That’s not a typo, or a metaphor. We are actually living in the Detroit Auto Show. Right now, and for the next two days. In vans.

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Why we’re living in vans is a tough question to answer. Partially because it’s free, mostly because it’s the only way to make sure we are CLOSEST TO THE ACTION, and entirely because my ex-boss, Matt Hardigree, is a diabolical sociopath who surely despises me and my colleague, Raphael Orlove.

Matt is staying back in New York, obviously.

This year’s Jalopnik Detroit contingent consists of myself, Mr. Orlove, Patrick George, David Tracy, and Michael Roselli and Jared Auslander from the video team. But only Raph and I are actually staying in the vans.

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And by “staying,” I mean really, genuinely staying. Last night I slept in the big long-wheelbase, high-roof Ford Transit, which has nothing but room. Given a budget of $250 to kit it out and host a party, I’ve decorated it with a tasteful and comfy lounge theme, complete with front parlor, bedroom, closet space, and front sitting area. There’s even art on the wall.

Raphael, on the other hand, has done none of that. He’s in a short-wheelbase Transit Connect, and has turned it into a Ninja Turtles-themed blanket fort, because of course he would.

And because it wouldn’t be Jalopnik without an argument and competition, we’re going to be hosting dueling parties tomorrow night, and whoever has the most guests wins. We’re only about 20 feet away from each other, however, so I suspect that the parties will just mish-mosh into one big one.

Sure, it’s entirely Top Gear-y, or Clarkson, Hammond, and May-y, but in the show’s absence we can’t help but give our own homage, and hopefully do a completely awful and terrible job of filling the gap.

At the Detroit Auto Show? We’ll be here until tomorrow night.

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And we won’t be leaving, even to sleep.


Contact the author at ballaban@jalopnik.com.
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