The Truth About Cars » Jonny Lieberman The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 16 Jul 2014 01:50:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Jonny Lieberman When We Say TTAC Homecoming, We Mean It Fri, 23 Aug 2013 13:30:59 +0000

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?

]]> 61
TTAC does the 24 Hours of LeMons. And Dies. Again. Sat, 21 Nov 2009 16:24:09 +0000 When life gives you lemons...

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?

How could a little sports car with a fully independent suspension and a healthy six-pot motor perform so poorly? More to the point, perhaps you remember some of the “cheating” we did to our LeMon’s ringer: a milled down stock flywheel, 280ZX long block and disc brake upgrades and a smokin’ deal on a coil-over suspension at a Z-club silent auction. Everyone expected Z-cars to perform well in these races, but no matter who runs the Fairlady from the Land of The Rising Sun, it all ends in Epic Fail. And so it was this time: our car performed well the first day of racing, with the power to pull hard on damn near everyone in the straights too.  But the competition is even better than last year, and the Z’s temperature gauge was none to happy about it. By Day Two, the head gasket said sayonara. So we paused, re-thought our action plans and finally packed it up to plan for next February’s race.

While I know that Z-cars are doomed to mediocrity because E30 BMW’s, Toyota Corolla FX hatchbacks (yes, really) and Foxbody Mustangs have taken the checkered flag, Jay Lamm’s own words about the Z-car tells the sad truth: Datsuns are out of date and hopelessly uncompetitive against modern vehicles. That’s sounds like a challenge to me, and TTAC’s crew chief Troy Hogan knows it.  Rest assured, his (insane?) dedication to the Datsun brand means that one day a Z-car will come up a winner.

Eventually. But these events are fun for racers, brand loyal fanatics, and anyone who loved these cars (mostly 1980s and 1990s iron) when they were new.  And enjoy seeing them get a new lease on life, or a stay of execution.  And much like TTAC, the 24 Hours of LeMons is all about the product, stupid. Much like C/D, the BMW 3-series comes up a winner far too often.  But that’s not the point.

If you haven’t seen a 24 Hours of LeMons race, go to one of next year’s events. The series is growing every year, mostly because of word of mouth and an unbelievably low cost of entry, relative to SCCA and NASA sanctioned motor sport events.  Even if you don’t race, you’ll be hooked after one lap of $500 heaps making an absolute mess (mockery?) of your local road course.

]]> 15
Autoblog Kicks SEMA Ass and Forgets to Name Names Mon, 09 Nov 2009 16:23:32 +0000 (courtesy and . . . someone)

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?

]]> 15