This weekend marks a full year since I began holding down the fort on Sundays around these parts. It’s also my last weekend on the job before I start law school next month, so I wanted to say thank you to all of you for putting up with my blather.
Long before I even considered writing about cars, Jalopnik was huge to me. I remember trying every trick in the book to circumvent my high school’s internet content filters to get to the site. “Automotive/Other” was apparently an off-limits category for curious high schoolers and Jalopnik fell under it, of course. It wasn’t enough to get home and read car blogs after school. We needed to know what was going on and we needed to know right then and there.
But in the end, we broke through and free period conversation about cars took a turn for the weird. We were finally freed from the constraints of conversation handed down by the Buff Books. We could explore the width and breadth of car culture unimpeded by ads for Winnifred Cutler’s phony pheromones and car bras. We could decide for ourselves whether it was a nice price or crack pipe, and we could imagine what life was like on the magical Island That Rust Forgot on the other side of the country.
Jalopnik was the kind of car culture that we, kids growing up in an era where the concept of mobility was more becoming important than anything Motor Trend, Car & Driver, or Automobile ever could have said, cared about and wanted to read. We weren’t mad about the transformation of car culture around us, we just needed a guide and we found one in Jalopnik.
I read Jalopnik through the rest of high school and all through college. As I grew up, so did the site. It showed me that an enthusiast site could do incredible investigative work, it reaffirmed my own feelings that cars are art, and helped break down the illusions that separate most readers of car press from the world they love so much on the other side of the stories they follow so closely.
And then I got to be part of it myself. I got a chance to drive a questionably legal right-hand-drive Alfa Romeo on Manhattan streets, self-indulgently share my mediocre photos of the terrible cars I head to quarantine with on the other side of the world, rant about the president’s hideous plans for Air Force One, and even manage to make a little contribution to the reporting on the violent response to non-violent protests that we continue to see across the country. It was a tremendous privilege to get to contribute to a site that played such a big role in the development of my own love of cars and I am so thankful for the opportunity.
So, before I reformat my mental hard drive and archive the part of my brain that holds Italian displacement-based tax regulations, results from 1970s rallies, and Volga model numbers so there’ll be room for civil procedure and tort law, I wanted to thank everyone here, from the editors I got a chance to work for and learn from, to the rest of the staff, whose writing has been and will continue to be an example for me to the commenters, whose contributions make this site what it is, whether it’s sharing the history of a model, a make, or a race I never knew of before or keeping me honest, accurate and (largely) grammatically correct.
My hope is that you all found something interesting, informative, or fun in my weekend posts. Thank you for reading and thank you all for making cars what they are for me. If you didn’t get sick of me yet, you can always join us in Weird Car Twitter, where the 300-word length requirement is a 240-character limit and copyright restrictions are a lot more lax. Until then, goodbye and thank you. You’ve all been a pleasure.