By on January 29, 2016

07 - 1994 Audi 100 Wagon in Denver junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

… well, nobody.

Allow me to explain.

After nine months of running TTAC more or less solo, with the exception of Aaron’s stewardship on the daily-news side of things, I’ve realized it’s time for a change. For starters, I’m tired. Working 60- and 70-hour weeks for nine months straight is not healthy for anyone. At the same time, the competitive pressures are increasing, and the automotive media landscape is changing, with large media and technology companies investing not-insignificant sums of money into automotive outlets.

We can’t go toe-to-toe or dollar-for-dollar with those outlets, so instead we will focus on providing content that fits TTAC and your desires. In a way, we need to go back to our roots.

What does that mean? Here it is in a nutshell:

  • The newsbot is being deactivated: Aaron did a fantastic job here at TTAC, and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. However, the pressures of doing daily news when competing with other much larger organizations means we either 1) arrive at the news too late, or 2) gloss over it due to time constraints. You deserve better than that. Aaron did a great job with the resources we had for him, but they weren’t enough to do things the way I (or you) wanted them done. Which brings me to the second point …
  • We’ll still do news, but we’ll do it differently: Instead of relying on one person in this area, I will be sourcing news pieces from all of our writers, including more pieces from yours truly. After all, the news is important to me. The majority of my day, however, is filled with editing, managing the budget, doing social media posts, and a wide variety of other tasks that leave no time for writing. Which brings me to point number three …
  • You’ll see Jack more often: In an effort to lighten my workload, I’ve tapped JB to assist in editing. (Including this one —JB) He’ll once again be a daily part of TTAC, at least in the short term. Thanks to his help, we’ll be able to bring you more of what you want. Which takes me directly to point four …
  • More reviews and features: You’ve spoken. I’ve listened. You may have noticed Bark M. has been making more appearances as of late and we have a great first review from valued contributor Chris Tonn. If everything comes together the way I’m envisioning, we will be posting more features than news — whether it be from our established cadre of writers, or from you. (To those of you who have emailed me your reader pieces: We’ll be reaching out to you soon. Thank you for your patience.)

Traditionally, TTAC has been equally (in)famous for its strong editorial character and for keeping the automakers, automotive media, and the establishment as a whole just a little bit more honest. Robert Farago founded TTAC on a single tenet: no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners automobile reviews and auto industry analysis. Over the years, our compass has occasionally drifted away from true north — but that drift ends here.

Now, it’s time for you to have your say. Specifically, I want to hear from you on a couple of topics: What does TTAC mean to you? And what do you want TTAC to be for you? This is your chance. Type wisely, my friends!

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210 Comments on “In Which We Bid Farewell to The Newsbot and Replace It With …...”


  • avatar
    White Shadow

    Just keep writing the cool stories. Car reviews are a dime a dozen.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Disagree. GOOD, critical and balanced car reviews are hard to come by. Dime a dozen are the puff pieces from Yahoo and R&T.

      • 0 avatar
        White Shadow

        Fair enough. When I log on here, I’m only in it for the entertainment value. If car reviews are what I seek, I tend to look elsewhere.

        • 0 avatar

          There aren’t any good ones, I’m afraid.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Need more comparison tests dang it! Like the good old days when someone would drive a Chrysler 300, Lincoln Town Car, and Cadillac DTS – then report on which one ranked 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc.

            Even though the report would be spread out over a couple of days (and posts) I thoroughly enjoyed that.

          • 0 avatar
            White Shadow

            Really? I find it quite easy to find good car reviews. And FWIW, the most valuable car reviews aren’t really reviews at all in the common sense. Go to any popular message forum for any car and you’ll find the best info attainable from people who actually own the car. This is the best “review” you’ll ever find.

          • 0 avatar

            @PrincipalDan

            Ugh, I’d love to do more comparison tests. Believe me. However, it’s a logistical nightmare, and that’s before you take into consideration the fact that our authors are spread all over the U.S. and Canada.

      • 0 avatar
        statikboy

        @ CoreyDL

        VERY much agree. TTAC generally provides informative, entertaining and seemingly unbiased reviews, which I appreciate.

        That said, (and this dates from well before the emissions scandal) I am well and truly sick of Golf/Jetta derivations reviews. During the summer it seemed as though every second TTAC review was a Golf, Jetta (Golf with a trunk), Eos (2-door Golf with a trunk and no roof), Beetle (ugly 2-door Golf with the useful parts cut off) or GTI (2-door Golf with a less efficient motor) in a dizzying array of engine/motor and transmission types.

        Please pick a different rental car if the opportunity arises; you’ve done the Golf to death.

        Speaking of death, I would rather lose out and have TTAC go out with a wimper or a bang than have the fine people who run it work themselves to death. Do what’s right, put yourselves first.

    • 0 avatar

      The reality of this business is that reviews are a significant generator of traffic for automotive websites.

      Car reviews that are rewritten press releases are a dime a dozen. Car reviews that don’t pull punches and serve the readers more than the car companies are less common. I think that’s one advantage TTAC has over the “large media and technology companies investing not-insignificant sums of money into automotive outlets”. We provide honest reviews, with both more objective reviews like Alex Dykes or Mark Stevenson do, or more subjective stuff like Jack, Bark or I do.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        It’s VERY discouraging that 98% of vehicle reviews are undertaken by pre-paid, bought-&- paid-for Presstitutes, in much the same way that Americans & Canadians are fed a 24 hour news loop of bullish!t by media outlets (cable, network, newspaper, magazine, online, radio, etc.) that are all owned by a mere 6 corporations – even public radio and television have been compromised as they now receive more funding from corporations than from individual viewers or listeners.

        One can not have a true democracy nor republican form of democracy when entities such as corporations, whose interests may (some claim almost always) be contrary to the dissemination of truth & factual knowledge; a real, functioning, sustainable democracy inherently depends on the dissemination of truth & factual knowledge, and is undermined by propaganda.

        The virtue of TTAC (even as owned by a conglomerate) is the freedom of its writers to publish genuine impressions of vehicles that they review.

        • 0 avatar
          Funky

          “The virtue of TTAC (even as owned by a conglomerate) is the freedom of its writers to publish genuine impressions of vehicles that they review.”. Yes, this is important (I agree). One would expect this to be an aspect of a site that is named “The Truth About Cars”.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Whether a publication is titled “Road & Track,” MotorTrend,” Car & Driver,” or “The Truth About Cars,”
            naive readers could be forgiven for thinking that the review of any vehicle is reflective of the vehicle’s (that’s being reviewed) merits, flaws, and other qualities and attributes.

            One would be very naive, like I wrote, to receive such a review from most publications/reviewers, though, regardless of the title of the publication (even if the title is “Pinkie Promise, Cross Our Hearts, Super Duper Honest Review About Cars,” with the advertising dollars for everything from cars to floor mats to aftermarket parts and truck nutz flowing).

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          “conglomerate”

          That’s a good funny. VerticalScope is not remotely a big company, even if from various tidbits occasionally made public it seems like it’s run by Dilbert bosses.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I was actually citing TTAC as the exception to the unfortunate trend, whether I agree with a Bark assessment (as today re the Veloster) or disagree (as with 1/2 of Alex’s reviews).

        • 0 avatar
          xtoyota

          DeadWeight….. Well said

      • 0 avatar

        I’d love for Alex and me to be more subjective at times, and for you, Jack and Bark to be more objective other times. But I have a plan for that.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          to me the important thing is just honesty. I said this to Sean McDonald over at Lanesplitter; I don’t expect things to be “unbiased” because that’s simply not possible for a human being. Reviews are useful when the verdict comes down to “This is what it does well, this is what it doesn’t do well, and this is how I think they weigh against each other.” As long as TTAC stays with the mindset of avoiding the easy targets just to appear unbiased, I’m good with that. An example would be on the multimedia systems. places like Autoblog take lazy swipes at MyFord Touch as though it’s still the same half-baked mess that launched in 2010. Yet Alex Dykes here has pretty much been the only one I’ve read willing to excoriate the abominable Enform system in Lexus vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            JimZ – agreed.

            Another point is the fact that the various contributors are not only honest but are allowed to show their individual personalities and preferences.

            That is probably just as important to me. We get to know the contributors and that is valuable in determining whether or not an evaluation of a product is going to be relevant to me.

    • 0 avatar
      healthy skeptic

      Honest pull-no-punches car reviews are super-rare to find, whether objective or subjective. I haven’t seen too many outside of TTAC.

      I’ve noticed over the years that mainstream car reviews have become almost a literary genre in themselves. If the review honestly loved the car, things are pretty straightforward. But if the reviewer thought the car sucked, or even just has a few shortcomings, the writing becomes an artful exercise of read-between-the-lines. Sometimes I think car reviewers should resort to tricks like writing “t-h-i-s-c-a-r-s-u-c-k-s” using the first letter of every word in a sentence.

      Between dependent ad revenue, press junkets, and access to cars, I think the mainstream auto press has been highly compromised. I don’t know if you can work out a sustainable system for writing honest reviews, but I sure hope it turns out that way.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Exactly.

        True, objective, fact-driven journalism, whether financial, political, automotive, etc., has been compromised by oligarchy media concentrated ownership (with owners having vested and direct financial interests in “reporting”) to near extinction.

        • 0 avatar

          If it matters, I’ve yet to be told I can’t run something in the nine months I’ve been in this chair. Our editorial direction and content is completely driven by me. We can do what we want. We can cover what we want. We can review whatever we want and however we want.

          In that sense, this gig is perfect.

      • 0 avatar

        Major quality issues aside, there’s a buyer for almost every single vehicle on the market. This is proven by the fact that Mitsubishi can sell Mirages. There’s _someone_ out there who values fuel economy and a massive warranty above all else. It should be up to us to highlight those positives while being truthful about the (vast number of) negatives (with regards to the Mirage, at least).

        Saying “this car sucks” does readers a disservice, because someone out there will find one thing about that car that sets it above and beyond all others on their personal shopping list.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          this is kind of why I don’t personally value comparison tests. anytime I’ve bought a car, it’s been because it was the car I wanted. Like the 2012 Mustang; I didn’t care what the BMW 3-series did better or differently than it, or the Camaro, or whatever. I wanted (and bought) the Mustang.

          comparison tests unfortunately seem to feed the “sucks or rocks” dichotomy that Bark M. has written about. Internet Car People will hold up the winner of the comparison as The most awesomest car in the world which rocks while the rest of the contenders nothing more than incredible pieces of junk.

          • 0 avatar

            The only purpose comparison tests of high-loyalty sports cars serves is to make people click and/or buy magazines. A person who wants a Mustang is going to buy a Mustang, no matter how it compares to a Camaro or whatever. However, comparison tests of volume cars where there is tons of choice — like compact CUVs — is a different matter entirely.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Comparison tests are for the manufacturers.

            So, they can make drain babies on how their vehicles are the “best in class”.

            I do know of one ardent “Best in Class” person who comments here and another pickup site.

            Best in class is used by the fan boys as credible proof their pickup or whatever is better because it can tow and load better, so they can spank themselves.

            These types are losers and don’t understand what makes a vehicle sell.

            A test drive is the most important aspect of vehicle buying, along with touching, petting and massaging the vehicle.

            The feel and connection you have when you are driving it. The sounds, vibrations and how the seat hugs you.

            It’s great when you drive a vehicle and you find it is what you are after.

            I was initially after a Disco (LR4) and ended up with a rough and tumble overly sprung pickup.

            Because it did it for me. I don’t support any brand or nation that manufactures vehicles. Being like that would deny me the best possible selection whey buying.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @BigAl – I do agree that “best in class” is a convenient advertising point for car makers. That is the whole point of why car companies provide vehicles for tests. They know that most journalists will not bite the hand that feeds them.

            With that being said, vehicles that are built for a specific purpose should be able to live up to that purpose. Take for example the Wrangler. They get tested in off-road situations because that is their purpose. That is no different than supercars having top speed runs or Nuburgring times. Both for the most part NEVER get run off-road or run at top speed.

            Capacity i.e. towing or hauling is set by professional engineers but unfortunately we do see corporate profit and PR games get played with those numbers. Those numbers should be important to the buying public but like anything, ignorance is rampant.
            Pickups are designed to tow and haul. That is all dependant upon configuration. They therefore should be tested to see how they perform as designed. It matters little if 50% of buyers do not tow or haul anything other than atmosphere.

            Pickups,just like Wranglers or Supercars are purchased by many for the “image“ they give to the buyer. That image comes from the fact that there are some buyers that will climb a mountain with a Jeep, or other buyers that will actually track day a Ferrari or actually tow and haul and work a pickup.

            Tow and haul ratings are set by engineers. Licenced professionals. Driver and vehicle licencing, insurance, and laws governing towing and hauling are based upon those ratings.

            Sure…… manufacturers play the “best in class” game. It makes them money.

            My 2010 F150 isn’t the best in class in mpg or towing or hauling or most horsepower or even durability.

            At the time of purchase Tundra was the most durable, Chevy had the best mpg with the 5.3, they had the most HP with the 6.2, at the time Ford did have the best tow and haul but in a different configuration than mine.

            Which one offered the best overall package for the best price for me at the time of purchase?

            I answered that question by buying it.

            If you want to call me out then call me out.

            Your cheap shot is typical.

            In closing I will quote Jack Baruth:

            “Big Al from Oz says he’ll put one on his Thai-built pickup. I’m sending it to him because, face it, you all want some evidence that he’s a real person and not a troll persona developed by a very bored Millennial.“

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Lou,
            Cheap shot no, honest shot yes.

            You tend to “believe” the advertised and press release data for one company, then dismiss similar propaganda from another.

            The reality is any major auto manufacturer can never state it doesn’t blur the line between truth and outright lies. This is why I view what VAG/VW has done as not that significant. Actually it appears outside of the US no one really gives a fnck about the VW saga.

            Ford does the same, but in a legit fashion. Those EcoBoost engines if they were tested as a normal person would drive would show their emissions are far from what test results deliver. Any engine for that matter.

            The regulators are the ones to blame, not the manufacturers. But, as you do, you tend to give bias towards one manufacturer in particular. Why not target the regulators? Or, are you selling?

            Yes, you do make some slightly positive down to neutral comments on other brands, but at the end of the day Ford is always that little bit better. This is your choice.

            It is also my choice to explain to you that the US pickup is moving towards a SUV more each and everyday and the relevance you place on load and tow appears to have made light when?? When just prior to Ford releasing the great advantage of load and tow. Hmmm ………

            Rather than worry about pickups, why not target those people movers, vans. How overloaded are they with a vehicle full of people? What about a Corolla with five on board?

            Pickups are not big ass trucks to be used 24/7. Many who buy them want to consider themselves big ass truckies, look at pickup’s design.

            Even global pickups are not designed for that. The pickup is designed as a versatile vehicle. a SUV.

            All pickups will achieve more than what 95% expect. The remaining 5% should of bought a different vehicle.

            Like tyre pressures the information you rant and rave about is prominently displayed on the vehicle. It’s up to the individual to ensure you have the correct tyre pressure or load.

            If you want to use a vehicle to load and tow, then it’s your responsibility to ensure the vehicle is capable of fulfilling your expectations as well, not the manufacturer.

            So, your concern is;
            1. Directed at the incorrect targets,

            2. directed at incorrect vehicle types,

            3. biased toward specific a manufacturer, and

            4. not relevant when purchasing, ie, if the shoe don’t fit don’t buy it.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Bafo – you don’t like being disagreed with and because of that you get chippy. Cheap shot yes. Honesty would of meant calling me out. did you do that?

            Capacity whether it be cargo or towing is set for a reason. People need to understand what those numbers mean especially in the context of a pickup. That big box in the back can easily be overloaded just like a trailer put behind it can easily exceed either the tow ratings or put too much weight upon the truck.

            Since you brought up the Toyota Corolla, what is going to limit it’s cargo capacity? That would be internal volume. Lets look at this car:
            GVWR – 3,820 lbs.
            Curb weight – 2,865 – 2,800lbs (depending on transmission and trim level)
            cargo and passenger capacity = 955 – 1,020
            Seating capacity = 5.
            The CDC says the average male weight is 195.5 lbs.
            So if you cram 5 “average” adult males into the Corolla that is 977.5 lbs.

            Personally I do not know anyone who puts 5 adult males into a Corolla. My neighbour has one. Good for 4 semi-comfortably.

            You example does prove my point….. If you are going to routinely carry 5 adult males in a vehicle (driver plus 4) plus day to day flotsam and jetsam, is a Corolla going to be the best tool for the job?

            The Titan XD is rated for 1500-2000lbs cargo. GM says the average HD owner tows 10k. Tongue weight is 10-15%. That means 1,000 to 1,500lbs on the truck. The full bling Titan’s cargo rating is overloaded without any occupants and with an empty box if you are at the 15% tongue weight setting. If you buy the fleet queen version you have 500 lbs left over. The Titan XD can seat 5 adults. Recall the Corolla example?
            Is the Titan XD then the best tool for the job?
            Remember it is supposed to be an alternative to HD’s and max tow 1/2 tons.

            FCA says the average 1/2 ton owner tows 5,000 lbs. That would be 500 lbs to 750lbs of tongue weight. That is much better for the Titan XD.
            If we go with 5k tow then that means EVERY TRUCK on the market is a competitor. EVEN the Colorado diesel, another favorite of yours can tow 5k and has a 1,500 lb rating.

            So is the Titan XD the best tool for the job?
            The only advantage it has over HD’s is empty ride but it costs the same as a HD. Early indications are that fuel economy is on par or worse than a HD.

            At typical 1/2 ton tow/haul ratings every other 1/2 ton is competitive including small trucks.

            At typical HD tow/haul weights it cannot compete due to cargo ratings except in empty ride.

            Please point out the fanboy fool talking points you mentioned in my argument?

            If you default to your typical “no one really tows or hauls”, refer to my previous post and the earlier part of this one.

        • 0 avatar
          healthy skeptic

          @Mark

          You’re right, I was being a little hyperbolic with “this car sucks.” Most new cars are at least halfway decent, and there’s an ass for every seat, as they say. And I’ve never respected negativity just for the sake of being snarky or mean-spirited. The Farrago days of TTAC had some of that, frankly.

          My point was simply that most car reviews are vague, kid-gloves affairs that dance around any negatives.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I think heading towards more personalized news items from the writers here makes sense. As well, the features are -always- more interesting than “GM Has Meeting About Airbags” or other things like that.

    -Where’s Marcelo?
    -You all need an Asian-located correspondent to cover China!
    -More Sajeev VV and his other pieces
    -More collabo work with opposite opinions, I like these and they create good comments. Have Mark B. fight something out with Steve Lang or Lynch.
    -Less/No DDM, but that’s just me probably.
    -Utilize Vojta more – his writing just keeps getting better and his photos are 100% awesome. Plus he gets forbidden fruit so easy. And he is a secret American.
    -Wheres Tom?
    -Wheres Brendan?
    -I create half of Chris’s Digestibles subject matter you don’ haveta worry much bout those.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Yes we can!

    • 0 avatar

      Berthel was doing some Asian work, but alas, I suspect he’s been too expensive.

    • 0 avatar

      I have not heard from Marcelo in a year. We had been in constant contact and then he dropped off the map. Frankly, I’m a little concerned.

    • 0 avatar

      – Re: Marcelo. He dropped off the face of the earth.
      – Re: China correspondent. I’d love to have someone in China.
      – Re: Vellum Venom (and any image-heavy content). Hopefully we will have a solution to make the best of those types of pieces soon.
      – Re: Collaborations. Noted.
      – Re: Doug. He brings in a certain type of audience that isn’t the B&B. I love Doug’s pieces because they remind me that not everything has to be serious.
      – Re: Vojta. He and I have been talking more lately.
      – Re: Tom. Japan. (I haven’t heard from him in a while.)
      – Re: Brendan. Canada. (And he’s crazy busy right now. More on that in a moment.)
      – Re: Chris. He’s awesome. Don’t bash on Chris.

      So, regarding Brendan … there’s a massive amount of movement happening in the industry right now. A number of U.S. outlets are staffing up in a big way. Conversely, the opposite is happening in Canada, as we see a contraction in media along with our economy — though it’s not entirely that simple. New and established outlets are paying big money for top talent. Brendan is top talent.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Meaning Brendan is either now too expensive or has sought better opportunities?

        • 0 avatar

          Brendan has a new family. He’s a top-rung writer that wants to work less and spend more time with those closest to him. You can’t fault a guy for that.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Mark:

            Regarding Brendan and Canadian media, TTAC and autos.ca (where Brendan can be found) are my two daily car website stops. Is there any possibility of collaboration with them? They post daily reviews, tech articles, and have an active (if all Canadian) commentariate.

            I’m sure that since they are owned by Trader Corp and you by Vertical Scope, it wouldn’t fly, but its a thought I’ve had that I’d love to see collaboration between y’all and them.

          • 0 avatar

            @davefromcalgary

            I can’t see TTAC working with Autos.ca. I’d say Autos is more of an AutoGuide competitor than one of ours. That said, I’m not opposed to working with some of the freelance writers who contribute to Autos.ca. We actually have one returning next week.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        That sounds fairly concerning with Marcelo :/.

        Thanks for addressing me list. Not a knock on Chris! I like those pieces and I’m always right on them in 15 seconds anyway, ha. Used car stuff is my favorite thing.

        Oh, and RE: DDM – I stopped being willing to read his stuff when he A) blatantly recycled content from previous articles, and B) stole rental car company property, which makes him a thief.

        • 0 avatar
          TonyP

          DDM would fit well on Jalopnik. Take that statement anyway you like.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            He writes for Jalopnik, and honestly it seems like he prioritizes his best stuff for it. He’s not a horrible writer when he sets his mind to it, but we at TTAC usually get the DougBot. (Although in fairness his two pieces this week have been better than usual.)

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Mark,
        How about someone from Australia? Then you would not get posts why every country should change to LHD.
        We get a lot of vehicles, you do not get in NA and Europe,

    • 0 avatar

      Where am I? I’m around but am a bit down these days. It took me a while, but I finally figured out people don’t give a shit about me and my opinions so I’ve pretty much quit posting anything anywhere.

      The most I’ve written anywhere in the last month was when I wrote “poop” in the dirt with a stick at the local park to amuse my kids…

      • 0 avatar

        I received more in-person comments about your van pieces than anything else last year. They were awesome.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheeljack

        Tom, I for one enjoy your writing, especially the van certification saga. It was simultaneously inspirational and frustrating on a variety of levels.

        Also, know that you’re not alone in your feelings – I’m a mid 40’s male with a master’s degree, and I’m watching less experienced 20 and 30-somethings get promoted in favor of me (or others like me) at my company. I feel like the doddering old man that no one gives a crap about or wants to hear from pretty much all of the time. The not-so-subtle message where I work seems to be that to get ahead, you need to be young, thin and attractive…no one else need apply. Unfortunately I can’t check even one of those boxes at the moment, and even if I did lose some weight, I still couldn’t check the other two.

        I keep hoping someday the company will recognize the value of us more experienced employees, especially considering that the younger crowd jumps ship at an alarming rate if their career path hits even the smallest pebble in the road or they get a slightly better offer from a competitor. I keep hoping…but part of me knows it won’t change.

      • 0 avatar
        darkwing

        Count me in, for what it’s worth, as another reader who thoroughly enjoyed following along with the van saga.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Nahhh, I liked your van stories and your Japan licensing stuff was interesting too. I think you could do well with some pieces on the car culture in Japan, since you’ve got access!

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        You’re not a quitter, Kreutzer. You write well, have a no-bullsh1t attitude and a fine sense of humor and of the absurd.

        Cheer up, it’s not like you’re cursed with being a DDM.

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        “The most I’ve written anywhere in the last month was when I wrote “poop” in the dirt with a stick at the local park to amuse my kids…”

        Hey, the B&B here are just as easily amused. Don’t forget us. I’ve enjoyed your articles and sense of humor.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Thomas Kreutzer,
        I’m really surprised at you. Your articles were quite interesting and easy to read.

        Don’t give up. If you have dreams or goals, go for it and don’t ever let others get in the way. All of us that have careers or are attempting to channel a career in a direction we want will be challenging.

        We sometimes are so entwined within ourselves we latch onto any negative, especially when we perceive our efforts are not fully recognised.

        So, stand back have a look at what you do and I think you’ll be proud of your achievements.

        What is positive about your comment is you place value in your efforts, this is how we improve, but I do believe your writing skills are excellent.

        Don’t be so hard on yourself.

      • 0 avatar
        S1L1SC

        I like your Van series – that was a very enjoyable read.
        Something on the Japanese car auctions or local car culture would be interesting as well.

      • 0 avatar
        healthy skeptic

        @Thomas

        Why so down? Sure, the world may not revolve around you and your opinions, but as with all of us, they have their place under the sun.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Everyone needs a break and gets overwhelmed by things. Take whatever time you need. But come back. I want to know more about how it is to drive a giant van in Japan. And more about how it is to be an American and Pacific Northwesterner in Japan.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        That’s bullshit. I loved your pieces. Hope things get back to being ‘up’ and better for you.

    • 0 avatar

      I appreciate everyone’s kind words and thoughts. Wheeljack pretty much nailed what I am feeling right now, made worse by the fact that my off hours are just as dull. Nothing at home requires my attention – there’s nothing to repair or maintain and no lawn to take care of. It’s expensive to go places and even when we do it’s a pain in the ass to manage the kids if we try to go anywhere that isn’t focused on entertaining people under the age of 12. I have too much time to sit around and brood I suppose.

      These things come around from time to time. I wonder sometimes if it is blood sugar related, I got off my meds during the transition to Japan and have recently got things under control again. I’m more focused now but less jovial.

      Hopefully things will improve with more time. Just posting here again was a big step for me, I’ve spent the last couple of months entirely off line, not even facebook, reddit or anything. I appreciate the positive comments, there’s a reason why I think of TTAC as home.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        You are never alone, we’re here when you feel blue.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Now you know why retirement kills some guys. 30, 40 years of go-go-go, sleep-when-you’re-dead Iron Man behavior and then something puts on the brakes. Usually several simultaneous somethings both metabolic and situational.

        You’re lucky to be young and smart enough to reverse this. You have first-world medicine to combat the effects of first-world diet and stress. Everything you’ve come to value about yourself can only exist if your heart and bloodstream permit it.

        They’ve brought you this far against big odds for an American blue-collar kid of the ’70s. Help ’em out some.

      • 0 avatar

        You getting any aerobic exercise? That’s one of the best anti-depressants (I’ve been running for the last 25 of my 62 years), and even just long walks can help. Aerobic exercise is also widely considered among the relevant medical researchers to be the best preventive against dementia.

        Your stories were very interesting and well written.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    And Steve Lang’s status is?

    Otherwise fully agree with Mark’s direction and best of luck and thanks to Aaron.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    Always informative, insightful, entertaining, and sometimes controversial. I can’t imagine my day without checking this site regularly. Thamk you for being here for all to enjoy, or sometomes rant and rave.
    I know you will do your best to keep us in the loop, with the best automotive news.

  • avatar
    xflowgolf

    Sounds like all good things!

    The newsbot-esque posts were a bit lackluster coming from TTAC. I’d rather see an issue discussed the day after, with some type of in depth analysis or interpretation, rather than just everybody repeating the same two bits on VW dieselgate because it needs to be posted immediately with no backstory or digging.

    Keep it up!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    FCA death watch…we’re getting close to being able to start the observation.

  • avatar
    Alfisti

    I said weeks ago that news was a waste of resources,i can find it anywhere. Need industry insight, car selling business and car guy stuff.

    Also, the web site desperately needs a cash injection, it is just dreadful, especially mobile as it hops and jumps around, just a shit experience to navigate and contribute. Fix it, please.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t think doing news is a waste of resources … if you can do it properly. AG, AN, AB and all the other Auto* sites have us beat simply because we’re outnumbered. There’s a way for us to still do news that makes sense.

      • 0 avatar
        Alfisti

        Go behind the news, quickly post the item or even A link to it then add editorial content, undo the spin etc. Make it serious, funny, arrogant etc but add value.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        FWIW there have been a number of stories these past few weeks where TTAC and Jalopnik were on it faster than Autoblog. As it is I rarely read Autoblog anymore, their capability for analysis is not all that hot and the commenters are mostly barely literate juveniles.

  • avatar
    Alfisti

    Also, please, can we quote both imperial and metric? 30 MPG means NOTHING to me, i cant be arsed pulling out a calculator.

  • avatar
    ADent

    Rental car reviews are good.

    I like inside stories of auto business-Steve Lang’s auction stuff, Jack’s dealer stories, etc

    Off beat stories, for some reason many were Japanese based. What happened to the Japanese minivan? Not always super interesting, but everybody has a story on the latest VW press release.

    PrincipalDan reminded me of those comparisons.

    Anything by Jack.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    If you can keep Baruth’s sociopathic tendencies to the comical level I’m all for this change. I would probably love to hang out with Jack as a person but him as a strong-voiced editor makes me question his humanity (he may actually just be a 6 foot tall Super ID walking, we have yet to confirm).

  • avatar
    70Cougar

    I come here mainly for Steve Lang, Sajeev, Jack, Bark, and Sanjeev.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    For me, the following are the things that keep me coming back, in descending order of importance. The rest can be discarded. And the reason these things are important is that they generate great discussions in the comments. Without the comments, I wouldn’t bother — and that is no reflection on any of the writers here, just an acknowledgment of what the site is really about.

    – Crapwagon Outtakes, Piston Slap, and Junkyard Finds. The older-car stuff produces absolutely the best discussions in comments on the site, and I appreciate how far off-topic they can go and how much I learn from them.
    – Non-press fleet reviews like rental cars and reader rides. I appreciate that TTAC reviews don’t waste time on the 1% build rate options or feature kid-gloves manufacturer treatment.
    – Jack. He makes me furious at least every other week but is such a great writer that I read all his stuff anyway, and I give him credit for gamely and in good faith interacting with his readers.
    – Alex Dykes. His reviews are a bit too manufacturer-ey but they are so complete and informative that I don’t really care.
    – Occasional pieces on big-picture developments that affect cars, like robot-car development and urbanization. You don’t need a ton of these, but one a week or so will give you one really really good comment thread a month.
    – Vellum Venom.
    – I know that Lang tends to burn his bridges, but if you can find anyone else with his insight on the used-car marketplace, the content he brought was great.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      ORDER BY DESC? No, no, it should be ORDER BY ASC.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      I’ll second dal’s comment.

      Also, any interest from either TTAC or the B&B in bringing back reader’s reviews of their own vehicles (Reader’s Rides or UR-Turn or whatever it was named)? I recall the Mazda6 and Jetta 2.slow reviews being quite good and creating long comment threads.

    • 0 avatar

      The content provided by Murilee, Chris and Sajeev is our staple. We can always rely on it. It’s fantastic to have not just one but three writers who constantly give the readership exactly what’s expected. Not that the others don’t, but any website needs to have content that people can rely on week-to-week.

      Rental reviews: we are doing more of them. However, there is a certain financial cost to doing those that you don’t incur with press fleet vehicles. We need to have a mix of both.

      Jack is great, especially when it comes to interacting with the readership.

      Alex’s reviews are incredibly thorough and comprehensive. His insights are valued here, and will be for the foreseeable future.

      Big picture items: Absolutely agree.

      Vellum Venom posts are fantastic, but we need to come up with a solution to better feature them.

      Yeah, we need a new Lang.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        Overall, I like this plan.

        I’ve felt at times like there was some drift off course here. This sounds more like the TTAC I’ve valued these past several years (when it wasn’t engaging in its previous off-course drifts).

        Baruth and Dykes are nothing like each other as writers in most ways, yet to me they both epitomize the best of TTAC: fearless candor delivered with the writer’s personality showing. The others mentioned above fit that description, too. To me as a reader, all who fit this description are welcome. That includes Murilee, Sajeev, Lang too, and others.

        I have just one request: DITCH THE POLITICAL CLICKBAIT. I sucker for it as much as anyone else, but only in the way you feel compelled to fill the room with Raid vapor before the toxic mosquito bites yet again. It’s harmful to this site and erodes its credibility.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Mark,
    Maybe more articles on the car replacements vehicles. I do comprehend the significance of the sedan, hatchback, etc.

    But, the mover and shaker in the motor vehicle industry globally are CUVs, SUVs and light commercials used as daily drivers.

    These might not be the most exciting vehicles around, but they can offer more than most other vehicles for the arduous day in and day out activities. So, why not more articles on these style of vehicles.

    I do realise that TTAC is a Canadian publication and its very NA centric (USA). I also understand that the US is 50% of the globes Anglophiles. But the world doesn’t start and stop at it’s borders.

    More international articles would be nice.

    • 0 avatar
      statikboy

      Damn straight! (From a Canadian.)

    • 0 avatar

      The coverage of different types of cars is typically driven by availability — either of the car or our time. Personally, I’ve had a number of SUVs, CUVs and trucks go through my driveway in the last nine months, but I simply haven’t had the time to drive nor review them. Hopefully, with Jack helping me out on the editing side of things, I can focus on writing more reviews.

      Also, to clarify, TTAC is mainly US focused. The website is owned by a Canadian company, certainly, but my focus is on the American market for the most part. I’d like to do some more international coverage.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Thanks for your time to respond.

        Another problem I do see with TTAC is the number of articles that can be placed on a single “page” daily.

        Is it possible to increase the number of topics released daily? I do realise from your intro comments that you guys have your ass’s hanging out, I also see this as the only way to increase your coverage on the many auto industry stories.

        I see this as the only way to sate the many demands I’ve read so far. This would also mean more journo’s. Money …… money ……. money!

        This might even improve the readership of TTAC.

  • avatar
    Acd

    I became a TTAC reader around 2007 because of Robert Farago’s gloves off, tell it like he saw it style, conventional wisdom be damned. TTAC offered insight and a point of view that wasn’t available through mainstream publications or even most websites. The GM Deathwatch, while sometimes over the top, was fundamentally right and helped me look more critically at the industry. I got completely sucked into everything an ex-car salesman from Columbus, Ohio wrote and when Farago left he was about the only thing that kept me coming back for quite a while. I’ve been through the Post-Farago days, otherwise known as The Niedermeyer Family Old Car Blog and later the Creepy Old Man Era and thoroughly enjoyed the Inmates Running the Asylum Era when Jack cleaned up the leftover mess from the previous two. Bark is a great addition and is either my first or second favorite Baruth depending on the day, especially when he describes a car as sounding like “mechanical hamster intercourse” (probably shouldn’t expect any more Hyundai invites in the near future Bark).

    If TTAC is going to have news it needs to include unique insights, not just be regurgitated Automotive News stories or Jalponik click bait. Most importantly keep telling it the way you see it and don’t worry about offending anyone because of those opinions.

  • avatar
    kobo1d

    Just keep not being corporate shills and press-release regurgitators, like most other places are. This is one part that has stayed consistent over the years, so I keep coming back.

    Glad you are dropping the generic news items, other places do it better.

    Reviews here are my favorite columns because they usually offer a unique perspective.

    I feel like Dougbot is phoning it in here at TTAC and he uses his better column ideas elsewhere.

    Jack really doesn’t need to bring up his Accord every other paragraph.

    Embrace publishing more weird content, try not to get too formulaic and take some risks. I usually skim past the regularly-occurring columns looking for the more unique pieces.

    • 0 avatar
      statikboy

      “Jack really doesn’t need to bring up his Accord every other paragraph. ”

      I mostly agree,but keep in mind Jack’s manual transmission V-6
      Accord Coupe is his meter (or yard, if you will) stick; it’s what he drives the most. And he picked it for a reason, probably because it’s, arguably, DAMN good at just about everything it’s designed to do. Its two weak points are probably cargo hauling and rear seat access. (…And I haven’t driven one but I imagine rear visibility isn’t great.) Using it as a reference point is understandable.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “Robert Farago founded TTAC on a single tenet: no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners automobile reviews and auto industry analysis.”

    Well, do keep in mind that the news blogging on this site began with Robert Farago. Very opinionated news blogging, but still news blogging.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    “You deserve better than that.”

    Why? We’re not paying anything.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    You need to keep the Baruth brothers this time around. I understand the TTAC paymasters have some beef with him, but Jack has turned into the hero TTAC deserves for stepping back in over and over again.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Less news isn’t a bad thing, I know I spent a lot less time on those stories and commented less frequently.

    TTAC to me is mostly a 5 minute mental vacation throughout the day at work. A place I feel comfortable commenting even when I know my opinions and taste may not mesh with everyone’s.
    My go-to pieces (I feel like we just talked about this) are (former contributor) Steve Lang’s auction insight, Vellum Venom, older DeMuro pieces (I feel like he has some constraints on what he can post here – or maybe he changed his style himself), Jack’s complete lack of (strikeout)surprise(/strikeout) social etiquette even though I suspect he’s all talk.

    Honestly I could live without any new car reviews. There’s only so much you can get from driving around in brand new cars. Numb steering, hard plastics, weird shifting transmission. I’d be more interested in knowing how cars are holding up after 4 or 5 years. Similar to the readers rides that were here for a short time.

    Otherwise, as long as posts show up every couple hours from 7-3EST I’ll be happy.

    • 0 avatar
      Sketch

      Less news is a good thing. My favorite thing about the site used to be that it was smaller and more focused on high quality content than the bigger news blogs that cover everything. It’s still smaller than most, but not as much as it used to be.

  • avatar
    Nostrathomas

    Frankly, I don’t need to read the same item on 4 different outlets. So not having the newsy bits is fine with me.

    I come here for the interesting insight, and real world reviews without the fluff.

    More Vellum Venom!

    More Deadly Sins!

    More Alex Dykes!

    More Jack Baruth (minus the guitar stories, please)!

    More reviews of old craptastic cars!

  • avatar
    Ratsnake

    I come for the Junkyard and stay for…a variety of things, depending on how busy I am. I feel like Ronnie S’s history pieces are always worth the time, but this is probably the only automotive-specific site I read for industry news. I occasionally read new car reviews, value that they are individual and go away from the manufacturers press release, but wouldn’t mind more hard numbers either.

    With Lang, TTAC has taken in the wholesale/retail frontier, something that nobody has documented too extensively. TTAC readers also know a decent amount about salvage/recycling from MM/Judge Phil. The recent piece about flipping a lightly damaged car is suggestive of another direction, info about repair and diagnostics in the future. (I wonder whether, or which, technical innovations will present a capital crisis for the repair industry, mainly organized as small businesses outside the insurance-collision-repair area.)

    Racing/hooning will always be a big interest, after cars and people who engineer and produce them; still, I probably find TTAC most interesting when it expands the subject.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    You guys SUCK ! change every thing .

    You guys ROCK ! don’t change a thing .

    I wasn’t going to even read this article but as usual , the comments dragged me in by my heels….

    -Nate

  • avatar
    healthy skeptic

    I’ve been an irregular since around 2008-09, so I’ve seen the various phases. The lowest point was probably the Creepy Old Man era. Creepy fetishes + Gestapo policing and instigation = I almost left.

    I’d say things have been pretty good overall lately.

    FAVES:

    Comments section – I think for 90% of us, the comments are the biggest draw.

    VV – More please. They’re probably a lot of work, but I lap them up.

    Junkyard Finds – Always pretty fascinating. A mixture of history and voyeurism.

    Various War Stories – Whether somebody’s experience as a car salesman, mechanic, executive or whatever. Often thought-provoking, always entertaining.

    Long Format – In-depth pieces on various facets of the automotive universe. Predatory car loans, direct v. franchise sales, history of unions, history of a company, state of the industry, etc.

    DON’T LIKE:

    Clickbait – Not as bad as it used to be, but still finds its way onto TTAC now and then.

    Website issues – Alfisti is right. This site needs some technical love, particularly on mobile. Also, TTAC couldn’t remember my password if its life depended on it. Little annoyances like that do add up.

    SUGGESTIONS:

    Here’s stuff I’d like to see (or see more of):

    – More Long Format – You can find these outside TTAC, but they’re usually written by non-automotive journalists. Yeah, I know they’re probably more time and effort.

    – How Things Works – I think it’d be awesome to have an engineering series that explains such things as exactly how an LSD works, or an automatic transmissions. I know that car guys like to pretend they’re above that stuff somehow, as though they were born with that knowledge, but a lot of us don’t have it, and a lot of us probably don’t know nearly as much as we think we do.

    – How the Industry Works – Same as above, but for various aspects of the industry.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Agree on How Things Work. I get frustrated whem people assume that because you know the 4.0L in a 2000 Cherokee isnt a “V”6, that you must know all the technical jargin (sp?) and how exactly it does what it does. DCT? Dick Clark’s Transvestite? In a Focus? No wonder people hate em! Nahh, even knowing it means Dual Clutch Trans doesnt mean I know how it works.

      As you said, some may find that what they thought they knew and what is actually the case may be two different things.

    • 0 avatar
      kobo1d

      How stuff works is a great idea for a series. Maybe TTAC could reach out to the EngineeringExpained guy from YT.

    • 0 avatar
      Timur Apakidze

      You want transmissions? We have that covered

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/author/timur-apakidze/

      Cheers!

    • 0 avatar

      Comments section: I hope we can make some improvements to it during the next 12 months so the comments are even better than that are now.
      VV: Again, we have some technical limitations that hinder our ability to do VV in a meaningful way. We will hopefully fix those up soon too.
      Junkyard Posts: They’ll be here as long as Murilee wants to keep writing them.
      War Stories: I’d love to hear some so I can post them.
      Long format: This is a weak point right now because we don’t have the technical ability to feature long-form pieces in a meaningful way. Again, we’ll hopefully fix that soon.
      Clickbait: Some of it is fun.
      Website issues: Again, we’re trying to fix those.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      One thing I think gets short shrift in general is audio. people spend a lot of time in their cars listening to their radio/music, and it’s something that even though it may not *sell* a car, it has a lot of influence on how *happy* they are with the car once they own it. There’s an enormous load of nonsense in the audio world (most of it overpriced) and I don’t think the average person realizes what the most important influences are to the sound of a car audio system and what can be done to improve it.

      as far as website issues goes, my main problem is with ad/content networks. over the past couple months I’ve been encountering Flash ads which peg the CPU in my laptop and send the fan screaming. It gets so bad (like right now) that as I’m typing in a comment field I have to wait several seconds for the text to appear after I’ve typed it. Also I’ve had times when the page has never finished loading, hung up on “waiting for something.someadserver.com” or “scorecardreasearch.com” (hate these idiots, they cause problems on a lot of sites.)

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t comment much on audio quality unless what I hear is on the extreme ends of the quality spectrum.

        “as far as website issues goes, my main problem is with ad/content networks. over the past couple months I’ve been encountering Flash ads which peg the CPU in my laptop and send the fan screaming. It gets so bad (like right now) that as I’m typing in a comment field I have to wait several seconds for the text to appear after I’ve typed it.”

        You aren’t alone. I hate it too. I’ve noticed it happens in Chrome more than anything else.

  • avatar
    kurtamaxxguy

    It might help wrt TTAC vehicle reviews if vehicles are evaluated from two general standards:

    1. As a practical transportation vehicle,
    2. As being able to fulfill rabid enthusiasts fantasies (pick a favorite).

    The former might be a well designed compact to midsize AWD SUV, the latter in the spirit of the Lexus LF-LC concept.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    ” Robert Farago founded TTAC on a single tenet: no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners automobile reviews and auto industry analysis.”

    Yup, that’s the way I remember it from way back when. And it was widely followed by industry insiders as a “must read!”

    Can’t write much now. I’m at a competitive shooting match in TX.

  • avatar
    old fart

    Going back to your roots of telling the whole story on cars good and unvarnished bad would be great I’d love to see it again, but the car mfg’s weren’t very happy about it. Would you still get cars to test from them or have to rent or borrow them ?

    • 0 avatar

      There’s a way to do reviews that are completely honest and forthright without shooting yourself in the foot. But, if the manufacturers pull access, that just gives us something else to write about.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      Few cars are terribly made now-a-days. Reviewers pressed to find something bad often complain about hard surfaces. Well, Klingons like hard surfaces! They’ll have none of that soft padded stuff for puny humans.

      I’m more interested in reviews with constructive criticism. So when the 2016 Honda Civic upstages the ILX, it’s worth noting that HQ was smart not to hold Honda back to protect Acura. Otherwise, other car companies will eat both their lunches. Acura needs to step up their game.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        complaining about hard plastics in the interior of a car costing less than $50,000 means you were just looking for something to complain about.

        • 0 avatar
          oldowl

          The hard plastics gripe is tiresome. Those surfaces were once metal. That’s hard.

          My gripe is with “cute” auto writing. Get on with it without verbal chrome trim.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            The Farago era had “cute” writing too. I remember a review of the 2008 final year Pontiac Grand Prix with the base engine. It was slower than the reviewer would prefer, with the 4-speed auto, and he wrote something to the effect that in a race between the Grand Prix and North America, his money was on continental drift!

            He also gave some solid, end of review advice: “This is the last year for this model, so you can get one for a song. Don’t.” I have no problem with “cute” writing like that.

            I WOULD like to see more volume seller models in typical option trim reviewed in addition to performance oriented models. Rental car reviews come close, but I doubt Hertz buys the same options packages a retail buyer would.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Right, but we’re not Klingons. And good thing too in TTAC’s case, because ol’ Bertel would have found himself on the wrong end of a bat’leth.

        Qapla’!

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Eons ago I did a lot of writing for TTAC during the RF days. News wise the drill wasn’t to just report a bit of news, but to add context and opinion to it in such a way as to create a thought provoking view on the news.

    TTAC should stop worrying about the competitive environment and focus on being the must read place for insight into what is all might mean. You don’t win by worrying about the competition.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Just keep telling the truth in an intertaining manner. Somewhere between HST’s Gonzo and Walter Cronkite’s way it is. Bring back Sunday fiction, sometimes truths can best be relayed indirectly, and it gives insight into the writer that allows more acurate understanding of their non-fiction. Let those who have left visit, even the unpleasant ones, but don’t give them the keys anymore. Keep on keeping on.

    • 0 avatar

      There will no longer be fiction at TTAC. Sorry. I’ve drawn a line in the sand on that.

      As far as giving certain people “rental” access to TTAC … maybe. But some people have seriously abused those privileges way too many times.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        Thanks for the response. Not knowing (and not wanting to know) the specifics, I’m happy to trust your judgement on who and how. I just find myself missing voices I used to hear.

        • 0 avatar
          jthorner

          Really great writers are rare. They write as they live, with passion and purpose. They are not go along to get along people. If you want great writing, be prepared to accept strong opinions, relentless challenging of authority (especially the boss’s) and heightened emotions.

          The amount of drama which has surrounded TTAC over the past decade is to be expected. Don’t try to control it, but learn to love riding the waves. Almost zero corporate suits can deal with it.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Since nobody has mentioned it I will. Convince Jack to post on YouTube with that gold jacket again.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I really enjoy the Junk Yard finds, please keep them coming.

  • avatar
    marjanmm

    I wonder what will happen come elections this year. Four years ago it was a bloodbath – while it was fun to watch PCH with help from Xeranar and few others take on all B&B conservatives, often it got very ugly.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I don’t want to see a bloodbath, its bad enough we will bombarded enough by the false paradigm in our general lives to then see it in our little car club.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Ever see that first-gen Star Trek episode where a planet had humanoids who were black on one side of their bodies and white on the other? Being so on opposite sides was sufficient reason for them to kill each other.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I think I missed that one. So much good in TOS though, and I am by no means a Trekkie.

        • 0 avatar
          WheelMcCoy

          I remember it well. They were like black and white cookies vs white and black cookies.

          And it became apparent to my young mind that even if one side won, it would be a matter of time before they would further differentiate themselves — the left handed vs the right handed, those with glasses and those without, the heavier folks versus the lighter folks.

          But — spoiler alert — the episode ended with one survivor and mutual annihilation. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Let’s make sure that any discussions with a political dimension are at least on a car-related topic. I enjoy debating the politics of red-light cameras or of liability for robot car accidents with the B&B because they are more informed than the average bear about cars. I don’t really enjoy debating whether Obama r0x0rz or sUx0rz with the B&B because they don’t know any more about the subject than anyone else.

  • avatar
    sparc

    Glad to see the news coverage go. It always felt late and watered down. It took away from the original pieces as they often times get lost in the news. Nothing against Aaron as he did the best he could.

    If you cannot offer extra insight from your own industry sources or truly unique viewpoint on news, then it’s a pointless exercise. I’ll just click through to the original article that covered it properly (or already read a few days earlier).

    The fact that this site finally recognized how bad it was getting, gives me a little hope. Original articles and i’ll read this site every day. I’ve liked the project car articles that shows up from time to time.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      +1.

      It wasn’t fair to pit Aaron the human newsbot against, say, a google newsbot. The folktale, John Henry and his steel hammer vs the steam engine, has already foretold how that matchup would end.

      Hope Aaron returns as a newsbot who targets very specific, perhaps obscure stories, and connects them in ways that no google newsbot can.

  • avatar
    cpthaddock

    It’s time for the DeadWeight opinion column.

  • avatar
    mfgreen40

    Tom — I enjoyed all of your articles so sit down and start to write, to help yourself and us.

  • avatar
    romer

    I have been reading TTAC for about 6 months now and believe this to be the best car site around. Please carry on as you have been doing, but also try include stuff from around the world. Having lived in South Africa (now in Canada for good) you can buy weird and wonderful cars there from anywhere in the world. Australia has interesting cars as well.
    Articles /stories on the motor trade from manufacturing to selling always welcome.
    Well done ,keep going even if you upset people with the truth.

  • avatar
    cheezman88

    Honestly i come to this website to get the downlow behind the scenes news on the automotive world. I feel its harder to trust the facts/reviews from the larger outlets. For example i loved the technical articles posted here that went into heavy detail on how an automatic transmission works. And how you can read about the true nature of the relations between car companies and their strategies in the market. Even the car reviews seem to be more informative rather than just straight entertainment. This website is the place i go to first when i turn on my computer at my office in the morning and drink some coffee before i actually start doing some work. And i hope this never changes

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      Regarding technical articles, I’d like to read more of these kinds:

      Jack Baruth: Avoidable Contact: Color my world, the case for front-wheel drive.
      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/avoidable-contact-color-my-world-the-case-for-front-wheel-drive/

      Andrew Bell: Ask An Engineer: GDI Problems In A Nutshell
      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/ask-an-engineer-gdi-problems-in-a-nutshell/

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Sorry to see Steve Lang go , no one else adds what he does, but I assume it was his choice but Mark with the seemingly never ending comings and goings can you let the B&B know when someone has left the building, I hope we hear from Thomas in Japan and Marcelo is well I miss his pieces but more important hope he is well. Just do the best you can do that is all we can ask.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    “Sorry to see Steve Lang go , no one else adds what he does”

    Well, crabspirits kind of does.

  • avatar

    Mark, you’re doing a great job under apparently difficult circumstances. I hope you can pare down the hours to something a bit more humane. My own feeling is that we shouldn’t try to compete with sites with better resources on the news, but rather do news only when we can give it something that other sites don’t have. (But Aaron did a great job–sorry to see him leave.) TTAC originally drew me–under Farago–for his unique voice and perspective, and that’s the sort of thing that has kept me here, along with quirky, unusual stories about car-related stuff. Much of that the sort of thing that that Baruths do.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    ” You getting any aerobic exercise? That’s one of the best anti-depressants (I’ve been running for the last 25 of my 62 years), and even just long walks can help. Aerobic exercise is also widely considered among the relevant medical researchers to be the best preventive against dementia ”

    Can you flesh this out a bit ? .

    I’m hard up against retirement now (a matter of a moth or so) and I already feel like I’m grinding to a halt , I walk a lot and of course always have some major repair thing going on in my back yard but am crippled and worry greatly about just up and dying as so may old guys do when they pull the pin .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      http://www.arthritistrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Boron-and-Arthritis.pdf

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      See how young looking some older super models look today, in their 50’s and even 60s? They’re super-rich and have found the secret: blood transfusions from teenage virgins! Well, they don’t have to be virgins, but a pint of young blood loaded with stem cells every week for a couple months will do wonders. It worked on hamsters, who not only became more energetic, they even started looking younger, so there’s some kind of rejuvenation going on. Got a teenage grandson or grand nephew, Nate? They won’t miss a pint a week for a couple months.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I was here when Farago’s death watch was in single digits . Writers have come and gone , and some have come back. I can only think of one (a former EIC) that I simply couldn’t stomach . I come here because I’m a car guy ,and I simply , enjoy reading about cars.

    Even with all the changes I’ve witnessed here at TTAC, I still find it entertaining , and god knows, these days I need entertainment. Whatever your doing Mark, it’s working for me… So keep it up

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      ” I come here because I’m a car guy ,and I simply , enjoy reading about cars.”

      Absolutely!

      And a lot of business insiders came to Farago’s ttac way back when to gauge the reader responses to the articles to determine what potential buyers liked and disliked about the entire process.

      Information is power. And the comments of ttac’s B&B have always been excruciatingly direct, concise, and to the point, often much to the chagrin of automakers, dealerships and sales staff.

      It’s great to dream of being able to own a niche dream car like a Porsche 911 or Tesla anything, but the vast majority of ttac readers are not in those financial demographics, and are rooted in the reality of the day-to-day slog of living from payday to payday.

      Entertaining? Always.

      But a return to the “take-no-prisoners automobile reviews and auto industry analysis.” Much better!

      You betcha!

  • avatar
    AprilFools

    I’m going to enjoy the new look/feel over the next few months.

    The insight, history, and behind the scenes into the auto industry is very interesting, and why I first visited and stayed. That is what I feel is missing from other auto websites.

    I really liked reading Tom’s mini van saga.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “That is what I feel is missing from other auto websites.”

      My “must reads” include

      http://www.autonews.com
      http://www.motortrend.com
      http://www.freep.com/autos/
      http://www.detroitnews.com/autos/
      http://www.caranddriver.com
      http://autoweek.com
      http://www.edmunds.com
      http://www.kbb.com
      https://www.yahoo.com/autos
      http://www.wsj.com/news/business/transportation
      http://www.usatoday.com/money/
      http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos

  • avatar
    TerraNova

    Tell Jack not to write ridiculous puff pieces for Road & Track (what editor bought that?) and then come back to TTAC and expect us to think things are looking up.


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