ttac faq

As you’ve no doubt noticed, things they are a-changin’ on The Truth About Cars. Our new look is evolving, several new writers have made the scene and a whole lot of new readers/commentators are joining us every day. With all that going on we thought we’d better answer a few of the questions we’ve been getting (and throw in a few more we just made up).

What is The Truth About Cars?

The Truth About Cars provides no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners automotive reviews and industry-related editorials. Our writers call it like they see it, and pull no punches. We also provide a comments section for readers to voice their informed and passionate opinions in a atmosphere of mutual respect.

How did the site get its start?

About four years ago, Robert Farago was a freelance writer living in the UK. After Autocar blacklisted Farago for slating then Editor-In-Chief Steve Sutcliffe (for boasting about driving a Lamborghini with his eyes closed), Farago started posting rants on Despite (or because of) Fahrenheit 451 temp replies, he created a regular series called "The Truth About Cars." When Farago moved to the U.S., he started TTAC.

How are you different from other automotive sites?

The Truth About Cars prides itself on its editorial independence. Even though we accept advertising, the ads do not influence our editorial content. We also believe in full disclosure. Any time we receive a car loan or travel considerations from a manufacturer, we state the fact in the review.

What is going on with the web site? Why does it look so… uh… plain?

As they say in the construction business, pardon our appearance. We’re making improvements to the site; many of which were suggested last Sunday (we haven’t forgotten). Due to budgetary constraints, the changes are incremental. Rest assured, Farago's OCD guarantees that TTAC will return to its Zen garden aesthetic– cleaner, sharper and brighter– once the remodeling is done. Meanwhile, thank you for your patience and understanding.

Why haven’t you reviewed a _________?

TTAC’s a small but feisty site. As far as access to manufacturers' press fleets is concerned, that's a lethal combination. Our poorly-paid, single-minded reviewers must beg, borrow and go to dealerships to drive a car. Mind you, there are advantages: we tend to drive the same car you can buy, rather than carefully prepared press cars NB: If you're a TTAC supportive manufacturer, dealer or owner who would be willing to provide a TTAC scribe with a test drive of something new we haven't reviewed yet (we're nationwide), please contact us ASAP.

I can’t see the comment I just entered. What happened?

Normally, when you enter a comment it’ll show up as soon as you submit it. If your comment contains certain flagged words or several web links or comes from a questionable-looking domain or looks like comment spam (we've received thousands of them), the WordPress spam filter may trap your comment. And there it sits, waiting for manual approval. If there’s a legitimate comment in there we’ll rescue it (and edit it if necessary) before we delete the real spam. Meanwhile, patience.

Why can’t I enter a comment?

To enter a comment you have to be registered on the site, and signed in.

What's TTAC's comments policy?

TTAC has a strict policy for posting comments:

1. No flaming the website, its authors or fellow commentators "Flaming" means personally insulting. For example, you are free to suggest that a TTAC editorial should consider Toyota's green policies, but you are NOT free to say "we've got it in" for domestic automakers (or anyone else). You are free to argue that a reviewer should take the new Jeep Patriot off-road, but you are NOT free to call the writer biased or unfair. You are free to say Ford makes reliable vehicles, but you are NOT free to question a commentator's right to recount his personal history of unreliable Fords.

2. No trolling "Trolling" means making comments deliberately designed to encourage flamers. For example, you are free to suggest that TTAC should consider Toyota's green policies, bit you are NOT free to say "Toyota's a bunch of lying scumbags." You are free to argue that a reviewer should take the Patriot off-road, but you are not free to say "anyone who doesn't take a Jeep off-road is a wimp." You are free to say Ford makes reliable vehicles, but you are not free to say "people who don't love Fords are lousy drivers."

Any commentator who flames or trolls receives email notification that the comment was edited or deleted. If the comment is deemed excessively offensive or mean spirited, the commentator also receives a warning. After the second offense, the commentator will be banned from posting on the site. Permanently. I repeat: there is no coming back. Ever.

If you encounter an offensive comment, do not respond in the comments section. Send an email to Robert Farago or Frank Williams and we’ll take care of it.

And one more thing. There can be a fine line between passionate commentary and flaming/trolling. If you have any doubts, err on the side of civility. Or write an editorial.

How can I try my hand at writing for TTAC?

Email us for a copy of TTAC’s Writers’ Guide. It’ll give you the proper format and procedure for submitting articles or reviews.

What’s coming down the pike?

Once the site redesign is complete, we’ll have a lot of new features. Old time readers will remember the ratings and stars for each review; these are coming back. We also hope to have links to specifications and pricing data on the cars reviewed. And we’re in negotiations with a purchasing service to get the best deal possible for our readers who are in the market for a new vehicle. Through all of it, we will continue to provide the finest fully independent automotive journalism on the web.

Frank Williams

Managing Editor

Join the conversation
2 of 27 comments
  • Chuckgoolsbee Chuckgoolsbee on Mar 13, 2007

    Thanks Paul. In scratching my memory, I do recall now a few articles here in the past about... well... the past. Some writeups about muscle cars, the collector market, etc by Mr. Parkhurst, and others. Keep that up. Remember that the benchmarks for style and performance were set by classics. Without their framework, the new stuff has nothing to live up to. Besides, just about every car guy either has an old machine in his garage for sunny Sundays, or wish he did. --chuck

  • Chuckgoolsbee Chuckgoolsbee on Mar 13, 2007

    Oh... and Paul, I'm way younger than you. ;) --chuck

  • Dave M. I will say this generation styling has grown on me; previously I thought the Fiat version was far better looking. Miatas have always been pure joy to drive.
  • Kendahl A Tesla feature has been free, periodic, over-the-air, software updates that add new features or improve existing ones. Owners brag that their x-year-old car is better today, because of the updates, than it was brand new. Will Tesla start charging for these updates after a few years? Teslas hold their value very well. I suspect losing free updates will do serious damage to that.
  • BklynPete When I was a kid, the joke about Nissan choosing the name Datsun goes like this:Nissan execs were uncomfortable with the World War 2 connotations of their name in the North American market. Seeing how successful VW was over here, they went to VW's most-recent German ad agency. The Japanese told the Germans they needed a new name. The Germans agreed. They asked the Nissan execs when they wanted a review of potential names. The execs said two weeks. The German ad people said, "dat soon?"I will be crucified.
  • Kendahl Modern cars are better mechanically in every way compared to cars from the 1960s. But, and my age is probably showing here, the older ones are prettier.
  • Master Baiter I like the references to Red Barchetta. My fun car is a spiritual cousin to this Miata: 2001 BMW M Roadster--green with tan leather; five speed.