By on March 10, 2014


This Wednesday night, in Louisville, KY, we’ll be recording our first podcast since our august founder, Robert Farago, gave up the practice in the Cretaceous Era. Those of you who listened to our guest appearances on The Smoking Tire’s podcast know that it’s critical we not let this one turn into an long and drawn-out mockery of various really quite decent people in the autojourno biz. So…

The personnel for this episode of TTAC Podcasts will be

  • E-I-C pro tem, bon vivant, and recreational killer Jack Baruth;
  • Game-changing Managing Editor, Derek Kriendler;
  • Noted contributor who is unrelated to any of us, Bark M.;
  • SCCA double National Champion and noted Louisville eviction artist/street fighter, Marc Pfannenschmidt.

Caroline Ellis will be the moderator, stroking us along… um, wait, kicking us along the same way that guy on the PBS show used to do it.

Give us your topics below, before we make some of our own up, will you?

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46 Comments on “You Can “Steer The Script” On This Podcast, Or…...”

  • avatar

    Actually, I felt as though that was the best TST podcast to date. Nothing is more exciting than the seedy underbelly of press junkets, “me too” Cannonballers, and high-interest supercar financing.

    • 0 avatar

      For those who still haven’t witnessed the joy of the auto biz after dark (or day-drinking in this case):

      These things are largely for entertainment value, so excess of all sorts is the only way to go. Autoshow hookups? Irrational love/hate relationships? Near death experiences real or imagined? The possibilities are endless.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    I’I’d love to continue the discussion on Modular Architecture. It’s been a recurring theme on TTAC already, but there’s so much ‘game changing’ that’s going to happen.

    Is it going to make cars more homogenous/vanilla? Or is it going to allow more opportunities to make those niche enthusiast cars without killing the bottom line?

  • avatar

    Good. The reason I started with TTAC was the Farago/Berkowitz show. It’ll be interesting to see the follow-up.

  • avatar

    Discuss how federal regs are turning cars into slot-windowed, thick-pillared, high-hooded lumps.

    • 0 avatar

      … and possible ways out of the current design wilderness.

    • 0 avatar

      No, because there’s a lot of low-hooded, high-windowed cars still available.

      They’re just cheap and/or utilitarian.

      Designers like high-hooded, thick-pillared gangsta-mobiles. Take a look at your average concept car, ostensibly free of things like regulation, cost, or plausibility: all of them, to a fault, are pillboxes on dubs with as much sidewall as a rubber band.

      • 0 avatar

        “Designers like high-hooded, thick-pillared gangsta-mobiles.”

        No, thick pillars, high beltlines, and high hoods are the product of government rollover and pedestrian safety regs. The styling, while I have ranted here about it, too, is limited, constrained, and essentially directed by regulations automakers must meet. It’s even worse than the exterior styling suggests when one looks at pillars and daylight openings from the interior of the car.

        Responding to the rollover regs, some automakers have decided to invest in high-strength steel for their pillars, which allow them to resemble pillars of yore, rather than pier pilings.

  • avatar

    Will there be as much liquor on this one as on TST Podcast?

  • avatar

    Awesome, can’t wait. I listen to the Autblog podcast quite a bit, and always thought Jack would make a really great guest. To see that you guys are starting your own is perhaps even better.

  • avatar

    I want to know how many “games” DK has changed over the years, from Pokemon and Yakuza 4, to Forza 4 and Mario Kart 64!

  • avatar

    A few topics that interest me:
    – Is the affordable sports car market essentially dead?
    – If the new F-150 introduction is successful, what does it mean for aluminum use in cars? Will we ever see new cars that weigh less than 3K pounds again?
    – Would introduction of a Japanese-built Alfa cheapen the brand?
    – What does the Dodge brand mean to consumers, and can it survive long term?
    – If automakers increasingly focus on electronics, does it mean that platform life cycles actually increase (say from 5 years to 8), while midcycle refreshes become more frequent?
    – For the first time in decades, new auto quality actually declined last year. Is this a new trend, or meaningless blip?

    • 0 avatar

      2014 Mitsubishi Mirage = 1,973 lbs.

      When was the affordable sports car market ever more alive?

      • 0 avatar

        When was the affordable sports car market more alive?
        When you could read a comparo of Alfa Spyder vs. Austin Healey vs. TVR vs. Lotus.
        When the MGB, Midget, Spitfire and TR6, X19 all competed.
        When Celica, AE86, 200SX, Prelude, RX7, TR7 and various Mitsubishis roamed the earth
        And then the MR2, FX-16, Integra and CR-X.

        And I haven’t even mentioned domestics. Today, it’s Miata, FR-S and base Mustang. Maybe a Hyundai, depending on your definition.

        • 0 avatar

          You’re including a number of hot-hatch and fastback front drivers. If front drivers get included then there are a ton of affordable sports cars on the market now.

          But I am going to exclude them. And pony cars.

          So we have the Miata, the FR-S, the BRZ (hey, if you’re counting the Midget and Sprite as separate cars), the Genesis Coupe 2.0T (especially with the track pack) and the Nissan 370Z ($29,990). The 2015 Mustang 2.3T might even count.

          Not too shabby, especially considering their quality and performance capabilities compared to those past cars. Many of them sub-100 HP, live-rear axle BMC atrocities that could barely get off the lot and are being viewed with heavy rose colored glasses. Someone with the mechanical ability to keep a BMC car running could build a Factory 5 818 as an affordable sports car.

          And on the horizon we have vehicles that challenge the definition of sports car, like the Polaris Slingshot.

          • 0 avatar

            Fair enough. I’ll grant you there are ~4 affordable sports cars today, depending on how you count. But that’s a pretty small number, especially considering the explosion in models (e.g., BMW has gone from 4 models to a dozen in the last 2 decades).

            My suggestion was in response to overall sales of sports cars being weak today. Jack’s recent article highlighted FR-S/BRZ issues; at the same time, sales of the Miata, ‘Vette (until this year), and Z are all far below their peaks.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d like to hear about the future of Chrysler Corporation as a whole now that it’s owned by Fiat, and more specifically, what this means for the RAM trucks and the new RAM ProMaster. Will the ProMaster be offered for a box truck later on down the line???

  • avatar

    “kicking us along the same way that guy on the PBS show used to do it.”

    He’s shockingly still:

    1) Alive
    2) Hosting the show

    Luckily he is not, to my knowledge, trying to make any forays into pinup modeling.

  • avatar

    I’m an hour north of Louisville if you want a groupie to come hang out.

    -Discuss options that are now eligible from import with the “25 year rule”
    -Jeep Renegade importance and how it, along with the Encore sales performance this year, will impact car design going forward.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    With PT’s latest article, I would like to hear:

    1) thoughts on crapcan racing in general and whether ChumpCar/LeMons are getting too big and visible to maintain their original purpose
    2) WTF happened with the Syndicate car (who can resist some reality TV like clashes?!)

  • avatar

    Fill the time with booze and vitriol – always a winnning combination.

  • avatar

    I’d like to hear your thought about the big three at the moment. Specifically, can we even call them the big three anymore and if that term has become archaic given the global nature of all companies today.

  • avatar

    Please tweet the link when the podcast becomes available. Thanks!

  • avatar

    The future of the V8 in America and will the US continue being something different as globalization grows. Will there be enough business in the American market to justify (outside of PUs) almost exclusive models?

  • avatar

    A further exploration of Philip Thomas’ article on the TTAC race team’s experience at LeMons would be fascinating.

  • avatar

    Why are so many new cars now no longer offering not even a full-sized spare tire, but no spare tire at all?

    And how can we tell the manufacturers to STAHP!?

  • avatar

    What is the future of actual journalism about the auto industry, as opposed to rehashing press releases?

    BTW, Ronnie Schreiber deserves mention for his various investigations of late.

    • 0 avatar

      This issue is hardly specific to automotive journalism if you include rehashing “think tank”, issue org’s and PAC memo’s with industry press releases. Journalism isn’t funded anymore.

  • avatar

    I want to hear some screaming guitar riffs! And Derek’s tuneful warbling to go with it…

  • avatar

    All of the ideas suggested in this thread seem fine to me. I just have one request:

    Do a little prep before each show. Have all the guests understand what the topics will be, and do research/think about each topic before you start recording. There is nothing more aggravating than listening to people trying to remember salient points or the names of people involved during a podcast. If you want to talk about how sales of specific class of vehicles has changed, have those numbers in front of you. If the topic is German auto executives, know what their names are and who they work for.

    • 0 avatar

      >> Do a little prep before each show

      +1. Some podcasts have real insights, but the way they are delivered can make them frustrating to listen to. Sometimes, the speakers go round and round and round, taking forever to get to the point. Other times, the guests interrupt one another so much, any insights are lost. And yes, having the names, supporting numbers, and references handy makes for a much smoother presentation.

  • avatar

    Brown stick shift diesel station wagons

  • avatar

    Tooth paste.

  • avatar
    The Gold Tooth

    I would like to hear a discussion about the Mustang II (my first car), how it’s a very underrated vehicle, and how it represents the excellence of 1970s Detroit products.

  • avatar

    Hi guys,

    I live in Louisville, KY. You all up for some beers after (or before) the show? I love your articles so a round is on me.

  • avatar

    The location of the podcast will LIKELY be at the historic Brown hotel in Downtown Louisville.

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