By on May 21, 2009

Now that Jack Baruth’s editorial series “Maximum Street Speed Explained” has hit the servers, more than a few of TTAC’s Best and Brightest have hit the roof. A few of them felt so strongly about the inadvisability of the rants’ publication that they’ve followed Elvis’ example and left the building. I can understand that. Road safety is an emotional issue. As Lord Humongous said, “We’ve all lost someone we love.” Or worry about same. But, in this case, my empathy does not extend to self-censorship. In other words, I stand by my decision to publish Jack’s editorials. Before I present my case, I want to get a few things out of the way . . .

First, Jack’s views are not my own. Many of our enervated readers concluded—wrongly—that giving the “oxygen of publicity” to Jack’s how-to guide means that I condone speeding on public roads. As someone who’s lost both his license (twice) and close friends to illegal driving of one sort or another, I believe that motorists should all follow the law. Scrupulously. Fastidiously. That is my official stance. Period. 

[In case you were wondering, I am not hypocritical in this regard. OK, most of the time I’m driving a minivan. And I will admit to giving the Boxster S its head on the odd off-ramp. But generally speaking, I would never do ANY of the things that Jack describes, even if I have done some of them in the past.]

Second, I didn’t publish Jack’s work as a form of “trolling.” Those of you familiar with this site will know that our goal is, believe it or not, to tell the truth about cars. When I called for GM to ditch the Corvette, I wasn’t kidding, trolling or pimping for readers. While TTAC will never run from a fight, nor will we hesitate to start one, we never head fake. We never “pretend” to believe something to stimulate debate or increase viewership. That’s just not how we roll. 

Third, “we.” Ever since this site began, I have actively sought contrary opinions. And published them. I have never believed that I—or anyone else—has a “lock” on the truth. In fact, it is my firm conviction that the truth emerges from vigorous debate. In some cases, it withstands that debate. In other cases, the conflict reveals the original assertion as incomplete, ill-considered, flimsy and/or just plain wrong. So be it. Not to get all hippy-dippy, but as far as I’m concerned, the truth is independent from the person who gives it voice. It is what it is.

And so we turn to this particular case . . .

In this series, Jack is providing information based on his experience as a law-breaker. He is also advising others how they might break the law and get away with it. The danger is clear: someone might read his words, attempt to follow his “guidelines” and injure or kill themselves and/or others. I get it. 

But this is not likely, nor is it his intent. To me, Jack’s message—if not the underlying morality—is clear. IF you are going to engage in this activity known as speeding, THIS is how you should do it.

Which brings us to an uncomfortable, statistically verifiable truth: speeding is like masturbation. Few of us admit it, but we all do it. Yes, there’s a vast gap between what the law allows and what Jack’s describing. But pretending that his actions are not ours writ large is disingenuous at best.  

Anyway, doing it is one thing. Reading about it on TTAC is another.

I decided to publish Jack’s editorials because I think they raise important questions worthy of closer examination and spirited debate. However inadvertently. And so they have. To my mind, that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. Commentators who believe that I should have excluded Jack’s opinions undervalue their own contribution.  

The biggest problem here may not be the substance of Jack’s views, but the way he presents them. For some of you, Jack’s rant is like a sex tourist bragging about having intercourse with an underage prostitute. Fair enough. But it is my experience that the majority of writers worth reading are born braggadocios. There is only one effective weapon against the terror of the blank page: ego. Jeremy Clarkson excepted, do not mistake mission critical rhetorical flamboyance for arrogance.

My final argument is this: TTAC started as vanity publishing. It has become something much more sophisticated, and worthwhile. It has become the conscience—the proverbial canary in the coal mine—for the carmaking industry. It’s also become a safe place for pistonheads to share their unvarnished, often prickly love of all things automotive.

We did not get where we are today by excluding thinkers with controversial, often polarizing opinions. The brand demands that we encourage strong voices, and err on the side of outrage. And so we shall.

[Note: as this series has triggered some strong emotions, I’ve turned off our no-flaming the website/author policy. Ish. I reserve the right to douse particularly egregious examples, in a first amendment-friendly sort of way.]

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160 Comments on “Why I Posted Jack Baruth’s Maximum Street Speed Editorials...”

  • avatar

    There are two main things people seem to forget (or ignore) when responding emotionally to Jack’s articles:

    1) We ALL endanger each other’s lives every time we step in a car. Sure Jack may endanger other people’s lives more than the average driver, but it’s not an “all or nothing” question.

    2) Anybody that can speed for that long without killing himself or anybody else has to be doing something right. I don’t know how many responses contain some version of “People aren’t expecting you to be driving 50mph faster than they are/pass on the right/cut them off/etc.” Any reasonable person that speeds knows all of this and takes this all into account. I’m sure Jack isn’t just blowing by other cars expecting them all to stay in their lanes, chances are he either passes with at least one lane of ‘buffer zone’ in between or has an ‘escape route’ already planned for when that soccer mom in the SUV tries to come into his lane when he’s doing 150

  • avatar

    topdog, if you want to put your life, or the lives of your loved ones in the hands of this selfish loser, that’s your choice. The “everyone does it” rational morality argument doesn’t cut it. The guy looks a nerd who is still living in his parents basement playing “Dungeons and Dragons”, hence the need for him to make believe he is a man.

  • avatar

    essen: I’m putting my life in everybody else’s hands every time I hit the road. Simply piloting a 3000+lb piece of metal, even at the speed limit, puts other people’s lives at risk. So it’s not a matter of “Jack is taking other people’s lives into his hands”, it’s a matter of “How much more danger is Jack posing to his fellow citizens than the average driver?”. I would be willing to be that it’s a lot less than you think

  • avatar

    Originally, I was disturbed by Baruth’s stance on this business.

    Now, I’m angry with the TTAC editorial stance and it’s because you inadvertently helped my thoughts to crystallize.

    “IF you are going to engage in this activity known as speeding, THIS is how you should do it.”

    That’s also providing the confidence necessary to oversome some of the reluctance to speed, and is, to my mind, actively promoting illegal activity and activity which is inherently dangerous, like it or not.

    Driving is inherently dangerous and speeding simply makes it worse. No one is in better control of the car at 100 vs 70mph and the forces involved in an accident increase with the square of the speed.

    And TTAC chose to be part of this encouragement.

    “For some of you, Jack’s rant is a like a sex tourist bragging about having sex with an underage prostitute.”

    True enough and, if I found out one of my colleagues or, God forbid, friends had done that, I’d cease to associate with that individual.

    Good-bye. I’m going to miss the interesting and provocative stories about Detroit’s meltdown, hybrid cars and other things. Them’s the breaks.

  • avatar

    I’m glad you posted it.

  • avatar

    I don’t speed. I really don’t.

    As for masturbation, well, I’ll have to admit to doing that.

  • avatar

    People need to get over this silly nanny stuff and grow some manhood points.

    First, it’s a rant. Mostly made with a sense of snark if not humour.

    Second, mein gott in himmel, it’s a site about and for car enthusiasts. Could we be a little more pantywaist if we tried? I don’t encourage endangering others, but we all want to push the limits a bit sometimes. That’s why we like cars. I bought a fast car and fast motorcycles so that indeed I could go fast, and even do stupid things sometimes.

    Somehow, the human race has still gotten here without all the moralistic nagging of the nannies of the world saying “slow down.”

  • avatar
    John R

    I have no problem with this, as far as I am concerned its satire. Entertaining at that.

    If there are people really burning Irish orphans to stay warm, then there is something wrong with them.

  • avatar

    Mr. Fargo – I’m all for hearing contrasting opinions but there’s a limit to difference of opinion than just plain absurd behavior.

    This article gives the practices to use to drive fast (but they can be used when you aren’t driving recklessly in order to drive safely). I have no problem with that. What irks me is that Mr. Baruth at a point brags or encourages people to do so. Skill can only go so far and on the streets where luck runs out and physics of reckless driving take over innocent people loose their lives.

    If Mr Baruth does want to drive as reckless as possible…go to the track which Jack recently did at Putnam (I was there too but didn’t know you were – from what I recall it seems Jack has trouble passing other people as there were no emergency shoulders or right lanes to fly by them). Tracking cars is great…you get to drive fast…other drivers are much, much more cognizant of other cars and safety of a track and prepped racecar give you the ideal and safest outlet for the need for speed.

  • avatar

    After reading the editorials, and thinking about them for a bit, I have to admit that they were fairly well written, and interesting, even if the subject matter was somewhat distasteful. Although I have to say that it’s not the worst thing that’s been posted on TTAC. All in all, I’d agree that it’s worth putting up, but what I’d really like to hear is Jack’s defense of why it’s ok to drive that fast.

    Some tips on driving fast are interesting in their own way (here’s one, go to Arizona and find a deserted highway), but what I really want to hear are how someone convinces themselves that it’s worth it.

  • avatar

    I think you may need to post another editorial defending why you used that particular picture.

    Just sayin’.

  • avatar

    There always will be SVS outbreaks.

    (sandy vagina syndrome)

  • avatar

    The argument of “everyone is a criminal so please don’t judge my actions” is a slippery slope indeed. So is the illusion that irresponsible behavior with expensive cars is any better than the felonious crap that teenagers pull in riced out econoboxes.

    The 1st amendment argument of free speech has some merit but beware that you site will be judged by its content. The danger is that next time you write about the evils of red light cameras, it will be judged in the light of these editorials.

  • avatar

    carguy provides our red light camera reportage. I do not edit it for content. The articles represent their author’s opinions and/or interpretations of events. As do all those pieces without my byline.

    As for moral relativism, I’m against it. Except when I’m not.

  • avatar

    With so many people not liking Mr Baruths writing, how hard would it be to simply put a user adjustable filter based on author as part of the code for this website? I know I’d surely use it.

    Just an idea.

  • avatar
    Edward Niedermeyer

    In my experience with publications (online and off) I’ve found that everyone needs to be pushed out of their comfort zones from time to time. Otherwise, you’re left with an echo chamber that does no good to anyone. As much as I disagree with Jack’s pieces on speeding, I think they serve a purpose.

    That having been said, in this case I disagree with Jack’s need to brag about speeding on public roads. As someone who thinks that current speed limits are too restrictive, I think Jack’s oversharing hurts efforts to convince reasonable people that driving fast isn’t a morally objectionable pursuit.

    My approach to speed limits is the same as any law. If I disagree with it and plan on breaking it, I will do it as safely and consciously as possible. And if I’m caught, well, I knew the risks. Passing on the shoulder and outrunning cops add an element of reckless abandon that isn’t necessary to the pursuit of legitimate extralegal thrills.

    Either way though, Jack is his own person. Speeding is his decision, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to hear his perspective. Just as I would be to read an editorial based on the exploits of a car thief. Perhaps some explanation for why he drives the way he does would help make a teachable moment of this, though.

  • avatar

    I was disappointed by the decision to run these pieces. What purpose does publishing a guide to reckless driving serve? And it is reckless, when he talks about slowing down to 100 MPH in traffic. This isn’t straying 5-10 MPH over the limit. That’s what we all do. No one who drives that fast should delude themselves by thinking it’s socially acceptable.

    When can we look forward to “Getting Away With Vehicular Manslaughter Explained?”

  • avatar

    If you’re going to make this about your site’s edginess rather than any discussion of taste or the focus or brand of the site this is really a waste of time. The economy is tough. Get the hits how you can.

    Awhile back you had a series of articles by a lawyer dealing with speeding tickets. I would suggest that those articles dealt with the issue of speeding in a useful and interesting way. This current series is just an account of antisocial behavior. I have no problem with the boasting (most of Baruth’s articles are mostly that and they are sometimes a fun read) but dealing which such an excessive level of speed (and in traffic) and then wrapping it in the guise of a “how to” is where the wheels fall off for me.

    That’s where I see this as if not irresponsible at least in very poor taste.

    ..and as a resident of central Ohio, what I’ve also taken away from this is that I’ve put the Ohio Highway Patrol number on my cell phone in case this sociopath ever breezes by me.

  • avatar

    I understand the point in publishing this editorial. I get that it is another opinion and it is good for debate, as evidenced in the comments so far. I’ll even grant that his articles are entertaining. Then in the spirit of truth, I offer this challenge: give the same amount of space to the other side. Whether with one writer or multiple, show the risks and consequences of people who drive recklessly.

    thetopdog: 1) I would bet you’ll find few, if any, here who pretend driving isn’t always, to some degree, dangerous. But the fact remains that everytime Jack or anybody else chooses to drive in such an unsafe manner, they choose to make it (much) more dangerous for everybody.

    2) As Jack said in the first post, luck has a lot to do with it. I remember a similar (less informative) post from him not too long ago that described a situation that was more likely to have resulted in an obituary (for him, his passengers, and those in the car(s) he almost hit) than a series of articles about the topic that could have (and could still) killed him. And assuming somebody who makes the decision to go twice the legal limit will be reasonable in other aspects of their driving is a bit too optimistic for me.

  • avatar


    I’d be delighted to give an opposing point of view equal time (800 words). Email [email protected]

  • avatar

    The absolute genius of the First Amendment is that by allowing free speech, it makes it much easier to identify those people who are genuinely dangerous so that one can steer clear of them.

    There is no truth without freedom of speech. So, Robert, you’ve lived up to your site’s title and that’s admirable.

    Mr. Baruth may be a driving ace, but his posts on this subject are dangerous and it’s up to the more responsible of us to vigorously point that out.

  • avatar

    Well put, Robert. Bravo.

    I can’t say that I agree with all of Jack’s recent editorials, but I do read them as such: and editorial. In other words, it’s an opinion – published by someone who is NOT me.

    Of course some people’s hackles will be raised by these editorials, but that’s life. Individuals are called that because they have their own beliefs and opinions. If you can’t respect that others don’t share your viewpoints, then so be it.

    I personally try not to speed in my car, but on my motorcycle, it’s a completely different story. Going 30-40 mph over the posted speed limit feels effortless, and I have personally exceeded a posted speed limit by 75 mph. I’m not bragging – but that’s what the bike wants to do. Knowing how the bike will react, and having a good sense of what the others on the road might be doing is excellent ammunition towards surviving and enjoying such bursts of speed.

    Knowing what Jack is espousing is why I’m still alive, my bike doesn’t have a scratch on it, and I have no more endangered anyone else on the road any more than driving the speed limit in my “cage”.

    Just because Jack has the nerve and want to say what he has in his editorials is no reason to dump TTAC. There are many other great things about this site. If you don’t like Jack’s editorials, don’t read them. If you do, then take what he’s saying with a grain of salt.

  • avatar

    Has anyone ever masturbated WHILE speeding?

    Anyway, I would ask one question of the “if you post this it will encourage the behavior” folks. Do you feel the same about distributing condoms in schools? Do you think that giving condoms encourages sex? Let me also state that I am not making a statement about my personal feelings on either issue (condoms or speeding guides).

    People say “I don’t think teenagers should have sex, but we should give them the means to do it safely”. I think this is similar to the argument for publishing this editorial. TTAC is providing information (tools) which can (may?) make speeding safer.

    For me, I think this editorial COULD influence someone to speed. Maybe that person didn’t feel they had the skill or the knowledge to do it safely, but now they do. As with the argument against condom distribution, you have made the activity more appealing by making it safer.

    • 0 avatar

      These editorials are NOT like “distributing condoms in schools”.

      OK, teenage sex is given; speeding is a given. So what should be done is to try and make people do as little as possible of both activities, and failing that, to make them safer. You make speeding safer by advocating NOT doing it in traffic, and keeping it to some reasonable percentage above the limit; you make teenage sex safer by drilling into the kids’ heads that if they’re going to do it, at least use protection.

      This, though — advocating overtaking on the right, running on the hard shoulder, doing twice the limit or more — is more like proselytizing the withdrawal method(*), and telling kids that actually not all that many people catch AIDS in their few first sexual encounters.

      See the difference?

      (*): AKA “Try to pull it out in time”.

  • avatar

    I have refrained from voicing an opinion in the previous op-eds, mostly because:
    – I speed sometimes too, albeit at a far more leisurely 80mph or less. But breaking the law is breaking the law
    – there are many other danger factors on the road: cellphones, food distraction, “zoning out”, and so on. Alcohol and drugs, obviously. Jack is brazen to show his stuff like this, but he’s far being the only one endangering other people’s lives. I think it makes us uncomfortable because he’s so honest about it.

    Living in areas where cars are prevalent (i.e. pretty much anywhere on earth) is dangerous, because we’re talking about 2000+ lbs of metal driven by amateurs, and with fickle and irrational laws and enforcement. Making it as safe as possible is a laudable goal, but it should start by driving less. Statistically, that would save more lives than anything else.

    I respect TTAC’s editorial stance in this respect.

    speeding is like masturbation. Few of us admit it, but we all do it.

    2 major differences, however: one is legal in the U.S. and doesn’t endanger anyone else but purely hypothetical unborn babies.
    They’re pretty important differences.

  • avatar
    Kevin Kluttz

    I have only five words: Keep Up The Good Work!

  • avatar

    The reason that there is a First Amendment is because there was an obvious need to remind people that freedom of thought becomes meaningless without the freedom of expression to accompany it.

    Freedom of speech should piss you off — that’s why we have it in the first place, to expose us to views that we may not want to hear, and to force us to use our heads to combat them. If the only thing that we are permitted to argue about is who most deserves to win Survivor or the Super Bowl, then we need to burn down the Capitol, start over and reinvent ourselves, because at that point we will have completely lost the plot and forgotten what this grand experiment is all about.

    What’s far more disturbing than Mr. Baruth’s street antics is this increased trend toward homogenized viewpoints in the popular media. Debate has become replaced by redundancy: All the Same Thing, All the Time, Stay On Message 24/7.

    No thanks — save the sterilization for milk at the supermarket, the place where it belongs. I’d prefer my media to be more like free form radio; play something I’ve never heard before, and goad me into listening to it. I reserve the right to hate it, but I won’t know to hate it if I never get to know about it.

    Personally, I would add a disclaimer to the end of every editorial that is not written by the lead staff, so that it is clear to the reader that the position may or may not reflect the site’s editorial position. Otherwise, have at it.

  • avatar

    Isn’t this situation the same as listening to music you consider horrid, or watching television so lame that you feel your brain leaking out of your ear?

    Don’t fricking read it. If you don’t like the author, don’t read his stuff. Holy Moley. Exercise your right to completely ignore the author’s articles. Why is the simplest solution sometimes so hard to see?

    I may not totally agree with Mr. Baruth’s stance, but I certainly enjoyed the telling of it. I appreciate the “tongue planted firmly in cheek” prose and his witticisms, but if I didn’t I just wouldn’t read it, plain and simple.

    And to those who see this series (in fact many of Mr. Baruth’s articles and editorials) as a primer for bad behaviour, think about this: people who are too stupid to drive, but still somehow manage to possess a driver’s license are probably not members of this site. I think Mr. Farago aims a little higher than that. Just sayin’.

  • avatar

    RF – I’m certainly not complaining about the red light camera stance – in fact I completely agree with you that its mostly a money making scheme so please keep ’em coming. My fear is that the nature of Jack’s articles are undermining the legitimacy of all the other content on this site. TTAC to me has always been about the free, robust but civilized and intelligent discussion of cars and the car industry and not a street racing blog or forum for wannabe felons.

  • avatar

    One of the things about the US that has always surprised me is how hung up everyone gets about highways speeds. When looking at the US from the outside, here is a country that seems wedded to the cowboy image, land of the free, where anything is possible. And yet, you have some of the lowest speed limits in the western world, and you even do things like the National 55mph Speed Limit to yourselves, and on top of that, you all get so vitriolic about it. It’s very hard to understand.

    Maybe if your highway speeds were less restricted, your industry would have been forced to build better cars long ago, so now you could be competing with others for automotive dominance instead of being on welfare.

    All this whining is just too much to take sometimes.

  • avatar

    The series articles are well written with no words that truly implied all this was vetted.

    Words that should make everybody think, is the third person narrative and the start of the first article with the lines “In theory,” and “hypothetical knowledge”.

    This is a great series for debate. Keep up the great articles.

  • avatar

    We Americans take ourselves waaaaay too seriously.

  • avatar

    Mr. Farago.

    I opened both editorials and have the tabs in my firefox browser just waiting some spare time to read them.

    Haven’t even went to De Lorenzo’s site yet, but that’s another story.

    I don’t see the (excuse the Spanish term) alharaca.

    It surprised me, because I started with the second one: The über-wealthy have many fascinating ways to speed on America’s highways and that line alone hooked me. I initially thought it was something about the stop light cameras and stuff… wasn’t going to read 800 words about that. Nein.

    In my country, speed enforcement is almost unexistent. I drive EVERY day at 130-160 km/h when the speed limit is like 90-100 km/h. And in the 14 years that I’ve been driving, I’ve never got a ticket for speeding.

    Planning to move to a country in which that is clearly an issue, it bothers me, and of course I’ll read and most probably enjoy them.

    This situation reminds me when Herr Schmitt posted the picture of Hitler, and the thread was closed. I actually liked the joke and understood why he did it (the text and context just “cried” for that pic), and never understood all the whining. He has some black humor, and I like his pic selection and sarcastic style.

    Keep up the good work.

    PS: Thumbs up to Ken Elias for purchasing the G8. And for the Saab too. I envy you. Really.
    I need a sedan, and would love to buy any of those.

  • avatar

    I don’t see how the first amendment is applicable in this discussion. The first amendment prevents the Congress from passing laws abridging the freedom of speech. As this is not a government run site, and there is no law at issue here, I don’t see how it is relavent. What is relavent is the editorial stance that published article being discussed and the content of that article. Regardless of which side of the discussion one falls, I’d hope that much could be agreed upon.

    I share many of the concerns regarding the free flowing of ideas in modern media, but those issues (for the most part) deal with the decisions of corporations proving media services in order to turn a profit. Popularity equals raitings which equals profits. So, unpopular ideas as consequence are often squelched.

  • avatar

    Welcome to being an adult. If I reads Baruth’s article and decide to go out and speed, then I alone am responsible for what happens. Not Baruth. We are each repsonsible for our own actions.

    Who is responsible if one of my buddies convinces me to pick up some hookers? What about the guy at work who drinks and drives all the time, and swears to me his method to do it safely? How about those very convincing articles I’ve read on why not to pay taxes?

    Keep up the good work TTAC.

  • avatar

    I don’t support driving like this in anyway in traffic but I have had my 325iT up to 137mph out in the desert with only me and some jack rabbits at 5a.m.-beautiful.
    Truth be told we have much more to fear from drivers with cell phones shoved in their ear at or below the speed limit than someone focusing on speeding

  • avatar

    I don’t see how the first amendment is applicable in this discussion.

    Because it speaks to the mindset that freethinking people (not just in the US, but everywhere) should bring into a discussion. It’s not a political point, but one about the attitude that we bring to the table when we consume media.

    If we dislike bad speech, then the answer is not to flee for the exits or resort to tantrums, but to combat the bad speech with good speech.

    Brains need exercise. Being forced to argue a point and defend it intelligently is the mental equivalent of hitting the gym. If you feel the burn and a bit beat up as a result, then you probably did OK. Limiting one’s exposure to pre-screened points of view is more like living on a diet of Slurpees, where your own only choice is between varying sizes and flavors of fake sweetness. (Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are not those of the 7/11 Corporation, its affiliates or subsidiaries.)

  • avatar

    I found the 2nd article more obviously funny than the 1st. I hope commercialization and pandering to a wider audience is not the intent of the 3rd :-)

    BTW – are those in uproar really telling the rest of us that they have NEVER exceeded the speed limit knowingly?

  • avatar

    Robert, I definately back your editorial decision. I hope this encurages vigerous debate. Most of my points of agreement are well posted by the other commenters and dont require me to be repetative.

  • avatar

    I read TTAC for entertainment,Jack is entertaining.

    That being said At the age of 55 I’ve logged a lot of miles.Ive driven in every region of North America,in every season.I’m a fanatic about checking my mirrors.I couldn’t count the number of the Jacks in this world I’ve spotted coming up behind me.I simply,get out of the way.
    Years ago it was an early seventies green MG.Two lane road,he went by me at 80 plus.The wreck was 10 miles up the road.The driver was killed when he was ejected.25 years later I can still visualize what was left of his girl friend.I’ll spare the B&B the details.
    Sooner or later the Jacks of this world will miss calculate.

  • avatar

    Agree or disagree with Mr. Baruth’s opinion on speeding, that’s fine. Take away his right to express such an opinion, and that’s censorship. Not fine. This site offers opinions from both sides of nearly any argument, that’s the beauty of it. If you’d like your opinion to be heard then you should give other parties the same respect.

  • avatar

    I decided to publish Jack’s editorials because I think they raise important questions worthy of closer examination and spirited debate. However inadvertently. And so they have. To my mind, that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. Commentators who believe that I should have excluded Jack’s opinions undervalue their own contribution.

    Great, when can I submit my 2 essay series on shooting highway street signs with an assault rifle while driving the speed limit on Rt 93?

    The biggest problem here may not be the substance of Jack’s views, but the way he presents them.

    It’s the substance, Farago, really. A good editor would know this. If he’d presented this essay not in text but as interpretive dance it would still be irresponsible for you to have posted it.

    For some of you, Jack’s rant is like a sex tourist bragging about having intercourse with an underage prostitute. Fair enough. But it is my experience that the majority of writers worth reading are born braggadocios.

    You know who brags about sex with underage prostitutes? Guys who are very shortly to be raped to death in jail. Your comment above, Robert, may be the most idiotic thing I’ve read here except for Jackass Baruth’s speeding essays (including the one from a few months back when he discussed doing 120 in his goddamn phaeton). There is no braggadocio in breaking the law and putting other people in danger.

    There is only one effective weapon against the terror of the blank page: ego.

    Bullshit. This is a community college creative writing class maxim and you know it.

    Jeremy Clarkson excepted, do not mistake mission critical rhetorical flamboyance for arrogance.

    I’m sure Clarkson is shaking in his size 47 boots at your repeated digs at his ego.

    My final argument is this: TTAC started as vanity publishing. It has become something much more sophisticated, and worthwhile. It has become the conscience—the proverbial canary in the coal mine—for the carmaking industry.

    Surely you can’t be serious. Methinks Mr. Farago has begun to believe his own press releases. This is the same TTAC that just went to unpaid contributor status, that send Johnny Lieberman packing as they couldn’t afford him, that had to justify its existence to the conglomerate that owns it, as it owns Golfer, and Surfer, and Needlepoint, or some other 2-bit online lifestyle mag. You are as relevant to the car industry as cat shit is to the cat litter industry.

    It’s also become a safe place for pistonheads to share their unvarnished, often prickly love of all things automotive.

    No argument from me here.

    We did not get where we are today by excluding thinkers with controversial, often polarizing opinions. The brand demands that we encourage strong voices, and err on the side of outrage. And so we shall.

    You got where you are today because you are free and Car and Driver is not. I suppose the onus should be on us then, the readers, because we get what we pay for.

  • avatar

    maybe post a disclaimer before his “here’s how to break the law” posts?

  • avatar

    Why do some TTAC readers get so upset that they even want to quit reading this website? That’s seems like an over-reaction. We are all adults with enough intelligence to know what our limits are. If such an article would be presented to teenagers/kids, THAT would be irresponsible. My personal opinion is that Jack’s driving, even if he is an excellent race driver, is too wild and dangerous for how people drive in NA, and I wouldn’t even try such driving, but at the same time I’m not going to bust my liver because of it.
    I read both articles, had a laugh, and dismissed the whole thing. It’s an interesting peek at the more extreme spectrum of driving, and (the contents aside) the articles are well written.

  • avatar

    I vehemently disagree with such driving. But i also am certain that anyone who puts on the @$$ hat and drives like that has no one to blame but themselves, nobody. Not even TTAC.

  • avatar

    My God. Let’s all talk about how dangerous the innatentive driver of a huge SUV is while eating, drinking, primping or talking on the phone. At least this man is engaged. I would love to see some stats on the raised danger lever between someone doing what Jack is describing and someone that has no real idea how to control their vehicle yapping away with one hand on the wheel at 80mph.

  • avatar

    Keep up the good work, I enjoyed the articles!

  • avatar

    This ignores the basic premise of most of our arguments–not that he’s talking about going 5-10 over the speed limit “like we all do” and is socially acceptable… He’s talking about ABSURDLY excessive speed and discussing techniques that are, at best, subjective and assinine, about how to break a variety of laws that can and will, someday, kill someone.

    This is not “how to get away with parking tickets.”

    This is “how to commit attempted murder dozens of times a day–with style.”

  • avatar


    It isn’t a question of who is more dangerous. If Farago had posted an article about “How I completely ignore the road while I put on eye shadow and text my friends in my Ford Expedition” there would be just as much outrage, probably more. But he didn’t, he posted an equally dangerous driving habit how-to.

  • avatar

    I’m sure Mr. Baruth’s posts were interesting, to say the least. That said, I haven’t read them and do not intend to. I express my dislike of his views after the toolish Phaeton article by no longer clicking-through on any post that bears his byline.

    Having just realized the fat guy with the bad coif’ pictured above is Jack, I’m really struggling with the no flaming policy….

  • avatar

    These articles are no different than a body-building site posting real articles on how to do steroids properly. And there’s a lot of information on that, even from a health-conscious perspective (how surprising!).

    I’ve read those articles, with no intention of doing it myself. I’m curious. Which is why I follow a site like this, and read articles like this for the same reason.

    I like learning.

  • avatar

    Jack, do keep ’em coming, please. In a world of depressingly enveloping conformity, the exhilaration conveyed in your singular writing stands out. At the very least it helps break up a boring day at work.

    Incensed readers exhibiting moralist masturbation by barfing up canards about cause and effect know not what they speak. What other people do after reading your articles is their responsibility and theirs alone. This is America, after all.

    As for the rest of us, we’re all (presumably) adults who can handle the truth and ourselves just fine.

  • avatar

    Regarding “everybody speeds”: If Baruth’s series was only about how to speed more safely then you would have a point, but to the extent that it was about how to speed and get away with it that argument fails.

    Still, controversy makes the site interesting, and censoring people just turns them into martyrs.

    And I can see how someone that lives in the 2nd worst driving state in the country would tend to act out.

    By the way, one guy dressed like a sloppy auto journalist and one guy dressed like a douche bag design director, no wonder they had to switch name tags.

  • avatar

    One day he will miscalculate. If we are lucky, he will be the only one killed or maimed.

  • avatar
    Stu Sidoti

    To all out there who don’t like Mr. Baruth’s stories or Robert’s decision to post his musings here I am compelled to paraphrase that First Amendment sage Larry Flynt: ” If you don’t like TTAC, don’t read TTAC.”

    It’s Robert’s site-he can do what he wants; if you don’t like it…don’t read it.

  • avatar

    I can only say that Baruth’s articles are just plain boring, which is why I don’t read them.

  • avatar

    You know what’s indefensible? That haircut. I blame Robert Bly; it was reading Iron John many years ago that caused me to stop cutting my hair. Still, you should see what most of the other journos look like after a long day sweating it out in the Detroit Auto Show. The worst thing you can say is that I could sneak into the Doobie Brothers Reunion Tour without a backstage pass.

    One commenter asked if I have ever been hit by an inattentive or careless driver. Yes, I’ve been hit no fewer than four times by cars while on a bicycle. In one particularly amusing incident, my right hip was broken in half and one of the pieces was stuffed through my internal organs like one of those Billy Mays “kitchen choppers”. He also asks if I have hit anybody on the road. I have never hit another moving vehicle at a speed above about 6mph. That’s off-track. On-track, I’ve been repeatedly disciplined for that kind of thing :)

    Somebody else said I was fat. I’m 6’2″, 48 Long suit, 36 waist, and 224 pounds… Oh, wait, you might have a point there. Carry on.

    Thanks, as always, to Robert for the chance to write.

  • avatar

    I would suspect that I fall somewhere in the middle among the B&B in my tendency to drive fast. Some guys pass me; good, they can get on down the road ahead of me and flush out any cops. I get stuck behind some of the others until there’s a place I can pass. On the right is fine, but so far, not on the shoulder.

    +1 on the speed-limit mentality that exists in most places in the United States. Here in suburban western Washington there is no road that doesn’t have a speed limit sign on it just past every place where another road intersects it. These speed limits are generally set so that an old lady with failing eyesight can drive a motorhome on a dark, windy, rainy night and be safe. They’re too slow for everyone else, and quite a few drivers ignore them. They are there for selective taxation via speeding tickets, not for traffic safety.

  • avatar

    I don’t disagree with TTAC for posting the editorials.

    However, I will say that the “Maximum Street Speed” series has caused me to like driving and automobiles less than before I read them. I really truly hated them.

  • avatar

    I’m all for expressional freedom, but an editorial like Jack Baruths, will have to be met by the public on a similar level. Of course he has the right to opine his view, nobody wants to take that away from him. But then, people who disagrees with his opinion will have to state their view as well, accordingly. At the end of the day, my opinion is that he’s only an inglorious bastard.

    On the other hand, I don’t know how the first amendment and all that was brought into this discussion. The right to free speech is not the ultimate goal of democracy. Ultimately, we are all in it together. With freedom comes responsability. In Sweden, where I live, there’s a law called something like “exhortation to crime”. Which means it is illegal for me to provoke others publicly to do crime. If I publicized detailed information about “This is the way to handle a Boeing 707 on a low-level flight, and steer it into the nearest building”, my ass would be in the slammer the very same day.

    Taken from that perspecive, I’m not really sure if Jack Baruths editorial would be considered legal in Sweden. On the other hand, it would be the publishers decision, and there’s no publisher that wouldn’t like that kind of fight.

  • avatar

    I love these posts (as if my comments haven’t shown that already), keep it up I say.

    Hippo…are you bringing the sandy vag. back to mainstream status? I approve of that also.

    Re: upcoming back road tutorial…needs video in the worst way. It’s the perfect subject matter for TTAC to enter the original video racket. It probably won’t even involve documented crimes given the default 55mph limit on most back roads. Please?

  • avatar

    I don’t agree with JB’s articles but he of course is free to express them.

    RF & his media company are also free to host them. This (USA) is a “free” country, right?

    I have been thinking for quite some time of contributing financially by either donating or buying merchandise that totaled in the 3 figure range. Not a lot by any means but certainly more than what most people think web content is worth.

    With the recent low quality content, I really don’t think it’s worth my while to contribute anything. In no way would I want to be seen using/wearing TTAC merchandise. I can’t imagine friends/family seeing me with TTAC merchandise, coming to the site out of curiosity and then asking me why I condone the behavior shown on this site.

    I will continue to read the site, skipping JB’s “articles” as they are beyond the realm of what I find entertaining. I read this site for entertainment and information and JB’s “articles” offer neither.

  • avatar

    May I please write a series of articles on how to drive drunk? It might be dangerous, but, damn, it is fun. And I know there are some weak-kneed nanny-staters who will object, but that is just proof of the pussification of America.

  • avatar

    Although I do not obey the speed laws, my superior powers of logic and rationality allow me to not only calculate what the safe speed is for me in my car, but also what it is for other people in their cars who might be driving. Therefore, I can get pissy about other people’s speeding while speeding myself, as I am a Volunteer Pace Car for I-95.

  • avatar

    All the people complaining about Jack are probably the same idiots trolling along never looking in the rear view mirror while clogging up the fast lane on any given day. Get over yourselves.

    I registered just to comment on your ridiculous, self-righteous comments. It’s a car site. You think no one is going to talk about lighting the tires and having some fun?

    Rather then crapping ourselves because some writer rants about going fast and evading the cops, we should actually enact more severe left-lane rules, admit that most speed laws are there just to raise revenue, then actually make sure people know how to drive before we hand them a license, and make America’s highways like the Autobahn.

    Additionally, not all drivers or cars are equal. A great driver in a great car is far safer than the van full of multicultural kittens with a distracted driver. Care to tell me who is more dangerous in that situation?

  • avatar

    Too bad this article was not written by Alex Roy. He, as most are aware, is very accustomed to driving fast SAFELY on public roads. As far as I know he has not had the automotive crash/fine history the author has. But Alex Roy would like not write it if asked. He always starts his speeches etc with “Never do what I did, it is very very stupid and dangerous”

    That said, I found the articles entertaining. I think the biggest threat on the roads is driver education. Washed my car today at a self-wash place. Drivers-Ed car pulls into the wash bay with me and the female instructor gets her car wet then proceeds to spend 10 minutes cleaning it with the rubber side of a window squeegee. If she does not even know how to wash a car how in the heck is she getting away with teaching!? And she was wearing stilettos while driving.

  • avatar

    I would not have published the articles. The decision to publish gives off a whiff of that classic baby-boomer attitide: “I should because I can.” Although a boomer myself, I am also a bit of a contrarian, and would ask instead “I can, but is it really a good idea?”. My answer would have been “no.”

    During my time as a reader, TTAC has been largely devoid of the lunatic fringe, and certainly devoid in the articles themselves. Entertaining and informative reads on cars and the companies that make them are a good thing. But I think that the topic of these two articles lower the quality of the site. I would feel the same way if the articles were a long rant about lawless drivers. Frankly, my reaction is the same to the red-light camera stuff.

    I’m sure that there are sites that write about the merits of drug legalization, the benefits of self-mutilation or about the legality of the income tax. But I don’t read those sites, I read this one. RF, ask your branding guru if this sort of thing is good for your site. I don’t think that it is.

  • avatar

    @ruckover..I knew a guy that had drunk driving,down to a science.The second time he lost his licence,I drove him to work for two years.On his fourth conviction the judge took his licence forever.

  • avatar

    gzuckier seems to be the exception.

  • avatar

    It’s hard to believe there are so many uptight readers here.

    The naysayers seem to think Farago can simply stop all the half ass drivers in the US by not publishing this editorial.

    I liken reading this editorial to listening to my crazy uncle’s stories at Thanksgiving.

  • avatar

    I’ve lurked on TTAC for months and this series has finally prompted me to register and comment. The content here has been a breath of fresh air compared to MSM and other automotive blogs around. I don’t always agree with the style, content, or opinions, but they are at least thought provoking and don’t smell like the usual kool-aid.

    That said, my emotional response to these articles has been very negative…I don’t agree with the content or style of Mr. Baruth’s editorial. Intellectually, I agree with others that argue the 1st Ammendment rights. Or, as my previous profession put it “I disagree with your opinion, but will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    All told, this won’t change my view of TTAC, just Mr. Baruth. Don’t loose the edge that distinguishes TTAC from others. If that goes, what’s the point?

  • avatar


    Your logic fails, friend.

  • avatar
    OB 50

    See, here’s the thing. You think you’re passing along some kind of “wisdom” or “inside knowledge” that you gained over the years, like you’re some kind of reformed cat burglar turned security expert.

    The reality is that you’re just some 37 year old guy that doesn’t know any better than the rest of us, sharing your personal made-up crap rules for justifying your antisocial behavior.

    Maybe if this were coming from some 90 year old ex-bootlegger, regaling us with tales of evading the police in the ’20s, Dukes of Hazzard style, I could see the redeeming value.

    This is just public masturbation in written form. Put it away.

  • avatar

    Has TTAC jumped the shark?

  • avatar
    cRacK hEaD aLLeY

    I’d rather read stories about how terrible Hybrid cars drive and handle, but hey, it’s just an editorial.

    Had it been real, he would have to deal with, perhaps, civil litigation, criminal persecution, mortality and, above all, crazy people out there with too much time on their hands seeking some kind of revenge for what he does with his own time,I mean, what he writes about.

    I had never heard of Baruth (aka Viergang Fuchs) before, but was able to find who the guy is, get pictures of his house, read his posts, read opinions about him on other forums, all in a question of minutes just by using a search engine.

    And this is crazy. The US is a certified land of vigilantes and perhaps the author is not remotely aware he is exposing himself to a level of danger that is equal or greater to what he exposes people on his writings.

    I enjoyed reading TTAC, but now I’m removing it from my favorites. It became too heavy. As April fool’s, perhaps, yes. But Karma is a bitch, as they say in this neck of the woods, and the time in my hands is getting shorter and shorter, as I age and mature – bit by bit – I am finding it is difficult not to be annoyed by dumb editorials.

    Just my 02 cents.

    So long.

  • avatar

    Let me get one thing straight. Jack has NEVER been the cause of a traffic accident. I would assume he’s been driving for at least 20 years, and I would also assume he puts more miles on his cars than the average driver. I sincerely hope that nobody calling for his crucification has ever been at-fault in an accident, because that would make them more dangerous of a driver than Jack is

  • avatar
    OB 50

    thetopdog : Jack has NEVER been the cause of a traffic accident.

    Jack Baruth (from comment section of the editorial in question): In one particularly illuminating incident, I went for a shoulder pass in said Marquis while trailing off the brakes and was ejected into the median backwards at semi-high speed.

  • avatar

    It seems Consumer Reports is picking up a lot of new readers as a result of this editorial.

  • avatar

    @thetopdog: So, the devils advocate, are we?

    I actually like the notion of Jack Baruths ticking clock of luck, that will eventually run out. I had a similar experience in my early twentys. Thart I eventually grow some sense in that early age actually speak tons of Jack Baruths’ judgement in his age today.

    I was twenty years old, I had a car, but no driver’s license. But that didn’t stop me from driving my car. I drove all over the country. Sometimes fast, sometimes drunk, sometimes with friends all over the car. Sometimes I drove fast, drunk and with the car full of people. After a year of reckless driving, I woke up one morning to the notion of “That’s it! Yesterday was the last day in my life I would drive under those circumstances. I will do this no more.”

    Because, there is no tomorrow. There is no “I have driven like this for twenty years with no accidents, so why worry?”. Use your luck, running on empty, and eventually you have no choice but a cold turkey. Because there’s no way in hell you can keep on being this lucky. Don’t quit tomorrow. Don’t quit later today. Quit now, and be done with it.

    Because, if you don’t, there will be: “And then: Out of nowhere”:

  • avatar

    @cRacK hEaD aLLeY: I appreciate your concern for my safety, but I think the vigilantes of the Internet are all busy chasing either Lon Horiuchi or discount manga porn.

    People do periodically come up to me at a NASA race or other driving event to “give me a piece of their mind”. That’s their right, which they’ve earned by taking the time to read, and I like to give them a fair hearing.

    Last but not least, I will be providing ride-alongs at the Autobahn Country Club track the weekend after this one for registered TrackDAZE participants. I have five slots left. Come experience automotive stupidity at its finest, and if you like I will even sign any Toyota Prius placed in front of me.

  • avatar

    taking offense to this is (to me) like preaching about how Grand Theft Auto makes kids go out and steal cars. I suspect they were going to do it anyway. I find violent and morally corrupt video games to be entertaining. reading Jacks editorials is similar. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a bitch to smack.

  • avatar

    However, I will say that the “Maximum Street Speed” series has caused me to like driving and automobiles less than before I read them. I really truly hated them.

    I would echo this sentiment. I’m by no means a “car guy”, mainly because my dad was one and I’ve always been too rebellious to become one myself. Lately, though, I’ve been warming up to the subject, due partly to my finding this otherwise-superb site. Hey, I thought, maybe not all car guys (and gals) are rock-headed grease-monkeys who feel the constant need to project machismo.

    But then I read these articles, and I’m given pause. And I read posters on the site suggesting that anyone with moral misgivings about this kind of behavior are “pantywaisted.” And I think about the fact that this article passed editorial muster.

    Hmmm… losing interest fast. Bikes are fun, too.

  • avatar

    my name is Cato the elder and went to Roman plays and musicals so I could walk out in disgust.

    In Sweden, where I live, there’s a law called something like “exhortation to crime”.

    the Horror!!! The Horror!!!! people could end up sleeping with each other in unnatural ways or smoking funny cigarettes, reading dirty books, being Jewish or black or a capitalist roader or some other enemy of the people or of the General Will, looking at each other sideways or assassinating their prime ministers without so much as backwards glance.

  • avatar

    re: “I’d be delighted to give an opposing point of view equal time…”
    Robert Farago / May 21st, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    you don’t really know me. you probbley never know me. but ya oughta listen ta me. cuz i got sumthin’ ta say. somethin’ kinda intrestin’ – maybe even important ta share with ya’ll. an it might jes turn out ta have a big affect on if sommun you love lives or dies.

    i gotta serious case a full-blown aids all over my pecker ana i-don’t-give-a-shit attitude. thatz right, dude – thatz key ta unnerstandin’ me: potential trouble + bad attitude. gotta have tha attitude ta sell whatz comin’ next. high-risk behavior. see – i also gotta insatiable hunger for hot, unpratected sexxx with young teenage wimmen. and i jus’ happens ta be passin’ through ya’lls town, tah-day.

    sofar, no-ones in ya’lls community bin infected – yet. thats cuz i jes got here. but i’m feelin’ real horny right about now and i jus happenz ta know where tha local high school is an itz common knowledge ’round theze parts that yer teenage daughter and summa her best friends are thinkin’ a skippin’ like usual, cuz they wanna party. well guess what? i gots sum kick-ass dope with me ana big back seat right behind me. sum rockin’ tunes on tha radio. i gotta kewl car ana wadda cash i loves ta flash. and i kin talk reeeaal sweet when i’m ina mood ta do it. know whatta mean?

    so. question fer ya, dude – how you feelin’ ’bout me? how you feelin’ ’bout what i represent? what i stand fer? how i comma-crost?

    how you feelin’ about yer daughter’s chances iffin i gets my slimy hands on her? hahahahahahaaaaa…

    oh look. here she comes rite now. gotta go. gotta do my thang!

  • avatar

    what is probably more scarey to a lot of people is that the articles were not posted to drive traffic or to elicit a group emotional response

    maybe he really does drive like that – perhaps twice the double nickel in a VW W12 is normal

    what 30 yrs ago PJ O’Rourke wrote a similar philosophy to life?

    the internet is full of incitements to riot, explosives, illegal firearms and abberrant sexual behaviour

    what makes this any different? alex roy has a book and there are any number of ‘interesting driving’ videos even on youtube

    i’m glad there’s still a place for this on the internet before the inevitable filters come in

  • avatar

    So, Cato the elder, what’s your point? Is there something you would like to discuss, or were you only failing in being funny?

  • avatar

    I was going to comment, but jpcavanaugh and Anchorman33 posted most of it for me.

    I bet Baruth has caused some accidents but they were behind him.

  • avatar

    Is it me… or is the stubborn defense of actions that irate customers something that we usually attribute to GM?

    And based on some of the comments in this blog post – I can see why Peter D wants no comments on his site.

  • avatar

    Truly a jump the shark moment for this site – what a shame. The “rationale” is self serving and I can only second the excellent comments of jrderego, above.

  • avatar

    @JellyMunchkin: The point isn’t that you have moral misgivings! The point is that the folks who disagree with it take it so personally and disparage the site. Big deal you don’t agree, don’t be a baby about it already. Please, it is as if becuase of reading this your life has been permanently altered…

    This is entertainment plain and simple and not some sort of gospel. I could care less what Jack thinks and can gaurantee what he wrote won’t change my driving one iota.

  • avatar

    Has TTAC jumped the shark?

    No, but the phrase jump the shark has itself jumped the shark.

    speeding is like masturbation. Few of us admit it, but we all do it.

    There’s a reason why 75% of the internet is porn…

  • avatar


    “I was going to comment, but jpcavanaugh and Anchorman33 posted most of it for me.”

    Nice comment. =}

  • avatar

    Wouldn’t it have been easier to simply say, “Because I’m stuck on stupid”?

  • avatar
    Aloysius Vampa

    @TexasAg03 :
    Has anyone ever masturbated WHILE speeding?


  • avatar

    There’s been a lot of talk about censorship, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press here.

    Things to keep in mind:

    Had Robert decided not to run these editorials, no 1st Amendment rights would have been stepped on. Robert would be exercising his freedom of the press to not print Jack’s editorials. Only if the State had acted to prevent any of this from being published would rights be violated. What we are seeing here is the incarnation of a free society, and the internet is one of the strongest examples of that.

    Freedoms do, however, come with responsibilities. The individual has the responsibility to spread information and views that will not cause harm to others. The publisher has the responsibility to screen all material and make sure that it is not harmful, incorrect, or deceitful. While nobody has been outside of their rights in these editorials, the areas of responsibilities has entered the subjective. It’s not black and white. I personally do not see it as responsible for these articles to see the light of day. Other people will think differently. This is not to say that I haven’t enjoyed reading them.

  • avatar
    Sean H.

    People, seriously…grow a pair.

  • avatar

    I don’t see any problem with him writing these or with the site publishing them.

    I think the guy’s a dick, though.

  • avatar

    How many dogs and cats has Baruth hit? How many wild animals?

    Although I generally support RF’s philosophy of how he runs this site, I think I’d draw the line somewhere. And this series would be on the far side of it. This is more extreme, but still analogous: if I ran, I would not run a piece on how to get away with rape. And if I ran the NYT, I would not run a piece that I thought made us vulnerable to terrorism or attack, no matter how interesting it was. With freedom comes responsibility.

  • avatar

    Let’s unpack this “controversy”, shall we? If the article were simply entitled, “Safe High-Speed Driving Tips for the Autobahn”, I’m fairly certain no one would have objected, so the “issue” certainly isn’t speeding per se.

    If the writer had written an article strongly defending the act of obeying all traffic rules to the letter of the law, all of the people now calling for censorship would probably turn into free-speech zealots were anyone to dare suggest that TTAC scrap the article, so I doubt that the “issue” is free speech.

    And the analogies with the methodical instruction of murder and rape? Hyperbolic at best, but borderline hysterical in reality.

    The “issue”, I think, is “pleasure” during a time when “pleasure” is no longer an acceptable pursuit. This is unfortunate because the real “Truth About Cars” is that the people who love them love them because they’re fun, fast and sexy, and NOT mere appliances or widgets.

    “Fun”, “fast” and “sexy”, however, are not adjectives currently in vogue. Pleasure is out; thrift and sobriety in. I would, then, suggest that the readers so bent out of shape are so because they are angry and frustrated and tired, and find themselves in a relentlessly Puritanical media climate that is telling them that they deserve all of their suffering. Sorry, no more fun allowed here.

    “Fun” is now synonymous with “sin” due to the shenanigans of a tiny handful of bankers and careless consumers. Let’s face it: murder and rape have as their GOALS…MURDER and RAPE. Speeding is mere pleasure that MIGHT be dangerous.

    Right now, however, even the faintest suggestion of illicit pleasure brings a terrible backlash, even though the article is really about SAFETY. The author is telling us how best to avoid danger, should we decide to undertake high-speed driving.

    In a real sense, the tone of the article is the opposite of what one might find in stereotypical “gonzo” journalism. I would NOT feel better if the article indeed provoked every reader to immediately rush out and attempt to drive at top speed (which is, in any event, highly unlikely), but I DO feel better knowing that if there were someone already intending to speed, then he would then do so in a much safer manner.

    And as for the hysterically conflicted readers who cannot admit to themselves why they love cars: good riddance. TTAC: Keep up the good work!

  • avatar
    OB 50

    Sean H. :
    May 21st, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    People, seriously…grow a pair.

    Yeah, this is what it all comes down to. Driving like an entitled asshole means that you have a huge penis. All you whiners can suck it while us real men live life Top Gun style.

    You’re dangerous, Maverick!

  • avatar

    It is not a question about pleasure per se. In this case, it’s a guilty pleasure on other peoples expense, where there’s an actual risk that other people could come into fatal harm.

    I’m all for for happinness and pleasure. But taken to the extreme, the utilitarian principle of “the greatest good for the greatest number of people” would render gang-rape an acceptible behaviour. I mean, if ten people want some fun, why should the one being raped object to that? Isn’t more important for her to satisfy the pleasure for those people, on her expense? I mean, she is one, and they are ten?

  • avatar
    A is A

    Which brings us to an uncomfortable, statistically verifiable truth: speeding is like masturbation. Few of us admit it, but we all do it

    Your “truth” is false: Last time I speeded was in 1998. And that´s it.

    I was an idiot 11 years ago. I am wiser now.

    Oh, and I have no problem at all talking about my masturbatory habits. For instance: Tip for aging males: Do not “open the champagne bottle alone”, reserve “champagne” for the ladies. You will function like a teenager.

  • avatar

    @ RF

    Once you start down the path of justification/desperation RF, or you feel the need, you’ve gone too far. It should be pretty embarrassing actually.

    Time to recognize the fact.

    As for Baruth; keep it on the track Jack!

  • avatar

    “PeteMoran :
    May 21st, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Once you start down the path of justification/desperation RF, or you feel the need, you’ve gone too far. It should be pretty embarrassing actually.

    Time to recognize the fact.”

    Particularly when you feel the need to justify every editorial someone writes.

  • avatar

    Baruth looks like one of those James Bond movie villains. “Okay Baruth, you’ve beat me in the race to the Dairy Queen, but try and beat this!” (Bond pulls out a bongo drum and goes at it.)

  • avatar

    The First Amendment and censorship assertions are amusing, if misguided.

    Editors decide what to print and what not to print all the time. Publishing houses, magazines, newspapers, etc., reject submissions for publication on a near-constant basis.

    That’s not censorship. It’s filtering out the crap.

  • avatar

    So if one of our B&B turns out to be a self-styled F&F street racer, you’ll run tips from him as well? And stories of his best ‘kills’?

    Oh, wait, there’s the rest of the Internet for that.

    It’s a tough call. I come here, like most of us, expecting to agree with 99% of what I read and come close enough on the rest to enjoy the argument.

    I used to flip past Brock Yates for the same reason I’ll now avoid Mr. Baruth’s words: I disliked any reminder that he existed.

  • avatar

    People, seriously…grow a pair.

    Yeah, this is what it all comes down to. Driving like an entitled asshole means that you have a huge penis.

    I think you need to learn a little anatomy. Most guys don’t have a pair of penises.

  • avatar

    Seriously guys, where’s the beef?

    We all know that TTAC is all about letting everybody speak their mind. If you don’t like it, you can either ignore it or comment on it.

    But to call for a cyber nanny because the innocent but weak minded could take it as a misguided advice is absurd. I believe in the maturity of the readers here and everybody who has his drivers license should be aware of his responsability. If he’s not, than an article like this won’t change anything anyway.

  • avatar

    I have a small custom embroidery business and work for a number of motorcycle and sportbike clubs. I know that some of my customers go to the semi-organized street races over on the freeway service drive on Detroit’s east side, where a man and woman got killed last weekend. Also, the last couple of major bike wrecks on the freeways resulted in some business for me making RIP patches. I didn’t know any of the deceased riders, but was only one degree of separation removed from them.

    These guys typically do a ton and a half on their sportbikes. I think they’re nuts, but for the most part they’re good guys, and they pay in cash.

  • avatar

    Interesting that masturbation was brought up, because in my mind for many years I have has the idea that speeding is like masturbation in that it is best done in private. My top North American speed Modest by German standards) was briefly done totally in private on a vacant Wyoming 2-lane.

  • avatar

    The “issue”, I think, is “pleasure” during a time when “pleasure” is no longer an acceptable pursuit. This is unfortunate because the real “Truth About Cars” is that the people who love them love them because they’re fun, fast and sexy, and NOT mere appliances or widgets.

    With all due respect to Walter Kerr, I don’t think the issue is the decline of pleasure. And some of us really do appreciate the appliance like qualities of some cars.

  • avatar
    A is A

    And some of us really do appreciate the appliance like qualities of some cars.

    Sign me.

    To drive legally and as safe as possible is a pleasure. A big pleasure. We are not Puritans.

  • avatar

    If he had been writing about driving techniques at a track event, everybody would be digesting his words with glee, but because he was describing the same techniques on a public roads, he is the devil incarnate. Grow up, read it, digest or dismiss, do what you want to do. Just don’t censor what I might like to read.

  • avatar

    Right on Robert, I agree, Jack’s series has made me think about speeding in a different way, and how we all decide what is “safe” and what is not.

    I think you are a bit off in one place though:
    Which brings us to an uncomfortable, statistically verifiable truth: speeding is like masturbation. Few of us admit it, but we all do it.

    You can’t really compare these two, because we all know that speed limits are artificially low(what happened to the 85th percentile?) and plenty of studies ad naseum show that most people drive in a way that they feel is safe. The line is crossed where Jack has taken it to a level where there is awareness that what he is doing is “unsafe”, he makes no claim whatsoever that he believes it to be a “safe” activity. And that seems to be where commentors have problems, IMO.

    It is a bit of a stretch to pull out the old “you do it too!” on your readers.

    You could make that case much better about DUI, now *there* is something few will admit to but sooo many do…

  • avatar

    That’s also providing the confidence necessary to oversome some of the reluctance to speed, and is, to my mind, actively promoting illegal activity and activity which is inherently dangerous, like it or not.

    2 articles about speeding so far. Must be at least 200 and counting comments in vigorous opposition. I am not sure this is doing as much for the “pro speeding” movement as you think it is.

  • avatar

    So, does this mean that TTAC is not going to publish Part-III?

  • avatar
    John Horner

    The first amendment has nothing to do with this situation. The first amendment is not about website publishers and their editorial discretion, it limits the government’s ability to prohibit speech. Oddly enough, if government censors were trying to silence Jack, then there would be a legitimate political reason for publishing his work in defiance of the censors. But, that isn’t what is going on here. The constitution was written in the time when manly duels over “honor” were commonplace. Certainly these were not men who thought anyone should be free to say anything anywhere without fear of reprisal, they simply didn’t want the government to be the one to say what was ok and what was not. Such matters were reserved for the private sphere.

    Every publisher wields the power over what to publish and what not to publish. This is as true of a website today as it was of a newspaper in 1791 (the year the Bill of Rights was ratified). As long as it isn’t the government making those yes/no publication decisions then there is no censorship and the first amendment is moot.

    Consider the fact that TTAC has no motorsports related pieces policy. Mr. Farago made that policy and enforces it, which is his right as the publisher and managing editor of this site. Oddly enough, this implies that an article someone might write about their experience running the 24hrs of Lemans might not be published because it is a motor-sports piece. I find it rather perverse that extreme driving on public streets is deemed an acceptable topic for TTAC while actual motorsports is not.

    The masturbation analogy, like so many analogies, relies upon a false premise in hopes of being convincing. Masturbation does not generally entail risk to innocent bystanders. Driving at more than two times the posted limits on public streets is more like using a raincoat to flash schoolchildren than it is like anything anyone does in privacy. Hopefully TTAC would decline to publish articles like “The Joys of Being a Flasher/Stalker, and How Best to Get Away With It”.

    Were I the one running TTAC I certainly would not publish articles extolling the testosterone filled joys of driving like an ass on public roads. Call me whatever emasculating names you like, I’m man enough to ignore your taunts.

  • avatar


    Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Or, in your case, an expansive, educated, agile, intellectually advanced and supple mind.

  • avatar

    The first amendment has nothing to do with this situation.

    In a broader sense, the First Amendment is something more than a legal restraint on government. It is also a statement about how the citizens of a democracy should use their minds and voices in resolving their disagreements, instead of trying to silence those who oppose them.

    We become intellectually lazy and sloppy when we respond to opposing views by just running away or calling names. The appropriate response to a dumb or incorrect comment is to say something that is smarter or more accurate. Stomping our feet and demanding retractions is within our rights, of course, but it speaks poorly to how we choose to handle our disputes.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Sweet Jesus people, it’s a friggin’ article. And a viewpoint. It was a fascinating read but it’s not going to make me drive any faster.

    OTOH RF, I haven’t seen this level of commentary in a long time…..

  • avatar

    My two cents:
    Some commenter’s need thicker skin.

    This is the Internet.
    Not the local playground.

    If you don’t like the article or the author, don’t click on it, don’t read it, don’t comment, move on to the next article.

    If you really don’t like the topic then write your own article, comment, or whole website refuting it.

  • avatar

    I have no studies to back up my claim, but I would argue that driving twice the limit on a highway that has other vehicles on it is more dangerous than driving with a .08 BAC.

  • avatar

    Given the high level of so much of the response to these articles, I’m beginning to think it may have been a good thing to publish them. We can now see that most of us are not a bunch of crazies intent on having our fun regardless of who we put at risk. This is more interesting than the articles themselves. And I did find them interesting, despite the fact that I thought it was irresponsible to run them, that they were very low on socially redeeming value, and not all that well-written. But the commentary makes up for that.

    Maybe, as an enthusiast’s website, what’s appropriate here is different from what would be appropriate in a more general publication.

  • avatar

    There is no way to drive safely at the speeds Baruth is talking about on a crowded highway. Empty or very light traffic, have at it.

    TTAC is showing their outlaw status with this article. I’ve heard that many car mags will fire an author for traffic violations. Its a niche, but not one I would probably angle for.

  • avatar

    This post towards the end of the previous (part II) thread just about says it all when it comes to the irresponsibility of posting these articles:

    Sean H. :
    May 21st, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Jack Baruth has become my new hero.

    I’m 19, so of course I speed. Evaded cops? Damn right I have. Driven in the triple-digits? I do almost every day (Thanks to my Cobalt SS). Went in and out of lanes? Of course. I don’t need a slowpoke minivan to be a buzzkill for me.

    I’m not being sarcastic in the very least. Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything more fun than flying by a cop and having him try to keep up. And the best part is, I get away with a lot of it.

    My recommendation: want to speed? Have a buddy come with you. Have him drive up to the nearest intersection and scope out for the fuzz. See a cop? Tell him to call you on your cellphone. You guys can take turns speeding. Afraid to wreck? Get out of my lane.

    Kudos, Jack. I can’t wait for part 3.

    Baruth’s posts glorify actions that are unsafe and unjustifiable. Farago saying that he doesn’t agree but feels the need to post anyway is an abdication of editorial and ethical responsibility. This site purports to have a serious and thoughtful voice; if so the TTAC brand implicitly endorses that the content herein at least meets this standard. Baruth’s articles may be well written, but they don’t meet the any other serious standard.

    As the saying goes, you are known by the company you keep. Baruth’s company is extremely damaging to the TTAC brand — and how many editorials have complained that the big three lack the gumption to follow purity of their brands. Mr. Farago, please practice what you preach.

  • avatar

    I enjoy both masturbation and speeding, but never at the same time, yet. I also loved Baruth’s article and am looking forward to more. Clearly R.F. made the right choice here, the fact that there are 100 plus posts on this is proof of that.

  • avatar

    So this has gone on and on. And on. I admit, I speed. I speed FAST on occasion. I have never been busted for speeding more than 20 above the limit. I am over the limit by 30 on avg when on the highway. I have never been cited for stunting or wreckless driving. Why might you ask?

    Because, Jack, you are my bestest friend. You are the other a$$hole on the road who is willing to drive faster than I. You are the one who draws attention to yourself. You are the one I call “rabbit”.

    When you are in front of me, I will drive as fast as you. I will use your lack of forsight to allow me to drive just as fast, as long as I am behind you. You will flush out the speed traps for me. The instant-on radar using Police will love you for helping their quota. I will love you for giving my V1 a warning by blowing by them going 50 over.

    A “How to speed without getting caught” article should simply be…”Get a good radar detector, buy a jammer, and drive behind Jack”.

    Let me know if you come up to drive in Canada.

  • avatar

    What these articles have really shown is how many people have nothing better to do than bitch, whine and complain about free speech in general and website owners that won’t censor it. I’m curious about what country they live in…

    As others have pointed out, these are probably the same assholes that think it’s their God given right to block the left lane. As a few have just outright stated, they HATE cars. Makes me really wonder why they’re reading a website dedicated to the objects of their hatred?? Isn’t that like some sort of sick self abuse?

  • avatar
    Stein X Leikanger

    What comes through the windshield is obviously boring to many.
    Heck, they’re at home in their cutesy little WRC-setups:

    And then they get behind the wheel of a real life car. What are the chances they’ll be driving at the speed limit? Slimmer and slimmer, these days.

    Putting a lot of cars on roads is a game of chance, and whenever we go against the house rules (which we all try to do at times) we risk breaking more than just the bank.

    I’ve come across a number of Karma crashes in my lifetime, I actually hope that Baruth doesn’t find himself in one.They tend to be amazingly ugly things.

    BTW – Baruth might want to consider whether these editorials, including his previous prose epic on the topic of navigating Florida highways, could be deemed evidence should the traffic authorities in his home state decide to bring action against him – just as videos posted to YouTube have been used by law enforcement to snare speeders.

  • avatar

    This series of articles is no different than those (very crappy) Fast and Furious movies, yet I don’t see any of you picketing outside the theaters of getting Congress to outlaw cable TV.

    You don’t like it, skip it, move 800 words up the page and choose the next article…just like I am going to do when ever I see the words GM.

    (disclaimer: Just sold my long held GM stock yesterday for a massive loss. I am so mad, the Corvette is up for sale. F* everything GM, a plague on their houses!)

  • avatar

    “The sporting editors had also given me $300 in cash, most of which was already spent on extremely dangerous drugs. The trunk of the car looked like a mobile police narcotics lab. We had two bags of grass, 75 pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers . . . and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.”

    Beginning chapter of Hunter S. Thompson’s two-part Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, published on Nov. 11, 1971, by a Rolling Stone with guts. Hunter died in 2005, bless his rotten heart. I had the honor of meeting him because my friend’s German publishing company published his book. Compared to that, Baruch is PG13.

    I’m not worried about Baruch, or RF for publishing him. I’m worried about growing intolerance.

  • avatar

    So, what is this debacle really all about?

    1. Is it about freedom of speech?

    Well, partly. With that freedom comes a responsibility. Nobody wants to take away peoples right to state an opinion. Though, if they do have a controversial opinion, it will be met on an according level.

    2. Is it about sex?

    Whatever floats your boat. Nothing is better than sex, though a really good driving experience can come in as a close second. What Jack Baruth does however, is jerking off in public. And all the fan-boys jizzing at the monitor while reading of his escapades.

    3. Is it about moral?

    All people do break the speed limits now and then. And those who say they dosen’t, will probably don’t admit either that they are masturbating now and then. The problem is how it is done. Breaking the speed limit, I mean. I’d rather follow the traffic flow, even if it means breaking the law. The problem is when you put other people in excessive danger. My moral forbids me to self-gratification on other peoples expense. Some people obviously has other moral standards.

    4. Is it about pleasure?

    Well, partly. Though mis-directed pleasure in this instance. Absolute speed at all costs is not the ultimate pleasure. Though, it can be mistaken as such. Jack Baruth and consorts are probably high-risk thrill-seeking people, that needs that kind of forbidden injection now and then, because life would be so devastatingly boring otherwise. Though, as stated, it is a pleasure on other peoples expense.

    5. So what is it all about, then? Really?

    At the end of the day, all I can come up with, is Jack Baruths need for speed and breaking the law, and putting other peoples life in danger while doing so. Is it good or bad? Legal or illegal? A justifiable behaviour or not? It really doesn’t matter, the only things that matter are the real consequences of his actions. I expect a follow up on this the next time he is personally involved in a fatal car crash.

  • avatar
    Greg Locock


    The only difference is, that Jackass, while entertaining, mostly only risks the somewhat aware participants, whereas Jack/ass TTAC-style uses non-consenting people as pawns in the game.

    But hey, it’s entertainment, right? Money in the bank.

  • avatar

    135 comments on the article so far (a record?).
    Sure pushed a lot of people’s buttons.
    May not have started out to to meant for trolling but that IS how it ended up.

    If I wanted a website where articles are published to piss people off, I’d be over at

  • avatar


    FYI Our Google analytics indicate that we had a “normal” day yesterday, viewer count wise. No surge.

  • avatar


    You write:
    “For some of you, Jack’s rant is like a sex tourist bragging about having intercourse with an underage prostitute. Fair enough.”

    Fairly bad analogy…
    A significant portion of underage prostitutes are actually kidnapped sex slaves…
    and underage if often 12-13, if not 5-8 years old…

    now, one could make it personal:
    replace kidnapped sex slaves with kidnapped 7 year old daughter…

    Very poor choice IMO…

  • avatar

    I’m worried about growing intolerance.

    I’m worried about growing tolerance.

  • avatar

    Keep up the good work RF. Loved the articles, love all of the commentary.

  • avatar

    “The sporting editors had also given me $300 in cash, most of which was already spent on extremely dangerous drugs. The trunk of the car looked like a mobile police narcotics lab. We had two bags of grass, 75 pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers . . . and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.”

    Beginning chapter of Hunter S. Thompson’s two-part Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, published on Nov. 11, 1971, by a Rolling Stone with guts.

    …..and four Februarys ago the always ebullient, irrepressible, full-of-life* Mr Thompson …. put a bullet in his head.

    …Am. Not. Getting. Point.

    * sarcasm alert

  • avatar

    Ultimately, I am glad that Baruth’s editorial piece has been brought to light.

    Given that kids with Dad’s Porsche are speeding and considering it some sort of rite of passage, I hope they read this and learn something from it. I would rather have someone speed and follow the guidelines set in these editorials, than have the same individual speed recklessly, having no idea what they and the car are doing.

    As a motorcycle driver, I want a cager who knows what their car can do, rather than meander on a road and take up my space because they don’t know how to drive.

  • avatar

    I don’t think Baruth’s point was to instruct people on how to drive over the speed limit, but to prove to us that he is probably the most awesomest, most radically extreme driver dude ever.

    Anyone can drive fast on a track, but out on public roads… Extreme! I’d like to see the people complaining get up every morning, affirm their awesomeness while standing in front of a mirror, get in a car and do what God put you on Earth to do: rock the world.

    His posts should probably be sponsored by Axe Body Sprays or those XL Monster energy drinks.

  • avatar

    I loved Jack’s articles, thanks for posting them.

  • avatar

    Best comment thread (and article choice) ever.

    Seriously, usually these threads boil down to two to four people back and forthing over a point or two, this is epic turnout and participation.

    Everyone claiming that this is bad for the TTAC brand just wants RF to ban Baruth. Why don’t you just up and propose that instead of engaging in passive aggresive posturing? You don’t like Baruth personally, because you apparently have enough of your own identity tied up in being a TTAC reader that you feel the content of any given article is a reflection on your own value as a person (and that is nuts if you aren’t RF btw).

    I for one would welcome an article by any pantywaist :) that wants to advocate 55mph limits, gps satellite tracking, universal camera enforcement, or even the ceeding of all traffic control authority to our friendly insurance industry (warning, any proposal to make Toyota or GM the world’s only car supplier will bring out my pitchforks…there are limits). These are all positions which I find morally and personally repugnant, but I would welcome an opportunity to hash it out anyway. I certainly expect that I would learn something in the ensuing bitch fest, and I’d enjoy the experience in the end.

    Unfortunately a lot of what’s going on here is moralistic (and yes…puritanical) wanking that serves no purpose except allowing commenters to show that they think they are better people than the author. Not impressed by that, and not just because Mr. Baruth seems to have set a pretty low bar, because nothing of importance to anyone but yourself is being discussed. This is the internet, I don’t know you and I simply don’t care what you think of yourself.

    Some fascinating points were made earlier asking how Jack’s antics differ from the risks involved in recreational flying or in less enjoyable traffic violations, and they have been mostly ignored by subsequent commenters. That (to me admittedly) is doing TTAC a bigger diservice than anything mentioned in the articles.

  • avatar

    RF, thanks for posting this series. I get a kick out of the people who think that because they don’t agree, it should be censored. Glad your editorial discretion is above that.

  • avatar

    I don’t agree with these articles – they come across as a deadly combination of pompous and silly – but Mr. Farago is absolutely correct to publish them.

    The comments alone are more illuminating – and erudite – than articles in many mainstream publications. This is exactly the type of stuff the web should be publishing.

    It will definitely help if certain posters learn that not all “speeding” is equal.

    Driving twice the legal limit on an interstate highway – bad.

    Driving 80+ mph in the 65 or 70 mph zone on an interstate highway – something that happens every day, and no big deal. Anyone who believes otherwise needs to get out more.

  • avatar

    There’s a clear difference (qualitative and quantitative) between doing 10 over and doing 100 over. The first is likely actually safer than keeping strictly to the speed limit, as traffic with a relatively uniform speed is safer than widely varying speeds, and most people do 5-10 over.

    But the whole weaving through cars at 150 adrenaline rush bullshit is a completely different animal, and is dangerous, irresponsible and stupid. Publishing tips on how to be dangerous, irresponsible and stupid is at least irresponsible and stupid, if not DIRECTLY dangerous.

    Finally, the argument that driving itself is risky and therefore extreme speeding is no different from normal driving is complete sophistry. Road racers are consciously making a choice to drive in a way that significantly endangers themselves and all those around them, as surely as driving the wrong way on the interstate, and can in no way be equated to anything resembling normal driving.

    I’d encourage the road racers and extreme speeders to try going the wrong way on the interstate, since I’m sure it’s even more of an adrenaline rush than going 150 the right way, but I’d hate to give them ideas and have another Carrollton, KY bus crash on my conscience. (Since it was a church bus full of kids, I’m sure Mr. Baruth finds it hilarious. I don’t know if there were any kittens on board.)

  • avatar

    The Carrollton bus crash was the result of drunk driving, not exceeding the speed limit. The driver of the pickup was drunk and heading the wrong way on the highway when he hit the bus.

  • avatar


    If you want to see Jack Baruth cause an accident (albeit on a (very slow) track, not a public road) just search “jack baruth” on YouTube. His driving is not very impressive, even under these controlled conditions.

  • avatar

    Without regard for Mr. Baruth or the topic at hand, I’m thankful for a return (even if just for a moment) to the edgy, snarky, not-quite-so-boring-as-it-has-been-of-late-brand-building TTAC content I knew and remembered from a few years ago. If I wanted canned mainstream crap, I’d be reading a (nearly-bankrupt) buff book.
    Thank you Mr. Farago.

  • avatar

    Love the editorials. Thank you.

    Cigarette anyone? *chuckle*

  • avatar

    And some of us really do appreciate the appliance like qualities of some cars.

    Sign me.

    To drive legally and as safe as possible is a pleasure. A big pleasure. We are not Puritans.…

    Yawn. Why are you here? Consumer Reports has a magazine for you. This is, for the most part, an enthusiast site. An intellectual site, too. A place where you can explore not just the vehicle, but its interaction with society as a whole. But, the focus is still on driver pleasure. Otherwise, why bother? Dry data on measurable quantities can be had anywhere. Places like this give those who derive pleasure from their automobiles a place to chat. If a car is just an appliance, what is there to talk about? Can you imagine TTAT, The Truth About Toasters? Hey, love those quartz elements, way better than glowing wires. Nice smart plastic housing-no more nasty burns. Really dig the adaptive feedback thermostat that measures the moisture content of the bread…

    BTW, I have no problem with prudent speeding; most limits have revenue in mind, not safety. Jack’s behavior was not remotely prudent…

  • avatar


    Yes, I know — my post was specifically discussing going the wrong way on the interstate.

    In any case, though, I see no ethical distinction in driving on public roads at 100 MPH over the limit and driving with a blood alcohol level of .24 (Mahoney’s number in Carrollton that night).

  • avatar

    Your site; you can post what you want. To me Jack sounds like one of these guys who has “instructed” at PCA events and therefore thinks he’s superior to us “civilians”, i.e. just enough skill to be dangerous to others with no common sense to balance it out. In other words, a poser.

    It isn’t worth my effort to go back and read the story about wrecking the Phaeton, but what I do remember of it was the tone of, with his crazy mad racing skills if he had a wreck going twice the speed limit (never mind the fact that his speed wasn’t the cause of the accident itself but a major contributor to his involvement in it) the rest of us don’t stand a chance.

    I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in various high performance driver training and racing schools over the years. My feeling of being better than the “civilians” lasted just long enough for me to realize that I was in a VERY small minority. Since then I’ve become a much more defensive driver and while I freely admit to driving above the speed limit I don’t travel twice what the pack is going and act like an asshat. Moral relativism aside, the highway isn’t a racetrack.

  • avatar

    Given all these comments, I’m afraid I’d be lashed with boiled asparagus if I ever “admitted” to achieving “maximum speed” on public roads.

    What a bunch of weenies.

  • avatar

    OK. I’m back. I admit it. I could have picked another handle but that’s not terribly honest, is it?

    Jack’s still wrong. I’m still unhappy about Farago’s decision but, on balance, TTAC gets more right than wrong. Much more.

    There’s another dimension to this… the cop. Some cop is going to see Jack pulling one of these stunts and he doesn’t have a choice about his level of participation; he is compelled to chase Jack. It’s his duty. A lot more can go wrong from there.

    If anyone from law enforcement has posted on this, I’ve overlooked it. I’d be interested to hear their point of view.


    “Weenies?” You have no idea what we do or have done beyond post here. Get a clue. This isn’t about our manliness, this is about responsibility.

  • avatar

    Jack made it very clear that following his techniques will eventually lead to arrest and/or accident. Problem is the “It won’t happen to me” attitude. Someone, somewhere is going to try this and wind up hurting someone. Now, if someone wants to drive like an idiot and hurt themselves, I have no problem with that; I get out of the way for speeders and hope that others will do the same for me. The problem comes when they cause an accident that injures me and/or my family. That just ain’t right. — Aaron

  • avatar

    Good on you Robert for putting the article out. I totally disagree with Jack’s life choices, but it’s not unusual in the population (which is why a Canadian province – Ontario – brought in street racing fines where they can take your car on the spot > 50 km above the limit). I would suggest a disclaimer from you at the start of each article, but nothing more.

    Jack – I hope I never meet you on the open road, but would love to meet at the track some time.

  • avatar

    Without reading the umpteen posts on the subject, I’ll simply say this after reading a sampling:

    Car & Driver gained notoriety by illicitly hosting/endorsing the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash. A different time in history, granted, but I wish I could recall how many people called for the head of the editor when they printed their coverage of this event. Not much different than Mr Farago is doing today. The difference is this is the opinion of a writer, not coverage of an actual occurrence by a dozen or so nuts with fast cars. Neither is socially acceptable. Both are worthy of debate.

    I don’t agree with the article(s) yet I do drive faster than the posted limit frequently. As George Carlin quipped, “People driving slower than you are morons. People driving faster than you are idiots.” Arguing about this stuff, while sometimes entertaining, is about as useful as arguing religion, politics or tastes great/less filling.

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