If some of you haven’t noticed yet, I’m one of the new writers here on Jalopnik. I’m sure there were more than a few questions from my post last week wondering, “Who the hell is this guy?”
So here’s a little about me: I’m Lawrence Hodge. For those of you who may not know, I’ve been writing on Oppositelock for the past 5 years as LJ909. Last time I counted, I was just over 400 posts since mid-2015. It started as a hobby out of my love for all things car and car news and such. By trade, my background is in finance, though I also briefly sold cars during the Cash for Clunkers era.
For as long as I can remember, I have been into cars. I don’t even remember how I got into cars, I just remember that I always loved them. Weirdly though, I remember being into buses first for some reason. Buses and trains. But that evolved into a love of cars. By the time I was in middle school I knew I wanted to do something with this love. Going to auto shows and car meets as a kid got me wanting to get into the technical side of things.
I was so invested in engineering that I actually sat and drew up plans for my own car company at 13. Called Hodge Automotive, it was almost 100 pages of details (sadly lost over time) of things like engine sizes, interior upholstery colors, wheel sizes, etc. I created a logo for it and everything. I ended up having to change it, though, after discovered that Hino commercial trucks had the exact logo I created. I even came up with a performance arm of the company called Sinister tuning.
Growing up reading magazines like Motor Trend, Car and Driver, AutoWeek and Road & Track piqued my interest in the journalistic side of things. These guys had cool jobs writing about cars! I wanted that. Reading about writers taking a group of SUVs into the desert to see how they held up or drifting a sports car around some rainy track in Europe seemed to be the job of a lifetime. I had a lot of different jobs over the years. Many I hated. Many I worked hard as hell on. But I never stopped hoping I might get paid to play with the cars, and here I am. I still can’t believe it.
Some more things about me: I kind of “famously” (or infamously rather) owned and got rid of a Jaguar S-Type R for a week. Other than that, my enthusiast car collection is nonexistent right now, sadly. I drive a 2018 Hyundai Sonata, a rather safe, reliable bet for a family car. I should be having something more enjoyable/fun to drive soon, so be on the lookout for a post regarding that. I’m looking forward to giving my unique perspective on cars being a Black man in America. Other than writing, my time is taken up by my handful of a soon-to-be 10-year old, eating/cooking and just being a dad.
I look forward to giving you guys content that you enjoy! Feel free to reach out to me with any stories or things you want seen on the site at LHodge@Jalopnik.com