It's starting to feel like the main reason publications indulge in Car Of The Year awards is so the winning automaker will put their name in a bunch of advertisements, making the publication feel like a big shot. At Jalopnik, we don't buy in to this. We receive hand jobs from our partners, not from the automakers.
Instead, we've been asking the contributors here at Jalopnik to pick the best (and worst) cars they've driven in 2012 and explain why. When I was asked for my choices, the best car was a no-brainer: the 1971/72 Trans-Am championship winning Datsun BRE 510, driven by John Morton.
News, apparently, spreads fast, and we received an email conversation between Peter Brock himself (BRE) and the legendary Mr. K (i.e. Yutaka Katayama, the first president of Nissan USA and the father of the 510, the Z-Car, and a sense of auto joy in general).
Mr. K, one of the most celebrated auto executives of our time, is now 103 years old, and yet he and Peter Brock have been reading Jalopnik and giving each other virtual fist bumps on their incredible BRE 510 being named "the best car I have driven in 2012." Thoughtfully, someone forwarded the exchange to us.
Notes like these will probably never appear in an automaker's commercial, or be advertised in print as a "guess what Jalopnik said," to boost our own self-importance. Personally, I think the fact that Mr. K read an article on Jalopnik is way more valuable than any of that.
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