They say young people don’t care about cars anymore. They say the culture is dying. They say human driving doesn’t even have a future. You, the Jalopnik community of readers, know that isn’t true. You also know the last place to look for modern car culture is the vast wasteland that is television. But we think we can do car TV better—and so we did.
Because you demanded it, and because questionable decisions are made in the media world every day, Jalopnik is getting a TV show.
Welcome to Car vs. America.
You may have noticed Mike Ballaban and Raphael Orlove haven’t been around much on Jalopnik lately. (You may also be grateful for this, which is fair.) That’s because these scrappy New York editors have spent the last few months planning, producing, writing and starring in our most ambitious project to date—a road trip TV show where they go around America in search of adventure in the weirdest, most wonderful, most questionable cars we could get our hands on.
Think of it as The Grand Tour, except done right, and on a lower budget. A cosmically lower budget. (This is still Jalopnik; you know we’re not fancy.)
What Are You Guys Doing, Exactly?
All kinds of crazy shit.
On Car vs. America, Mike and Raph go skid plate racing with Jason Torchinsky in North Carolina. They hang with the great-grandsons of Preston Tucker to talk about his insane shot at the big guys. They learn to drift in New Jersey and become rally drivers in the Pacific Northwest.
They do extreme off-roading in Jeeps in Pennsyltucky. They conduct a heated race across New York City in their own Yugo and Beetle to determine once and for all which totalitarian government had the best people’s cars.
They drive an imported right-hand drive Toyota MR2, explore the myth and legend of the Ford Crown Victoria, and test their mettle against drag racers in a Mustang GT350R.
In short, it’s Jalopnik, on TV. What’s not to love?
Why Is This Happening?
Because car TV is bad! And we spent years telling you how bad it is, with its endless contrived “deadlines” and tattooed morons wrenching on old muscle cars. (Or standing around while someone else wrenches on them.) So our new overlords at Fusion tapped us to do better.
Plus, the rest of the office relished the chance to have Ballaban and Raph gone for a few months.
They will attempt what few have accomplished: make a car-centric TV show that isn’t terrible.
And they’ll get to know the humans behind the machines. Our guys will travel across the country, meeting the delightfully unhinged characters who make modern car culture possible and tell their stories. That’s what you’ll get in every episode of Car vs. America.
Fine! I’m Sold. Where And When Do I Watch It?
Oh, good! You’ll be able to catch it on Fusion on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. ET and PT.
Find out if you have Fusion here, and check out how to get the Watch Fusion app on Amazon Fire TV & Stick, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, iPhone, iPad, Android Mobile, Android Tablets, Android and the mainframe Jason built out of old vending machine parts and a ColecoVision.
What If I Don’t Have Cable?
The first episode will be streaming for free! We’ll even have it here on Jalopnik. After that, you deadbeats have to pay, but with any luck it will be on a streaming network once the season wraps.
Are You Gonna Do More Of This?
Who knows? We might. But Car vs. America is just the start.
We hope you’ll tune in and tell us what you think. We want your feedback. We’ll be listening carefully. You can help us make this show even better by being your honest selves in the comments and by telling us what we’re getting right and what needs to be fine-tuned like a Skyline off Craigslist.
And as Mike and Raph and company go on the road to finish the show, you’ll be able to check out their progress here on Jalopnik and catch video clips from the show. You may even see them in your city very soon. (If that ends up being the case, I am so, so sorry.)
See you out there on the road.