We’ve made it pretty plain that the floor is definitely open here at TTAC for reader contributions of all types. Most of all, we’d like you to contribute cash via Paypal, or buy something from Derek’s Amazon wishlist, but if pressed we will also accept Sunday Stories, reader-ride reviews, editorials, and all sorts of other features.
It’s possible, however, that you don’t want to write for TTAC at all. You want to write for a major automotive publication or the “wheels” section of a newspaper. If that’s the case, you’ll need to learn how to slam the holy hell out of a manufacturer without appearing to have done so. One of the most frequent ways in which this happens is the “First Paragraph Of The C/D First Drive” technique. It goes like so:
The last generation of this car, the KLF-1000000, was noisy, slow, overpriced, underpowered, smelled bad on the inside, and killed one of our road test crew when the airbag module spontaneously deployed and fired several “caltrops” into his aorta. However, the new KLF-1000001 romps through the quarter-mile in a robust 7.3 seconds, cures cancer at a distance, and comes with never-before-seen nude photos of Katy Perry in the owners manual.
Absolutely flabbergasted by this, you’ll reach into your basement archives to find the test of the KLF-1000000 from five years ago, and it will read
The last generation of this car, the KLF-999999, leaked nuclear waste into swimming pools, actively recruited children into Joseph Kony’s army, and, when ordered with the special Recaro seats, raped approximately one in 1.2 female purchasers. However, the new KLF-1000000 romps through the quarter-mile in a robust 19.3 seconds, is projected to obtain 73 EPA rolling-down-a-hill-in-neutral MPG, and will be instrumental in the election of our country’s first female president, Hillary Clinton.
It’s an unwritten rule of the PR endless party: you get one chance to copiously shit all over a car, and that’s when it’s being replaced. If you do it before then, welcome to the blacklist, we’ve got fun and games. Get it?
This morning, Clarke Bowling of the New York Daily News took that unwritten rule and made it awesome. In his must-read article “From the Cimarron to the 2014 Cadillac ATS: How the compact Cadillac has changed”, Clarke puts up six photos of the Cimarron before reminding the readers how hard the Catera sucked. He also mentions the Euro-only Cadillac BLS, which was utterly savaged on these pages seven years ago. Please give Clarke a click on this and help him keep his job, which is probably not as secure today as it was yesterday. He leads the article with this fantastic image:
Ooh, that’s great. Let’s see it again:
Now with Photoshop!
Brilliant. To be fair, Clarke isn’t responsible for that image; I am. But you get the idea. Give the man a click, show him some love. Some time in the next few weeks, Clarke will get the message from someone somewhere that we don’t talk about the Cimarron any more, or the Catera, or the God-damned BLS! We need to be on-message with the ATS. Don’t wait until after six f**kin’ picture of the Cimarron to talk about the ATS. And another petal of innocence will fall from the flower of automotive journalism.
You can say you knew it was going to happen.