Long-time TTAC readers will recall that some time ago, I accidentally became embroiled in a Facebook-wall argument with Motor Trend editor (and TTAC alum) Jonny Lieberman. When Jonny’s best friend and boss, Edward Loh, quite sensibly leapt to his defense, I said a lot of mean things that I probably should have just thought quietly to myself. Sometimes I forget that it’s not my job to make sure other people adhere to particular standards, ethical, aesthetic, or otherwise. I’ll do a better job of remembering that in the future.
As part of TTAC Homecoming, I’m featuring one of Jonny’s videos. In this episode of “The One”, Jonny pretends to be a British auto journalist as he drives the Challenger SRT-8 “Core” around what I think is probably the Streets of Willow. While I will freely admit that this sort of automotive journalism is not for me — the last straw on the proverbial camel’s back is probably when Jonny talks about his “good friend” Ralph Gilles, I’m of the opinion that our readers, not the PR people, should be our good friends — it’s definitely unique and it’s all part of the MT YouTube channel which, I am reliably informed, is the biggest automotive media source in North America. Not bad for a guy who used to write here for free, huh?
The weekend of October 24-25 was the third running of the 24 Hours of LeMons at Motorsport Ranch in Houston, TX. TTAC was there for the insanity. And it was the fourth time our LeMons race car, a 1972 Datsun 240Z hit the track. I was an honorary “penalty” judge this time ’round (props to Autoblog’s Jonny Lieberman and LeMon’s Founder Jay Lamm for that), so I did the best I could for my teammates when they got black flagged. But I’m no crooked judge, Jonny said I was too nice to other teams, too. No matter, it wasn’t enough for us to come close to victory. Then again, the Datsun Z is the butt of many a LeMon’s joke. What’s up with that?
It’s not every day that our friends over at Autoblog rip someone, anyone, a new NSFW. In fact, have they ever done it? Well, now they have. “SEMA 2009 Worst of Show: This Car Stinks” tears into a modded Dodge Charger with scissor doors like nothing I’ve ever read on the Gray Lady of autoblogs. “The why and the how of this particular example of aftermarket hubris and wretched, mindless – and let’s not forget pointless – excess don’t really matter now, as the poor thing will spend the next 15 years quietly rotting in the side yard of some shop in Joliet, Illinois waiting to either shrug off this mortal coil or get turned into a fine LeMons car right around 2025 – whichever comes first.” Looks like Mr. Lieberman is channeling his inner TTAC. Oh wait; he cut his teeth on this very website. So, to thine own TTAC be true? Yes, BUT—who built the cat piss special? On this point, Mr. Lieberman and/or his editors are not-so-surprisingly silent. So I turn to our Best and Brightest to answer two simple questions. First, why is this car any worse than the other abominations cluttering the SEMA ho’ down? Second, who done done it?