TTAC Future Writers Week: Tuesday Ends With Gong. Wednesday Round Begins Now

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

The Tuesday round of TTAC’s Future Writers Week ends with no new writers selected. That round definitely did not trigger mass excitement among our judges. Some even wanted to be able to assign demerits. Contestants 13 and 14 were the only halfway real entries in what otherwise was email snippets and proposals nobody wanted. Getting the most votes (from a definitely apathetic panel of judges) while running virtually unopposed does not constitute a win.

Let’s see whether a fresh batch of contestants can do better today. Again, everything is strictly in the order of incoming applications. Unedited, un-proof-read, as is. If there was no clear writing sample, something from the email was taken. Sorry …

The TTAC Future Writers – Wednesday Contestants

The rules of engagement, listed below, remain the same as yesterday.

Contestant 15 writes:

My reaction to the new Vette is mixed. In general the proportions are fine but the detail design is underwhelming. The charcoal grills on the hood and haunches as well as the entire 1968 Toyota treatment of the rear end leaves me wanting (and scratching). The lack of a body colored A pillar is just plain goofy on any level.”

Contestant 16 writes:

“Despite living in California for nearly eight years now, and recently becoming a citizen of these United States, I still consider myself to be an Englishman. To be English in America is a generally pleasant experience – no man will ever get tired of pretty girls telling him how cute his accent is – but it is also a life full of little differences which remind you every day that this is not your home, even though it is where you live.”

Contestant 17 writes:

“So what is the ideal inventory level, measured as days of inventory? This is a more complex question, as it really depends on the manufacturer’s and the dealers’ business models and goals. Assuming the North American model of car sales, the goal is to keep just enough cars on the dealers’ lots to allow a potential customer to find the one he or she wants to drive home, right now. Too few cars, and you will lose customers because they can’t find the cars they want; too many, and the costs inventory financing and rebates will start to mount, and the dealers will begin to complain about too many cars on their lots.”

Contestant 18 writes:

“The majority of facilities currently manage supply prices through an item-master system and bill for those supplies through a separate charge-master system. Although the supply cost data needs to be communicated between the two disparate systems, they are not linked. Accordingly, manual processes must be performed to maintain the integrity of the data which can cause discrepancies in pricing resulting from missed charges, undercharges and overcharges.”

Contestant 19 writes:

“First, we must answer the question, ”What is a beater?” I suppose that is open to many definitions. If you have just plunked down $40,000 for a 1999 C70 Convertible, a $5000 740 might strike you as a beater. But my definition is simpler: a beater is a car purchased for a three-digit figure (or less! A recently acquired ’77 244DL cost $45!). It’s simple. $999 or less should easily get you a perfectly serviceable 240. Remember that a new-car buyer barely gets a decent down payment for that amount. Personally, I have owned eight 240 series cars, and have never paid more than $750.”

Contestant 20 writes:

“Growing up, my father and I bonded over trips to the pick-a-part in Atlanta or carburetor rebuilds in our kitchen, usually all for his 1984 F100 pick-up. For a while, I thought my Dad was simply an eccentric that liked his old truck for some reason, and never wanted to buy a new car. However, I would eventually get the bug. My freshman year in high school, my Dad was driving me to school, and he pointed out a 1965 Mustang. I only knew enough to say that the car was pretty and old, but my father launched into the story about how the Mustang was based on the Falcon, largely just with a different body. It was then that I realized that every car on the road has a story, and from there, I started reading everything about cars I could.”

Contestant 21 writes:

“I wrote the monthly car column for xxxxxxx (yes, we did one) for five years, until it was recently discontinued because every print magazine is now really, really tiny. I’m still on staff there, and ghostwriting for famous people in magazines and books pays my bills. But I would prefer to continue to write about cars under my own name. I’ve been a professional writer for more than 20 years, and I grew up in the industrial midwest working in my dad’s tool and die shop.”


Above are today’s contestants. Pick them carefully. The top ones will be around for a long time. Here are the Rules of Engagement:

  • You are presented with a set of seven writing examples. Their authors haven been carefully anonymized. They have a number instead.
  • The top three out of each set of seven receive an entry permit into the rarefied 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. (Inciting voter apathy could mean that all contestants are sold off, we want and keep the winners.)
  • The snippets 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.
  • You have two votes for each day. Both votes have equal weight. You may not vote more than once per day and set of contestants. Don’t throw away your votes!
  • 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.

And now, let’s go to the polls!

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

You have TWO votes. Place your bets.

This poll has been removed.

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4 of 38 comments
  • Greg Locock Greg Locock on Jan 23, 2013

    Once more into the breech 15 Bad mehta ripoff 16 The Truth about Emigration is a site with a small yet eclectic following. 17 4 sentences of the bleeding obvious 18 This bloke writes stock control manuals for a living. he lives under Murilee's couch. 19 No, first we must answer the question why on earth would I want to read the ranting of a one make enthusiast? 20 Sounds a bit Ed'n'Paul, but OK 21 Yesterday's attempt to impress with track record was incoherent. this one is a bit better, but most car mag writers are a pretty poor read so claiming membership of that club doesn't help. 20 it is then

    • See 1 previous
    • Ryoku75 Ryoku75 on Jan 23, 2013

      19 Didn't even seem like ranting to me, just a big incoherent bragfest. And Volvo buffs tend to be humble.

  • David Hester David Hester on Jan 24, 2013

    Soooooo, what happened? Is the contest over or are there some technical difficulties?

  • Ollicat I have a Spyder. The belt will last for many years or 60,000-80,000 miles. Not really a worry.
  • Redapple2 Cadillac and racing. Boy those 2 go together dont they? What a joke. Up there with opening a coffee shop in NYC. EvilGM be clowning. Again.
  • Jbltg Rear bench seat does not match the front buckets. What's up?
  • Theflyersfan The two Louisville truck plants are still operating, but not sure for how much longer. I have a couple of friends who work at a manufacturing company in town that makes cooling systems for the trucks built here. And they are on pins and needles wondering if or when they get the call to not go back to work because there are no trucks being made. That's what drives me up the wall with these strikes. The auto workers still get a minimum amount of pay even while striking, but the massive support staff that builds components, staffs temp workers, runs the logistics, etc, ends up with nothing except the bare hope that the state's crippled unemployment system can help them keep afloat. In a city where shipping (UPS central hub and they almost went on strike on August 1) and heavy manufacturing (GE Appliance Park and the Ford plants) keeps tens of thousands of people employed, plus the support companies, any prolonged shutdown is a total disaster for the city as well. UAW members - you're not getting a 38% raise right away. That just doesn't happen. Start a little lower and end this. And then you can fight the good fight against the corner office staff who make millions for being in meetings all day.
  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )