I’m supposed to write a goodbye post, I guess. I’m supposed to say something profound about the State of Cars, or the State of Jalopnik, or the State of All That’s Going On. But all I keep thinking is that everything is going to be fine.
I know, I know. I sound nuts. I probably am, after spending more than seven years huffing gasoline at this deranged website. There’s a global pandemic. All the car factories are shut down. Patrick George, Aaron Gordon, Alanis King, Elizabeth Blackstock, Kristen Lee have all left in the past four months, and now I’m out, too.
Hummer is back.
But I’m weirdly serene about all of it.
When Jalopnik was first started over 15 years ago, things were bleak. I mean BLEAK. There were a smattering of American buff books, the biggest ones seemingly copies of each other on the outside, and on the inside. They often functioned as a simpatico revolving door with the automotive industry. If you wanted something a little edgier, a little more critical, you’d be lucky to drop about 10 bucks on a massive British magazine, filled with seemingly made-up author names. Your copy also doubled as handy paperweight when you were done with it.
Jalopnik was the punk weirdo with the even weirder name. Japolnet, Japolink, Jalop-net. It was a fly-by-night operation, under the guiding ethos that there would be no restrictions at all, other than that it had to be correct and true. It was based in New York, far from the clutches of the Big Three, and uniquely situated in a town that was so crappy for cars that it always felt like everyone was pushing uphill. It resulted in great storytelling, incredible investigations, and very occasionally, the hottest nuclear takes known to humanity.
And to this day, Jalopnik is still one of the few places where people with takes on cars can unleash them on an unsuspecting public. It’s still wild and freewheeling, sharp and whip-smart, full of adventures and admonishments. It’s the best little car corner in the world. Always will be.
And that attitude is now everywhere. Jalops now run Road & Track and The Drive. They do investigations at Consumer Reports. They’re at Hagerty and Vice. They do reviews at Business Insider, and also the other Business Insider, the one that we don’t talk about in polite company. Jalopnik is everywhere.
It’s in you, right now, reading this.
If you don’t believe me, look at the Jalop-worthy cars being built every day. We have a Hyundai Veloster N that snarls and crackles and pops and is one of the best cars on sale today. We have a Honda Civic Type-R, right here on our American shores. There’s a Shelby Mustang with a screamer of a flat-plane crank V8. The Miata is still, somehow, miraculously, alive.
The factories will start making cars again. We’ll all get out of the house eventually. We all carry Jalopnik with us, wherever we go.
And Jalopnik isn’t going anywhere, either.
You couldn’t convince me with a gun to my head to stop consuming the work of Jason Torchinsky, Raphael Orlove, Andrew Collins, Erin Marquis, David Tracy, Justin Westbrook, Erik Shilling, Adam Milt, and Erica Lourd.
That’s who Jalopnik is, after today. At least officially.
And it doesn’t get better than that.