Not Goodbye, Just Au Revoir

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
not goodbye just au revoir

Today marks my final day as Managing Editor of The Truth About Cars. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that when I forwarded a snarky letter I'd written to Car and Driver complaining about their lack of editorial direction to some guy at a web site I'd just discovered, it would lead to this. It's been a wild roller coaster of a ride, occasionally aggravating, usually entertaining and always educational – but never boring. I'm going to miss it. A lot.

The decision to leave TTAC didn't come easily. In fact it took an offer of considerably more money and some pretty sweet benefits to pull me away. (OK, so I'm a sellout.) I won't be writing a lot or working in an automotive-related field, so I'll have some adjustments to make. By far, the biggest will be going through Farago withdrawal.

I can't say enough good things about Robert Farago. Yeah, he can be stubborn, opinionated, hard to get along with and a real pain in the ass at times, but he's also one of the best persons I've ever had the honor of working with. You'll never find anyone as dedicated to anything as he is to this site. Nothing gets published that he hasn't read and approved (and usually tweaked at least a little). And yes, he really does read every single comment. Robert Farago is TTAC.

Robert liked the snotty letter I sent C/D and asked me to write something for the site. When I finally realized he was serious, I submitted my first article. I didn't think it was very good but he saw something in it, worked the Farago magic on it, published it, then asked for more. I was hooked and he knew it.

As the site grew, he approached me about being the part-time Managing Editor. I thought he'd lost his mind, but I agreed to give it a try. Then when the State of Georgia did me a favor freed me to pursue other opportunities by abolishing my position, he offered me the chance to do it on a full-time basis. My momma mighta raised an ugly child, but she didn't raise no stupid one. I jumped at the chance.

I think almost every pistonhead has a secret fantasy of being an automotive writer. I've been lucky enough to live that fantasy. And because of Robert and TTAC, I've had the chance to rub elbows with journalistic giants like Stephan Wilkinson and Brock Yates. I've also worked with some of the best writers on the web. Guys (and gal) I'm going to miss all of you. It's been a genuine pleasure. And thank you, Robert for believing in me and giving me the chance of a lifetime.

To our readers all around the world, a big word of thanks. This site wouldn't be what it is today without you. I can't count the number of times Robert and I have gotten emails expressing wonder at the quality of comments and the depth of discussion found here. And they were spot-on. You won't find another site in the blogosphere with the brilliant readers and civil discourse you'll find here.

I know TTAC will go on without me and do just fine. Justin will keep things flowing smoothly and the site will continue to grow. Hopefully some of the changes Robert's visualizing for the future will come to fruition. If so, the TTAC experience will only get better for everyone.

Yes, I'm going to miss all of this. But don't think you're getting rid of me that easily! I'll still be lurking in the shadows, making pithy comments occasionally and calling bullshit when necessary. I'll also continue doing the "By the Numbers" and inventory/sales per dealer editorials every month and working with the Ten Worst and Ten Best Auto awards. Basically, if it's a job for a spreadsheet monkey or involves a poll, I'll most likely be involved somehow.

You'll also see a review from me from time to time, so don't be surprised when you see my byline pop up. I'll no longer be here on a daily basis but I'll still be around. TTAC's like a drug — easy to get hooked on and tough to walk away from, and I'll still have to have my regular fix. So until I see you again, take care, drive smart and keep on tellin' the truth!

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2 of 41 comments
  • Edgett Edgett on Sep 02, 2008

    Frank - I think all of us have immensely enjoyed your presence here, so I hope your new duties allow you to stop in occasionally, if only as one of the many posters. I'm sure that Mr. Farago will continue to produce the best auto-content on the web, but we'll certainly miss your slant on things. Very best of luck in your new endeavor; it's always nice to get a raise and be appreciated for what you do.

  • Revver Revver on Sep 02, 2008

    Frank, congratulations, but sorry to see you go. I'll confess to not being as tuned in to the names associated with TTAC, but I consider it a must-read for anyone interested in the car biz. There is an undeniable grin I get every time I visit here. Ironically (perhaps not) this was once the core value of C&D. One thing that is worth mentioning, is that beyond the nice letters seen here, one of the legacies of yours and Robert's work, is that the obviously bright (and sometimes snotty) responses to every story, make for a wonderful reading experience. The quality of readers you attract, who become part of the fabric of each article, makes the old dynamic of print media seem dead, dead, dead. When the blog model works it's a beautiful thing. And baby, this blog is work'n.

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
  • Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.