By on May 21, 2010

It’s been a tumultuous several weeks here at TTAC, as we’ve moved headquarters and lost our managing editor, all while the industry continues to flop about in dramatic fashion. And we’ve been barely keeping up with the latest developments in the world of cars,  because behind the scenes we’re preparing to introduce a brand new lineup of contributors to our ongoing quest for automotive truth. We still have a few details to clear up before we make a full announcement, but suffice it to say that I’ve had the exquisite luck to ask some of my favorite automotive writers to join the TTAC team and have them say yes.

One of these fine writers, Jack Baruth, has already started ruffling feathers in true TTAC fashion in his first week in his expanded role here. The other new additions will be officially announced next week, but I’m certain that TTAC fans both new and old will appreciate the diverse, top-notch content that they will bring to our site. Trying to replace the full-time services of a managing editor like Paul Niedermeyer is never easy (especially when he’s your dad), but I couldn’t ask for a better compliment to myself, Bertel, Cammy, Marcello, The Booth Babe, Tal, Martin and the rest of TTAC’s superb staff and freelance writers than the group we’ve been able to assemble.

Unfortunately, there will be a brief break in our content cadence as we prepare to welcome our new team members. Both Bertel and myself are in transit today (I am writing this from the Salt Lake City airport), and I will be busy re-upping TTAC’s review hopper in sunny Southern California until Tuesday. In the meantime, we’ll do everything we can to keep the content flowing, and we assure you that any short-term interruptions will be more than made up for when our new lineup hits its stride. Thanks, as always, for your custom, comments and commitment to supporting the search for automotive truth. Providing you, our faithful  readers, with the most consistently high-quality automotive content on the web is our continuing honor, and we appreciate your patience as we work to take TTAC to new heights.

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58 Comments on “Wild Ass Rumor Of The Day: TTAC To Debut All-New 2010 Lineup...”

  • avatar

    The site is worlds better since the departure of Mr. Farago. I have no doubt that it will improve even more with the new additions to your team. Keep up the good work, Still, your Dad will be missed.

    • 0 avatar

      Worlds better? Sorry, but… Could you explain that to me? I don’t get it…

    • 0 avatar

      Mr Farago? Is that when the site sometime last year went from grumpy and super-negative to optimistic, witty and really fun to read? I agree. Much MUCH better now. I’m sure it will continue to trend that way too.

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      This TTAC gadfly’s rational side says the site has been much better under Niedermeyers’ management, yet the younger brother’s analytic and rational voice will definitely be missed. My spirited side thinks Bertel fills the shoes of combative and interesting RF quite well. But RF’s prose, although not his reason, is in a class of its own.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      Umm, the Niedermeyer that left (me) is Edward’s Dad, not his younger brother. The younger brother hasn’t yet taken up that branch of the family business.

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      Ahh…I see, Paul…well then, please order (or ask) your son to find someone who will continue your excellent deep data dives.

    • 0 avatar

      Ahh…I see, Paul…well then, please order (or ask) your son to find someone who will continue your excellent deep data dives.


      I didn’t get a chance to chime in on the very last CC thread, so let me just say that the series was an original idea and amazing, I always looked forward to it. Your series on the history of Lincoln using CCs was one of the best series ever posted on this site.

      There’s a late ’80s Pontiac Fiero parked outside my apartment building, and I always thought it would make a great CC! It’s a pity there won’t be any more.

  • avatar

    Hey Edward,

    I have no doubt that everything will be just fine. I’m really going to miss your dad around here, but I’m looking forward to hearing from the new team you are putting together. For what it’s worth, I think all of the writers here do a great job. They (including you) are why I keep coming back day after day.

    And since I’m here, I still hope that one of these years we can get together and do NAIAS together with a group of my friends!


  • avatar

    Good luck folks; keep up the good work. :-)

  • avatar

    Just keep up the news, the commentary, the questions from readers (AKA: New or Used & Piston Slap), a little “Hammer Time,” and the humor, along with whatever new stuff you introduce, and I’ll stay loyal.

  • avatar
    Cammy Corrigan

    This isn’t a sleight against Big, bad Eddie Niedermeyer, as I like working with him and my favourite moustachioed German; but I do miss Robert “Big Tuna” Farago. Lest we forget, he called out GM and Chrysler’s bankruptcy at a time when everyone though it was pie in the sky. Also “Big Tuna” had an abrasive snark which made Reading his articles a joy. I think TTAC would benefit from a few articles from “Big Tuna” as a guest writer.

    • 0 avatar


    • 0 avatar

      @Cammy: I would disagree vehemently. With the previous editorial staff, this was a dank and dismal read. I stopped reading this blog due to all of the negativity. Much to my surprise, a new editorial regime had taken charge in my absence, and I started visiting again.

      With the Niedermeyers in charge, the blog took a lighter and friendlier tone, while still providing the best in GM bashing available on the web. The constant deathwatches were just depressing, and the used car reviews were kind of useless too. I can’t argue that the auto business is any rosier now than it was back then, but the constant drumbeat of negativity overshadowed any other content on this blog. Besides, folks in the know already knew this stuff, it wasn’t like there weren’t other sites saying the same thing.

      I will give credit to Paul N. for changing the tone of the site, and adding the Curbside Classics, which are/were real gems. I’ve noticed a whole new crowd here, especially the folks who commented on the CC’s.

      A return to the bitter and invective commentary before the advent of the Niedermeyers would just drive unique visitors away, not retain them.

    • 0 avatar

      I miss Robert’s writing as well. Perhaps his overall cynicism (moreso, I think than pessimism) made the overall site a bit darker than it should be, but when his insights and incisors worked in sync, it was really fun (for me, at least) to read.

      I’m appreciating more and more the range of contributions from around the globe; I was particularly glad to see Marcello begin to cover Brazil. Is someone in India next?

    • 0 avatar

      I think you had to appreciate Robert’s writing and editorial bent. It was cynical, but it wasn’t what I’d call blind or negative for the sake of negativity.

      I didn’t agree with his ideology at all, but I could appreciate the work. The cynicism has been toned down a little, but it hasn’t been excised, which I think is good. You need a little rational cynicism; without it you’re either going to do what Brock Yates did towards the end of his career (eg, demagoguery), or become like Autoblog (Babes, Ferrari-branded mechandise and the anti-Toyota page-hit-magnet of the day)

    • 0 avatar

      RF was indeed a wonderfully colorful writer.
      But mean spirited and thin skinned.
      He spent far to much time enjoying his nasty words instead of what was really THE TRUTH.
      Here’s the TRUTH, his kind of writing was actually challenging, baiting, likewise replies, and then banning any counter nastiness.

      Case in point, his review of the MKT was just full of opinion, not truth.
      It is the most slanted, one sided “opinion” verses fact review I think I have ever read, here or anywhere.
      Colorful and stinging yes…but still bad.
      I don’t care how bright he is, he couldn’t be the ONLY person so disgusted with this new MKT.
      If you spend time reading reviews, 90 percent love the car, maybe not the looks.
      Its just fine to be a great writer, creating descriptive and clever twist, but to do so simply to see it in print and to antagonize should not be what THE TRUTH ABOUT CARS was all said to be.

      Had enough of these smug intellectuals in college.

    • 0 avatar
      Christy Garwood

      Big Tuna was a pot-stirrer extraordinaire; this is classic Big Tuna at his finest:

      It includes references to a mental health diagnosis, which was part of Big Tuna’s standard fare.

      Even though I am a GM employee voicing my own opinion here, the linked article is what brought me to this site. And I do miss the humor that was in this piece. I also like Paul’s double entendre prose even though I am not a classic car nut. And his sense of humor with that iFlow iPad article. I will miss Paul’s writing, too.

      I look forward to the new line up, write on TTAC.

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      Trailer Trash:

      Its unconscionable to accept the Flex Framed MKT as an acceptable vehicle from Lincoln. Just wayy too damn big for its own good, when the market is focused on slimming down, with RX / CRV sized vehicles.. and that lump of crap comes out..

      Its one thing to make the Escape as big as the last gen Exploder was..
      Even for the Edge and the Exploder to COMPETE on concept alone (SUV V CUV), but their ulility and unified purpose is completely muddled.

      Then to release a vehicle that should have been called the FAIRLANE, while Ford in concept shows off a white roof.. decides to charge extra for that.. AND screw up the name.. all the while releasing that SHAMOO of a whale — MKT.

      And being that the world SHOULDN’T be DOMINATED by Planned Obscelense concepts and RAMPANT consumerism… this thing is JUST TOO DAMN BIG.

      Im sure that there are more in this world than he and or I have such a distaste for such a massive, and overpriced domestic p.o.s.

      Positivity be damned!


      If you have been following this site.. for at least 5yrs.. the site often reflects the autoworld as we know it.

      2 major auto companies (not counting their adopted and abused children) have gone through bankruptcy. The comments in deathwatch were poignant about the vehicles, brand/company in peril.

      Do know..
      That GM and Chrapsler ARE STILL in BANKRUPTCY, just because they changed their name.. they are still there. And Toyota.. is still up to its nose in shit, over at least a dozen vehicles for any one of a dozen problems. Ahhh, but everyone can go down and buy a base Camry for as cheap as youd like to pay.. for a vehicle probably already on recall.

      Also note..
      That a site like this is speaking the truth.

      The used car info.. presumably from Mr Lang is a invaluable piece of info for those not wanting to drop 20g on a vehicle not worth 1/2 in 4yrs.

      Advertising is money is advertising.
      And Im sure page views are also important..

      But the deathwatch is a nod to companies.. stupid enough to throw away respect in the hopes of the mass market. (Subaru with its current obese lineup, Toyota with more SUVS / CUVS and nothing in 2dr, sporty or good looking., hell BMW for pushing more SUVS / CUVS and more technology FOR ALL, without the concept/ ability for actually driving the vehicle at hand).

  • avatar
    Amendment X

    Great to see TTAC is still striving for excellence. I made the switch (blah!) to TTAC about a year ago, and it’s been a great ride. Keep up the superb work!

  • avatar

    TTAC is still aces but RF is a tough act to have to follow.

  • avatar

    So does this mean we’ll have articles about cars again instead of about “The Muslim Manchurian” B. HUSSIEN Osama and his EVIL union thugs that are coming to take our Porsches and guns, replacing them only with a statue of Joseph Stalin and some vodka?


    I just really want to read about cars again instead of half-half baked political exposition spewed up from mother bird Glenn Beck.

    • 0 avatar

      You know what? I’m as red as they get and even I don’t think that TTAC is “biased” in the sense that you’re claiming. Heck, I don’t think I thought that when Robert was calling Steve Rattner “Chooch”.

      The commentary, on the other hand… :)

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, I never got that either… the only politics that really have ever struck me here were in the comments section…

    • 0 avatar

      Well, neither of you seems to read the tri-weekly Union bashing articles or the wonderful “Obama is going to take your Porsche” article.

    • 0 avatar

      The politics are in the comments section more than the posts themselves. With the exception of..


      Thank Christ I’m not alone in finding this tiresome. Sometimes I think I accidentally clicked on People’s Daily when I open this site up now. I damn near stopped coming to this site after the end of CC, but with Baruth having an expanded role I’ll see if it gets better. Baruth is a great writer and keeps it about cars.

  • avatar

    I have to say the site is an entertaining and informative read with and without Mr. Farago. As long as the site speaks the truth about cars, I’ll continue to regularly read it.

    My new iPad would get a lot less use without TTAC. Keep up the good work!


  • avatar

    I’m big with Cammy about getting RF back as a contributer and I’m thrilled about Jack being back.

    To me there’s just something missing, I think we’re being Truthful about Cars – but it doesn’t feel like The Truth about Cars.

    Still worlds better than anything else out there.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree that something seems to be missing, but I can’t quite put my finger on what. I don’t think there’s any less truth, and I certainly don’t blame the editorial staff, as they still continue to put out great stuff. But, outside of the late, lamented Curbside Classics, I feel far less compelled to post (i.e., react to content) than I used to. Is this a manifestation of some change in the site, or is it just an imperceptible shift in your humble author’s connection to the world of cars and the business of peddling same? Who knows? However, I look forward to seeing how these changes go and am optimistic that maybe that old posting flame will be rekindled.

    • 0 avatar
      Christy Garwood

      @talkstoanimals IMO what is missing is prose that pushes emotional buttons. Big Tuna knew how to do that, whether with humor or brutal honesty. Emotional responses stimulate the urge to post.

  • avatar

    1) I like this site. It’s got great news stories, great editorials, a bit of rumor-mongering, booth-babe action, plus very useful info on why cars do (or don’t) work.

    2) I enjoyed RF’s writing, and miss that, but I also enjoy the rest of the crew.

    3) I don’t mind politically-oriented articles, especially when they call out bureaucrats acting stupid with our tax dollars.

    Keep up the good work. (I was wondering why things seemed slow around here…)

  • avatar

    “Trying to replace the full-time services of a managing editor like Paul Niedermeyer is never easy (especially when he’s your dad), but I couldn’t ask for a better compliment to myself, Bertel, Cammy, Marcello, The Booth Babe, Tal, Martin and the rest of TTAC’s superb staff”

    My hope is The Booth Babe will take over telling the stories of back seat shenanigans where Paul left off.

  • avatar

    Hmm…car reviews in SoCal…you’re not bringing Lieberman back are you? Hadn’t seen much of his stuff over on AutoDrivel lately.

  • avatar

    I look forward to seeing whats next.

  • avatar

    I liked Robert’s edgy style of writing as well-and not just because he let me and my brother Jerry contribute occasionally to TTAC. I even contribute occasionally to his new site,even though I am in over my head on his new subject matter. The guy has a kind side.

  • avatar

    Love RF. Hope he is back on occasion as a guest contributor or even a regular. Also, sure do hope someone resurrects Curbside Classics or something similar.

    Keep up the good work!!

    • 0 avatar

      “Also, sure do hope someone resurrects Curbside Classics or something similar.”


      CC was tops in my book, so I do hope someone will come up with a classic-oriented column. Fortunately there’s still plenty left to love about TTAC, but the loss of PN hurts.

  • avatar

    Heart, soul and spark.

    And enough acid to get the machine going. That was what RF brought to the table, and that’s what this site have been bizzy keeping up with ever since he left. I strongly believe in the soul department, RF brought soul to this place, and that was what got people hooked. In spite of different opinions and all the acid left aside, soul what was making people come back week after week, day after day. In his absence, Paul Niedermeyer picked up the mantle. And Paul brought so much soul he wore himself out. I hope the new team will make this place going, but I do believe it needs a soul. Robert and Paul had soul in abundance, and those shoes needs to be filled, or TTAC will lose whatever it had that made the place worthwile in the first place. The truth is out there, and the truth always has to come first.

    • 0 avatar
      N Number


      The Niedermeyers bucked a lot of the critics who said there could be no TTAC without Robert, myself included. I love what this site was and what it has grown into and as long as it keeps growing in constructive directions, I’ll still be here. I didn’t always like everything Robert had to say, but I loved the soul he put into everything he did. Ditto on Paul.

  • avatar

    What happened to the Ten Worst Vehicles awards? Those were always fun.

  • avatar

    I’ve been a fan for over 5 years. It was amazing following the the GM deathwatch series. Negative, critical, and prophetic. I really feel these jerks took advantage of their customers, and they needed to be called on it. Too bad they weren’t listening.

    And where else can you read auto reviews that aren’t a bunch of gushy bullshit?

  • avatar

    Robert was a humbling experience-my first phone conversation about my first article on TTAC started with a sigh at his end-then the words “I don’t know where to begin” followed by a lengthy autopsy on my now dead article.
    Bring humility to the table with Farago, because if you don’t have it going in, you’ll have it going out…
    He was, and still is, a great example of how to take written communication to much higher levels.I see his imprint to this day on TTAC and that’s a compliment.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Hey, as long as we keep getting interesting…..visuals with the monthly sales numbers from BS, I’m in. RF guest spots would be a bonus.

    And if you can’t get worked up about the car world when some idiot politico intrudes on it with some inanity, or when some pretentious baztard at one of the big OEM’s tries to blow smoke up the worlds azz, then maybe you don’t love cars, or TTAC, as much as you think….

    Just sayin’….

  • avatar

    You guys actually have a headquarters? Fandango would have threatened me for saying something like that. Good riddence

  • avatar


    Now there’s a (fill in the blank). Effen hilarious. In a sad way…

    Please, if you have any sense of decency/ right and wrong, just give this enterprise back to Farrago. He had integrity coupled with a functional IQ…

    While I’m mildly entertained shooting 6ga. holes in the ramblings of hacks, I’d rather prefer a car-dude ran this site.

    If I have to start putting up with non-car people as a touchstone, I’m not going to waste my time – fun though it would be to shoot them down on a daily basis…


    (Not a personal attack on Jack, only that I expect more of TTAC, and, as such, I don’t see Mr. Baruth as part of the brand identity. It’s still the brand founded by RF. YMMV…. )

    • 0 avatar

      If I have to start putting up with non-car people as a touchstone, I’m not going to waste my time – fun though it would be to shoot them down on a daily basis…

      d00d show ’em your 6 ga. Let’em know you got pretenseinyourname and let fly. It’ll be fun. Also mildly entertaining is good.

    • 0 avatar


      I always strive to be mildly entertaining…

  • avatar

    I miss the reviews of Justin Berkowitz and Johny Lieberman. Find some of their works in the archive at the bottom, wonderful writing, lucid and clever humour it showed how much they truly enjoyed some of the cars they tested. They were excellent counter balance to Farago’s cynicism.
    Farago was amazing writer sometimes too, Appalachian hillbilly moonshiner too arch for his own good.

  • avatar

    So long as at least one Neidermeyer, Sajeev, and Steven Lang stay with the site,I’m in. [not to take anything away from everyone else currently contributing]

    As re: Mr. Farago: loved his writing style and his use of word play. And how exciting to find someone writing as the anti-PR tool for these companies.

    Mr. N2 you’ve done an admirable job of maintaining that skepticism and avoiding becoming the Internet equivalent of the newspaper automotive section which prints what the advertisers want to hear. Keep up the good work.

    TTAC is part of my daily routine.Not many do I welcome into my rut.

  • avatar

    Let’s hope that with all the new and old talent mixing it up, that we start to see more reporting from other countries that have influence on and have vehicle assembly and design industries.

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming

    TTAC has improved in important ways since Farago left, but it recently seems to have struggled to define its identity. For example, I enjoyed Curbside Classics but it sometimes felt like the tail wagging the dog due to less “news” coverage.

    It’s interesting to see the comments about bringing Farago back. I thought he could be an excellent writer but toward the end suffered from founder’s syndrome.

    If Farago returned as a writer my hope is that:
    1) A copy editor would, when necessary, tone down his political snark when it ventured too far away from auto industry critique. If I want to watch Faux News I’ll turn on the TV.
    2) That someone else moderated the comments on Farago’s postings and he was effectively told to grow a thicker skin.

    Would Farago be willing to do that without unnecessary psychodrama?

  • avatar

    Farago would be welcome in any capacity. His style was cynical and insightful, a welcome change from industry shilling. As for political attitudes, government action has had a profound impact on the industry and I wouldn’t be interested in TTAC if these elements were ignored. I suspect criticism of President Obozo is the real issue for many people.
    Farrago may have been misunderstood by some, particularly the type who considers the term “faux news” to be clever.

    • 0 avatar

      “I suspect criticism of President Obozo is the real issue for many people.”

      No, criticism isn’t the problem. The problem is unintelligent criticism. And, yeah, “President Obozo” is unintelligent criticism. It’s just name calling.

      Perhaps you should raise the bar on your criticism before you go down the “intellectual dishonesty” road.

  • avatar

    I think there’s an excellent underpinning for a well rounded automotive site here – the industry news and debate is terrific. But here’s the problem: the site’s called “The Truth About Cars,” not “The Truth About The Car Industry,” and there just isn’t enough stuff about cars. Plain and simple. It sounds like that’s being addressed.

    But here’s what I’d suggest:
    1) Again: lots more car reviews. I’d say there should be old car reviews, but then poor Edward is going to get slaughtered with 100 “hey, can I review my ’96 Geo Metro” emails an hour.
    2) More “good deals on used cars” articles. Those will drive in some readers who are in the market for a car.
    3) How about “deal of the week” on a new car? Those are easy to find…
    4) Travelogues.

    Personally, I like the tone of the site a LOT better since Farago left. You can have plenty of attitude without dropping bombs like “anyone who buys this car is stupid.” I got the sense he was being a jerk for the sake of being a jerk. The site’s better off without him.

  • avatar

    Will we be seeing the likes of the tribal village virgin again after your corporate reshuffle?

  • avatar

    You guys do a great job but I definitely miss RF’s dry and wry wit. Look, when you see it, you have to call it, and he definitely did call it, from the grille of the Saabs to the Deathwatches. He especially called it right on the money with the Deathwatches. People are free to think what they want. Yes, it could be a depressing time, but we can handle it. We can handle the truth. We must handle the truth.

    I started coming here for the truth. I’m still here for the truth. I’ve seen some truths, but I’m still waiting for the next big Truth (with a capital “T”). The BIG one that nobody wants to think about, let alone talk about.

    I’ll be patient, but I must say, y’all haven’t moved the earth yet. Of course, maybe anything you will do will be just anticlimactic after the ballsiness of the Deathwatch series’.

    By the way, car reviews bore me. Go on, have as many as you want; I’m not trying to say you should have fewer. But they bore me. That’s why I don’t read the magazines. Why yes I do just look at them for the pictures, and even then, only if the girls have nice legs…

    Long, meaningless videos bore me. Videos of cars driving. Yawn. Dash-cam videos of cars on tracks, on winding roads, on dirt roads, or even just on dirt. They all bore me. I’d just as soon go for a drive!

    The pics should explode into LARGER, HIGHER RESOLUTION pics when I click on them. That’s how it worked when RF was piloting the ship. On occasion, I use pics as a conversation starter with co-workers and friends. If a pic’s resolution is too low for decent print quality (it doesn’t have to be superb, just decent will do), then usefulness is limited, and the topic will revolve around basketball or something else just as meaningless and even more boring (to me).

    Curbside Classics also bores me. Probably because I drove (more like coaxed) my last rust-bucket about 18 years ago, and was soooo happy to buy a new Miata. Once in a blue moon I look at a CC article. The last blue moon was Gus the truck. Respect is due, but no more blue moons for me for awhile. I have an aversion to rust, thank you very much!

    The site is fine, but I only come by about once a week, not daily like I used to. Sorry, it’s probably not your fault. Maybe it’s because I bore easily when READING ABOUT cars, and maybe the Deathwatch era took it to a realm above and beyond that of merely READING about cars.

    I’ll keep looking in, and if the pictures aren’t too boring and/or the headlines are somewhat interesting, I’ll at least read to the jump. And every day, I fervently hope to see that next Truth.

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