Like The Bechtle Alameda Gran Torino House, Murilee's Role Changes Yet Remains The Same

Not long ago, I did some detective work and located the house that artist Robert Bechtle used as the backdrop for the Ford wagon in his most famous painting, Gran Torino Alameda.

Like The Bechtle Alameda Gran Torino House, Murilee's Role Changes Yet Remains The Same

I've got a print of Gran Torino Alameda hanging in my kitchen, so it was pretty exciting to discover that I live just 5 blocks from the Bechtle Gran Torino House (which is on the same block as one of my all-time favorite DOTS cars: the 1969 AMC Ambassador SST Wagon). It wasn't so hard to find the place, mostly because Bechtle didn't change the street address when he painted it but also because the house hasn't changed much in the 35 years that have gone by. The neighbor's hedges are taller and the garage door is a different color, but park a '72 woody Gran Torino wagon in the driveway and you really wouldn't be able to tell the difference between now and 1974.

Like The Bechtle Alameda Gran Torino House, Murilee's Role Changes Yet Remains The Same

But change does happen. It's been just over two years since my first Jalopnik post, and our readership has increased dramatically since then. Unfortunately, the Financiapocalypse means that belts must be tightened, even as we do everything in our power to keep our readers addicted to mainlining that good unstepped-on Jalopnik dope. That means that it no longer makes economic sense to have me write for the site every day. However, Señor Wert and the Gawker Overlords recognize that plenty of our stalkers devoted readers enjoy reading my posts (for reasons we're probably better off not exploring), and I want to keep writing them, so we've worked out a new arrangement that involves a promotion for me: I'll be the new Weekend Editor, starting now, and I'll continue to do stuff like Project Car Hell, Down On The Street, and so on; maybe not as frequently as I once did, but I'll work to make those weekend posts the concentrated essence of… well, whatever the hell it is that I do here.

Like The Bechtle Alameda Gran Torino House, Murilee's Role Changes Yet Remains The Same

So, while I'll miss having a significant weekday presence on the site, I plan to jack up the quality level for y'all; think fewer, but better Murilee Martin posts. You'll get more senseless junkyard projects, such as the Junkyard Boogaloo Turbo Boombox, Ozzy Osbourne Acceleration Warning Horn, and Wanky The Safety Cat. You'll get more tales of my personal Hell Projects, such as the art-car-turned-drag-racer '65 Impala in the photo above, and I'll do my best to belt out the occasional foaming-at-the-mouth tirade well-reasoned essay on car-related topics. I'll get to more of those great Down On The Street Bonus Edition photos that keep coming in from around the globe, and of course the 24 Hours Of LeMons coverage will keep coming. Nice Price Or Crack Pipe will continue on a near-daily basis, once we brass-knuckle persuade one of my colleagues into accepting a taste of the riding crop those duties. Different, yet the same!