Loverman........OUT!

That's right friends. I'm leaving. Bye-bye. Nice knowing you. See you around. Ciao. Today—Thursday, January 31, 2008—is my last day at Jalopnik. The first question is of course why? Well, basically what Spinelli said when he handed over the reins, but with 1/8th the responsibility. But allow me to quote:

It wouldn't be out of the question, for instance, to find references to Udo Dirkschneider, the pygmaic lead singer of 1980's German heavy metal band Accept, a Japanese TV show about Dekotora trucks and Dutch reverse-gear racing all on the same day. In short, it would be obscure and fun, if you went in for that sort of thing.
But, rather than leave you on a dull note, let's have some fun.

Here, in a very particular and personal order, I present to you, The Loverman's 11 Favorite Jalopnik Moments:

#11: Davey G Introduces Me
First of all, absolutely yes — Davey and I met for the very first time at a strip club in Hollywood called Jumbo's Clown Room. If any of y'all should ever go there (and I recommend you doing so) check out the wall to the left of the bar — one of the very first articles I ever had published anywhere is hanging on that wall. And here's the post: The Truth About Jeep's Faulty Brand Compass.

#10: Audi R8 vs. Honda Civic
Where else but Jalopnik would you ever see this? Exactly, no where. I take special pride in this review — not cause I wrote it or anything — because last time I quit Jalopnik to go work at Inside Line, I said to Spinelli, "Sorry I'm leaving — but you should hire that commenter Murilee Martin. He's really good." So, if history repeats itself, I'll be back in 3 weeks and you'll soon be reading Polar's take on the Ferrari 599. In the form of a song parody. Audi R8, Part 1

#9: The Very First Thing I Ever Wrote For Jalopnik
As some of you know, I was writing for TTAC before I got tangled up with the J-nik. Farago and I somehow scammed convinced Skip Barber to let me attend one of their high performance driving schools. While the subsequent TTAC Editorial was about the school itself, I wanted to talk about all the sweet metal I got to hoon about in. So, I pitched the idea to the Postfather and he published it! Thanks again, Mike. See How they Run: Four Track Day Whips Examined

#8: Me and Mike Austin Talk About Ford's Edge
It was just one of those things. Former Guest Editor Mike Austin and I both happened to be at the San Francisco Ford Edge junket. We rode around for two days together, got to talking and (somehow) convinced Spinelli that it would be a really good idea to let us do a "He Drove, He Drove" review of Ford's then-new CUV. Man, that was fun. 2007 Ford Edge, Special He Drove / He Drove Edition, Part 1

#7: My First Auto Show
If you read what I write here on the big J long enough, you will eventually get to the part where I mention how kooky it is that my favorite thing as a kid was going with my old man to the LA Auto Show, and now I get to work it! Only it turns out that working as a blogger at an auto show SUCKS. Unless your idea of a good time is running around like a headless chicken for 14 hours straight. I really wasn't prepared for the grind my first time out (which led to this), but it was when I met Bumbeck. And that made it all worthwhile. LA Auto Show Broke: Drinking, Smoking and Sweating the Jalopnik Way

#6 (Tie): Jalopnik Forever Creeps Out Jezebel
One of the things I'll miss the most about working for the Khmer Rogue Gawker Media is the ability to "splice" into other sites. You know, when stuff from Lifehacker suddenly appears explaining how to fix scratches in your paint with White Out. Well, my good Se7enangelist buddy Al Navarro sent in a question (I just posted it — honest!) and now the Jezzies forever think y'all are utter scum. Nice work, boys. Good thing I'm leaving. What Would You Drive on a Date with Jezebel's Slut Machine?

#6 (Tie): Best Car in the Fantasy Garage
Not a bad writeup, either. Ferrari 288 GTO

#5: Se7en Se7en Se7en
Speaking of Mr. Navarro, I owe him big time. The other day I was having a quiet moment and my girlfriend asked me, "What are you thinking about?" I wish you could have seen her face when I answered, "Lightweight tube frame sports cars with small displacement engines." Maybe I'm too naive, or just new to the car writing game, but the chance to be with those guys and their cars on that road... I'm still smiling. And apparently, day dreaming. Se7en, Se7en, Oh My Se7en!

#4: Davey and I Rock the RS4
Austin and I might have been first with the "He Said, He Said" review format, but Davey and I perfected it. On accident, too. See, the plan was to just go and drive Audi's wunder sedan around Los Angeles, grab a beer and call it a night. But, as it happened the day of the drive was Halloween and Emil Rensing was having a party. Christ that was fun. Hell of a car, too. Jalopnik Reviews: 2006 Audi RS4 - He Said Supercar, He Said 'Meh' Edition

#3: Most Comments, Ever!
What started out as a funny idea turned into the most heavily commented upon post in Jalopnik history. As I'm typing, "How Jalopnik Is Your Car?" has 468 comments. The previous record holder — Porsche? Or Porsche? — had but 215. I'm really glad you guys enjoyed playing so much — Murilee's promising a part II. So harass him. How Jalopnik Is Your Car?

#2: Thunderhill LeMons
Events like the 24 Hours of LeMons are the sort of stuff I used to read about in the nether regions of Car & Driver that caused me to get into auto journalism. Quite literally, the stuff of my dreams. And I got to cover it. I'm still shocked. As you know, Murilee's putting together a team to race a V8olvo at Altamont this May. And even though I'll be doing a portion of the driving, I'd kinda rather be covering the spectacle. Kinda. Thunderhill LeMons

#1: DAF vs. FAF
I know this choice is going to make zero sense to most people, but honestly I've never had more fun writing about cars. Turns out that Davey G and I are both hugely competitive and certifiable loons. Who knew? Anyhow, a tip of the hat to Spinelli for letting us get away with it, and a tip of the pint glass to you guys for putting up with us. Look for Tatra vs. Tata in an RSS reader near you. For Whom the DAF and/or FAF Tolls

Anyhow, I'm going to miss the hell out of you guys. So let's just treat this as a navel-gazing QOTD — what's your favorite Jalopnik moment?

I do want to leave you with one last quote. When asked for his take on the meaning of life, Werner Herzog quoted Conrad Hilton who when asked a similar question said, "Always make sure the shower curtain is inside the tub." Not that I'm trying to answer the meaning of life, but what in God's name is the meaning of all this car jazz? Here's a line spoken by Eugene Morgan from Orson Welles's 1942 follow up to Citizen Cane, the at first panned but now revered The Magnificent Ambersons:

I'm not sure George is wrong about automobiles. With all their speed forward, they may be a step backward in civilization. It may be that they won't add to the beauty of the world or the life of men's souls. I'm not sure. But automobiles have come. And almost all outward things are going to be different because of what they bring. They're going to alter war and they're going to alter peace. And I think men's minds are going to be changed in subtle ways because of automobiles. And it may be that George is right. It may be that in ten or twenty years from now, if we can see the inward change in men by that time, I shouldn't be able to defend the gasoline engine but would have to agree with George: that automobiles had no business to be invented.
I'm gonna miss you guys.
Loverman........OUT!
Happy Trails, Ya'll.