Motor Trend Hits SEMA Hard - Then Changes Its Mind

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
i motor trend i hits sema hard then changes its mind

If you’re reading this, chances are that you have little to no familiarity with Motor Trend. The audience here at The Truth About Cars, as we all know, is a superbly well-educated and successful group of detail-oriented people from all parts of the (autism) spectrum. The readers of MT, on the other hand, are almost all drooling morons who move their lips very slowly when they read, and are exceeded only in their ability to excite repugnance by the chronically inbred half-wits who watch Motor Trend videos, their crystal-meth-addled eyes jumping randomly with perpetual, idiotic surprise at the public-access-TV-level antics spooned contemptuously into the permanently dropping corners of their toothless mouths.

I’m just kidding about that last part, of course. I’d known plenty of very nice people who subscribed to Motor Trend. On the other hand, I don’t apologize for characterizing TTAC readers as Aspies. There’s something wrong with all of you. You’d rather read a Camry review than a story about jumping an Aventador over a river filled with piranhas. I love you for it. Please keep reading. I need the money.

Futhermore, there are a few men of steely courage and razor-sharp intellect out there among the B&B who are willing to brave the foetid depths of Motor Trend’s website just to get the latest breaking news about THE NEW CAMARO TELLS THE MUSTANG TO STEP OUTSIDE! or, possibly, THE NEW MUSTANG TELLS THE CAMARO TO STEP OUTSIDE! One of them e-mailed us this morning to tell a strange tale: last night, a Motor Trend editor published a scathing editorial attacking the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA), only to have it disappear in the light of the next day.

Written by Scott Evans, familiar to TTAC readers from his ballistic high-speed launch of a Cadillac ATS off a cliff on public roads, the editorial takes a strong stance with regards to SEMA, whom Evans feels to be an enemy of both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and auto enthusiasts.

In the short term, you can read the whole thing in the Google Cache. In the long term, here are the salient points:

The breathless press release arrived in the automotive industry’s collective inbox around 6 p.m. Monday … SEMA, meanwhile, is being paranoid and reactionary, shooting from the hip and making a mountain out of a molehill … It’s easy to cast SEMA in the role of altruistic watchdog here, alerting us all to a sneaky regulatory change intended to take our race cars away, but to do so gives SEMA too much credit …

SEMA has done us all a serious disservice by crying wolf. SEMA’s kneejerk reaction hurts its credibility and exposes it (again) as the lobbying firm it is as much as it actually informs us all of important regulatory activity. The government is not coming for your race car, and it’s disingenuous and manipulative for SEMA to suggest so … don’t be fooled into thinking SEMA is doing this for you. You, the enthusiast, are being used to browbeat the EPA into altering regulation for the benefit of SEMA’s members primarily, and your own indirectly. Yes, you might benefit if SEMA wins this fight, but SEMA isn’t fighting it for you.

No doubt you just read that text and said to yourself, “Thank G-d that somebody is fighting back for the EPA and the United States Government against the overwhelming power of the trade association that represents everybody from Flowmaster mufflers to Sammy Hagar himself!”

But then something happened. Possibly, Sammy Hagar made a call. Or was it Jay Leno? Or was it Flowmaster themselves, mastering the power of the flow and reaching out to squash the One Small Voice of Scott Evans? Regardless, the piece was quickly removed from the website and would have disappeared from history altogether — had it not been for the quick action of a TTAC reader.

What caused Motor Trend to pull the article? Was it really a quick call from a SEMA member? Was it a case of morning-after regret? Was it simply a reconsideration of the fact that the interests of most “car guys” align with SEMA more than they do with the EPA? Regardless of the reasoning, however, the article has been expertly disappeared. When the Google Cache expires, the only record of such a publication will be … right here.

For how could you establish even the most obvious fact when there existed no record outside your own memory? He tried to remember in what year he had first heard mention of Big Brother. He thought it must have been at some time in the sixties, but it was impossible to be certain. In the Party histories, of course, Big Brother figured as the leader and guardian of the Revolution since its very earliest days. His exploits had been gradually pushed backwards in time until already they extended into the fabulous world of the forties and the thirties, when the capitalists in their strange cylindrical hats still rode through the streets of London in great gleaming motor-cars or horse carriages with glass sides. There was no knowing how much of this legend was true and how much invented. Winston could not even remember at what date the Party itself had come into existence. —George Orwell, “1984”

So now we call on Motor Trend to either re-publish the editorial or to formally retract it, with apologies to SEMA. To do anything else is to express contempt for its readers — and who would ever suspect that Motor Trend had anything but the highest opinion of its readers’ intelligence and perception?

Join the conversation
2 of 144 comments
  • VolandoBajo VolandoBajo on Feb 18, 2016

    Red Barchetta is prophecy, a tale of a death foretold (apologies to Garcia-Marquez), and not fantasy. It will not likely happen in this proto-geezer's lifetime, but likely will in my son's or (as yet unborn) grandson's... Like the fact that a frog will attempt to leap out of boiling water, but will sit quietly in a pan of water as it is slowly brought to a boil, the general public will silently sit by as even driving itself, and individual transportation vehicles, are slowly demonized, regulated, and finally put out of existence. After all, centrally controlled transportation helps make for a better controlled populace, and it is "better for everyone", studies to follow... "Thank you for using our ubiquitous fleet of autonomous rent-by-the hour vehicles, which are the ONLY vehicles that can bypass the gridlock we have created for private vehicles. "Encourage your friends to switch over to us now. Early adopters will always be given preferential scheduling treatment, even when all privately-owned, person-driven cars are entirely eliminated. "Welcome to the brave new world that is coming to you even as you read this. You have never had so good, so sit back and enjoy it. No other response is possible, as that would be hate speech against the public good. So get with the program, while you still can. The rest of you will just have to walk. The law has long established that driving, or by extension, being driven, is a privilege, and not a right." /s/ The Establishment, on behalf the one per cent of the one per cent. You idiots who think that this is just an isolated matter, that will effect only a few, and/or that it will have great benefit in lowering world pollution levels, have a lot bigger problem than all of us "spectrum" people ever had, or ever will have. It will be a sea change, so it will not occur overnight. But a hundred years ago, the income tax was sold as something that would only apply to the richest one per cent, and that its impact would be minimal even on them. In the realm of politics, things seldom turn out as they were advertised, in the long run. And often turn out drastically worse than imagined. Don't like my income tax example? Wait, there are more. I'm just too tired to string them all together now. So I'll just close with "those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it."

  • Koreancowboy Koreancowboy on Feb 26, 2016

    LOL Scott Evans...that idiot is still employed by MT? Guess they love scraping the bottom of the barrel...after all, they did hire Jonny Lieberman.

  • Lou_BC "Owners of affected Wrangles" Does a missing "r" cancel an extra stud?
  • Slavuta One can put a secret breaker that will disable the starter or spark plug supply. Even disabling headlights or all lights will bring more trouble to thieves than they wish for. With no brake lights, someone will hit from behind, they will leave fingerprints inside. Or if they steal at night, they will have to drive with no lights. Any of these things definitely will bring attention.I remember people removing rotor from under distributor cup.
  • Slavuta Government Motors + Government big tech + government + Federal police = fascist surveillance state. USSR surveillance pales...
  • Johnster Another quibble, this time about the contextualization of the Thunderbird and Cougar, and their relationship to the prestigious Continental Mark. (I know. It's confusing.) The Thunderbird/Mark IV platform introduced for the 1971 model year was apparently derived from the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform (also introduced for the 1971 model year), but should probably be considered different from it.As we all know, the Cougar shared its platform with the Ford Mustang up through the 1973 model year, moving to the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform for the 1974 model year. This platform was also shared with the failed Ford Gran Torino Elite, (introduced in February of 1974, the "Gran Torino" part of the name was dropped for the 1975 and 1976 model years).The Thunderbird/Mark series duo's separation occurred with the 1977 model year when the Thunderbird was downsized to share a platform with the LTD II/Cougar. The 1977 model year saw Mercury drop the "Montego" name and adopt the "Cougar" name for all of their mid-sized cars, including plain 2-doors, 4-doors and and 4-door station wagons. Meanwhile, the Cougar PLC was sold as the "Cougar XR-7." The Cougar wagon was dropped for the 1978 model year (arguably replaced by the new Zephyr wagon) while the (plain) 2-door and 4-door models remained in production for the 1978 and 1979 model years. It was a major prestige blow for the Thunderbird. Underneath, the Thunderbird and Cougar XR-7 for 1977 were warmed-over versions of the failed Ford Elite (1974-1976), while the Mark V was a warmed-over version of the previous Mark IV.
  • Stuart de Baker This is depressing, and I don't own one of these.