Tom Albrecht (front) and J.F. Musial, hosts of Thrill of the Road.
I always felt at home when we entered Colorado, where the plains became arid, the rabbit bush prolific. (Occasionally we would take "the southern route," heading into the harsh rocks of northern Texas or New Mexico.) Our search was for elusive river… »
Ahhh, the French champagne has always been celebrated for its excellence! Alex Roy doused with bubbly upon successful breaking of the transcontinental record.
Orson Welles once spoke of "the confidence of ignorance" in terms of the beginning of both his stage and screen careers. Henry Rollins once remarked that he… »
Fourteen years before the United States mandated exit numbers on Dwight Eisenhower's brainchild of a road system, a Lowell, Mass native of French-Canadian extraction named Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac published a novel that would change countless lives; a mash note to an already-dead America living under the weight of… »
When I was twenty, I studied in Germany. Bonn, to be exact. I had a friend there named Kai who loved techno and had just received his first car, some sort of Citroën hatchback. It was red, and he hoped someday to buy an Audi with an S in front of its numeral. But at that point, he had what we all ended up calling… »
Call me "Ich-Manni." Here in the electron-bright pages of tha Jalop, I have often implored manufacturers to bring back a simple, lightweight RWD sports coupe. We collectively have bemoaned the lack of availability of certain European models built by American manufacturers but not sold on our shores. And of course, I… »
I've known my girlfriend for years. We met as teenagers and immediately connected. We kept in touch sporadically, went through a lot of parallel experiences and a multitude of different ones. Way back when, she thought I was a goofy punk rocker with bad taste in motor vehicles, but she wrote about my cars and I… »
Truth be told, my Manta fixation goes back over 25 years. As a kid visiting Northern Ireland, I was inextricably drawn to GM's Euro ponycar; it seemed the most American thing on the road, coiffed, as it was with cues that spoke of Yankee muscle. Camaro ducktail here, Monza curve there. Okay, fine. I was influenced… »
To Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, the Gates of the West may have been New York City. Or Saint Louis. Or San Francisco, where they holed up to record overdubs and vocal tracks for Give 'Em Enough Rope with Sandy "More Cowbell" Pearlman. But for many returning soldiers at the end of World War II, the Gates of the West… »
Alex Roy, Gumball organizer Julie Brangstrup and Michael Ross just before the cars are released at at the airport in Athens. »-
I can't in truth call my Shanghai trip a comedy of errors, although there were errors, one of which resulted in my flying home first class. And while some of the Engrish I encountered was laugh-out-loud gut-busting. I can't quite refer to it as a tragedy, either. What it was, however, was a slightly nebulous,… »
It's 10:46pm California time as I sit down to write this. But I'm not in San Pedro. I'm somewhere near Saint Marks Place in New York City, and the only sounds in the room are the tapping of two Apple keyboards and the rattling dull whine of air filters sucking the cigarette smoke out of the air of a spacious loft… »
Now and then, I wonder if this malaise is not a thirtysomething crisis, and then I take a step back and realize that it really isn't. Age is merely a tipping point, where the enthusiasm of youth is finally allowed to a step back in the face of a broader historical perspective. There is a transitional moment where… »