111 articles. I’m a little surprised by that number. Some months ago, when I submitted my snippet to TTAC’s Future Writers’ Contest, I had no real idea that it would lead to a regular place on these hallowed pages. Like a lot of you, I had read TTAC for years and even commented from time to time, but until that contest began I had never thought about becoming a contributor. I am not an industry insider nor do I have any real insight into car design, manufacturing, sales or even repairs. I am just a regular guy who loves cars. Still, I knew I could write and so when the contest came up I thought I would go ahead and send in a piece to see how I stacked up. I’ve always had a way with words and I figured I would win hands down – boy was I wrong about that, I didn’t even win my own day. Still, I received enough votes to get a full try-out and once I got the editors’ email addresses I just kept on sending them stories until they gave me access to the back side of the site. For some reason no one has told me to stop and now, whether you like me or not, you are stuck with me.
With Thanksgiving just a few short days away I’ve been looking back over the past year and thinking about all those things I have to be thankful for. Being able to write for TTAC is high on that list. This is a special place with an incredibly diverse readership. We come from many nations and all walks of life. Some of us have spent our lives designing, building, selling, repairing or recycling cars while others are just getting started. Like all families we speak the truth to each other and sometimes we fight. Some of us don’t really like each other but at the end of the day, though we may go away mad, we always come back. I’m damn proud to be a part of that.
Yesterday when I was going through the many Japanese books on the family bookshelf I came across something that I had forgotten about, a hard backed sales brochure for the 1999 R34 Skyline GTR. Whether or not you can actually read it, it is a beautiful book, with many wonderful photos of a truly awesome car. I thought I might write and tell you all about it, how I received it from a student who was an instructor at Nissan’s Technical College (Nissan Gakuen) and how I have quite literally carried it all around the world for more than a decade. But then I thought, rather than write an article and then return it to its shelf where it will surely be forgotten, why not give it to someone?
And so dear friends, here is your opportunity to own this special bit of history. Of course, to get it, you are going to have to do a little work. In line with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, click through the past year’s worth of articles and choose your favorites. In your comments, tell us why the article your chose hit-home, what you liked about it. Easy, right? On Thanksgiving Day, in between the parade, dinner and the pumpkin pie, I’ll decide the winner and the book will be mailed to you the following day.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Best and Brightest, friends, Romans, countrymen thank you for giving me your time and attention over this past year. It is my continued pleasure and a true privilege to have the opportunity to write for you each week. Have a wonderful and a safe holiday season.
Thomas Kreutzer currently lives in Buffalo, New York with his wife and three children but has spent most of his adult life overseas. He has lived in Japan for 9 years, Jamaica for 2 and spent almost 5 years as a US Merchant Mariner serving primarily in the Pacific. A long time auto and motorcycle enthusiast, he has pursued his hobbies whenever possible. He also enjoys writing and public speaking where, according to his wife, his favorite subject is himself.