By on July 14, 2013

Image courtesy of the author.

After the leadership change last week, we opened up some communication with Steve Lang about returning to TTAC. Most of our readers would like to see the man behind the gavel back in action here. Unfortunately, Mr. Lang is as tough a negotiator behind the scenes as he is on the gravel of a buy-here-pay-here lot. We’ll continue to work with him to return “Hammer Time” to these pages, but in the meantime Steve’s asked us to print his “final goodbye”. While we haggle with the man, you can find him at Curbside Classic. Cross your fingers! — JB

“Wow! How many people have you helped?”

My father was looking at an article I wrote about car buying during the last few months of his life. He was shocked to see how many folks here at TTAC left their insightful comments and ideas within a matter of a few hours.

It was odd, and yet gratifying, for me to see the handles of commenters such as EducatorDan, VanillaDude, mikey and Zackman have such an enduring impact on my father’s psyche. Regardless of the unusual informality of what he read, my father was a proud man that evening. His son had done good for this world.

The Truth About Cars was a truly wonderful place that day and hopefully, it will continue to be so for countless others. I want to thank you all for making my life a better one. 60 years from now, I hope my own grandchildren will look at the archives at this site, ponder that golden question, and realize that their crazy old Grandpa was a truly helpful guy. I thank you. Personally. There can be no greater honor in life than having a chance to help your fellow man.

I wish you all the very best.

Steve Lang

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45 Comments on “Steve Lang Says Farewell (For Now)...”

  • avatar

    Steve, if you happen to read this, please reconsider coming back to TTAC. The site is less truthful without your insight into the underbelly of the beast.

  • avatar

    60 years from now we won’t own daily use cars, ‘the hammer’ will have long ago fallen on a new personal transportation regime. You will, if your well positioned or rich, only lease or subscribe to car usage.

    You will only start up or use your classic/old ICE, with a special permit, that takes a lot of time to obtain at great expense. Violations of the laws will result in forfeiture of your cherished classic ride or Hot Rod, that will soon meet the crusher. I know … a bit to dystopian for a site where the readers love cars.


    • 0 avatar

      Depressing as hell. And probably accurate.

      Makes me glad that I’m as old as I am, and I won’t be around to see that future.

      As I’ve often told my brother-in-law (definitely to the left of me on a number of, though not all, issues), “There are moments when I wish I could just snap my fingers and turn you into a five year old with all your current memories intact. Then you’d have to live in this brave new world you’re so eagerly agitating for.”

      • 0 avatar

        Depressing and already happening, Syke.

        The future will be something like described, or something like the dystopian world of Mad Maxx…. or… horse and buggy, cutters and sleighs… bring Studebaker back?

        One thing for sure, we won’t be building 50,000,000+ vehicles a year for personal use, unless they are running on solar, wind, and hydro energy.

        Regards… Tre

    • 0 avatar

      This is why I get involved in politics. Car guys don’t get much representation.

    • 0 avatar

      you have achieved internet enlightenment:

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      60 years ago people thought we’d have personal flying cars, cities on the moon and colonies on Mars.

      The predictions of most people who try to imagine the future are hilariously off.

      • 0 avatar

        60 years 100 years and 2,000 years ago, Man imagined. Imagining takes us where we are, without it we remain static, in stasis.

        Predictions are minefields when predicated by ‘I’, and time based.

        I, was making no predictions, but making a comment on our times and possible futures… and twas provocatively offered.

      • 0 avatar

        “The predictions of most people who try to imagine the future are hilariously off.”

        This is true, but the reality of what did come to pass would be terrifying to a person plucked from from 1953 and placed in today’s world. Speaking strictly from a car guy perspective the man from 1953 may have dreamed about flying cars, but be appalled at being strapped to the seat of his car for his own safety. He might even be disappointed in the design of the average car from his mid-fifties perspective. Should this time traveler be from the auto-industry, imagine his reaction to the regulated restrictive environments of Epa, Cafe, Nhsta etc. in which he has to build his “dream car”. Could Harley Earl be Harley Earl today?

        Past “futureworlds” look comical because they reflected the extremes of the current day’s fashion and technologies and little to to with the future.

  • avatar

    Wow! I struggle enough with typing. Its even harder with your fingers crossed.

    I’d love to see him back here, at the new, and improved TTAC. That being said I respect Steve for his decision.

    Time heals all wounds. Lets hope that’s the case with Steve Lang.

  • avatar

    I’ve been surprised that Steve’s recent work at Curbside Classic hasn’t been mentioned up until this point. I began to assume mention of that site might be verboten under the previous regime, but it is just as entertaining and informative a read as TTAC… they’re both daily reads.

    Thanks to all of you for continuing to do what you do well, wherever it may be. Looking forward to much more.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      We’re looking forward to working more closely with Paul’s crowd at Curbside Classic in the future. With any luck you’ll have a chance to see some of their famous names over here and vice versa.

  • avatar

    This is going to be another 500 reply thread so I will get in early. Steve, you are a great asset to every website you are on and I know you will drive a great deal of traffic to Curbside Classic. Although I haven’t posted anything there lately, I will continue to publish my fiction and, I think, many of my motorcycle stories there just so I can continue to published alongside you. I am excited whenever my stuff ends up next to yours on the page because I know more people will see it.

    I was deeply impressed with your principled stance on what you thought was hate speech. You risked a great deal to stand up for your beliefs and I am happy that you have landed on your feet. You have a great talent for writing, a real insight into the car business and an honesty that will make people seek you out wherever you end up. Myself included. I’ll be reading you. – Thom

    • 0 avatar

      “I was deeply impressed with your principled stance on what you thought was hate speech. You risked a great deal to stand up for your beliefs”

      I disagree, there was nothing risky about his stance – on the contrary he came across as risk-averse, as if he were terrified of becoming a pariah if he didn’t explicitly distance himself from the controversial writings of the editor of the site on which he himself was a contributor.

      His reaction, in short, was excessive, one may say it was to morality and decency what obsessive-compulsive hand is to hygiene.

  • avatar

    Steve’s insight on buying used cars is priceless, and his stories/anecdotes pure gold.

    To be fair, I thought Bertel’s articles were great as well. From where I sit, both are welcome back. When they disagree they can just go out back and see who can spit watermelon seeds farthest instead of bringing the fight to the readers.

    Jack, I appreciate your work to moderate and negotiate and keep the site focused on cars and truth. The site’s real asset is, of course, the B&B, so the task of the editorial staff and writers is as much facilitation as exposition.

    • 0 avatar
      schmitt trigger

      “When they disagree they can just go out back and see who can spit watermelon seeds farthest instead of bringing the fight to the readers.”

      Indeed…make a contest of who can drink the most beer, eat the most jalapeños, or fart the loudest… Both of them are great writers with powerful insights in the automotive industry.

  • avatar

    Y’know, three years ago I was hungering for a good website about cars and the auto industry as a whole. After many days searching, I stumbled on TTAC. Bingo! I hit the jackpot! Contained on these pages was just the content I was searching so diligently for, and the commenters – the insight coupled with humor demonstrated just how elite a league I was hooking up with.

    Steve’s real-life experiences in being a car dealer and working in the auction part of the business is just fascinating – and brutal. I have learned a lot. Thank you!

    Of course, I don’t have the depth of experiences nor do I possess the deep knowledge so many of you bring to the table, but I couldn’t resist throwing my fedoras into the ring to see what happens. Even though I take my lumps for my W-body love, I can take it, and I keep coming back for more.

    When Curbside Classic began, I had to divide my limited time between the two sites, and they compliment each other very well, I think.

    It would be thrilling for the two sites to become closer – a dual power, as it were, to really reel in those who love the vehicles and industry, not to mention all other “big things that move”, whether they be ships, planes, trains, earthmovers, tracors and even industrial machinery of any sort.

    I have found a great online “home” on TTAC and “CC” and couldn’t be more pleased!

    Rock on, you two, rock on!

    • 0 avatar

      For some reason I missed on trying Curbside Classic. I am certainly going to give them a look. Steve was a great asset to this site. And he appears to be a good guy as well. Considering the environment he works in – recall the stories of how sleazebags break the electronic odometers to defraud the public – he comes across as a stand-up guy. His stories were a big draw for me, especially during the decline. If he came back, and maybe Michael Karesh, well, that would be awesome. Keep trying to get him back!

  • avatar

    Time will heal all wounds. I think Steve just needs some time.

    A closer relationship with C.C. will certainly be a benefit to all.

  • avatar

    What is the problem on letting Steve continue at CC? I read both sites in their entiety on a daily basis so it doesn’t matter to me what the URL says at the top. Is all this about money?
    Hell, sure it is……

    • 0 avatar

      It’s not about the money, since (unfortunately) CC can’t afford to pay writers yet. Making real money with a web site is tough unless it’s very large (or has aggressive ad placements, etc.). So many of us chose to pursue our passions in ways and at locales for reasons other than just the money.

  • avatar

    Curbside articles were awesome. When they were here by Paul. Steve was awesome here. I can’t read more than this site. Please cross-pollinate.

  • avatar

    As said on FB, Steve, we miss you and hope you will someday return.

    In the meantime, good luck with Curbside Classics. Look forward to seeing more.

  • avatar

    Hey Steve,

    I was just wondering where you were. Now I know!

    Best of luck always, there, here, or anywhere.

    And may you always get the most miles per dollar.


    PS: keep that woman by your side. She helps you look good.

  • avatar

    Steve’s a fine writer with a gift for giving insight into parts of the industry/hobby/culture that we don’t always see. He’s also a friend and he graciously let me run his entertaining and informative work at Cars In Depth. I wish him well in his endeavors, online, on the car lot and on the auction block. Likewise, I wish Bertel well. We didn’t always see eye to eye but he let me say my piece here, made me an editor, and I’ve felt all along that he brings a unique set of skills and experiences that will be pretty much impossible to replicate.

    With all this talk about Curbside Classics here at The Truth About Cars, though, I wonder if I’m the only person who has been banned from commenting at one time or another at both TTAC and CC. From here I have a collection of emails from Farago and Bertel and I have to say that they were usually correct in reprimanding my behavior. Over there I made the mistake of praising a post about the end of Studebaker while questioning the historical accuracy of its headline that said that the last one was made in Canada (according to more than one source, the last Studebaker was likely to be assembled overseas from a knocked down kit, most likely in Israel). Farago and Bertel both, obviously, relented. As for CC, I can find reliable information about old cars from other sources, Aaron Severson’s Ate Up With Motors, for example, but maybe I’ll check out Steve’s stuff at his new digs.

    • 0 avatar

      Ronnie, you have the distinction of being the only person to ever be dis-invited from CC. You wrote an attack piece whose whole purpose was to to discredit one of our stories, but you failed to realize that there’s a very fundamental difference between a car factory that actually “builds” cars and between a small foreign facility that assembles cars from CKD (Cars knocked down) kits. There’s a huge difference between the two. And if you don’t understand that difference, and can’t refrain from attacking a story about the last true Studebaker Factory, than that explains why you were dis-invited. Well, I can think of some more reasons, but not germane to this specific issue.

  • avatar

    Lang gets credit for exposing the middle/uppermiddle (who know nothing about cars nor the BHPH biz model) how the extremely slimy bottom of the scum barrel functions.

    Beyond that? People who know cars have heard it all before.

  • avatar

    I’m fed up with spending time writing comments on this site, only for the comments to vanish. If I try to repost a comment, I’m told that it’s a duplicate comment. Presumably, then, my comment has ended up in the spam filter or in a moderation queue, which is apparently never checked as my comments never actually appear.

    Will this problem ever be fixed?! Or is the issue that my comments are no longer welcome on this site?

    • 0 avatar

      Writing multiple comments in quick succession may have something to do with tripping the spam filter.

      • 0 avatar

        Yes, that would be a fair assumption, although not really applicable in this context, as it was my *first* comment today that was rejected. I did, however, try to post the same comment again with slight revisions, in order to see whether it would help. And finally, after a few attempts, it did help, although what I ended up removing was (oddly enough) a paragraph where I wrote that I’d definitely welcome the return of the person this thread is about (I won’t mention his name, for fear of triggering the spam filter).

  • avatar

    Another vote for Steve resuming his writing here. I always found his insights delightful. He’s writing the same column now for Curbside Classics, and while good, it’s still a better fit in this venue. Yeah, he’s talking old(er) cars, but CC is definitely a vintage venue while TTAC is more aimed towards that cars that aren’t unique because they on the road on a daily basis.

    And I’d strongly recommend to the readership spending a bit of time on both sites – it can’t take all that much time to be reading over two car sites rather than just one.

  • avatar

    I had no idea Steve was over at CC. I often forget that site exists, so thanks for letting me know. It would be great to have Steve back at TTAC but if that’s not doable I’ll just have to remember to go to CC on a daily basis.

  • avatar

    Thank you for your articles, I really enjoyed them.

  • avatar

    I’ll read you wherever I find you. Thank you for the series on buying used, and the (now lost) mileage champions. Both will impact my next purchase so long as I can resist the siren call of the latest & greatest when it matters most. The 6 figure cars are as far removed from my reality as a BHPH, but insight gained applies anywhere a person is smart and imaginative enough to use it. On the subject of smart and imaginative, I’ll miss reading your posts here, where the comments are… well….

  • avatar

    I really enjoyed all your articles Steve. Hope to see you back here one day.

  • avatar
    The Heisenberg Cartel

    I’d love to see you back here as well Steve. Don’t let cranks like some of the unnamed folks above run you off.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    Yah, non illigitimatus carborundum. I read every thing I saw of your articles at TTAC

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