By on February 11, 2016

motortrend2.

If you’re reading this, chances are that you have little to no familiarity with Motor Trend. The audience here at The Truth About Cars, as we all know, is a superbly well-educated and successful group of detail-oriented people from all parts of the (autism) spectrum. The readers of MT, on the other hand, are almost all drooling morons who move their lips very slowly when they read, and are exceeded only in their ability to excite repugnance by the chronically inbred half-wits who watch Motor Trend videos, their crystal-meth-addled eyes jumping randomly with perpetual, idiotic surprise at the public-access-TV-level antics spooned contemptuously into the permanently dropping corners of their toothless mouths.

I’m just kidding about that last part, of course. I’d known plenty of very nice people who subscribed to Motor Trend. On the other hand, I don’t apologize for characterizing TTAC readers as Aspies. There’s something wrong with all of you. You’d rather read a Camry review than a story about jumping an Aventador over a river filled with piranhas. I love you for it. Please keep reading. I need the money.

Futhermore, there are a few men of steely courage and razor-sharp intellect out there among the B&B who are willing to brave the foetid depths of Motor Trend’s website just to get the latest breaking news about THE NEW CAMARO TELLS THE MUSTANG TO STEP OUTSIDE! or, possibly, THE NEW MUSTANG TELLS THE CAMARO TO STEP OUTSIDE! One of them e-mailed us this morning to tell a strange tale: last night, a Motor Trend editor published a scathing editorial attacking the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA), only to have it disappear in the light of the next day.

motortrend1

Written by Scott Evans, familiar to TTAC readers from his ballistic high-speed launch of a Cadillac ATS off a cliff on public roads, the editorial takes a strong stance with regards to SEMA, whom Evans feels to be an enemy of both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and auto enthusiasts.

In the short term, you can read the whole thing in the Google Cache. In the long term, here are the salient points:

The breathless press release arrived in the automotive industry’s collective inbox around 6 p.m. Monday … SEMA, meanwhile, is being paranoid and reactionary, shooting from the hip and making a mountain out of a molehill … It’s easy to cast SEMA in the role of altruistic watchdog here, alerting us all to a sneaky regulatory change intended to take our race cars away, but to do so gives SEMA too much credit …

SEMA has done us all a serious disservice by crying wolf. SEMA’s kneejerk reaction hurts its credibility and exposes it (again) as the lobbying firm it is as much as it actually informs us all of important regulatory activity. The government is not coming for your race car, and it’s disingenuous and manipulative for SEMA to suggest so … don’t be fooled into thinking SEMA is doing this for you. You, the enthusiast, are being used to browbeat the EPA into altering regulation for the benefit of SEMA’s members primarily, and your own indirectly. Yes, you might benefit if SEMA wins this fight, but SEMA isn’t fighting it for you.

No doubt you just read that text and said to yourself, “Thank G-d that somebody is fighting back for the EPA and the United States Government against the overwhelming power of the trade association that represents everybody from Flowmaster mufflers to Sammy Hagar himself!”

But then something happened. Possibly, Sammy Hagar made a call. Or was it Jay Leno? Or was it Flowmaster themselves, mastering the power of the flow and reaching out to squash the One Small Voice of Scott Evans? Regardless, the piece was quickly removed from the website and would have disappeared from history altogether — had it not been for the quick action of a TTAC reader.

What caused Motor Trend to pull the article? Was it really a quick call from a SEMA member? Was it a case of morning-after regret? Was it simply a reconsideration of the fact that the interests of most “car guys” align with SEMA more than they do with the EPA? Regardless of the reasoning, however, the article has been expertly disappeared. When the Google Cache expires, the only record of such a publication will be … right here.

For how could you establish even the most obvious fact when there existed no record outside your own memory? He tried to remember in what year he had first heard mention of Big Brother. He thought it must have been at some time in the sixties, but it was impossible to be certain. In the Party histories, of course, Big Brother figured as the leader and guardian of the Revolution since its very earliest days. His exploits had been gradually pushed backwards in time until already they extended into the fabulous world of the forties and the thirties, when the capitalists in their strange cylindrical hats still rode through the streets of London in great gleaming motor-cars or horse carriages with glass sides. There was no knowing how much of this legend was true and how much invented. Winston could not even remember at what date the Party itself had come into existence. —George Orwell, “1984”

So now we call on Motor Trend to either re-publish the editorial or to formally retract it, with apologies to SEMA. To do anything else is to express contempt for its readers — and who would ever suspect that Motor Trend had anything but the highest opinion of its readers’ intelligence and perception?

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144 Comments on “Motor Trend Hits SEMA Hard — Then Changes Its Mind...”


  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    Follow the money.

  • avatar

    At least they didn’t offend Weather-Tech… I mean that’s probably 50% of their advertising!

    • 0 avatar

      10 pages a month. Every month. Forever.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Well, how can you?

      I mean, they make really nice floor mats; not a lot of room to offend them.

      (Disclosure: I have a set in my F250, and will eventually get around to getting some for my XC70.)

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        They make great mats but the sanctimony and self-righteousness that shine through their ads really get grating sometimes.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          *shrug* it doesn’t bother me. There’s been a number of companies which’ve sprung up to sell men’s, er, undergarments. I see their ads online and hear them constantly on SiriusXM. They extol their virtues and charge $20+ for a single pair, yet still have them made in China or other “low cost regions.” If Weathertech wants to toot their horn that they charge more but make their s**t here so be it.

          • 0 avatar
            Dynasty

            It’d be sweet if Weathertech branched out into the home market for mats too. Front door mats, rear door mats, stair treads, cushy mat in front of the sink.. the possibilities are endless.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            I’ve reluctantly shelled out $120 (shipped) twice for WeatherTech front floor mats, for my Malibu, and Volt.
            Pros: They fit perfectly, and are made in the USA.
            Cons: Some of the high price goes towards excessive advertising.

          • 0 avatar
            ammom_rouy

            FWIW, those unders, and everything else I’ve gotten from DT, are pretty friggin’ fantastic, including the best T-shirts I have EVER had from anywhere.

            And the WeatherTech mats are awesome too.

            Cheers

    • 0 avatar
      Coopdeville

      Didja catch their huge super bowl add? Wifey and I (who both use Weather-Tech in our respective whips) commented in unison, “Guess they’re doing OK for themselves.”

      • 0 avatar
        Chicago Dude

        A good friend of mine was an early employee and is now a big shot that reports directly to the owner.

        From the stories I’ve heard he’s mostly just a regular guy that has no ambitions for wealth and as a result is constantly plowing all the money back into the company instead of paying himself handsomely.

        It’s really pretty fascinating and I hope that someday the story gets told.

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      Get those Golden Retrievers away form the machinery! And those dogs too, while you’re at it!

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’ve actually attempted to read some stuff about this EPA/SEMA thing but 96% of auto writers are atrocious when it comes to actual reporting and TTAC doesn’t seem too interested in picking it up.

    • 0 avatar

      There are so, so many reasons why I haven’t tackled this. SO many. But we will soon.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Automotive journalism is in the hands of progressive panty-waists. They don’t have any idea why freedom and cars are related. They think cars should have been forever reserved as playthings for the elite. Just try reading something by Dan Neil.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        “Automotive journalism is in the hands of progressive panty-waists.”

        This is the funniest thing I will read today.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          Honestly, you’d find it less funny if you ever attended a major press event. 90% of the people there are left of center.

          • 0 avatar

            I think you’re underestimating it.

          • 0 avatar
            05lgt

            Just maybe your perception of the spectrums center is somewhat skewed by your own location? But, I’m not talking the political spectrum, am I? Takes one to know one, Aspie! Seriously, most automotive journalism seems like it’s written by journalism majors that couldn’t quite land the cushy corporate PR spot they wanted. A love of cars isn’t required or sought by the editors that hire them. Many thanks to you Jack, and all the editors here before and since.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            As a person who was actually diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, I think most of the people here are just weird and idiosyncratic and not actually on the spectrum. :P

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            I’m on the EM spectrum!

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          He had me at “automotive journalism,” the rest was just gravy.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        Political:

        The 1% have done a great job of preserving muscle cars from my youth.

        They’ve also made them unattainable by bidding them up into the stratosphere – so watching Barret-Jackson is a pleasure/pain experience.

    • 0 avatar
      benders

      I was already somewhat familiar with the Phase 2 proposals from my work with the trucking industry so I looked into a little. My favorite part is that comments closed on the proposal 4 months ago so they’re a little late to actually get it addressed through the proper channels.

      Secondly, the piece of the federal code that would be modified specifically excludes passenger cars and light trucks. So unless someone can show me otherwise, the people all worked up about this are drooling morons.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    “You, the enthusiast, are being used to browbeat the EPA into altering regulation for the benefit of SEMA’s members primarily, and your own indirectly. Yes, you might benefit if SEMA wins this fight, but SEMA isn’t fighting it for you.”

    He’s offended that enthusiasts are being encouraged to act in their own interests because it also helps a bunch of US manufacturers and their employees. Someone has since told him that those US manufacturers he was hoping to put out of business to show his ideological rigor to his masters are the ones that pay his salary. Oops. What a two-time Obama voter.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Someday, CJ, you will wake up and realize that breathing is actually in the interests of every American, even those who act as mouthpieces for the Koch brothers.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        If you think that racing cars are a threat to the air you breath, you’re not really thinking at all.

        • 0 avatar

          If you really think the EPA wants to bankrupt every track in America, well …

          • 0 avatar
            tedward

            Mark

            They clearly have little interest in racecars. What they certainly want to do is put a stop to ecu tunes, and they’d probably prefer to have ARB’s sticker/inspection requirements for parts.

            So you can have racecars, but there won’t be parts available to increase performance for them bc the volume won’t exist in the industry to provide those parts without the customers who run those parts off track.

            I think they were planning to go after tune providers on the heels of the tdi scandal personally. It’s a politically opportune moment for them to try and exercise the authority that they haven’t used as of yet, but which clearly is spelled out in the clean air act.

            It is manifestly against my interests as a car owner for them to do this. They will face incredible back lash from non arb states and it will cost a very large number of jobs if they succeed here. I think it could well hurt the epa in the long run.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I am mostly cool with people that tune their cars, as they often don’t mess with emissions. The people that annoy me are the ones that tune their diesel trucks to dump excess fuel and roll coal. Now that *is* wanton pollution.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @tedward – what you say makes the most sense. “Closed course” and/or “Off-road only” “Competition Use Only” is a very small market. Selling to the tuner crowd whether it be ricers or brodozers is where the money is made.

          • 0 avatar
            chris724

            It’s funny to see all the resident leftists jump in to defend the poor little US gov’t against those big bad car guys.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Chris724- you reading the same blog as everyone else?
            Leftist defense of govmint.

            Good one.

            And no one even mentioned Climate Change!

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          leaded gas is still legal for “off road/race” use.

          QED.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Pot, meet kettle.

      • 0 avatar
        npaladin2000

        Yes, because racecars poison so much more air than that fleet of diesel trucks flitting hither and yon with everything under the sun. Oops, wait, the Teamsters are actually scary, can’t mess with them.

  • avatar
    Firestorm 500

    With the prices Weather-Tech charges for floor mats and cargo liners, they can well afford that level of advertising.

  • avatar
    slow_poke

    TTAC editors,

    a) don’t care about MT or their editorial… conspiracy, blah blah…

    b) from what i’ve read i care about this EPA thing.

    Looks like Jay over at 24hrs of Lemons spent some of his coin to have a nice lawyer give us an opinion on what the EPA’s proposing. succinct. appreciated. much better than an editorial.

    It would be amazing if ALL of us together that care could speak w/ mostly one voice on this issue. You can help. It would be great if TTAC (if they care about this) provide PRECISE instructions on what to do for us to combat / comment / voice our concerns as well as the urgency associated with this issue.

    make it simple and i bet almost all of us would mobilize!

    respectfully,
    …auto enthusiast concerned about this one just enough to actually get off the couch and think about doing something…

    • 0 avatar

      You got it. Soon.

    • 0 avatar
      Austin Greene

      In a time when you can buy a 500, 600 and yes even 700 horsepower vehicle, that is in 100% compliance and right off the dealer lot, this regulatory change is completely and wholly inconsequential.

      You want to go fast, faster, fastest – just buy it that way from the factory. Or install an E-ROD LS3, that is also 100% compliant right out of the box.

      The SEMA lobby is interested in only one thing: making money. In the great Amercian tradition of capitalism they have no interest in you or your desire to go fast.

      Being a hot rodder is much more than altering emissions-related equipment. Brakes, tires, suspension, aerodynamics, lighting, paint and appearance, comfort and convenience: to name just a few.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        This comment does not do much to put my mind at ease.

        “You want to go fast, faster, fastest – just buy it that way from the factory. Or install an E-ROD LS3, that is also 100% compliant right out of the box.”

        That sounds quite expensive compared to dropping a breathed on 454 into an X-body drag car.

        • 0 avatar
          Austin Greene

          It’s a lot cheaper to distill your own liquor too. But that’s not a reason to deregulate it.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            My point is that this is not “completely and wholly inconsequential” as you originally wrote.

            One can argue that this proposal is good or bad (I personally haven’t made a decision on that yet) but there is going to be an effect if passes and is enforced.

          • 0 avatar
            tedward

            Actually that’s one of the best reasons to consider deregulating it. How will this proposed rule change affect the pocket books of consumers? Does that inevitable economic harm balance appropriately against the issue which inspired the regulation in the first place? The next consideration should be, will people comply with the rule? Then you need to balance everything again against the severe harm that enforcement actions create (by design).

            The liquor laws are usually a pretty textbook case of getting that balance wrong because of their legacy status.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            The only reason home distilling is illegal is “terrorism!!! stills could make bad stuff!!” – which of course had never actually happened, but that’s never stopped the Government.

            It was *completely legal* to distill for personal use in quantities big enough to make the limits irrelevant, up until around 2002 or so.

            So that’s not a very good example.

            (And, well, frankly, regulation needs to be justified, not its removal – the default state of any endeavor should be “do whatever you want”, *unless and until* restrictions can be justified.

            With car emissions, we can make externality arguments for justification … but they’re super weak when applied to non-street cars, because they’re run so little and are so uncommon.)

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        Let them buy hellcats basically?

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        This is more than just altering emissions equipment, which has always been illegal, by the way. There is clear verbiage that altering a vehicle from it’s certified configuration (any engine mod) would be illegal, whether used on or off road.

    • 0 avatar
      mike9o

      Do this:

      http://semasan.com/page.asp?content=aa2016FED1&g=SEMAGA&utm_source=ET&utm_medium=email&utm_content=50756237&utm_campaign=LegAlert

  • avatar
    MBella

    Car and Driver had a similar article on there website defending the EPA, and saying SEMA was crying wolf. If this becomes regulation, sanctioning bodies will require emissions compliance of race cars. This would take many people out of racing, because emissions compliance on a race car can be difficult.

    • 0 avatar
      Austin Greene

      More difficult than winning races?

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Safety compliance on a race car can also be difficult.

      How many Lemons cars fail tech because their cage/seat/extinguisher/killswitch/etc are not up to spec?

      Surely, this “takes people out of racing” when they can’t or won’t pony up for safety gear in their hooptie. Do you also advocate for waiving these requirements?

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        Yeah but safety gear has an actual and immediate and likely impact on safety right at the track. Odds are all of the stage one cars in the country don’t add up to a meaningful change in safety for anyone. Even if they do, it needs to be balanced against the harm that will certainly be done to every tuning garage and manufacturer in the nation. Those tunes are a big deal for a very big industry. Only a few very large players wouldn’t be affected by this, they would actually benefit.

        • 0 avatar
          Austin Greene

          Your damage to industry is a faulted argument based on protectionism. What about the typewriter industry and all those jobs in manufacture and repair? Buggy whips? Pay telephones? Canal design and construction?

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Nobody legislated any of the industries you mentioned out of existence. Had they, hopefully their victims would have risen up and killed enough totalitarians to put the Stalinists back in check for a while. You don’t deserve to live in a free country, but that’s fine with you. You obviously don’t want anyone to live in a free country. You also don’t seem to know what protectionism is, which makes sense.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            The irony of all this is the fact that I often hear complaints about the escalating costs of racing.

            Wouldn’t it reduce cost if everyone had no choice but use an emission compliant engine and exhaust?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @CJinSD – thanks for shedding light upon what freedom really is…….. I can do what the f^ck I want even if it infringes upon someone else’s rights.

            and……Oh, how American! – lets kill anyone that interferes with me doing WTF I want.

            Totalitarians and and Stalinists in the same sentence.

            Work in gays, Muslims and ugly women into your next rant and you can become a righter for Trump!
            Oops Freudian slip…… meant writer!

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Read what Jack had to say on the subject Lou. Many racing cars are actually obsolete models. Returning them to original condition isn’t always possible and is rarely economical. It also wouldn’t make a fart’s difference to the climate when you’re potentially talking about reverting a TR6 to 1974 levels of clean. A well-tuned racing engine probably is better in terms of some pollutants and worse in others. The earth can handle it either way, since racing isn’t as popular as soccer world-wide. As for current cars, you’ve just added a level of monitoring that nobody wants to pay for or wade through.

            I’ve heard of ‘drive-by’ emissions monitoring that’s used to identify gross-polluters. Perhaps tracks near major metropolitan areas could employ them just as they do sound meters to monitor noise pollution. If your car is leaving a moist cloud of CO and unburned hydrocarbons, they could black flag you to find out why. Once again, considering the relatively small number of racing cars, this should be enough to ensure they aren’t polluting as much as Leonardo DiCaprio’s private jet hypocrisy tour.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @CJinSD my comment about emissions compliance and the cost of racing applies to newer stuff.

            And I do agree that racing emissions most likely doesn’t add up to much in the grand scheme of things.

            BUT – selling the same aftermarket stuff for use on street vehicles does add up.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            CJinSD,
            Your view that nobody legislated the “canals” out of business is quite erroneous.

            Goverment created easements and right of ways for the infrastructure that brought around the demise of these “industries”.

            Even the canals must of had government influence to give the owners access to land to dig the canals through.

            The same for trolleys (trams). Buses eventually removed these vehicles from our cities. There is much literature on this that is controversial.

            Most any large change to infrastructure and industry whether it be agricultural or whatever has had the finger of the government involved and massaging what the big money lobbiest want.

            Then …… came the unions, they also, believe it or not lobby and create markets to suit themselves selfishly, ie, a 25% light truck tariff for imports in the US.

            Farmers also create artifical change in their industry. Look at the regulated US dairy, corn, etc.

            I do think you should have a closer look at what and how “things” affect the market and consumer driven products from cars, to the milk you drink.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          DDT was made by a very big industry. Jobs were lost. I kind of like seeing birds from my house though. (I’m a little old.) It’s not all one side or the other for me. I’m a pro grassroots racing, pro-nuclear environmentalist. The increased cost to race will be offset by … less go fast money. This really hurts crapcan LeMons etc. but for most racing it’s just a slight slowing of the field. In the big money sections, I doubt they slow down much, and maybe (just maybe) we’ll see less speed restricting emissions control solutions trickling down from the top series.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            You’re a little ignorant. DDT was never proven to kill birds. What it did was save people’s lives in the tropics. That was unacceptable to environmentalists.

          • 0 avatar
            05lgt

            You’re a lot ignorant.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “pro-nuclear environmentalist”

            Well that’s certainly an interesting combination.

          • 0 avatar
            tedward

            It’s not about race cars at all in my opinion. It’s about suing vendors of performance products out of existence. If it can be shown that customers running stage one tunes are driving several keystone species to extinction I would change my tune on this and support regulation.

          • 0 avatar
            MrGreenMan

            How many dead Africans are your birds worth?

            My friends in Africa said to me – the US won’t give us DDT; it’s forcing people to choose to move into an overcrowded city or to worry about malaria.

            The New York Times told me 12 years ago that the outright ban of DDT that the US EPA was pushing on the world was not the goal of environmentalists and ignored the real benefits of DDT in saving lives.

            Bill Moyer told me 10 years ago on PBS that the DDT ban wasn’t Rachel Carson’s goal, and that DDT probably shouldn’t have been banned as vigorously as the US EPA and Usaid has pushed for – the science behind the old “thin bald eagle eggs” claim hasn’t held up under scrutiny.

            But, to be fair, remember, we learned last year that over 50% of peer-reviewed social science papers could not be reproduced, and, in the hard sciences, when people bother to try reproducing them, it’s not much better.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            The problem with DDT, drugs, etc. is that in a capitalist ‘regime’, the immediate benefits are weighed heavily, and the deleterious side effects are downplayed with the sole reason being that profit hangs in the balance.
            The issue with this business model is that the ‘test subjects’ in these ‘studies’ may suffer greatly in the near or far future, and their only recourse is a representative (“Marxist/Stalinist”) government that has the power to oppose monied interests.

            After 50-odd years of leaded gasoline, where the negative health effects were constantly obscured by automakers and the oil industry, it took the newly-established EPA to ban “ethyl” from consumer fuel.

            So, if you want to p!ss and moan about “Big Government”, look to the greed and carelessness of “Big Business” to understand why the average citizen needs protection.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Big business doesn’t have anything like the body count that big government does. That’s like worrying about jaywalking when people are fleeing a volcanic eruption.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            CJ,
            What do you do on weekends, when you aren’t re-reading Atlas Shrugged for the 65th time and dreaming of running your fingers through Rand Paul’s hair?

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            I have little hope of rediscovering the link where I found this, but there was a claim made that the alleged DDT/bird eggshell weakening was done with deliberately misleading and/or faulty experimental setups.

            The birds that were tested by exposure to DDT were also supposedly fed a calcium-deficient diet, severely deficient at that. And since calcium is necessary for birds to make eggshell, that was likely the cause of the weakened eggshells.

            Supposedly there never was a study done that replicated (and hence would have validated via the scientific method) the original test, minus a controlled calcium-deficient diet.

            If this is in fact true, it would not be the first time that research was manipulated to produce a desired result, absent proof of true causal linkage.

            I’m hoping someone here of the B&B might know more about the subject and might be able to assess whether this is true, or is itself propaganda. But it does make me wonder…

            I have known people who as children used DDT to help their families raise crops for years, and others who rode behind DDT mosquito fogger jeeps on bicycles for years during their youth, none of whom later suffered from cancer, though, so that also makes me wonder about the supposed carcinogenicity of DDT.

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      Sigh, the bullying. Just taking ONE lignite plant offline in a state where you could drop a windmill every 25 yards for miles without notice (well, if you aren’t a bird) would alleviate TONS more CO2.

      If only politicians were racing fans.

      http://www.wday.com/news/3944616-new-co2-rules-threaten-north-dakotas-prosperity

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I hope everyone who is getting their panties in a twist over this all signed the petition a couple years ago to change the 25 year import ban.

    I’m in a bit of a tough spot fairly frequently being married to an EPA employee. Her paychecks, which are a lot bigger than mine, mean I have to hesitate to be as up in arms as I would be otherwise.

    Of course that’s a two way street since I work for a large utility company that relies on the extraction of natural gas as part of its business plan.

    And Jack, I am offended. I have a subscription to both MT and C&D. Ok, I’m not offended since they were gifts and I don’t crack either of them open and just put them on the pile every month.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “I hope everyone who is getting their panties in a twist over this all signed the petition a couple years ago to change the 25 year import ban.”

      what the hell does that have to do with anything?

      • 0 avatar
        Land Ark

        It has to do with enthusiasts actually doing something (regardless of how minor that thing might be) to try to change the way cars are regulated rather than just gripe about it.

  • avatar
    Willyam

    “There’s something wrong with all of you. You’d rather read a Camry review than a story about jumping an Aventador over a river filled with piranhas.”

    By the way, this rings true. I think reading identical reviews since the early 80’s in every magazine turned us into the types of weirdos who fast forward right through Top Gear’s beautifully-shot hypercar test drives to see if $1500 Porsche’s can survive a hundred mile road-trip.

    Oh, and the way you tell the story makes rental-car reviews some of my favorite reading. The car is more relatable, but it isn’t always about the car.

    • 0 avatar
      economist

      I don’t find it weird to be bored by the same review of what is essentially the same unobtainable hypercar, repeated a few times each season. I also fast-forward through the celebrity interviews.
      The challenges and films represent adventures that I could possibly have myself, while the celebrity interviews and hypercar reviews only show me what I will never obtain or even come near.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I absolutely agree…haha

  • avatar
    VoGo

    If Trifecta Tuning is made illegal, how will we be able to make fun of Norm every day?

    That’s the real loss here.

  • avatar
    Waftable Torque

    No, we can’t do an expose on SEMA! It would rip apart the fabric of American society once it’s revealed that we’re separated by…

    -institutionized discrimination: 95% are outies: exhausts, headers, tires, headlights, subwoofers and gun racks; while the 5% are actively innies: turbos, intakes, Bluetooth, and body armor (if you’re a minority who gets profiled by cops often). Conservative outies believe innies are evil molesters, and encourage them to go to innie rehab centers to become an outie. The younger liberal generation has to wait for the older conservative generation to die off before the institutionalized discrimination stops.

    -gender: these companies actively discriminate against tall shirtless muscular men with 6-pack abs as official trade show spokespeople.

    -finance: no large financial organization provides loans for SEMA goods. This is due to the lobbying of universities and home builders to label SEMA goods as bad debt to their good debt. This bad-debt label is a semantic that SEMA can not shake, causing them to miss the high IQ crowd altogether (the low IQ crowd courageously finds a way).

    -race: we need strong intellectual property rights to prevent the Chinese from stealing our industry trade secrets. Because we all know there are billions of Chinese just waiting to roll coal. They sure have a lot of it.

    That is all.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Waftable Torque – but if SEMA supported ” tall shirtless muscular men with 6-pack abs as official trade show spokespeople” they would loose all that sponsorship and government lobby assistance from the American Breast Implant Association.

  • avatar
    SomeGuy

    I’m glad you guys caught MT doing something a little “off.”

    My faith with MT is so far gone it is ridiculous. I can’t stand the pandering MotorTrend does to the manufacturers when a new model comes out and in 3 to 5 years will slam the same car as the newer model rolls off the line. If people don’t think MotorTrend plays nice with the companies who puts ads on the pages then explain to me the flip out Chevy ad on the COTY issue and how one can maintain editorial independence? How many Ford ads have you seen lately on there? Notice how the 2011-2014 Mustang isn’t that great anymore (read the comparison of the 2016 SS vs the 2015 GT)?

    Once my subscription runs out, I’m finished. A shining light from MotorTrend has to be Randy Probst, as he is a pretty amazing driver and gives interesting feedback on his tests.

    Road and Track is the last bastion of legitimate car reviews IMO.

    As for the current situation, I don’t know enough to really give an opinion it, I just hope whatever happens enthusiasts are still allowed to be just that with minimal government interference.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Car and Driver is very bad about this too.

      C&D just had a Z51 Corvette lose to a GT350. I haven’t driven either so I have no idea how accurate that finishing order would be, but the Corvette was heavily criticized for “lifeless steering”. “The Corvette’s steering is a disappointment, remaining relatively inert regardless of how much lateral load the front tires are experiencing… it should be better than it is.”

      Then you read the last Lightning Lap writeup for the Z51 and it begins: “With great steering and handling, the latest Corvette is a highly engaging road car.” And in another test: “Unlike so many Corvettes we’ve driven, the C7 is a joy to play with on public roads… there’s real feedback and road feel”. And in their long-term Z51 wrap up: “We all agreed the electric power steering had great feel and response”

      I feel like they just intangibly liked the GT350 more than the Corvette, but refused to write a comparison saying that and decided they needed to come up with some BS “objective” reason for the Chevy to lose.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        They certainly don’t worry about consistency in selling whatever the dish of the day might be. I will laugh when Car and Driver folds. Holding them above Motor Trend today is just intransigence. It’s been a long time since Car and Driver had anything to recommend itself. Larry Webster was probably the last addition to their staff. Everyone added since has been a regression, and many who showed up before him were too. William Jeanes tried to clean house when he took the reigns. He said no more lavish trips for his writers paid for by automakers and no more double-dealing by taking money from them to write advertising copy. For five years their reviews reflected my experiences with cars, and then it was over. Csaba Csere wanted his seat back at the trough, and that magazine has been a magnet for bottom-feeders ever since.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          Car & Driver was at its peak in the ’80s and ’90s. They had real automotive engineers like Csere and Bedard on staff, and Brock Yates was the cranky old f**k (but not that old yet.) My favorite column had to have been when Rich Ceppos wrote about people asking him what kind of car he had (assuming someone who writes for a car mag has the best new car on offer) and he said he had a ’76 Cadillac Eldorado convertible.

        • 0 avatar
          Austin Greene

          I have to agree. The no Bill, William Jeanes years were good years to be reading Car and Driver.

    • 0 avatar
      zip89105

      @ SomeGuy. I’ll agree 100%, especially this year, when any negativity at the advertiser of the year (GM) was met with deleted posts.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    EPA….so likely the E stands for Empty, and the A stands for Activists. What’s the P stand for? Its not same as the P in APR, is it?! :D

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    MT probably realized none of us really know what the proposed legislation means, so it’s too early for strong reactions. They probably don’t want to officially retract and apologize yet, in case SEMA’s interpretation turns out to be wrong – but they should admit to being in a holding pattern.

    I’m not philosophically opposed to emissions regulations for off-road vehicles. It’s air pollution. Someone will end up breathing it. No regulation at all of off-road vehicles reminds me of smoking sections in restaurants next to non-smoking sections, with nothing separating the two. But it’s silly to require that OEM emissions equipment remain untouched. It’s not designed for the type of driving race cars do. At worst, let us do whatever it takes to get post-modification emissions at high rpm to match what an unmodified car emits at the same rpm.

  • avatar
    LesleyW

    Maybe I am an aspie. I’d much rather spend my free time bead-blasting 25-year-old hatchback parts… than reading about Lambos.

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    Isn’t there a Editor whose job it is to review articles for relevance, spelling errors (okay that’s probably done by his secretary) and approve and assume responsibility for published content for good or ill?

  • avatar
    zip89105

    MT editors asked their online readers what they thought was the best debut at the Detroit Auto Show, aka the NAIAS, as they wanted to know if readers views agreed with their experts. I posted ‘experts’ from MT was the most interesting debut. The post didn’t last long as it was deleted shortly afterwards.

  • avatar
    Daniel Sycks

    The truth with most things like this tends to end up somewhere in the middle. I for one am a little all over the place with this issue and here is why. Its confusing as hell.

    First I heard of this there was a SEMA all points bulletin calling our the EPA saying that they were declaring war on race cars. It instantly caught fire with no real evidence as to what the EPA was actually doing.

    At first there were a few calm voices that asked what was the EPA actually doing, asking if we actually had any proof. Nobody seemed to have anything other than SEMAs warning.

    Then we found some EPA info that was all vague and wordy and seemingly without a smoking gun. Suddenly everyone was in full retreat. All of this inside maybe 24 hours.

    Then less than a day later we see the EPA coming out and saying that they were only looking to make their language less confusing but hey, you are not really allowed to touch emission controls on street cars even if you want to make them race cars so FU very much.

    So to be blunt… this is all confusing as hell. Nobody seems fully sure as to what the EPA is up to and at this point I really don’t think I care. The EPA does not exactly have an enforcement arm at county fairs or circle tracks and likely won’t any time soon.

    The bottom line here is that MT called out SEMA for getting out in front of this story and jumping the shark and they likely came to realize that they were doing the exact same thing and edited themselves before they ended up with added egg on their face.

    Seems reasonable. Thank goodness I have never done anything like that. Luckily I am super cool and have never made any sort of mistakes of any sort. Go me. :P

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel Sycks

      PS- I know you read the comments Baruth! You narcissist! ;)

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      “The EPA does not exactly have an enforcement arm at county fairs or circle tracks and likely won’t any time soon.”

      false

      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/09/14/armed-epa-agents-in-alaska-shed-light-on-70-fed-agencies-with-armed-divisions.html

      or if you don’t trust foxnews

      http://www.epa.gov/enforcement/criminal-enforcement

  • avatar
    tedward

    A gentleman told me at work today that the epa had people at Sema this year surveying how many track cars were actual customers of the various vendors. I have no way of confirming this obviously but, if true, it puts a bit of credibility behind the more alarmist interpretations of what is happening. I still don’t think they care about track cars in this case, but it would be a useful number to have in determining what percentage of Sema sourced parts end up on road cars.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      They are regulating(not legislating, that would be constitutional if done by the legislature) $35,000 fines for each modified engine or non-compliant part of a car. They also tried to reassure that they’re really just about putting the aftermarket out of business. They almost certainly won’t be bothering with any private individuals, unless they can’t be trusted. Can you trust someone who makes a rule with a big penalty and says they have no interest in enforcing it at the same time? It doesn’t seem like a smart thing to do.

  • avatar

    What a bunch of jack boot-licking commies.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    There are a lot of people using SEMA member parts to modify their road cars. That defeats both the letter and the spirit of federal law.

    Jack Baruth’s other employer, Road & Track, has covered this story. One of their two pieces even carries Jack’s byline.

    http://www.roadandtrack.com/motorsports/news/a28135/heres-what-the-epas-track-car-proposal-actually-means/

    http://www.roadandtrack.com/motorsports/news/a28136/wanted-a-climate-scientist-with-a-license-to-race/

    Just in case you are keeping score, Road&Track and Car&Driver are owned by Hearst Magazines. Motor Trend is owned by Peterson Publishing. The rivalry between those organizations goes back for decades.

  • avatar
    corntrollio

    They also published this the day before, btw, with the long EPA disclaimer at the top, since the EPA actually isn’t doing what SEMA said:
    http://www.motortrend.com/news/epa-proposes-to-ban-the-conversion-of-street-cars-to-racecars/

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    Motor Trend was a joke even in the pre-internet stone age of the early 90’s. Car and Driver, while hardly faultless, mocked them regularly. Their spoof of the Trabant as ‘Car of the Year’ was priceless.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The most important fact to come out of this article is Jack calling us essentially SNPs or Special Needs People, ie, autistic and aspies (AS). Actually AS is now identified as part of the autistic spectrum.

    I do recall a couple of years ago I called someone on this site “retarded or a retarded fnck” and some of the B&B slapped and spanked me finding my comment offensive and politically incorrect because they knew a fellow worker who’s nephew friend’s uncles beer buddy’s grandkid was autistic and/or retarded.

    I see where I have erred, Jack. I must be equitable like yourself call everyone fncking retarded or AS afflicted.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @BigAl- Jack is a celebrity and we all know celebrities are held to a different standard. Affluenza …..

      Oh and Jack is funny….and is Jack.

      You… well…..

      are a bored millennial creation.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    My view is the regulations, controls, tariffs, technical barriers, etc is quite an important facet of the US vehicle industry.

    It seems everyone from the UAW, auto manufacturers, oil/energy industry, to even the farmers all have their fingers in the auto industry and the direction it heads in.

    Just the cost in managing this mess would be in the billions. I do know that just the differences in safety regualations between the EU and the US costs the US new vehicle buyers around $15 billion dollars a year.

    When all of these measure are taken into account the taxpayer if forking out 100s of billions or even over a trillion dollars a year to maintain it’s existence.

    Why can’t we just all have a common regulation, without limiting imports and let the consumer decide what vehicle they want?

    Just look at the massive waste in EV/hybrids.

    The auto industry globally is a mess with little co-operation between in particualar the US and other nations.

    The EPA, SEMA, NHTSA, etc are all just instruments to sate lobbiest and minorities, like the UAW, Greenies, manufacturers, and all I listed above.

    Are their interests targeting what is required by the consumer at the end of the day?

    No fncking way.

  • avatar
    hawox

    exactly it’s just a question of money for the big motor companies.
    it has nothing to do with pollution, pollution for a bounch of race cars it’s insignificant in the big scheme of things.

    motor corporations have money and power to make the game, they want to sell you theyr sports cars. fun cars will be so expensive that would be limited to an elite.
    don’t even care if something goes wrong because there will always be some governant who puts money “to save the industry”.
    after race cars will be the turn of independent mechanics to be ruled out.

    here in europe they succeded long time ago, limitation is much more sever than in us. if you want a car fun to drive you must buy it at the dealer, racing is usually very expensive. we have much less fun and much less opportunities.
    magazines here are clear and simple commercials for car manufacturers.

    just think what is the money and politics power of sema compared to the motor industries? ZERO

    maybe one day you’ll be forced by law to buy a new corvette if you want ot go to race track. with monthly inspection…

  • avatar
    redapple

    VoGo

    Yes !

    The USA /EPA must crack down much more on emissions.
    Agreed !!!

    (meanwhile Mexico, India, China (total population 2.3 billion. USA 320 million))stack it all straight out the roof).

    Sheeesh.

    Guys we re out numbered by osama voters. I give up.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “Guys we re out numbered by osama voters. I give up.”

      If one looks at the demographics of Republican and Democrat voters that isn’t that far off the mark.

      The Republican base has been white, male, Christian, rural, and uneducated.
      Boomers are at the end of their lifespans so death is picking off the white male part.
      Rural – more are moving to larger centres and that affects this voting base.
      Education – as more people seek and complete “higher” education, this shifts voters to the left.
      Christian – as we have seen by Pope Francis’s visit to the USA, Latino/Hispanics are a huge growing electoral demographic. They aren’t going to vote for a party seen as being run by angry white men… read Donald Trump. The white Christian “moral majority” is no longer the dominant Christian voting block.

      The main thing that will save the Republicans is the fact that only 17% of the time 2 Term parties get a 3rd term.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “Education – as more people seek and complete “higher” education, this shifts voters to the left.”

        I disagree, you are confusing genuine education with political indoctrination. While there are some universities, or divisions of universities, which have ramped up their efforts in brainwashing they cannot lay total claim to what is happening. US public primary and secondary schools have morphed into neo-Bolshevik Young Pioneers style organizations and in the absence of counterarguments from parents/grandparents due to the nature of broken homes, the children swallow it whole. This is one of the reasons why by and large the “Millennials” are a lost generation, and so called Generation Z will probably be the catalyst for a serious social shift of some kind (I figure in ten to twelve years or sooner).

        First read this:

        http://understandrussia.com/lenin/

        Then know Peabody and Schenley Highs Schools were merged to create Obama Academy. Let the fact a school was named after a *sitting* US President, who is incredibly divisive at best, sink in a little. I’m not suggesting the president *is* a neo-Lenin per se, but remember the link above and dwell on how it is important to icons for indoctrinating children.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama_Academy_of_International_Studies_6-12

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          28CL,
          Look at a map that shows the quality of education. See the states at the bottom of the US. Then look at a chart showing how states vote. See the red states? Complete overlap between the 2 maps.

          There’s a reason I moved to Massachusetts.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          “icons for indoctrinating children”

          Who can forget:

          “Mmmm..Mmmm..Mmmm…

          Ba-RACK Hus-SEIN O-bama”?

          >>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ty7WU872Lk

  • avatar
    outback_ute

    I remember 20-odd years ago Audi ran in the BTCC or similar with the windshield banners “racing with catalyses”. Carlisimo raises a great point that OEM gear won’t work in racing but technically it can be done.

    I think some sort of bounds could be applied even though full compliance is realistically impossible, eg I don’t like seeing V8 Supercars blowing visible smoke all the way down the straights just because running that rich makes an extra 1?, 2? percent more horsepower. Motor racing has enough opponents as it is, it is not wise to give them more ammunition.

  • avatar
    VolandoBajo

    Red Barchetta is prophecy, a tale of a death foretold (apologies to Garcia-Marquez), and not fantasy.

    It will not likely happen in this proto-geezer’s lifetime, but likely will in my son’s or (as yet unborn) grandson’s…

    Like the fact that a frog will attempt to leap out of boiling water, but will sit quietly in a pan of water as it is slowly brought to a boil, the general public will silently sit by as even driving itself, and individual transportation vehicles, are slowly demonized, regulated, and finally put out of existence.

    After all, centrally controlled transportation helps make for a better controlled populace, and it is “better for everyone”, studies to follow…

    “Thank you for using our ubiquitous fleet of autonomous rent-by-the hour vehicles, which are the ONLY vehicles that can bypass the gridlock we have created for private vehicles.

    “Encourage your friends to switch over to us now. Early adopters will always be given preferential scheduling treatment, even when all privately-owned, person-driven cars are entirely eliminated.

    “Welcome to the brave new world that is coming to you even as you read this. You have never had so good, so sit back and enjoy it. No other response is possible, as that would be hate speech against the public good. So get with the program, while you still can. The rest of you will just have to walk. The law has long established that driving, or by extension, being driven, is a privilege, and not a right.”

    /s/ The Establishment, on behalf the one per cent of the one per cent.

    You idiots who think that this is just an isolated matter, that will effect only a few, and/or that it will have great benefit in lowering world pollution levels, have a lot bigger problem than all of us “spectrum” people ever had, or ever will have.

    It will be a sea change, so it will not occur overnight. But a hundred years ago, the income tax was sold as something that would only apply to the richest one per cent, and that its impact would be minimal even on them.

    In the realm of politics, things seldom turn out as they were advertised, in the long run. And often turn out drastically worse than imagined.

    Don’t like my income tax example? Wait, there are more. I’m just too tired to string them all together now. So I’ll just close with “those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”

  • avatar
    koreancowboy

    LOL Scott Evans…that idiot is still employed by MT?

    Guess they love scraping the bottom of the barrel…after all, they did hire Jonny Lieberman.


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