This is it. What countless dozens of you have been waiting for, a select few thought would never come and countless millions couldn't care less about — the introduction of the all-new 2008 model year Jalopnik. Although we're still buffing the sheet metal a bit and deciding on an extra hood scoop or go-faster stripes — we've already got a great auto-obsessed group of guys (and, you know, Murilee) in the lineup bringing you the best of what you've come to expect from Jalopnik. And since you've been so kind to spend so much time here, we kind of thought you should perhaps know who they are. So, without further ado, here's the lineup:
Like other city boys, born and raised
in South West of Detroit, Wert's been steeped in automotive culture since birth. His formative years were spent tooling around town in the comfort of a late malaise-era jet-black Northstar-powered Cadillac Sedan De Ville and the teeth-rattling ride of an R edition Mazda Miata. Since then Wert's owned more Jeeps than he can count on one hand (except for a brief two year interlude in a Dodge Intrepid R/T, but he doesn't like talking about that). A former senior staffer for Michigan Governor Granholm, Wert was an industry wonk who has since seen the light on that whole "politics" thing. An avid fan of classic 'merican muscle, Wert has since branched out a bit to embrace cars made by — well, you know — other automakers, but still spends much of his free time poking fun at German service center signs in Michigan watering holes. Wert's most treasured possession, other than a "Block M" license plate with the plate number of 0R0NS, is his very own one-of-a-kind bobblehead. In addition to serving as the Editor-in-Chief of Jalopnik, Wert also has written for The New York Times, PopularMechanics.com and is a regular contributor on CNBC. Wert splits his time between New York City and his beloved Metro Detroit.
Road Test Editor
While not chastising Kanye West's bodyguard for his ill-advised political leanings or riding motorcycles, Wes Siler finds time to be Jalopnik's Road Test Editor. Wes first found his passion for cars while growing up in England. A subscription to Autocar soon turned into a string of vehicles, the first of which was a 1969 Morris Minor that broke down more times than Wes has fingers (nine). Slightly more reliable was the TVR Sagaris he used as a moving van in London a few years later. Wes has written for magazines ranging from Nylon to Msafari to 0-60, and he has just launched his own online motorcycle magazine, Hell For Leather.
Editor, Nights & Weekends
John has always enjoyed doing things the hard way, which is why he loves being an automotive enthusiast in the affordable and car-friendly city of Brooklyn on the exorbitant pay of a comedy writer. This is somewhat easier than being an F1 enthusiast in the lovely countryside of the great state of Wisconsin, where he was born and where he learned to drive fairly quickly on a variety of surfaces, including snow, ice, dirt, frozen dirt, whitetail deer, opossum, rabbit, squirrel, frozen whitetail deer, and even pavement. Although he comes from people who would rather push one brand of car than drive another, John does not in fact believe this to be a valid viewpoint. In his ample spare time from serving as the sports editor of The Onion, John Krewson will be covering nights and weekends for Jalopnik.
Associate Editor - Chicago
Matt Hardigree is a twenty-something Texan doing a tour of duty in chilly Chicago. A wordsmith by trade, Matt has divided his time between writing about cars, romance, politics and the CMBS market (though he'd rather not talk about that). In addition to covering the latest news for Jalopnik, Matt focuses on the esoteric, the metaphysical and the hilarious side of the automotive universe.
Associate Editor - Detroit
Ben Wojdyla started out life as an Indiana farmboy and graduated with a mechanical engineering degree in 2004 from Kettering University. He's been passed around the automotive world like a two-dollar corporate whore, working in various facilities within Ford and Visteon, even doing time as a project consultant with a German engineering firm. More importantly, Ben drives a 1999 Audi A4 2.8L V6, a 1978 Kawasaki KZ750B3 and he's working on resurrecting a 1964 Lincoln Continental in his very own level of Project Car Hell. Ben covers the dark and weird little corners of the greasemonkey world for Jalopnik and monitors the Detroit beat. Ben lives in scenic Royal Oak, MI.
Associate Editor - Aftermarket and Technology
Travis Hudson is a recent graduate of Kansas State University. Travis spent two years of his life at Gizmodo, obsessed with all things consumer electronics (including beer bongs). Travis is a technology fiend who is beginning to dabble more into the world of automobiles and trying not to get hit by one while doing his dabbling. Travis will be covering all of the great gadgets and doodads that can be found on the road and many that can't. Travis drives a 2006 Civic Si and currently lives in Dallas, Texas, but is contemplating a move to New York City.
Emerging from the swamps of the San Francisco Bay Area, the young Murilee Martin was tragically sidetracked from his destiny as a billionaire high-tech kingpin when a $113 GTO and the sound of Lemmy Kilmister's voice on the radio seduced him away from the Apple II and into a tawdry life of primered-out beaters, junkyards, and general hoonage. After a stunningly unsuccessful attempt to make a living as a performance/installation artist, Murilee went on to become a
hack professional writer, creating everything from junkmail to bondage smut to mechanics' shop manuals. Murilee has owned and discarded dozens of heaps, clunkers, and Hell Projects, with a Competition Orange '68 Mercury Cyclone and a British Racing Green '73 MGB-GT being the hopeless cases he most regrets letting go.
Mark Arnold is Jalopnik's video guy. A "seasoned pro" with over two years of production experience under his belt, Mark started working with Jalopnik at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year and we decided we'd keep him because he's just too damn good. He suffers from the same lifelong obsession with cars as the rest of us, and started here as a commenter before making the jump to contributor.
Mark has a philosophical belief that an automobile should die under its own power. He has killed 8 cars in the past 6 years by means of blown engine or total-loss collision. Mark babies his cars.
Mike Spinelli is the founding editor of Jalopnik. In addition to being the rock, island and spiritual leader of the team, Spinelli has published pieces in a variety of outlets including Wired, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Lane Daily, Garage 419, 0-60, Maxim Radio on Sirius and many others.