I’m feeling thankful today, for a number of things:
1. New Contributors: I put out a ” Help Wanted” sign recently, and I’ve been almost overwhelmed by the response. The direct result is a number of new excellent Contributors: Jeremiah Birnbaum, Roger Carr (coming soon), David Fogel, GGH06, Walter Rorhl, mcc.pj (coming soon), and David Skinner. They join several other Contributors that had started recently before: Carlo Di Tullio, Mr. Edward Mann, Brendan Saur, and Juan Agostin Romero Melchior. If I’ve missed any recently new/active Contributors, speak up. And thanks to the occasional/one time Contributors too.
They’re all off to an excellent start, and it’s always refreshing to hear new voices here. Thank you all for throwing your hats in the CC ring!
2. Our Existing Corps of Writers/Editors: I never fail to be impressed with what the gang comes up with. Thank you Jim(s), Ed(s), Tom, Jason, Laurence, David, Tony, Robert, and Kevin, for keeping CC rolling. And a special thanks to those of you that made it to Iowa.
3. The CC Commentariat: The level and spirit of commenting here is what really sets CC apart, and makes hanging out here such an endlessly enjoyable and learning experience. We manage to stick to the cars, our experiences, and anything else relevant, and manage to stay away from politics and other divisive issues. We can have civil debates, and keep from making personal attacks. And I can count on you to let others know when they’re crossing the lines. It’s clear that you all want to preserve the quality of commenting, and I’m with you 100%.
I do occasionally remove/edit comments that are personal attacks, or otherwise not in the spirit of the site. And I write to repeat offenders. I’m not interested in becoming a banning-fiend or control freak, and you’re welcome to critique the content, but in a constructive spirit. If there is a serious issue, please write me at the Contact Form.
4. CC Readers: Many of you may not comment, but I know you’re out there. Thanks just for being there.
5. CC Donors: A few of you have chosen to make a donation to help keep the wheels rolling here; thank you.
6. Stephanie: For talking me out of giving up a few times along the way, and for giving me a pass on not doing the dishes as often as I used to (among other things).
7. For having left TTAC: And I want to give my support to Steve Lang, who quit today over another stupid and divisive post by the Executive Editor. You won’t regret it, Steve.
7. Misc: All the other things that have made creating this community of like-minded car nuts possible, but I can’t think of right now.
In any gathering, whether in cyberspace or “meatspace,” the tone is set by the host. It’s hard for the guests to be rude when the host is so gracious. Thanks for that, Paul.
The less said about other websites the better.
Well put, and I support all of your points. It seems cathartic for many to complain about That Other Site on this one. Whatever works, it’s a free internet, but it’s of limited interest for those of us who never spent any time Over There.
Otherwise, keep up the good work! 🙂
WOW, just came home from an evening at the Tega Cay Golf Club and saw Steve Lang’s resignation notice to his friends on Facebook. Then I saw this. I never participated in TTAC but after reading that article and the comments, that is all out of control. I remember years ago seeing shouting matches between Leon Mandel and Don Davis but they were always professional. Way too much commentary that goes beyond the scope of objective analysis of the cars and into too much social commentary.
One of these days I will get around to writing an article, but semi retirement has really become a new job in a different way. I probably post enough comments to constitute articles in their own right… 😉
One thing that might be fun, if people are comfortable with it, is a bit of a mini bio of some of the contributors or major commentators. I know the site has mini bios of some of the established contributors but it would be nice to know a little background of some new people. It is always nice to see where people are coming from with their opinions, whether they just be everyday consumers/drivers, industry professionals, writers, etc.
As far as doing the dishes, you could just threaten to start using paper plates… 😉 I have been known to keep a foam cup going for days, but then again I did work for GM…
Bios for new Contributors are on the agenda. And Bios for regular Commenters? Why not; write one up and we’ll run it.
As a gay guy who just wants to read about cars, thanks for setting the tone as mentioned above. I’m not here to discuss politics, religion, etc. I just want to enjoy old CCs like everyone else here. I don’t care if the person writing the story is a leftie or a rightie. I’ve been frequenting that other site less and less; that article was the final straw.
No more TTAC for me after that. Paul, thanks for identifying that article as the stupidity it was.
There’s other places we can fight over politics. Like…say…TTAC.
Here we can just get together, share our memories of cars…and how they shaped our lives and memories. The histories…of the great and unsung cars, and our own.
There’s plenty of guys who’re opposite me in political views here. Paul and I…we’d never agree on anything, unless we were admiring a VW Beetle, a Jeep, a Ford truck. So…enjoy! This is a place to leave the stress and conflict elsewhere; just find kindred souls of common interest!
Thank you for the site. There’s always something interesting to read and the level of discourse here is equally enjoyable. It’s been a long time since I frequented That Other Site, and after reading the offending article it’ll be even longer before I go back.
Happy Victoria Day weekend to all my fellow canucks!
Likewise, thank you Paul for leading by example and for enriching your audience.
Every day I visit here is a better day. All the best.
It’s probably for the best. This can’t be good for the site’s reputation.
I went back to TTAC two or three times yesterday to re-read that unprofessional piece with the highly inappropriate title and the insanity that followed. It was like unsuccessfully trying to avoid looking at an accident as you’re driving by – you can’t and you look again to see if it is that bad. The rapid downward spiral over there has been amazing to watch. A site where the senior editors don’t follow their own rules for posting. BTW, if you read the blogs of some of the other TTAC writers, you find their views are not much different from those of yesterday’s offending parties. I too have decided enough is enough and join in the sincere thanks for this site where Paul has created a welcoming atmosphere with mutual respect for all.
Steven, it would be great if your auction series kept going somewhere. It was the last thing I had to look forward to on TTAC, now there isn’t much else over there! Wishing you well.
Steven Lang posted about this on Jalopnik. There, he said that he had asked Vertical Scope (the owners of TTAC) to take action: http://steven-lang.kinja.com/bertel-schmitt-of-the-truth-about-cars-pulls-off-a-kram-508228455
If he has subsequently quit, then it sounds as if he got his answer.
To me, it sounds more immature and click-driven than it does homophobic. But it wouldn’t take much to turn that into a certain kind of storm that rhymes with “fit.”
PCH101, I’m glad to see that you’ve resurfaced. I have greatly appreciated the thoughtfulness of your many comments back at TTAC.
I suspect you’re right that the motivation for the latest dust up was more “immature and click-driven” rather than homophobic. But in a way it doesn’t matter — TTAC has become entirely too shrill. Could it be a knee-jerk response to falling readership?
What worries me about the decline and fall of TTAC is that it can serve to delegitimize the very idea of an automotive website that engages political issues. I’m a gearhead as much as anyone, but it feels weird to ignore the very real policy debates that need to be had. So I hope they start happening somewhere. Or perhaps they are and I just haven’t found that website yet.
From what I’ve seen at Alexa, TTAC has fairly stable ratings. Herr Schmitt hasn’t been able to surpass the heavy (click) hitters such as Autoblog, but it’s unlikely that he or anyone else could without a radical overhaul of the site, and that probably won’t happen.
As it stand, it’s a niche. As long as it generates advertising dollars, it can be a successful enough business, just so long as it keeps the advertisers. Advertisers won’t bail unless they get pressured or fear it too much to stay, and I suspect that isn’t likely in this case.
“Or perhaps they are and I just haven’t found that website yet.”
I may very well regret saying this, but I may be doing something about that myself…
Good. Let us know.
Actually, TTAC’s google stats are down, some 15-20% from a year ago.
Here’s Alexa’s chart for the last couple of years. There was some growth during early 2012, but that appears to have been temporary; it’s now back to what it was.
(I don’t really know why Herr Schmitt does what he does, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it wasn’t part of an effort to groom the site for sale to a politically-oriented media company.)
TTAC’s owner’s (VericalScope) are very hands-off. And they didn’t really hire Schmitt; when son Ed left, he essentially handed him the keys (with some regrets).
I don’t think VS cares much what happens there, as long as the viewer numbers aren’t much affected, and they make money off the site.
Pch! Glad you see you again. Eagerly awaiting details…
Keep us posted, Pch101. I miss your intelligent postings. They were a stark contrast to a large percentage of the comment pool you can see on TTAC sometimes.
The loss of Alex Dykes and Steven Lang in recent weeks are huge, and you can already see how the level of discussion has shifted after the thread in question. Without them, that really leaves Doug, Sajeev, Thomas (who is a brilliant new writer, and he and Doug are keeping the lights on right now), and Murilee Martin who are worth reading. Baruth can probably dig up a good column now and again, but his semi-fictional pieces are narcissistic repetitive drivel.
I’m not sure how the commenters at TTAC got nicknamed “the Best and the Brightest” — it’s hard to believe there was ever a point where that would have been accurate based on the poorly written, poorly argued stuff you see written by commenters on TTAC. The host sets the tone, and when the host desires that the site be an echo chamber of poorly written op-eds, that’s what you get I guess.
By the way, what people aren’t seeing, because Bertel took them out, are the posts where Ronnie repeatedly used the N-word. That’s why you see all those orphaned replies at the bottom. It isn’t just Bertel who is unprofessional frequently, and Ronnie frequently attacks other commenters in a hostile manner, as he did in that post before it was edited.
I meant David Karesh, not Alex. Alex’s posts are worth reading too — he is a fair reviewer and is a refreshing contrast from the usual fawning ad-supported buff book guy.
The use of the “The Best and the Brightest” is very unfortunate (or not) as it was used ironically by David Halberstam as the title of his book, about the “Whiz Kids” who talked Kennedy and Johnson into prosecuting the Vietnam War, against the repeated advice of State Department officials and others.
I’m familiar with the Halberstam usage, but I assumed it was used non-ironically by editors at TTAC because I didn’t imagine them talking about their users in that way. There are some good commenters at TTAC and some with enthusiast street cred, in some cases past tense if we’re talking about Pch101, but the vast majority of frequent commenters don’t seem to know much and seem more interested in repeating poorly argued political talking points or trashing luxury car owners and CUV owners or a variety of other unproductive or uninteresting things that are similar.
I’m assuming at one point that the comment quality was higher and the actual car and engineering knowledge was higher. Occasionally when I look at an old post, I do read some very interesting things. However, those tend to be the best posts or the most informative posts, and perhaps those posts attract better comments in response.
I’m sure that they are, but I’m also extremely grateful for this site that *doesn’t* engage them (so big ‘thanks’ back for that CC!). This place is like the easy chair of the Internet, and I mean that in the most complimentary possible way.
Thank you Paul.
Even though we have very different tastes in cars, I’ve always liked visiting and commenting here.
End of the week and maybe I’m looking for a fight, but the loose usage of “Nazi” is not cute for anyone who had European family members endure the atrocities of these savages during WWII.
It’s not right to refer to a non-Nazi as having Nazi behavior, and it’s definitely not right to survivors to associate that miniscule behavior to what the Nazis -actually- did. Ironic you posted “Nazi” by the no-politics comment. Just sayin’. Delete my comment if I offended.
I was actually referring to “Herr Schmitt”, but point taken, and word removed.
Also, I don’t want to turn a very gracious “Thank You” post on CC from Paul into something all about TTAC but if you’ll allow me to vent…
…I still like TTAC in spite of all the terrible crap yesterday. The article today by Thomas Kreutzer about selling his 300M was great. I’m still a big fan of Sajeev, the new authors, and several commenters.
It’s just that Bertel, Ronnie, and (to a lesser extent) Baruth can’t keep their content to automotive topics. They just have to shove a fire cracker in the hornet’s nest or let their ideology get in the way of the point they were trying to make.
Someone here at CC should try and persuede that Thomas Kretzeur fella to lay down some word for CC. His storys are entertaining and he keeps the reader amused.
Doug Demuro, Thomas, Sanjeev and Mr. Muri lee are the only reasons to visit that other site. I’ll have to visit again to read about Thomas selling his 300.
Glad to reacquaint the acquaintances!
Thom’s article made my night. A beautiful read.
Thanks back at you Paul. It was your dream of doing your own car site that caused you to leave TTAC, (among other things), and that dream has come true.
I feel honored to have a story on CC, and I feel honored to be among such great people. This is a true community of (faraway) friends.
I pray to God that CC never grows into what TTAC has grown to. Years ago, I touted the then unknown TTAC as one of the best automotive sites around. Their downward spiral should be a Harvard Business School Case Study on self destruction. For some time now, I have been telling all my friends about how CC is the best damn site around. I hope I haven’t cast a curse on you now.
The internet has turned every Tom Dick and Harry into journalists – which has been a double edged sword. Yea we can communicate quickly but most people Don’t have the sweat equity and skin in the game that traditional journalists do for their careers. So arm chair quarterbacks have to be careful to keep their comments professional and appropriate.
Professional news outlets have editors who (supposedly) expect fact checking and who should know the difference between a good source and a bad one.
Blogs usually don’t.
It’s easier to rant than to do research, so most bloggers just rant. And as an added bonus, skipping the research makes it easier to hold a baseless opinion, since no one bothers to gather any pesky facts that could get in the way.
Thanks to YOU, Paul!
I recently shot a very cool CC in Rock Island. I met the owner and was gratified to hear that he actually knew about CC and had read it. Word is getting out, even in my own smallish Midwestern town 🙂
Oh, and TTAC? Used to really enjoy it circa 2005-09, occasionally check it out once or twice a week, but with Mr. Lang departing, there’s only one or two authors I really care to read on there.
And of course, all the best to Steve!
Thank you Paul for taking a chance on me, I have enjoyed writing the COAL’s for the last 4 weeks and have about 36 more left! With my record there may be a 41st or 42nd before I am done that I do not know about yet… After that (or even before) I hope to be able to do some other more in-depth articles. I’ve been reading here since day 1 and commenting sporadically (but read almost every article). Anyway, this place is great and non-political or abusive, let’s keep it that way. By the way, I have come to realize that my biggest fear is now that someone will do an in-depth Curbside Classic on a car that I will be doing a COAL on soon!
Steve Lang – I hope you consider writing some stuff over here, I think your insights would totally fit in. Agree with some of the others, you are (were) one of the top 3 draws on TTAC for me. And if I get the chance to be in the greater Atlanta area, you’re one person I want to look up.
PCH101- In my opinion you are the biggest loss of the TTAC commentariat over the last year, consistently pointing out errors in comments/responses rather than leaving falsehoods unchallenged. Not sure if you were banned or left but a large void is there now and that site is much the poorer for it.
Jim Klein (WalterRohrl)
“….rather than leaving falsehoods unchallenged.”
You’re much too kind. For one thing, there is no way that anyone could have enough time in the day to correct all of the falsehoods…
(And I was banned, BTW. Can’t say that I was surprised.)
No!!! I guessed it was possible, but I couldn’t allow myself to believe that. Your voice has been sorely missed. I think I got perilously close to a ban (which still may come), as I would not let up on Bertel and refused to let myself be bullied by Ronnie the other day.
Well, I’ll be a regular here now. And I’ll wait to see what you were referencing about future endeavors.
I stopped going to That Other Site because every time I went there, something would make me angry. I get my news from Autoblog now, the way it used to be before I started going to That Other Site. It has gone downhill, and this kind of flashy, intentionally offensive rubbish is the nail in its coffin. It’s Jalopnik 2.0 now. Good riddance. Some of the commenters in that particular post were just as bad too. But let’s not get into such political and social topics here on my favorite automotive website, Curbside Classic!
And Paul, I regret not contributing more here. I’ve got articles waiting to be written for photos I’ve taken, just been busy planning my temporary move to NYC! Maybe I’ll get some time to do my planned two COAL articles… And as well, last time I was in NYC I found a 1977 Riviera, 1977 Coupe de Ville and a 1978 Chevy Malibu!
Please never let this site become like the putrid cesspool that calls itself TTAC
Thank you, Paul. For your allowing and encouraging nearly 140 posts by someone whose sole writing credentials consisted of next to nothing, it still boggles my mind.
The future is bright and I’m privileged to be a part of Curbside Classic.
I’m a relative newbie to this site. My best guess is that I’ve been frequenting CC for about a year now. It’s been a consistent source of enjoyment for me and a mental respite after a long and stressful day of work. Besides the excellent articles, I really enjoy the thoughtful and positive tone of all the comments. And that REALLY sets it apart from other sites.
Thank you Paul for starting and maintaining this site. I’m sure it’s taken a lot of work and sacrifice. Consistency is one of the most difficult things to manage.
And Steven Lang, it would be great if you started writing for this site. Besides you and Sajeev, those were the only reasons why I visited the Other Site. But reading the comments made my blood pressure rise.
I post here only to read my own comments and what I have to say because I’m a brilliant human being.
And every once in awhile there’s some article about cars…or something…idk…
I have been coming here for a while, but have only started commenting recently. I wholeheartedly support your policy of keeping extraneous stuff out and sticking with automorive discussions.
Some of the comments here are right on, especially about the dearth of fact-checking. I am now retired after more than 40 years as a reporter, photographer and editor, and I always have to say “I was a newspaper man . . . when there was still integrity.”
As one who seeks out high quality sources for news and journalism, I quite agree. Which is precisely why I prefer to keep CC’s content focused on areas where we don’t overstep our competence. I realize and accept that we’re not so much journalists (most of the time), but function more in the realm of memoirs and retrospectives.
Which is specifically why I have encouraged citizen Contributors here, because I’m not asking them to report on issues that really should be properly researched. I fully accept the limitations of what we are: amateurs writing about the cars that we like and remember, and in a variety of styles and presentation formats. And on the occasions that we do take on more serious history, I feel confident that we’re not over-reaching.
I think CC mostly strikes the right balance. There are times when I worry that the rise of “citizen journalism” is dumbing down automotive history, both in terms of factual precision as well as analytical depth.
So in a way I hope that CC doesn’t change one bit — this is an admirably successful approach. Yet my ideal auto history website would mix CC’s genial conversations with Ate Up With Motor’s journalistic chops.
I say that in passing. Smaller-scale publications are generally driven by personal passion. Creative autonomy is one of the biggest perks. At least that has been my experience as a small-time publisher/editor.
But a reader can dream, no?
Thank you for all you do, Paul! I hope to contribute someday, but life prevents that now – I’m in scramble mode to resurrect two of my dead economy cars, as I’m having to commute in my F350 which costs me $16 a day – and manual trans in a truck is no fun on I-405 crawling in several spots.
Steve Lang: I also really enjoyed reading your TTAC posts so I hope you can continue your efforts in some way that we can share.
[Paul – did you pull the post on the Prius with the personalized plate? I know I made a few comments on it and the whole thing seems to have disappeared now – did it go wildly off-course?]
I did. I should have known better. For some folks, just seeing a Prius triggers nasty remarks as predictably as the sun coming up in the morning. It wasn’t really bad, but what’s the point? We’ve all heard the same “Pious” comments sooo many times; it does get old.
One thing that I have noticed is that some cars/posts tend to generate considerably more volume of comments that does not necessarily correspond to the quality of the article or the vehicle in question. Mostly it has to do with the polarizing effect that some things have on people. The Prius is one of them. Objectively, the Prius should not be polarizing, it is a small basic four door car that has functioned rather anonymously on the roads. But of course we all know that the Prius represents, beyond simple driving, something of a sea change in automotive development and that makes it controversial. Of course with any major change comes the implications in other areas and hence why things devolve into geopolitical discussions. The same seems to occur with a lot of GM products and the Firenza article from yesterday is an example, suddenly we are at 100 comments and (I admit I am part of it) has become something of an MBA case study discussion. The comments often tend to wind into other discussions beyond the scope of the particular vehicle in question. That is not necessarily bad if its kept objective and professional, but it is noteworthy that is happens none the less. Other articles of perhaps equally interesting and unusual cars but also ones that are more obscure and often unknown to a lot of people struggle to get into double digits of comments.
Thank you, Paul, for starting this site, and for maintaining the tone and integrity found here. It has helped me to move on from the false belief that “everything new is good” so commonly sold by the car magazines and many of the other auto-related websites, and to embrace my love for the old iron without feeling like I am just becoming an old fart. And I find your eye for automotive design impeccable-I can finally admit, with your help, that Grandpa’s 61 Chevy was indeed a purer design than Dad’s 62. I remain in awe of your ability to make daily submissions, when I do well to get to work and check the latest entries. Frequently I am impressed with the way you can call people on their snarkiness, without turning it into one of those macho-testosterone-fueled-human-waste-throwing contests that happen on “those other sites.” I love the way people can fact-check each other here without trying to make each other feel like idiots. It’s kind of like you are running a tavern that manages to keep out any of the mean or sloppy drunks. Thanks, also, to all who are helping to keep it going, as a testament to Paul’s vision, and to our fellow love of the older automobile.
Thanks again for having me as a contributor, Paul, and for your kind words! It’s wonderful to visit these pages and to be part of this strong community. My performance schedule has precluded a bit of my Curbsiding time but I plan on finishing a few more soon!
Steven, the situation at TTAC makes me sick, and I applaud you for your action. I hope there is a sea change there. (And/or that Baruth, MM and the Mehtas follow your lead.)
Thanks Paul for a great site and opening my eyes to cars I never knew about or forgot.I’d become bored with the classic car scene and stopped buying my regular magazine as it contained the same old medicine each month.As for TTAC words fail me when I saw the D word.I was brought up to live and let live.
I too come here for cars and am glad it is not politicized like ttac. My biggest complaint has been the staff not following their own rules (as if they are above them) and the right leaning political slant that some of the staff feel the urge to inject into the comments. Anyway, I am happy PCH101 is here and hope to see more of his comments. I also hope Steve Lang can become a contributor in some fashion. There are my two cents on the matter 🙂
Ive said this before but its worth repeating CC is the BEST old car site on the web bar none, Well done Paul you da man!
Thank you Paul and all the writers and commenters.
I have been a reader of CC going back to before this site,
and have enjoyed it for many happy hours.
Paul, I am pleased your house project is nearing completion. Sometimes the stress has shown through and I am happy to say that in my opinion you hardly ever shifted to attack mode. You showed more restraint that I likely could have mustered.
I am on vacation right now and we have taken our facebook friends and family with us so WiFi has been a big seller. For me that means checking CC daily as well. I used to participate a lot more but medical reasons terminated some of that participation. I still read and comment when I have something to add.
Your dedication has kept this site from dropping to the depths of political discourse that one seems to find everywhere. That makes it a safe haven for folks like me who are flat fed up. I don’t know about the TTAC article and that is significant. I’ll probably go there again but right now enough is enough.
I’m writing this from Ingonish Ferry NS. Will go back “off line” now until tomorrow morning. We will be headed back to maine in a couple days and then fly to Texas. Since I haven’t seen any old cars here (salt country one supposes) I’ll just send this picture which was taken from our room. Not in a hurry to go home but I expect a taste of winter would cure that.
Keep up the good work.
I like that we all go about walking the streets and just seeing a car from our past and remembering what it was like to use and rely on. That is what makes this site different than others to me. The only other place I visited fairly often was BaT and they are beginning to have issues with their site and whinny commenters. Thanks for being who yall are.
Thank you also for a great website. Not much more to add but to keep up the great work all of you. I hope to add more myself when things slow down at work.
I don’t comment as much as I used to, at either site. I feel more comfortable,and accepted here. I envy you folks living in the salt free world. The vehicles I see,being used as daily drivers,just blow me away. You can count me as a regular here now.
I still read TTAC,and enjoy some of the writers. What a loss losing Stephen Laing. Young Derek K is a great kid, and feel for him. I know only to well what its like to work for an egotistic control freak.. As a long time TTAC er it pains me to see where its gone.
Well enough of that. Good luck Paul, and keep CC going forever.
I didn’t even read the offending article at TTAC, I too assumed it had something to do with Alex Dykes glad I didn’t click.
Great site Paul. Passion for cars and a love to discuss them. Sometimes people think we get political when we start to discuss the crashes and resurrections of Ford, Chrysler, and GM but honestly it is just another part of our passion. We’re like sports fans who want to defend our favorite team and discuss their greatest and worst players, greatest victories and defeats.
I lost what little remaining respect I had for TTAC three months ago, when the editors allowed the “Volare” piece to run, and then allowed the author to steadfastly defend his obvious error.
1. I want to add my voice to the chorus. CC is the best car site I read. It’s painful to watch the devolution of sites you appreciate, and I’m truly grateful to Paul (and my fellow commenters) that CC has proven immune to that process.
2. Until Paul pointed it out, I had forgotten that CC accepts donations. Time to click on that button…
I was banned from TTAC so I must have been doing something right!
Thank you, Paul. This is a wonderful site and I visit it every day.
Paul, it is we who owe heartfelt thanks to you. I consider it a privilege to be able to help CC in my own small way. On a more personal note (which you may delete should you deem it unfit for publication ), I find CC to be a most effective antidepressant. I suffer from severe and chronic depression from which CC provides a most refreshing escape, if only for an hour or two.
Although I’ve never met a single CC staffer or contributor, I consider each of you my friend…and I do hope for a California CC meetup one day soon!
Been-there-done-that. For me, part of “recovery” is staying away from “people, places and things” (got that from my good friends who are in AA) that go negative and hostile, as when I have been depressed it is too easy to resonate with that. I know that when I check in here, the people and information will be honest and real, but staying on the positive side. Thanks for helping to point that out, and good luck to you. And what good curbside classic stories do you have to share?
That’s the popularity of the Web; of these so-called “social sites” (where people are often antisocial) and hobby/interest discussions.
Come here, and I can forget the crapola I got force-fed at work earlier in the day; forget for a few minutes whether I’m gonna follow through on my unvoiced plans to quit…or just dismember the boss, the co-workers, and every witness.
Places like this…are escape and release. I can vent my trivia knowledge; as can all the rest of you guys. And have a good ol’ time of it.
“And what good curbside classic stories do you have to share?”
One of the best!
’73 Imp and Iowahawk, your compliments are much appreciated. Thank you.
Here is the text of a letter I e-mailed to Subaru concerning that TTAC article – it’s a copypaste from a post there that I merely added my name to, but I wanted to share:
On May 16, 2013, a blog dedicated to reporting automotive news and events published an article that was extremely insensitive to the LGBT community.
The article was written by Bertel Schmitt and published by The Truth About Cars (TTAC). In it he was reporting on recent test results of new compact crossovers. In the article, he made mention that your vehicle, the Subaru Forester, was the only vehicle tested to achieve good ratings across the board (congrats BTW!).
The article was titled, “Small SUV Crashopalooza: Detroit Loses, Dykes Win”
And in it, he stated this:
“Top honors took a trucklet that, according to the Urban Dictionary, is “driven by post-menopausal lesbians:” The Subaru Forester.”
He went on to say:
“The Jeep Wrangler brings up the rear with a truly mediocre showing. Boo, hiss, Detroit – pussy-whipped by a Japanese transgender” (transgender was crossed out) “crossover that is also known as a “vag-wag?”
And then there was a paragraph justifying his poor choice of words.
The comments to the article exploded with disgust for his choice of words.
I see a lot of ads for Subaru on TTAC.
I am requesting Subaru take a look at these comments and decide if this is the kind of mindset that you want to support and spend ad dollars on.
A link to the article is posted below:
Thank you for your time,
I agree with some of the commenters there – I want my click back, I don’t even want them to be able to add my single click to their traffic numbers when they ask for ad dollars.
To the other readers here at CC, it’s not worth your time to go there. I feel like my IQ went down 5 points before I closed the window. Don’t give them your traffic numbers, either.
My wife drives a Subaru Forester. I had no idea that she was a lesbian!
When I bought my 2012 Impreza, certain female coworkers informed me that only lesbians drove Subarus. I also wear fleece. Didn’t know that that was also the mark of a lesbian. I guess that lesbians and I share a love for women.
Craziest thing is that if she is, and you love her, you must be a lesbian too! 😉
I drive an Outback wagon, with dog gate installed, to work every day, and I frequently wear a fleece with our company logo (but we’re based in the Pacific Northwest, and really, who in Seattle or Portland doesn’t wear fleece?). I’m aware of the perceived Subaru demographic, but hey, lesbians (in the common imagination anyway) wear “sensible shoes” because they are, after all, sensible, right? If having safe, reliable, comfortable transportation (and shoes) is the mark of a lesbian, well, count me in.
I only visit TTAC these days for Murilee Martin’s Junkyard Find series and some of his other content; most of the rest of the site is focused on auto sales figures in the Eurozone or other topics that are far too wonky to hold my interest. Baruth has his moments, I guess. With Steven Lang leaving, that’s one less thing to keep me visiting very often.
This is a great site that covers everything from the mundane to the esoteric and is always entertaining. Keep up the good work. 🙂
I actually got a response from Subaru:
Dear Mr. *********:
Thank you for taking the time to contact Subaru of America, Inc.
We appreciate your support of Subaru and for bringing your concerns with this article published by The Truth About Cars (TTAC). Your message will be provided to our Marketing Department for their review and consideration. Your time and efforts in communicating with us are appreciated.
Have a great day, Marc.
John J. Mergen
Subaru of America, Inc.
Customer/Dealer Services Department
Service Request #1-4043297293
I wonder if should write to Subaru, since I own an 13 Legacy. I am not a lesbian but write in support of clean journalism.
I wrote Subaru and received a response too. MarcKyle64 I’m guessing you’re Marc from TTAC? I’m Ltd783 over there, thanks for helping me try to rein Bertel in the other day, it seemed like the reasonable voices were losing out for a while.
Imperialist. I come here for the same reason. I was born with several severe disabilities and early on I learned to cope and succeed, at least on a personal level if not a material one. The disability that does kick my ass on a daily basis (which appeared later on when I was 20) is my depression, too. Coming here is a respite that gets me out of my head for awhile.
Imp, I recommend this site by a blogger who does a great website that deals with his own depression:
A latecomer as usual, so I think it best just to say that I like it here a lot for most of the same reasons that have already been so eloquently stated. Paul, my hat is off to you (or it would be if I ever wore one) for continuing to produce such a great website.
Allow me to throw in my own thanks for this site, which (despite my constant rage against broughams) continues as a quiet, kind island of calm in an Internet sea that seems to be constantly boiling from one thing or another. I continue to check in at TTAC, although I notice I’ve been doing it less and less. And with Steve’s departure, that’s going to be dropping off a lot more. Over the years, his articles had become #1 priority for me, even eclipsing Jack Baruth’s stuff (which are starting to get a bit fatiguing).
One of the wonderful things of this site is that there are no “Best and Brightest” here. Thank ghod! Just ordinary car lovers and history junkies. And we seem to have no trouble with remembering this.
As to contributions, yes I have taken you up on your idea and am working on that article (who am I kidding? try series) about growing up in the Chevrolet dealership during the 50’s and 60’s. Biggest problem right now is trying to balance out between giving an accurate (as I saw it then) description of home life without being incredibly insulting to Ford fans.
The Chevy dealer in Johnstown, by chance? I’ll be looking forward to that.
Also, as so many have said, many thanks to Paul for all the hard work on this site.
One of the attractions at CC are the real life experiences that we have to share. You grew up in a Chevy dealership family. Paul worked for a Ford dealer. My uncle owned a tire shop next to the Dodge dealer and was a Chrysler loyalist. He was also the local Airco dealer and had tanks of nitrous oxide in his shop that my friend Roger, son of the Dodge dealer, and I partook of upon occasion. We also had our choice of Super Bees to test drive as we saw fit.
Roger and I would ride our Bultacos on his family’s farm, then climb up to the roof of one of the barns on the property to drink beer and smoke dope as the sun set. Some of the farm cats would climb the ladder with us. Life was good.
Let me be another regular contributor to thank you, Paul, for your dedication to this site and to the tone that you have set here.
When Curbside Classics started showing up on TTAC, I read them regularly. All this time attending CC school has taught me a couple of things. First, I don’t know as much about old cars now as I did (or thought I did) then. Every day, I read a piece or a comment about some automotive topic in which I was blissfully ignorant. There is so much good, solid info that passes through this site.
Second, many of us are not quite so different as we may think we are. Early on, I simply could not understand PN’s thing for Pugeots or euro sports cars. They still may not be my thing, but I have a much better understanding of why some folks love them. And though I am not likely to take the plunge at this point of life, I will admit a respect for the Pug. 🙂 So, keeping my mouth (fingers) in check and my ears open has been good for me.
I love this spot and check back in many times throughout the day.
Reading the comments here I have come up with a great idea for a CC of my own, well
maybe more like a hospital curbside but still at the curb. Thank you for the greatest classic car site on all of the interweb, another huge thanks for giving the comentariat the chance to tell about their CC,s
I’ll chime in too with a thank you to Paul and the writers here on CC. I’m an occasional commenter and I’ve had a few Cohort photos posted on the site, which is always a fun thing to see. I really enjoy the site everyday.
Paul, thanks for keeping this site running.
It really is a fantastic place (if you consider internet sites “places.”). I love how this is all about the cars. How did they shape the lives of the writers? How did they shape the company which spawned them in the first place? CC is all about the cars and their impacts, and I love the site for that.
To me, CC is about enjoying every car – even the crappy ones – because somebody, somewhere, put in the time and effort to make it exist. And because it existed, it impacted someone. This site chronicles the impacts – for better or for worse, and in corporate or personal detail – the impacts of the cars that we see (and some that we don’t).
Thanks Paul – and everyone else active here – for sharing your stories, your knowledge, and your personalities here. CC is truly unique in this regard.
Thanks to all of you, especially Paul! I’m a born car nut, I grew up knowing car’s faces as well as (or better than) people’s. I’ve always craved the stories behind the cars, way back to Hemmings, SIA, Collectible Automobiles and the occasional Autoweek column. Then I discovered Paul’s CCs at TTAC and have been feasting on CCs ever since.
I agree the commentariat here is rare, even unique, and treasured. We have the same camaraderie I first encountered in Ham Radio long ago, where we meet friends around a common interest, even passion, and we try to keep it clean and neutral, away from politics or religion or the like. Not always possible, I’ve certainly indulged in the politics of oil from time to time. But we all try and we do succeed.
I can even see how one could love certain Peugeots. Thank you!
I too would like to thank Paul for the hard work that goes into keeping a site like this up and running. I always enjoy my daily read of all the comments and stories that the regular writers come up with. This has to be one of the most civil forums of any kind that I have found on the net. This is all the more amazing considering the wide range of personalities that contribute here. Carry on.
As a regular reader and occasional commenter, many thanks to you, Paul, and best wishes for Steve Lang. My visits to TTAC were getting more infrequent, but Steve’s articles were must-read ones. Dropped the bookmark a week or two ago…
It comes down to chemistry and the one here seems just right. Paul is strict, but not too strict. There is a common sense policing of PC issues. The writers tell stories about the cars and themselves.
It’s a unique mix of attributes and even the layout is good; much easier to read and make edits than at other places. The only place more about the cars is maybe BaT but there is little human interest there (commenters notwithstanding). Autoextremist and TTAC are all about the quips.
No wonder the ad space is up. Usually not something to celebrate but at CC it makes me very happy for Paul and the rest of the crew, because I know they have worked so hard.
Thanks for everything guys!
Along with the legion of other folks, let me add my thanks to you Paul, for running this site. Due to changes in my work and personal life, I no longer have the time to devote to blogs as much as I’d like, but this one is still required reading.
Thanks again for allowing me to help out with some of the early Photochops, especially the Mustang II discussion a while back. I really had a lot of fun with that and if my life ever calms down again, I’d like to play more with pixels.
I swear someday I will write the Great American short story about my experiences growing up in the NE Ohio industrial zone. Until then, I’m happy to hang out with everyone here and talk cars.
About 10 days ago, I met up with Richard Bennett (supremebrougham) in my adopted hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. We had a nice lunch and I got inspect his latest Brougham mobile. It was fun. Several of us had talked about doing a meet up in Western Ohio or Eastern Indiana last year, but I had several personal events take place and had to bow out. I still think about the missed opportunity and would like to remedy it at some point. These CC meet ups could be their own thing, entirely!
Again, vielen danke!
For whatever reason, I was expecting something a bit more Jimmy Fallon-ish when I saw the headline. But the heartfelt sentiment is good, and thank you for doing this.
As for the TTAC article…
You are most welcome Paul.
Thank you Paul, and thank you to all of the contributors and commentators for this site. Reading the articles and comments here on CC is something that I look forward to every day (as I have time). It is like a vacation for the mind in my otherwise hectic work day, and it keeps me grounded to my roots as a car guy. Keep it up everyone, and I’ll keep contributing more as well, as I have time to write.
I’ve become an everyday reader, over the last year, though I almost never comment. Thank you for moderately reducing my efficiency…but also affording so many connections to cars that I remember fondly, or lustfully, or with loathing… And Paul, in particular, thank you for the Corvair design article. (I remember thinking something was odd the first time I’d seen a BMW 2000cs, and now I understand.) Although I get to see Packard 250s(?) at the grocery store sometimes, I don’t have my own workspace, and haven’t really worked on a car in 20 years. But I still want a C2 Corvette just as badly…
I’m an occasional reader of TTAC, mainly to see if Murilee has something to say about junkyards or Lemons. To me, the most reliable sources of interesting automotive reading are CC, Bring a Trailer, Ate up with Motor, and Dean’s Garage. I cut out Jalopnik a while ago, mainly because I think Gawker Media is terrible.
I think the writers and commenters here appreciate that the evolution of the auto industry and its producers since WW2 is a complicated story. CC keeps the view on the cars, and what makes them good or bad. And sometimes it looks for people who deserve credit (DeLorean, Beltz, Bruno Sacco) or blame (Hank Deuce, Dieter Zetsche, Roger Smith). The impact of regulation, labor relations, market forces, etc., is there, but you can still ask, “who or what handled that constraint well?” Just as you can ask, “what year Cadillac is the best?”
I wish I had more ideas, or time, to contribute. One article I’d like to write is how the reason that the Mercedes W112 coupé looks so nice is liberal quotation of the 1959 Chrysler 300. But that’s pretty much the whole story, and I’ve never seen that Chrysler in person.
Bertel wasn’t the first TTACer to piss off Subaru. He doesn’t act like someone I’d like to work for myself.
Anyway, Steve I hope there will be a venue where you can continue your superb writing – your incite into the auctioning game is immeasurable.
Are any of these people getting paid to manage that website?
I mean when an everyday person is running his/her mouth anonymously from the comfort of their home, you get all kinds of behavior. But people doing something as their primary occupation and getting paid for it one expects more.
Paul – I am one of those that have never commented. But I will today: Thank You! This is the first or second site I always hit to relax and unwind every day. You take me back to my childhood and help me forget the day’s BS. Welcome to all the new team members!
Paul, again, thanks for allowing me, a teenaged transportation geek with NO writing credentials, to contribute to CC.
I’m sorry I haven’t been able to do much lately, but I have some interesting pieces in the mental article creator including a comparison between the 1st gen Neon and the Chevy Vega (I have actually found a first gen Neon near me, I really want it, but I have yet to photograph it. I just need some Vega pics from you). I will begin when I get the photos.
Also, thanks for not letting politics and/or religion get away from the main topic of cars. It makes the site less “distracting”, if you will.
Mr. Edward Mann.
The Vega vs. Neon comparison sounds interesting. I look forward to reading it!
There is so much in common with the two (advanced OHC motors, great handling, equally great styling (in my mind), rust problems, cheap interiors, unreliable motors, etc) that this comparison just begged to be done.
These reasons are also why I call the Neon “The Vega Of The 1990’s”.
This is certainly one of my favorite websites as well. Kudos to Paul and everyone else that contributes and keeps it running. I wish I had time to write more myself because I really enjoy it, but when I get any free time, my car restoration comes first right now.
On that note, I check-in here daily, but I’m late to the party commenting on this because I was travelling all day Saturday to a swapmeet far from home. I finally scored a set of factory ’78 Cordoba wheels, which will look great on one of my Chryslers.
Paul, as a reader from the very first post here I’d like to say thank YOU, for all the time and effort that you’ve put in. My day wouldn’t be anywhere near as good without my dose of CC in the morning!
I remember, upon your exit from TTAC, sending you a mail suggesting, hopefully, that you would consider doing a CC-oriented site (as this was, despite reading the industry-related information, the first feature that I always looked for on TTAC.)
Your kind answer then, as I recall it, was that you were considering doing this, but were not sure it would be a success. I hope that this question has now been definitively answered with “roaring”.
I very much enjoy the content here, and am happy to see much of the old commenteriat reassembled here too. It would be nice if, as folks like Stephen cleave off from TTAC, if you could incorporate the nicer, gentler, parts into CC.
So, as are you, I too am thankful for CC and wish it continued success.
This site continues to help me to learn more about obscure automobiles I never knew existed, as well as to shore up my car-identifying skills on the CC Clues (it’s been a while since I’ve come out on top of one of those). Beyond that, it inspires me to go out into my own community with my camera and look for old cars myself. In fact, I’m going to go out right now. Thanks for continuing to provide the best old car site on the web.
Paul, thanks for putting this site up. I still have your email inviting me over here. Thanks for that too.
I can’t follow or comment on many sites, and increasingly see myself moving here, OPC, and BAT.
Thank you all for those wonderful words, and thank Paul most of all for making this place a reality.
Paul and I had discussed working together in the recent past. At the time, we had moderately different visions on what a site would be about.
I wanted a site that was more broadly focused on the used car industry. While Paul was aiming for a site that offered more story telling and historical relevance.
I am glad that Paul’s vision ruled that day. Curbside Classic is very much like a sunny vacation resort that you visit every year and meet your old friends. As time goes by, the umbrellas becomes a little old and the decor may become a little dated. But you just can’t help feeling like you’re at the best spot on Earth whenever you go there and see all the familiar faces that make a vacation wonderful.
Keep your audience the way it is Paul. You and your fellow writers have made Curbside Classic a welcoming place. In time the purity of CC will attract enough of an audience to make it an ongoing financial success. I have absolutely no doubt about it.
In the meantime share the stories and enjoy the fellowship.
All the best!
Thanks; and same to you!
You’re a lot younger than me, and I know you’re going to have a great post-TTAC future. This is my path; and I’ve embraced it.
I didn’t properly read bullet 7. A real shame, I looked forward every Tuesday to read about the Monday mileage champions (among the many SL great stories).
So Mr Lang, where can I continue to read you? I don’t do Jalopnik, and won’t go back there.
Paul has my email in his files.
Paul is right, you’ve got a bright future out there. All the best.
Yes, Steve, keep us posted as to where we can read your articles. I will be going straight to YouTube* for Alex Dykes’s (I too thought the original headline was in regard to him) great new car reviews; they are what I went to TTAC for in the first place. Deleting the bookmark – something I should have done months ago – gave me a great deal of pleasure. BS can continue to spew his homophobia and misogyny (and make no mistake, that is what it is) and deliberate provocations to the online nut contingent until someone pulls the plug. Anyone of common decency who continues to write there should think again.
*Edited to add I need to reconsider – it is TTAC’s YouTube site.
I decided to go have a look. Honestly, I didn’t find it offensive, so much as it was weak sauce. Mr. Schmitt was doing his best to liven up a boring story. But his best isn’t all that good, and his idea of what’s funny, well, isn’t.
Personally, I think that Mr. Lang made a prudent move, for the sake of his own reputation. If this produces a PR backlash that causes a loss of advertisers, then Vertical Scope may feel compelled to act.
(And if Alex Dykes is smart, he’ll find himself a new home so that he doesn’t run the risk of losing access to press cars.)
Ultimately, it’s not just the article in question that damages TTAC’s reputation, but the general tone under Bertel’s management. Along with the occasional homophobia and racism, and regular misogyny, the site authors have cultivated a very “us vs. them” atmosphere. Articles about luxury cars demean their owners as flashy idiots, while truck driver’s are poser bros… crossovers and SUVs are only driven by moron housewives who can’t drive… on and on.The commentariat are only spurred on by this type of writing, and share their equally ugly views all too often. This happens on every car site to some extent, but it has become the trademark of TTAC. Not to mention all the political articles on civil liberties, even gun laws, that do nothing but polarize the readership. It’s really tiresome. There are obviously some excellent writers and articles that come out of TTAC (Steve will be deeply missed), but the overall vibe is total garbage.
PS- not that anyone cares, I was banned as well (without warning) for linking to Steve’s resignation article in the TTAC comments.
Steve quit? Circling the drain…hopefully the owners will step in soon.
And a big thank-you to you Paul! We love what you’ve started here.
With all due respect Pch101 (and there is a great deal – your sane and informed responses to the nutters at TTAC during the fall election were especially appreciated), reading the words used in the headline alone in the “mainstream press” (and I understand this is a car blog but even so they know it’s wrong – note their own rules for posters) in 2013 is astoundingly offensive. Substitute the K word or the N word and imagine the response. If you’re not a member of the community most impacted, try to put yourself in their/our place.
I fully understand your reluctance to take seriously Mr. Schmitt’s writing which is poorly/lazily researched and badly written. But banal as it may seem, this type of thing also does damage, as many posters here personally note. The site indicates Mr. Schmitt is a former rock journalist. Given the homophobia and misogyny rampant in that community back in his day, it may be more understandable (but no less excusable) that he’s insensitive to the evolving ethos on these concerns today.
Paul, as others have said, thanks to you for running such an awesome community dedicated to the love of old/esoteric/interesting vehicles.
If there’s ever a West Coast CC get together, I’ll try to make it down from the Seattle area.
As someone who actually suffers withdrawal symptoms if I don’t get my daily dose of CC, despite the fact that I’ve almost never commented, allow me to add my voice to the chorus and say a heartfelt Thank You to Paul for starting up this amazing site and to all the contributors and commenters who make it such a vibrant and interesting place to visit.
We do have a few curbside classics down here where I live (Sri Lanka) although considering the size of the country and import restrictions etc we don’t see anything very interesting often. Still there are a few gems here and there and I will try to snap them up and share them over on the Cohort…
Once again guys, thanks for making CC the awesome place that it is!
I just saw this article and I couldn’t agree more Paul. CC is beyond the best car blog going. Every single article is read from top to bottom, and is always interesting. Thanks to you and all the contributors, don’t change a thing.
I de-bookmarked TTAC over that whole spectacle, and Bertel’s continued jabs at the commenters and Steve in subsequent articles, while banning anyone from discussing it. It’s just an uncomfortable environment over there now.