By on October 20, 2017

2004 Mazda Miata Timothy Cain - Image: © Timothy CainFor more than 13 years I’ve been writing about cars, first in print media, then with my former website GoodCarBadCar, then with Canada’s far-reaching Bell Media, then with Cars.com, and eventually here at my long-term home, The Truth About Cars.

I will not stop writing about cars. But my current full-time role as sales analyst and road test editor at TTAC comes to an end today.

It’s not you. It’s me.

Tim Cain Cars Reviewed TTAC - Images: © Timothy CainNaturally, there’s a large part of me that doesn’t want to go. Not only must I now exchange the work-at-home lifestyle I’ve enjoyed for more than a decade for a real job, not only will I forgo the enjoyable daily task of developing content for tens of thousands of readers every day, I will also no longer watch as my good friend Garry Sowerby performs weekly deliveries of some (often) tremendous cars.

The Audi RS3 that was due to land in my driveway next week? Not gonna happen.

I can’t help but credit my father for inspiring what would become a hugely fulfilling role in automotive journalism. I learned the name of every car on the road — makes were insufficient, model names were a must — before a speech therapist caused me to utilize the rest of the English language. (No word of a lie.) As a former teacher, my father fostered reading and writing while my mother and a legion of older siblings recognized in the early 1980s that birthday gifts unrelated to the auto industry were destined to collect dust in a dark corner of a forgotten closet in the basement.

Credit also belongs to Todd Gillis, my first editor at The Chronicle-Herald, who gave me a weekly review column simply because I emailed him a story about one of the first diesel-engined Smart Fortwos to have landed at our local Mercedes-Benz showroom. I’m not sure what compelled him, but that decision kickstarted a career.Cars Reviewed By Tim Cain at TTAC - Images: © Timothy CainOne of my brothers then spurred me to build GoodCarBadCar in 2007. It took time, but eventually, with no shortage of help from my wife Steffani, we eventually designed a relatively simplistic means by which the world could access U.S. and Canadian automotive sales data free of charge. (We sold GoodCarBadCar to A07 Online earlier this year.)

Building on a background as a category space analyst for two different snack food companies, I was eventually asked to provide content to Sympatico Autos (now Autofocus.ca) by Michael Banovsky and benefited from a very productive working relationship with Nick Maronese, given a column at Cars.com by David Thomas, and brought to TTAC by Bertel Schmitt and Derek Kreindler.

The TTAC role was eventually expanded by Derek and Jack Baruth, and then again by Mark Stevenson. Eventually, Tim Healey filled the role as managing editor and permitted Steven Williamsen Stefan William Steve Viglensen Step Wilyams Steph Willems and me — surely sometimes through gritted teeth — to largely do with TTAC as we pleased.

It seems improbable that I could ever develop a better working relationship than the one I enjoyed these past few months with Steph, whose efficiency, effectiveness, and all-around talent made a breeze out of a particularly tumultuous period in my life and the life of this website.Cars Reviewed by Tim Cain at TTAC - Images: © Tim CainFinally, let it be clear that there is perhaps no better lesson for our children than this: Don’t read the comments.

All across the internet, don’t you even dare to ever read the comments.

News websites? Sports websites? Entertainment? Politics? Cars? Do not read the comments.

Ah, but there is an exception. While the discourse below the articles at virtually every other website takes place somewhere between the gutter and the asylum, TTAC readers have at their disposal so much more than the article itself. TTAC’s Best & Brightest is littered with actual car owners, old people and young people, industry insiders, adults of mature intellect, enthusiasts of pickup trucks and sedans and manual transmissions and EVs. Only at TTAC can so much be learned from the comments. I will always appreciate the utterly insane number of hours so many of you spent reading my stuff over the last half-decade.

Nevertheless, although you will no longer see my byline four or five times per day, I will return to TTAC, GCBC, and Autofocus on a weekly basis if all goes according to plan. I will continue to update you on the state of sedans, the momentum (or lack thereof) of midsize pickup trucks, Subaru’s steady surge, and my love for my Miata. We might even talk about the Odyssey sometimes, plus whatever ends up in my driveway next.

This, therefore, after some 100 reviews and nearly 1,100 other articles, is not goodbye.

I’ll see you in November.

[Images: © Timothy Cain]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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