Welcome to the Danger Zone

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
welcome to the danger zone

Well, here it is. At the end of the proverbial day, a website saved is a website earned. I’m sorry I prepared y’all for a quick and brutal transition into paid content, and then dumped a free site on you. Psych! Actually, over the last few days I gradually realized there was no way to give this ship a proper shakedown cruise without putting it on-line. And if it wasn’t 100% ready for prime time, how in the name of St. Anthony could I ask you to pay for it? Why I’d be no better than GM! We’ve got plenty of time to make this the world's best automotive website.

Many of you have emailed in technical suggestions, which I immediately forwarded to Redwing. Rest assured that the back end boys are assembling a punch list of all the geeky stuff that passed over the e-transom. Feel free to continue the technological onslaught. We’re still working out some functionality issues (e.g. all commentators need to be able to edit their posts quickly and easily). I’m sure there will be others. And please let us know quickly if something goes wrong: denied permissions, glitches in function, etc. You are our eyes and ears (and we yours). Use the comments button below.

As for the site’s heart, soul and style, here’s what I figure. The home page doesn’t have enough posts. Well, that’s my take. The old home page had around twenty items in descending chronological order. Should we return to a lengthy home page or stick with the new shortened version (currently set at ten posts)? A glitch resulted in some posts having two paragraphs on the home page, before the jump. I preferred one. Yes? Do you miss the old open road animation at the top, or are you OK with a different detail shot every time? Which buttons are confusing or redundant? Is there something we missed? Something you really like?

Anyway, change is a bitch. You should see the content management side of this bad boy; it’s got a more complicated back end than the first version of the last gen 7-Series. (Who are these Word Press people and why do I think the name was originally used for a seventeenth century printing press modified to interrogate suspected witches?) One thing I’ll be looking for: the car stats. If they have to be migrated over by hand– a nightmare that will teach me far too much about torque– now might be a good time to modify them to include/exclude more info. What stats are we missing? And are there enough rating categories? Forbes said no a while back. What say you?

No, I’m not having an attack of the Bill O’Reillies. In fact, we’ve gone the other direction. You may recall that Brock Yates’ work was slated to appear here. At the sixteenth hour, Mr. Yates developed a cold. Then he decided he wouldn’t put fingers to plastic on our behalf unless we paid him a significant amount of cash (after agreeing to a percentage). Then it wasn’t the money, but the fact that the number of posts per month was too great (four) for his busy schedule. Fair points all, and he’s free to negotiate whatever deal he likes. But he might have mentioned this when we were scarfing sushi in Boston. I’ve left it that I’ll contact him again in two weeks. Should I? Guess which way I'm leaning…

The really good news: our writers are getting better. We’ve added some terrific new voices to the choir, and the regulars are sending in some pitch perfect stuff. Elton is about to throw down another gauntlet (should be interesting to see the comments). A newbie named Jehovah Johnson starts off on Q7 patrol. Mehta met a Morgan. Williams thinks car manufacturers have a license to lie. Lieberman is condemned to Fords. I’m about to Watch GM Die AND get a car to review. And there’s lots more challenging material to come. NOW how much would you pay? Not THAT again…

Join the conversation
2 of 32 comments
  • Terry Parkhurst Terry Parkhurst on Jun 20, 2006

    The site looks good. However, do call Brock and work something out with him. My hunch is it will increase traffic. I have never found him cantankerous as much as thoughtful, intelligent, funny and a savvy negotiator. He has always been kind to me and he encourages talent. But then, I have never tried to hire him to do anything, save for writing an introduction for a book I was working on. He is arguably, the best known automotive journalist in America. And while boy-racers everwhere can debate if he knows his stuff, how many of them have been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and the American Spectator? Brock is truly thought-provoking. Brock has a gift for putting anything involving automobiles into context, largely because he is a student of history. The only writer who did something similar when writing about the automobile was the late, great Leon Mandel. Please, Robert work something out with Brock. I speak for many of us when I saw we want to read his work at TTAC. He belongs here.

  • Terry Parkhurst Terry Parkhurst on Jun 20, 2006

    Correction to last post: I speak for many of us when I say, we want to read Brock's work at TTAC. He belongs here.

  • Bd2 Other way around.Giorgetto Giugiaro penned the Pony Coupe during the early 1970s and later used its wedge shape as the basis for the M1 and then the DMC-12.The 3G Supra was just one of many Japanese coupes to adopt the wedge shape (actually was one of the later ones).The Mitsubishi Starion, Nissan 300ZX, etc.
  • Tassos I also want one of the idiots who support the ban to explain to me how it will work.Suppose sometime (2035 or later) you cannot buy a new ICE vehicle in the UK.Q1: Will this lead to a ICE fleet resembling that of CUBA, with 100 year old '56 Chevys eventually? (in that case, just calculate the horrible extra pollution due to keeping 100 year old cars on the road)Q2: Will people be able to buy PARTS for their old cars FOREVER?Q3: Will people be allowed to jump across the Channel and buy a nice ICE in France, Germany (who makes the best cars anyway), or any place else that still sells them, and then use it in the UK?
  • Tassos Bans are ridiculous and undemocratic and smell of Middle Ages and the Inquisition. Even 2035 is hardly any better than 2030.The ALMIGHTY CONSUMER should decide, not... CARB, preferably WITHOUT the Government messing with the playing field.And if the usual clueless idiots read this and offer the tired "But Government subsidizes the oil industry too", will they EVER learn that those MINISCULE (compared to the TRILLIONS of $ size of this industry) subsidies were designed to help the SMALL Oil producers defend themselves against the "Big Oil" multinationals. Ask ANY major Oil co CEO and he will gladly tell you that you can take those tiny subsidies and shove them.
  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
  • AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.