By on January 1, 2014

560slguitars

Same as last year, I’m picking some of the most popular things I wrote, and some of my personal favorites, with the understanding that these are rarely the same thing. Just to shake things up this year, I’ll include a few things I published elsewhere.

The Hits

If You Live In This World, You’re Hearing The Change Of The Guard Things looked pretty, er, challenging at TTAC this past summer, but after a brief shakeup we reset the course and it’s been smooth sailing ever since. Not a single user has been banned, although it hasn’t been for lack of trying in a few cases. Comments are up, all numbers are up, every way we have to measure reader involvement and satisfaction is better now than it was in June. I’m listing this under “my greatest hits” but it’s really due to all of you. Thanks.

Famed Non-Automotive Journalist Michael Hastings Turns A C250 Into A “Bomb”. This one went everywhere, including the front page of Fox News, in the course of racking up well over seven hundred Facebook shares. It was used to justify conspiracy theories and to debunk them, it was attacked and supported, it was everything but ignored. Months later, everybody’s pretty much given up caring. So if it was a conspiracy, it worked.

Road&Track’s Performance Car Of The Year The methodology wasn’t perfect, there were a few logistical issues, and I wasn’t as clear as I should have been about the rules for eligibility (hint: neither the 2014 991 GT3 nor the 1973 Carrera GT were eligible, and it was for the same reason) but I’m very proud of the way it all turned out and I know next year’s will be even better. We took a flier on both the format and content, and it worked.

Review: Toyota Camry SE 2.5L, Track Tested This was a fun way to shake up peoples’ concepts about what a modern sedan can and cannot do. I had an absolute ball doing the actual testing weekend, and it was great to see how the readers responded to the rather heretical ideas contained within.

Trackday Diaries: You should buy a minivan. If “Trackday Diaries” is the Krusty The Clown Show, then Drama McHourglass was probably “Poochie”, a universally-despised character brought on to satisfy the writer’s own agenda. In this single episode, we both killed off that particular character and managed to further one of the viewers’ actual favorite characters — the Pentastar-powered Chrysler minivan.

Avoidable Contact: Cayenne won’t help ya, Cayenne won’t do ya no good. Some of the women out there who hate me the most are the ones with whom I’ve had some of the most wonderful evenings. By the same token, my bitterness regarding the Stuttgart Self-Wrecking Crew is based on thirty-five years of devotion to the aircooled ethic. The company just keeps thinking up new ways to disappoint me, and the Macan is the most inventive yet.

The Misses

Trackday Diaries: Continuously Variable Emotion. This was the story that exhausted the B&B’s patience with “Poochie”, but I’m pleased with it in retrospect. So what if it got 29 comments, most of them about the merits of the Altima’s transmission?

Autoblog Readers Aren’t Excited About Paying For Hipster Vay-Cay This one was pretty popular, managing even to reach whatever thatched hut “Nacho” and his tenders were sleeping in the week it was published. Looking back, however, I wonder if it was a “miss” in the classical sense of the term — Who breaks a butterfly upon a Wheel? Brad and Sheena, in all of their spoiled, twee, overly previous approach to the world and what it owes them, would only deserve criticism in an era where they were the exception, not the rule. It put me in the uncomfortable and unpleasant position of being an old man complaining about these kids today. Roll on, sweet Nacho. (Brad, Sheena, and the famed Nacho are currently in residence at a famous Indian temple.)

The Idiot’s Guide to Left-Foot Braking. Some of the readers disagreed with me. You’re just wrong, damn it.

Winter Tires Track Tested The purpose of this article was to illustrate the ability of “winter tires” to handle higher temperatures and spirited driving for short periods of time; in other words, to encourage people to purchase winter tires and to put them on sooner rather than later in the season. To my utter horror, reader after reader, both on R&T and Jalopnik, interpreted it as “You Can Drive Winter Tires Year ‘Round”. I also heard a lot about how 2.2 seconds on a racetrack was “an eternity”, presumably from people who have never ever attended a club race or even read the results of a club race.

Sunday Stories: “Angle Of Slip”. The problem with going on dates with fabulous, six-foot-tall Dutch girls is that eventually, if you are me, you will want to work such an improbable creature into your writing. It’s not really a problem until she reads said writing. And then forgives you. And then it’s not a problem again. Look for “Katrien” to reappear one day, perhaps after some prior review by her doppleganger.

One Of Them Shall Not Fall On The Ground Without Your Father For Robert Farago’s The Truth About Guns website, a true story of killing and danger and forgiveness. Some of the readers enjoyed it, others were angry that I refuse to hold up the “Mary Sue” image of the infallible, hyper-masculine American gun owner. As for the shot described in the story, it really happened as described — but I couldn’t do it again, not for a million bucks.

On This Harvest Moon, The Workings Of Memory I’m on a continual journey to understand myself, the same way I’m on a continual journey to understand others. This story, like the one directly above it, is about being fallible, human, imperfect.

The Year To Come

My new 560SL (pictured) and I have many adventures planned for 2014, from the Atlantic to the Pacific and beyond. Some time before the halfway mark of the year ahead, I’ll also be resigning my position as Editor-In-Chief pro tem to make way for the appointment of our own Derek Kreindler. Go easy on him, okay?

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

65 Comments on “My Greatest Hits (And Biggest Misses) of 2013...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Sweet ride JB.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    I never left a comment, but the story of the sparrow was one of the most unexpected and moving things I’d read all year. It doesn’t belong in the “misses” column, and if you’re going to call it that, don’t let it stop you from swinging for the fences. I look forward to another year of reading your writing, even (and especially) the stuff that doesn’t belong on TTAC.

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    I recently finished a full resto for a customer on a 560SL. Even though they have a 560 engine,they are slower than the earlier 450SL in euro engine form. Shame about that 200kw low compression engine. A swap with a euro 330KW engine will make a truly nice driving car out of one.
    I Australia,in 1986 a new SL cost my Customer $286,000 . thats 1986 dollaras too…

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Overall you’ve done an excellent job Jack .

    I hope you take a _REALLY_ close look at the K Member of that SL ~ they’re extremely prone to snapping .

    I miss my old ’74 350SLC European with manual tranny .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    George Herbert

    Wrong or not, Left Foot Braking saved my car three times in the last two months (does NOBODY in a minivan ever check mirrors or signal before lane changes anymore???…). And still hasn’t killed me.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Your unannounced lane changes problem may be worse (or better) than average because of where you drive. After a week-long survey of the northeast, principally between Providence and Boston, I noticed that 3 in 10 drivers signal lane changes in Rhode Island, and 1 in 10 in Boston metro. Here in Southern California, outside of L.A., the number is an astounding 5.5 of 10. In L.A. itself, the number is essentially zero in 10, since announcing what you’re going to do will get you cut off every time.

  • avatar
    pragmatist

    My wife has a 560SL, we picked it up a few years ago. Pretty nice machine.

    (it gets driven fairly gently)

  • avatar
    jz78817

    Given how much better TTAC has become recently, that’s the only hit you and the staff need.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    The biggest “miss” is not having Doug DeMuro write here anymore. Whatever the reasons, they should be fixed, his contributions were a great asset to this site

    • 0 avatar
      LeeK

      Seconded. And I fear that Alex Dykes will be moving on soon, which would be a real shame for everyone. *

      TTAC has indeed rebounded nicely from the mid-year leadership change. Derek will make a great EIC and I hope Jack can stay with us with regular articles.

      * Deadweight excepted

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        I have no reason to think that Alex is going anywhere.

        In recent conversations with Doug, he has declined to provide us with content.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Did you ask nice?

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            I did better than that — I offered to pay him.

            While he won’t come right out and say it, I believe he prefers the Jalopnik audience, which has built a bit of a celebrity culture around him. They’re over there writing fan fiction and whatnot about him in Kinja.

            Our readership skews to the older/better-educated/less-worshipful demographic. Which is why I offered him money to come back, figuring maybe he’d rather have cash than fan fiction.

            In the meantime, we’re out there looking for more writers like him.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Then I guess Doug was kidding…

            “I love Jack; Jack hates me. I have no idea why. I miss TTAC, but you can still read my occasional musings over at the other place.”

            …I know people say things that aren’t true, but I’d hate to think it was just an ego thing between you two

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            I cut Doug a lot of slack when he was writing for us. I allowed him to promote his book even though I’ve heard from third parties that most of the stories related within are not even remotely close to being true. I published his pieces with minimal editing even when I could see that what he was describing was highly unlikely.

            We agreed to his demands that his book be repeatedly featured and discussed. Some time in September, Jalopnik offered him a chance to write for them and he quit us with no notice of any kind.

            Mr. DeMuro isn’t one to speak plainly, but I am, so here we go: He quit TTAC without telling anybody. One day I realized it had been a month and we hadn’t seen a contribution. I’ve contacted him twice since then about contributing additional features and been given extremely vague responses that nevertheless indicated that no contributions to TTAC would be forthcoming.

            Mr. DeMuro is very concerned that everybody like him very much. As a result, he appears psychologically unable to admit that he left TTAC for Jalopnik. I have unfettered contempt for this kind of behavior and I’ve communicated that to him in terms that, unlike his communications to me on this and every other subject, leave no room for interpretation.

            While he was writing for us, I had a single interaction with him that was negative. He demanded that we publish something he had written on a certain day so as to better line up with publicity for his book. I told him that he was not running TTAC and that I would be the final arbiter of what day his articles ran. He then contacted Derek behind my back to attempt to convince *him* to change the article date, at which time I reiterated my original position in terms that were even more clear and concise.

            I’d like to have him write for us, although from a traffic perspective he drew fewer “clicks” than anything short of the Sunday fiction, but how can I work with someone who won’t give a straight answer to anyone about anything? He never actually *says* anything when people ask him about leaving TTAC, he just makes vague statements that imply that someone else is at fault.

            Fuck that. The official word is as follows: Mr. DeMuro quit writing for us without notice in September. Twice he has been formally contacted and requested to either contribute more or announce that he has quit so we can give the opportunity to another young writer. Both times he has refused to commit to either position.

            Insofar as I can’t think of another “job” in the United States that you could skip for 108 days without being considered to have quit, I’d say he’s quit us. Despite that, we’ve offered him incentives to return.

            For the record, I have very little respect for what he writes, but the same could be said regarding my relationship with the past two Editors-In-Chief of this site, who frequently hated my contributions and published them anyway. That’s called “professionalism” and it’s an attitude that Mr. DeMuro has yet to acquire.

          • 0 avatar
            LALoser

            Thank you for the straight-up answer Jack.

          • 0 avatar
            burgersandbeer

            Too bad about Doug. He was entertaining in small to moderate doses. I’m surprised to hear that his contributions didn’t generate many clicks – almost all of them went over 100 comments. I guess a small group of vocal commenters followed him.

            Doug did play an important role while he was here. His stuff was lighter and inoffensive during a period when the venom of Bertel’s regime was at an all time high. With the positive direction since Jack and Derek took over, those contributions seem less necessary now.

            It’s interesting to hear how focused he was on the book promotion. I did buy the book, and for $3 or whatever it cost, I can’t complain too much. That said, it is basically a collection of his contributions. I think I had already read at least a third of it here on TTAC. He definitely milks the most out of his existing content.

          • 0 avatar
            The Heisenberg Cartel

            Sad to hear how it happened but good on you for giving the honest answer. Hopefully he changes his mind at some point and realizes you were giving him a pretty good deal.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I come here for the truth about a lot of things, thank-you

          • 0 avatar
            Monty

            Thank you for the honest answer. It’s distressing to read, but I suppose it’s one of the many distasteful tasks of an E.I.C.

            I enjoyed Doug’s contributions, but not enough to read them over at Jalopnik.

          • 0 avatar
            Zekele Ibo

            Mr DeMuro is right that Jalopnik is better-suited to his style. His articles are “fluff” – an approach which sits uneasily with “truth”.

            Jalopnik is just a meme-chasing drivel machine (like all the other Kinja-powered sites) and over there “truth” doesn’t matter. Only the momentary, unthinking light entertainment matters.

            That’s not even a criticism of Mr DeMuro, just the way it is. I enjoy reading his stuff, but TTAC is not Kinja. He made the right call to leave, and you will make the right call if you leave him there. :)

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            LeeK, I have no personal animosity towards Alex and have no interest in seeing him leave TTAC whatsoever. I realize many here enjoy his reviews even though I find them to be very non-critical of things that warrant criticism. And I have no problem expressing my opinion about that, obviously, given that I expect more than that from reviews of vehicles, many which are NOT GOOD AND WARRANT A LOT OF CRITICISM that Alex never seems to voice. My OPINION about that is not born of some ill will or malice.

            With that said, I don’t expect or even want TTAC to be a publication that only prints the reviews, opinions and thoughts of those who I agree with – that would not only be an irrational expectation, but would make for a boring site.

            As far as you’re concerned, Jack, I genuinely believe that your actions in addressing the readership base and in selecting those who would help you run TTAC in the wake of the disaster that Bertel created, saved TTAC from a literal imminent death spiral. That is no small accomplishment.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “I expect more than that from reviews of vehicles, many which are NOT GOOD AND WARRANT A LOT OF CRITICISM that Alex never seems to voice”

            You’re entitled to your views, but your constant vague laments are a bit grating.

            Be specific. If you think that the guy missed something that he shouldn’t have, then spell out exactly what that is. At the very least, that would allow the rest of us to see what it is that you’re going on about, and we can decide for ourselves which one of you is the more deserving of critcism.

            Otherwise, you might just want to accept the possibility that he disagrees with you in good faith. The fact that he doesn’t automatically benchmark everything against the usual suspects may be one thing that distinguishes him from most, i.e. he doesn’t seem to go into seizures when considering the worthiness of FWD luxury cars.

          • 0 avatar
            LeeK

            Deadweight, my comments above about your apparent dislike of Alex’s reviews come not from any intended malice, but from my reading of your own posted comments in response to many of his reviews. If you say that you have no personal animosity towards Alex, then I think that is good, so we can concentrate on the issues that you bring forth.

            What I have found is that Alex is very receptive to constructive criticism and incorporates them almost instantaneously. I will point out that you asked for sound pressure level measurements about a year ago and sure enough Alex started including them as a regular feature of his reviews. He also makes comparisons between other vehicles that he has tested in the same segment in regards to interior sound quality, usually in the video portion of the review. I gather that you don’t watch the video segments all that often (interpreting some of the comments that you have made — my apologies if that is incorrect). A complaint you made about Alex’s recent CTS review was that no mention was made about the suspension’s ability to cope with rough roads, yet at 15:42 in the video he does exactly that. So perhaps some of your complaints come from just reading his written reviews and not the video portion?

            I’ve lurked at TTAC for four years and only started commenting in the past two. Of all the regular reviewers: Farrago, Karesh, Schmitt, McAleer, Shreiber, Baruth, and even Kreindler, Alex provides the most comprehensive reviews ever seen at this site — in my opinion — with a half hour of video provided on top of the many paragraphs of written summary and photographs. Alex’s style is certainly not like Farrago’s, but then again very few people are Robert Farrago. He seems like a really nice guy and probably would never be a firebrand kind of reviewer. (I have no personal interaction with him, so this is just speculation.) I take it from your comments that you want Alex to pronounce things unacceptable or the vehicle is a total failure if some critical component is not up to snuff for the intended segment. As you can gather, Alex isn’t going to do that but instead point the issue out to the viewer, comment about it, and then let us make up our minds regarding the merit of his comments.

            I’m glad that Jack said that Alex is still firmly committed to TTAC. I saw his own website being advertised “Alexonautos.com” and perhaps incorrectly assumed that Alex was thinking about going off on his own, like Farrago, Karesh, and DeMuro. Funnily enough, their exits all started in a similar fashion with new websites being setup.

            So Deadweight, I suggest that you consider telling Alex exactly what you would like to see in his reviews. Some he will be able to incorporate, and some he most likely will not. But at least there will be communication, rather than snarky side comments about how TTAC’s reviews are lacking.

          • 0 avatar
            th009

            @LeeK, “I gather that you don’t watch the video segments all that often (interpreting some of the comments that you have made — my apologies if that is incorrect).”

            I also rarely watch the videos. I come to TTAC to read written content, and unless the subject of the review is highly compelling, I’m unlikely to spend 30 minutes watching the video.

          • 0 avatar
            burgersandbeer

            @th009 – The CTS video was one of the longer ones @ 24 min. Most of them are closer to 15 min. Alex also provides tips with time markers in the video so you can skip to different sections if you want. They are all consistent in their structure, so between that and the time markers I typically spend no more than 5 minutes on a video.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I’m glad to read the explanation on Doug’s departure as well, as I had wondered why he’d just vanished since September.

            It was decent light entertainment while I avoided opening those BDSM images at work and reading stories making fun of a girls ears.

          • 0 avatar
            Japanese Buick

            Thank you for the straight up answer Jack.

            Now from my point of view, here is The Truth About Doug Demuro ( from this reader’s perspective): he is trying to become the Dave Barry of auto writing, and he’s trying too hard and too obviously. His pieces were kinda fun to read but I never got through one without thinking “this guy is trying too hard to write like Dave Barry”. Who btw is no longer fresh and popular for a reason. That shtick is played out, has been for over a decade. The only reason Doug’s Dave Barry aping articles are interesting is because they are about cars.

            Doug is a loss to TTAC but a small one and the site will move on. In your place I would be happy to accept his contributions but I would not have offered to pay him unless you routinely pay for articles.

            Just MHO

          • 0 avatar
            vaujot

            @ Jack: since you invoke “professionalism”, I must say that this look behind the scenes, while entertaining, was not your most professional moment as the EIC.
            And it reminds me that Bertel’s last post here was about a (then) former writer of this site.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        @DeadWeight – If there are so many terrible cars available, why not write up a few reviews and submit them for the Ur Turn series?

  • avatar
    LALoser

    TTAC is way better than before. I hope it continues as this site is unique in approach and delivery. One thing to watch for is the slow creep of insults, name-calling and hate-speak. Discussion is a positive, debate is entertainment, arguing is pointless.
    Maybe we can get more contributions from places like India, ZA, PI and so on. Many of us live, or have in different places that have had adventures in outlands with vehicles not blinged or sanitized for the mall run.

    • 0 avatar
      merc88

      Thanks for that comment, I too have noticed the slow creep of juvenile comments and hate…be careful.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        One of the things I’ll be doing before I turn the site over will be to re-demonstrate our commitment to civility in the comments. With any luck, it can be done without increasing the number of legitimate commenters we’ve banned in since July (currently: zero)

  • avatar
    Tinker

    I must have missed the article on left foot braking, and I admit to having done it, when driving my wife’s Escort. Something was wrong, and it wouldn’t idle, and having the car die at every intersection was not going down well with her. So I used my left foot to brake,and my right foot to accelerate all the way to a local repair shop.

    But let me say this about that. Yes, stopping distances were longer, and why couldn’t she do the same thing I did? She ONLY DRIVES AUTOMATIC cars, while I have driven every thing from a V-6 dump truck with a split axle and only 4 working gears (1-3 +5) to motorcycles.

    Let me continue to say, DO NOT ATTEMPT to left foot brake a modern motorcycle. DANGEROUS, uncomfortable, not very effective. (By modern, I mean any motorcycle with it’s controls laid out as a “normal” cycle, throttle – right hand, front brakes – right hand, rear brakes – right foot, clutch – left hand, gear selection – left foot.) If you attempt this you will damage the motorcycle.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    Jack – – –

    Good job on having taken up the reigns and running with the ball.
    (How’s that for mixing metaphors?)

    Anyway, I have every confidence in Derek’s upcoming command, and do not believe that TTAC readers/commenters should have any concerns here at all.

    Again, congratulations on a fine year!

    —————-

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    A well-done year, Jack. I enjoy the variety of styles TTAC brings every day, even if I don’t like the taste of every last bite.

    From your list, my favorite was the Camry story.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “Go easy on him, okay?”

    Please, have we ever given DK a hard time?

  • avatar
    Ion

    The R&T piece was very good Jack. For awhile I thought the SLS was going to win for for sure. I noticed however that the first part on the Airstrip has almost no pictures of the Ferrari. Is this because the pics were taking after the piece was written and a result of what happens on the second leg? Or was it a bad omen?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      You called it; the group photos on the airstrip were done after all the testing was complete, at which point the F12 was safely back on a two-pillar lift somewhere.

      Guess what we *won’t* do next year!

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Jack, don’t get a chip on your shoulder about the snow tire piece. Don’t the cops in northern parts of the US sometimes run snow tires year round just cause fleet managers are too lazy to worry about the changeover and storage of tires?

    I troll the dealers on eBay who sell cop cars and I swear that the cars being retired out of the northern Midwest and northern Great Plains always have Firestone Winterforce Tires on them even if its mid July.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Overall you are a good and most importantly, attentive, editor. Keep at it.

  • avatar
    cc-rider

    Jack- the R107 needs some BBS RS and Recaro Classic C seats like yesterday!

  • avatar
    The Heisenberg Cartel

    I don’t read TTAG normally but that article you posted over there was excellent. The haters who commented are exactly the reason I think most gun nuts are idiots.

    One request for this coming year: how about more Ur Turn articles, specifically owner reviews of cars considered in the public court to be unreliable, scary, and bank breakers? Meaning off warranty German and Italian vehicles, or several American cars from the 80s and 90s. I’m six months into owning a 1999 E46 that I bought with 268,000 miles (since added 4,000 more). I might think about sending something in once I have more miles on it – maybe closer to the big 300k.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Absolutely, we have the permanent “Help Wanted” sign hanging out for stuff like this, trust me. If you’re reading this and think you have something to contribute, please, talk to us. Every contributor piece we publish strengthens the site.

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      THC – The comments at TTAG were positive and anecdotal in support of the author; very few were disparaging or dismissive of Jack. For far better and more entertaining commentary you should read the comments to this story at Jack’s website.

      The comments from both Domestic Hearse and Tre Deuces are nothing short of brilliant, and brought me to tears and caused me to seriously think about why I continue to eat meat, respectively. I consider Jack Baruth to be one of my favourite writers (at least on the internet), but both the above mentioned writers penned comments worthy of Jack’s best pieces.

      You’ll find both comments here: http://jackbaruth.com/?p=1051

      An aside to JB – I hope you have solicited contributions from both persons; I recognize them both as regular commenters here and am certain they could deliver automotive writing of equal quality.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        More “begged” that “solicited”, really.

        • 0 avatar
          Monty

          Thanks. I’m not an overly frequent commenter, but read voraciously, and this is one of the very few websites that has managed to keep my attention for any significant length of time. And that’s mostly due to the level of commentary (well, that and the mostly excellent writing!). It’s my experience that most websites devolve into similar commentary at Jalopnik within a period of time – TTAC has managed, for the most part, to avoid the same fate, and I credit that to the contributors and the majority of the commentariat.

          Both Tre Deuces and Domestic Hearse possess skill that I can only fantasize about.

          Please approach them, prostrate and humble, and do that which needs to be done.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Thanks for the link Monty. Jack’s story and those comments “get to you” a little bit.

  • avatar
    Atum

    I’ve been reading TTAC actively since about March or so (I only read the Junkyard Finds sometimes before then), but I made my account sometime at the beginning of the academic year. The writings are pretty good, but the post-facelift cop pieces are kind of agitating when the site is all about “Agreeing with everyone.”

    But that’s a shame with Doug. He was my favorite editor here, I’ve talked to him before on the internet, and I got his book for Christmas. His writing was also the reason I made a TTAC account, but right as I did, he quit writing. Hopefully someone with his humor comes along as well, but being from the Atlanta area, Doug had a special charm for me.

  • avatar
    manbridge

    73 Carrera GT?

    I’d love to change my screen name to Left Foot Braker. It’s fun!

  • avatar
    fiasco

    Jack, even your “misses” have been decent.

    My kids’ old preschool teacher shared your winter tire story on FaceSpace (although I think the “no noticeable wear” line is R&T injected BS) as she thought it was good info for her non-Hakka driving friends and family.

    I did left-foot brake a friend’s Honda Odyssey last night. It had no-season tires and it was snowing, and I needed to get it up a hill and around several corners. Traction control off, maximum attack, and a little weight-shifting tapping on the brakes with the left foot to get some turn-in did the trick.

    Thank you.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    Keep up the good work. There NEEDS to be a place like this out there.

    Still, if one thing I’ll say again, we really need more content focused on project vehicles, classic cars, etc. Make it a weekend thing for fun, I don’t know, but that Impala Hell project series is still to date, the best most enjoyable thing I’ve ever read here.

    Weekdays- New car reviews, comparisons, industry stuff, piston slap, etc.

    Weekends- track day diaries, project cars, and classic car reviews. Have more reader/Ur-turn submissions if needed.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Somehow, I missed some of the “misses.” So, thanks to your have pointed them out, I checked them out.

    The “crowdsource” funding effort of the two clueless hipsters seeking self-actualization by crossing Pakistan (or was it China?) in a 30-year old Vanagon? Too funny for words.

    We should all be so lucky to have “misses” like that!

    Thanks for stepping in and “righting the ship.” If you pass the reins, you leave it in much better shape than you found it.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Jack,

    As the owner of a ’74 450 SL, welcome to the R-107 club. Now, get out the wrenches.

  • avatar

    (Responding to the minivan piece) My parents’ last new car was a Dodge Caravan which they bought in ’97. The rationale for the minivan was that my mother was quite crippled with multiple sclerosis, and did a lot of getting around on an electric scooter. The Caravan was outfitted with a ramp that came out and down on the passengers side with the push of a button, so that my mother could drive the scooter into the caravan. The passenger captain’s chair swiveled, making it easier for her to transfer into it. (She’d voluntarily given up her driver’s license several years earlier, when she deemed herself no longer safe on the roads).

    To my surprise, I quite liked the Caravan. It was definitely the peppiest car my parents ever owned, and I used to call it my mother’s hot-rod minivan, which she loved hearing. (It had a six, but I do’nt remember the HP or torque.) It was very comfortable, with a firm suspension. However, you did not want to turn hard, quickly, as I found one time when I was driving the thing alone, scaring the shiving lit out of myself.

    Among other things, I thought it was a very good looking vehicle. And I like the connotations of family that go with minivans, and the thought that people who buy them do so because they are practical, rather than–as so many SUV buyers do–because they project an image of who the person would like to think they are.

  • avatar
    WheelMcCoy

    After a great save, I am once again a regular reader and occasional commenter on TTAC. Thanks Jack and Derek.

    Happy 2014 everyone.

  • avatar
    LALoser

    ….so….who was the “Booth Babe”?

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      If the Best and Brightest found out, I’m sure half of them would physically threaten her. I realized much of what she wrote was with tongue firmly in cheek, but seeing the bile and venom aimed at her by the readership, it was a dark point in TTAC’s history. I was disgusted by how she was treated.

      Of course, this is coming from me, who still reads Bertel Schmitt’s stuff on dailykanban.com.

Read all comments

Recent Comments

  • mcs: I’m not entirely opposed to cars from Mexico. We need Mexico to be prosperous. Chinese parts need to be...
  • mcs: “My three cars are red, white, and blue, respectively. Does that count for anything? So conflicted…”...
  • Imagefont: A friend of mine had a Cimarron, used.. Later version with a V6. When he got married someone taped a “just...
  • 3SpeedAutomatic: According to the worksheet, a small surprise concerning Ford and EV’s: – Mustang GT 5.0L...
  • Lou_BC: Big companies like GM have massive bureaucratic structures. Decisions have to get funnels up various chains...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber