TTAC Future Writers Week: Round One Of Voting Is Today

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

It’s TTAC Future Writers Week where YOU decide who will write at TTAC in the future. This could be their first (or last) step on the way to their eventual Pulitzer or Wurlitzer Prize. Please choose wisely, carefully, and fairly. It’s your, the future of several nations, and most of all, the auto industry that is at stake.

Ever since we signaled our readiness to accept a fresh crowd of eager and unpaid writers into the ranks of the TTAC annoited, the applications keep pouring in. I had to solicit the help of a spreadsheet to manage the entries, and I had to ask your help to choose.

This is how it will go down: Each and every day of the week, I will present you a set of seven writing examples. Their authors haven been carefully anonymized. They have a number instead. Each and every day of the week, you can and should cast your vote.

The top three out of each set of seven receive an entry permit into the rarified world of TTAC writers. Those who don’t make the grade and who fail in front of our jury will be sold into white slavery, or worse, recommended for the morning shift at Jalopnik.

The snippets come in no particular order. Actually, they do. They come in the exact order they landed in my mailbox.

The snippets have been chosen by me, in a very subjective way: By looking quickly at the story, and by picking what stands out. A regular reader gives a story even hastier attention. We need to grab the reader and pull him or her in.

You have two votes for each day. Both votes have equal weight. You may not vote more than once per day set of contestants.

The vote for each set runs until the second set appears. That’s typically for around 24 hours. Vote now, do not procrastinate. Voting for the last set stops when I say so, also typically 24 hours after the last set goes up.

Lastly, we have enough contestants to last us all week through Friday. If more submissions appear, we will run the TTAC elections into the weekend. Submission rules are here.

And now, drumroll please, here are …

The TTAC Future Writers – Monday Contestants

Contestant 1 writes:

“One car I keep coming back to, however, is the ’92-’97 Ford Crown Victoria interceptor. I can’t explain my attraction to these cars – they were frequently purchased by white trash after they were decommissioned, and most were subsequently beaten to hell. They’re minimally optioned, and guzzle gas inordinately. The memories and smells of criminals still permeate the backseats, putting a damper on the mood when having car-sex. Yet this is where my Panther platform love begins. In complex times, simple cars like the Crown Vic possess a nostalgic allure. It’s an understated jalopy – it has all the muscle of the great cars of yore, masked by unassuming sheet metal.“

Contestant 2 writes:

“This quaint roadster’s charm is bolstered by its small, but eager engine. Try prodding a lazier power plant and the resulting sound can be akin to a groan, as if the car is complaining,”Aw, do I have to?” Mash the Miata’s accelerator and the response you’ll hear all the way to its 7,000 rpm redline is,”Oh, hell yes!” That’s not to say that the Miata is a speed demon; it’s not.”

Contestant 3 writes:

“I wouldn’t say that an automatic transmission is necessarily objectively bad in some quantifiable way. Many car enthusiasts prefer manuals for the reasons listed above, and will tell you (because they prefer manuals) that automatics are objectively worse in some way. This isn’t true anymore: modern dual clutch gearboxes and even standard torque converter automatics can shift far more quickly than a human, and the software that they use to predict when to change gear is getting better and better.”

Contestant 4 writes:

“It really is a horrible car, and was from the factory. It was always slow, and 28 years has not been kind to the original engine, transmission, suspension, rear end, body, or interior. I was able to repair the rust, replace the tires, and put a new top on the car before I ran out of money. On the rare occasion I have time to drive it, it flexes and bends, rattles and groans. It’ll do 0-60 in… well.. whenever it damn well feels like it. But it’ll eventually get to 75 and stay there for as long as my intestinal fortitude will allow. It feels like a collision with a Schwinn bicycle will send me to the hospital.”

Contestant 5 writes:

“My automotive purchasing history would suggest that I am biased towards the Japanese brands. I was scarred early in life by a terribly unreliable Renault Fuego Turbo, a K car and a diesel Delta 88. I have not been able to get myself to purchase a Domestic or European vehicle since. I have owned a Mazda 3, Miata, MR2, Maxima, Accord, Civic, G35x, CRV, 4runner(2) and Odyssey. (Not a real popular guy here in Metro Detroit.)”

Contestant 6 writes:

“What happens to a dream deferred? That question, asked by the great poet Langston Hughes, was meant to reflect on the experiences of African Americans in early twentieth century America. But it applies to our featured vehicle today, and the company that created it.“Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?” The last lines of Hughes work speaks to the odd case of the C-350. At least one person involved with this particular conversion company saw the Ford lineup of the late 80′s and yearned for something more. Something much more, in fact.”

Contestant 7 writes:

“It’s November on the California coast, between the rains. Pismo Beach is far behind us; Monterey still far ahead. The road is HERE, the Pacific Ocean is THERE, right across the southbound lanes, over that little 6-inch-tall rock”barrier” that would give you a good launch before you fell the 400 feet to your crunchy doom. Left-foot-braking, you trail brake into the corner, wide then tightening and then wide onto the gas. And the DSC kicks in, up front, and the line out of the corner isn’t quite what you wanted it to be.”

And now, let’s go to the polls!

(No hanging chads. Don’t mail or phone it in. Read snippets before voting. Vote now.)

This poll has been removed.

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2 of 71 comments
  • Ryoku75 Ryoku75 on Jan 22, 2013

    I voted for 4,its the only article thats actually about cars.

  • TW4 TW4 on Jan 22, 2013

    #1, #4, #7 were entertaining. I particularly like the deadpan delivery of #1. #2,#3,#5 felt like old-media professionalism. Not necessarily my cup of tea, but you got to have a well-rounded crew, I suppose. #6 was the x-factor. I like the perspective, even if it's just absurdist intellectual rambling. You can't possibly go wrong by dropping a bit of culture and art into an engineering industry. The style of #6 is a nice foil against the comedic prose and mechanical professionalism of most auto writers.

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