When life gives you lemons, drive an Acura NSX.
With my employer Yahoo Autos shutting down, my options were limited: Either weep and await the end, or wheel and go out in a plume of tire smoke. I chose the latter, mainly because my final press trip—for the all-new 2017 NSX—would surely involve an abundance of free beer. And beer is even better than lemonade.
So then it was time to move on to the next thing. And as far as writing goes, the next thing is Jalopnik. Again.
It’s been years since I last wrote for this website. Back then I had a column called “How To Drive Fast,” where I’d offer tips and advice for getting the most out of your car on a racetrack. I had to stop writing; my role at Yahoo Autos ensured that.
But when one thing tragically ends, another opportunity often surfaces. And so here I am, back from the brink—returning (kind of) where I left off three years ago, ready to take you back behind the wheel and embark on the fastest journey imaginable.
My qualifications? A whole lot of racing experience, including competing in the Indy 500 four times, as well as those glorious laps at the wheel of a McLaren Formula One car.
My time at Yahoo Autos taught me many things, and allowed me to drive machines I’d only dreamed of. The site’s closing opened the door for my return here, but what it really did is catapult me out west, to a startup called Beepi where I now work as Head of Content.
Seems strange, right? A former Indy driver now working for a Silicon Valley tech company that takes the hassle out of buying and selling cars online. This isn’t the traditional career path. It all seems—how do I put this?—a bit grown up.
Indeed. I am now mature. A consummate professional, boasting a closet full of meticulously-ironed slacks. I’m building a legitimate career outside of driving. I even know what a 401k is!
You’ll be glad to hear, however, that I haven’t given up racing entirely—I do it for shits and giggles, which is far more appealing than competing for hamburgers and hotdogs.
For example, In 2014 I raced numerous Pirelli World Challenge GT events, and won the overall at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. I ran my first rally—which I also won, despite slightly crashing into a ditch. Last year I competed at Pikes Peak and wheeled an Audi TT race car in a DTM support event. I drove Donohue’s ’72 Indy 500-winning machine, and battled former-500 superstars in a drum-braked, 650 horsepower 1957 Corvette.
Better still, I bought a Chevy Volt! By better, I mean preferable to the Ford Flex I previously owned. Why a Volt? Well, my commute to Los Altos, Calif., is apocalyptically long, and a reduced fuel bill is welcomed. Plus, carpool access, baby.
Evolved and reshaped, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be back writing for Jalopnik. In truth, I’ve missed you guys. It’s become de rigueur for the media to proclaim car culture dead, but we all know that’s bollocks. Spend a few moments scouring Jalopnik, reading the comments and flipping through Opposite Lock, and you’ll see it remains alive and well. This truly is the best, most knowledgeable audience on the web.
So, now that I’ve all grown up, what will my new column—“Three Wide”—be about? More than just how to drive fast, although I’ll do a bit of that too. I’m casting a wide net this time. I’ll write about speed, racing, and adventure. I may fill you in on some of the madder things I’ve recently driven—and, along the way, answer your questions about being a better driver.
The point of this post isn’t just to announce my return. It’s to ask for your ideas and input, and to know what you’d like to see here. So, please, send me your suggestions.
Back when I ceased contributing for Jalopnik, I had no idea whether I’d ever be back. I’d always hoped I would, but then life has a habit of being unpredictable. That unpredictability reared its head a couple of months ago. Out of work, it forced my hand. It gave me the kick I needed to quit the status quo and look to advance. That drive moved my family to California, a place we’ve always dreamed of living. It delivered an awesome new job. And it brought me back here, the place where it all began.
It turns out, then, that I’m thankful for the lemons. And for the keys to that kickass NSX.
@Alex_Lloyd is Head of Content at Beepi, a radically transparent and easy way to buy, sell and lease cars online. A racing driver who competed in the Rolex 24 at Daytona twice and the Indianapolis 500 four times, his column Three Wide is about the culture of speed.