and that Ray and his project aren’t exactly held in the highest esteem. I personally haven’t been all that anti-Jalop, but gotta admit that the site redesign is a complete turn off and (on the rare occasion I decide to go to it) brings my browser to its knees with its ridiculously overwrought interface and equally excessive advertising foolishness (ads actually covering up the content? Smooth…)
    I also have to say that I haven’t been the biggest fan of Ray’s online conduct either here or at Jalopnik. There were plenty of comments at Jalop that made reasonable observations about how the redesign screwed up so much of what was good about the site before, and Ray has been way too thin skinned in response. All in all, it amounted to an unpleasantly dictatorial showing on a site whose comments section had once been of an unusually high quality. And now, having initiated some back and forth between TTAC and Jalop, Ray’s looking a bit unhinged here as well.
     

  • avatar
    scs

    #3: Steven Cole Smith: This guy’s done a ton of racing in the Neon Challenge and elsewhere. I can’t remember a single thing he’s ever written, but it might be because he writes for Autoweek, and I’m currently using the last few issues of Autoweek to protect the bottom of my cat’s litterbox from destructive urine.

    Yes, my stuff is very hard to find. Google hits: 486,000. Jack Baruth Google hits: 40,700. (Cough.) Don’t forget, Jack, I have a carry permit, and you don’t.

    BTW, if you haven’t tried Feline Pine for the litterbox, you should. My cats have never stunk so minimally.


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