Home » Here’s What You Get When You Become An Autopian Member, And How It Will Make This The Greatest Car Website Ever

Here’s What You Get When You Become An Autopian Member, And How It Will Make This The Greatest Car Website Ever

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The Autopian is a place for car-lovers. It was created after three people — Beau Boeckmann, Jason Torchinsky, and David Tracy — sat down in some microcars one day and scribbled down this motto: “The Autopian exists to serve the car enthusiast community by creating content that informs and entertains, while celebrating the unifying quality of automobiles.” We’ve upheld that motto for over eight months now, and many of you have rewarded us not only with your clicks, but with your excellent comments and frequent questions about how you can support this community more. We now have an answer: Become a member. Not only will it help us become the best version of the car website you’ve always wanted, but you’ll also get things and stuff and perhaps even goods out of the deal. Here’s a look at the details behind The Autopian’s Membership.

The Autopian came into being after hundreds of people kept messaging Jason and me — then writers at Jalopnik — asking us to do something. Readers were yearning for an easy-to-use website that championed car culture, and after a while, the calls became impossible to ignore. So Torch and I, two car-nuts who were just big enough dipshits to think we could pull this off, reached out to Jason’s friend and diehard car-person Beau Boeckmann (whom you’re going to see more of on this site soon!). An avid consumer of automotive media (and a media personality in his own right) and someone who had wanted to be involved in this business for years, Beau came out of the gate with a “Let’s do this thing” attitude. He’s affording us the freedom to do our thing; we hired Mercedes Streeter and Matt Hardigree, and recently we’ve got Patrick George hanging out with us to help build a more sustainable operation from the content-creation side. We’ve got some incredible contributors, an awesome video team, and so much fun stuff planned for the future.

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We’ve built something here, and you all are the most important part of it. This community is something that we all plan to keep growing for years to come, and an important element of that longevity will be your support in the form of membership.

You may be familiar with the website Defector. It’s a product of a bunch of former Deadspin writers quitting and starting their own subscription-based, mostly-sports website. It works great, and the site is firing on all cylinders, providing readers with exactly the content they want. We like this concept, but feel that a completely paywalled site would in many ways thwart what we’re trying to do here, and that is: champion car culture. We think a car website should be accessible for everyone from every walk of life, so our membership is optional, though we will try to force your hand by bribing you with exclusive content and merchandise!

So let’s talk about those bribes, shall we? (For now, we’re only shipping to folks in North America, since shipping costs are so high; if you’re not in North America, we’ll offer another, more virtual tier at a future date!).

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Autopian Vinyl

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  • What it is:
    • A way for you to get exclusive content and merchandise while supporting The Autopian’s mission.
    • Basically, this is you officially joining our cult. Because you can’t spell “car culture” without “car cult.”
  • What it costs:
  • Things you get:
    • A special, limited-edition Autopian shirt
    • An Autopian bumper sticker
  • Things you get (virtual)
    • Member’s only newsletter
    • Weekly wrenching open chat with Autopian writers/weekly open chat
    • A chance to be featured (if you want) in a weekly member rides post
    • Access to special content (extended cuts, early project car updates)
    • Early invites to Autopian events like car shows and parties
  • Things you get (emotional)
    • The warm feeling in your heart of supporting independent media at a time when a lot of your favorite car sites are going away…

Sign up here for Autopian Vinyl (Monthly)

Sign up here for Autopian Vinyl (Annual)

To gift an annual membership Click Here

Autopian Velour

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  • What it is:
    • A way for you to provide even more support to the site while also getting more opportunities to interact with the staff.
  • What it costs:
  • Things you get:
    • Everything in Vinyl plus:
      • A classy-as-hell grille badge
      • Random raffle prizes, including press swag from automakers.
  • Things you get (virtual)
    • Everything in Vinyl plus:
      • Invites to private quarterly Zoom/In-Person Automotive Trivia Nights
      • A drawing on your birthday from Jason of whatever car you want sent directly to your Atari
  • Things you get (emotional)
    • A powerful, pervasive feeling that you’re actually doing genuine good in the world, which will be expressed via powerful sex hormones that everyone around you will absolutely notice. Also, you’ll probably sleep better.

Autopian Rich Corinthian Leather

Rcl Banner

  • What it is:
    • The ultimate in Autopian membership.
    • A chance to be treated like a king by a bunch of car-loving dirtbags.
  • What it costs:
  • Things you get (physical):
    • Everything in Velour plus:
      • An annual private tour (potentially with other members) of Beau’s personal collection in LA, the Petersen Museum, The Crawford Museum, or the Lane Museum led by a staffer or friend of the site. If you come to Beau’s collection you’ll also get lunch at the famous Horseless Carriage restaurant in Galpin Ford
      • Limited-edition Autopian merch every quarter
      • Reserve parking at any Autopian event (where possible)
  • Things you get (virtual)
    • Everything in Velour plus:
      • A video from David or Jason to a person of your choosing that encourages them to buy a specific car OR allow you to buy a car (or just a birthday video) 
  • Things you get (emotional)
    • David will send you a signed vial of rust flakes from one of his project cars. Place this vial in your garage as a reminder that, as bad as things are going with your own project car, things could be worse. Legend has it that if you rub this vial three times, it will give you good luck with loosening stubborn bolts. (Use of a breaker bar to remove a tiny 1/4-inch (or 6mm) bolt voids warranty; also, there is no warranty).
  • Sign up here for Rich Corinthian Leather
  • Give the gift of Rich Corinthian Leather by Clicking Here

The Autopian Wrenching/Road Tripping Experience

Dttrip

  • What it is:
    • Hanging out with DT, wrenching all day, living the dream.
  • What it costs:
  • Things you get:
    • Everything in Rich Corinthian Leather plus:
      • David Tracy, whom we’d prefer you not murder and store in your basement freezer, will spend at least three full days helping you wrench on your car. He will bring pizza and beverages, and it will be an epic wrenchfest, though one focused on fun. This is not a rent-a-mechanic service, it’s an experience with one of the internet’s foremost shitbox wrenching experts.
      • [Ed Note: Are we really doing this? This seems like a terrible idea? Is anyone going to actually do this? I have many many questions. – MH]
  • Sign up for the wrenching experience by clicking this link
  • Gift this experience by Clicking Here

How Membership Will Improve The Site

We’re trying to build a financially sustainable operation here at The Autopian, and membership — as well as carefully-placed ads — will be key in making that happen; this is our first shot at this, and we’re always looking for ways to improve the membership experience (we welcome your ideas!). The more members who sign up (either by clicking the links above or by clicking the “support us” button on the homepage), the more cars we can do dumb things with. I personally want to fly to Brazil to buy a very rare Jeep, fix the thing up, and take it on an epic South American roadtrip. I may do that regardless, but you becoming a member will make that so much more feasible; plus, the video/articles will come faster!

Membership will also allow us to hire more talented writers, host more reader meetups, and just produce more and better content for you all to enjoy. We’re excited to continue building this car community, and we thank you for supporting us in our early days as we worked our butts off to build this place from scratch. Now it’s time to continue working our butts off to make it even better.

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RustFreeDreams
RustFreeDreams
1 year ago

Thanks to Jason for my bday drawing! A super excellent SW20 with winking pop up headlights!

Credit also to Matt and Otto: “The good news is that I bribed Otto with a Costco-sized box of Cheetos Sweetos Cinnamon Sugar Puffs and he agreed to lock his father in the basement until your drawing was done.”

The benefits of membership and excellent cotomer sevis!

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
1 year ago

I was thrilled to get my swag bag in the mail today! The T-shirt looks great (featuring a 1970 Skoda 110R, if I’m not mistaken) and the grille badge is fantastic.

NewBalanceExtraWide
NewBalanceExtraWide
1 year ago
Reply to  Dar Khorse

Aww, man, I must have not been in the first round of shipments… I need that grille badge bad.

Paul Brogger
Paul Brogger
1 year ago

I note that Autopian articles have lately been cited/linked-to in my Chrome browser’s “Discover” news summary. You guys are looking legit!

Rich Hobbs
Rich Hobbs
1 year ago

Greetings! Received my Autopian Member shirt and all I can say is…Wow! Ok, how about Rad ? Or Hot Damn! It’s Black, and the graphic of the Tatra is too cool. I will wear it with pride! Thanks!

Cool Dave
Cool Dave
1 year ago

I know that $6000 option says it’s not a rent-a-mechanic service but dang it if I win any kind of money somewhere that’s exactly what it’s going to be! I will save all the fiddly, curse-bringing jobs I have and buy the cheapest tools I can find to ensure it makes for good internet material.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
1 year ago

I now can confirm that the bumper sticker will, in fact, stick to a bumper. Really, that’s about all I can ask of it.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52643250146_92f0ca5448_b.jpg

Capo Di tutti capi
Capo Di tutti capi
1 year ago

Just got the swag with a high quality vinyl and shirt. Putting it up for sale. You can find it posted for sale on your local craigslist. Asking for a reasonable price of $1 million. I know what I’ve got, no low ball offers.

https://ibb.co/8dCqWDR

EXL500
EXL500
1 year ago

When are the t-shirts shipping?

Preston Flowers
Preston Flowers
1 year ago

well I might consider a vinyl membership how many months will a DJ with a ford 302 and C4 mostly installed get me?

Dangerous_Daveo
Dangerous_Daveo
1 year ago

I know it has been said before by others, but I’ll pop up my version for (hopefully) the sites ongoing prosperity. Bearing in mind I live in Australia, so half the below is irrelevant anyway. I just like cars ‘n’ stuff, and this is the best there is to scratch that itch atm.

I’m happy to pay money, but less than the vinyl, as I don’t need or want the following (or the waste of producing and sending it halfway across the world):
A special, limited-edition Autopian shirt (won’t wear)
An Autopian bumper sticker (won’t use)
Member’s only weekly newsletter (I already get too many emails)
Weekly wrenching open chat with Autopian writers/weekly open chat (don’t care)
A chance to be featured (if you want) in a weekly member rides post (don’t care)
Access to special content (extended cuts, early project car updates) (don’t care)
Early invites to Autopian events like car shows and parties (can’t go, so zero value)

Things I am happy to pay for:
The warm feeling in your heart of supporting independent media at a time when a lot of your favourite car sites are going away…

In fact, I don’t even care about being a ‘member’. I’m just happy to help out financially, but I’m not paying for a bunch of stuff I don’t care about, or will use, especially when the site is paying money to produce something (ie, a shirt). Keep giving me quality articles, and I’ll happily pay, if you give me an option to do so.

I hope you as a business consider this, especially given a bunch of others are asking for it.

SLIDTossedPissedinto BleuCHSaladwCroutons
SLIDTossedPissedinto BleuCHSaladwCroutons
1 year ago

Id like to say… in my previous X amount of cars, Ive always had PAINT.
I had a Brown Accord with a Red Velour err Honda Mousefur Interior.
I then had a Red Accord with a TAN Honda Mousefur Interior
THEN… (MOVIN ON UP… TO THE EAAAAAST SIIIDE… TO THE DEEEEEELUUUUXE APARTMENT IN THE SKYYYYYYY, IM MOVIN ON UPPPPP!!!) to my 3rd Accord which was a Blue paint, Dark Tan LEATHAH Interior, with a Blue Decklid Spoiler with CHMSL… It was soo noiiiice..

NOW…
Im back to where I belong. Back in the VIIIIIIINYL DAYS AGAIN!!!! YAY!!!!!
BUT…. I have B L U E VINYL, that matches my BLUE BLUE PAINT on my BLUE… SQUARE BLUE HONDA. (05 Honda Element.) I do love my B L U E VINYL INTERIOR! There is something… so damn SCHNAZZY…. about a B L U E vinyl interior!!! — MATCHES THE PAINT!!! — WHO IN THE WORLD.. WOULDNT WANT DAT? — I should get a discount for having BLUE VINYL… — that matches my paint.

B L U E !!!! A BLUE VINYL INTERIOR!!! yay!

Yes, I got problems. Thank you very much.

Mike
Mike
1 year ago

My condolences for your loss. You wrote a beautiful tribute to honor your dad. I’m sure he’d be proud.

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
1 year ago

I’m genuinely surprised you didn’t mention that Beau Boeckmann hosted the last two seasons of Pimp My Ride at Galpin Autosports.

Piston Slap Yo Mama
Piston Slap Yo Mama
1 year ago

If membership netted me a coveted Blue Checkmark of Verified Authenticity next to my name and I could change my identity on a whim to such hallowed names as Torchinsky, David Tracy or Musk I’d be in like Flynn.

I’ll probably join anyway.

Brummbaer
Brummbaer
1 year ago

Well, you got my $100 as verified by my bank. So far I’ve gotten squat! No T-shirt, no specialized access, and nothing of worth in any way. If it was $10 or even $25 I’d probably just let it go but a c-note is not chump change!

Consider me very dissatisfied and feeling like an idiot for suckering into your revenue enhancement stream.

Rich Hobbs
Rich Hobbs
1 year ago

David, The Project Cactus article is off the scale! Sold me on becoming a member of the best Car Blog on the planet. Bar none! I am jelly! You just the experience of a lifetime! Thanks for sharing it with us! More to come I’m sure! I wish you many happy miles of motoring! Best Regards, Rich

Anthony L
Anthony L
1 year ago

Love this site and happy to support my favorite car loving dirtbags… Vinyl for now.

Currently rocking my Autopian t-shirt, and will gladly buy more merch as it comes out. Just a thought, I’d love it if you guys would public a book of Autopian articles, something I could leave out on the coffee table for guests to peruse, and I could buy as presents for some of the other car loving dirtbags in my life.

George Talbot
George Talbot
1 year ago

Hey I got my t-shirt! Rally nice quality, and I enjoy the design! Thank you and happy holidays!

Acid Tonic
Acid Tonic
1 year ago

You guys are crazy. I love it.

Zorn Zornelius
Zorn Zornelius
1 year ago

Just signed up myself, have been reading you clowns for nearly a decade and figure I should support this mission, which, in all seriousness is very respectable and I sincerely hope this site takes off.

Merry Chwanakus, grease monkeys!

KIP AMORE
KIP AMORE
1 year ago

I am now a proud Vinyl member, because I want these yo-yos to succeed.

Chris Savino
Chris Savino
1 year ago

I like the battery ads better than the Autopian ads.

Captain Avatar
Captain Avatar
1 year ago

I say this as someone who found Torch’s writing in his former employer’s blog 9 years ago and followed him here. I respect that he and David and Mercedes are definitely not the typical auto journalists (thankfully).

But I cannot and will not financially support this site after I came back to it one day and found:

-my account (avatar, history, login, etc) simply gone with no warning.
– that I am required to sign up for a third party website just to have an AVATAR? Really? That’s insane.
– I can no longer see my previous comments or know if anyone replied to them without manually searching the comments of posts I know I commented on. A time consuming experience that means I’ll spend LESS time here, not more (which I suspect is what some consultant pitched to you regarding driving “enduser time spent on the website” or some other bullshit tied to advertising and sponsorship rates).

You have objectively made the user experience worse, and want money for it?

No thanks. Love the content, love the most of the writers. But your end user business model is now worse than it it was before, and more frustrating than the site you came from. Do better.

Captain Avatar
Captain Avatar
1 year ago
Reply to  Captain Avatar

Also, I should be able to edit my comments for a short time after posting to correct errors.

Captain Avatar
Captain Avatar
1 year ago
Reply to  Captain Avatar

I also forgot to say that I would at least consider supporting it financially if the issues I mentioned were resolved.

Truecoat Extracharge
Truecoat Extracharge
1 year ago
Reply to  Captain Avatar

Well, golly, please do remember that the J-nik website was barely usable for many years, had major issues when Kinja went live, threw out everyone’s passwords at least once, etc., and never delivered on the promised benefits of the “Gold” membership. (The last one was a joke.)

Be kind to these guys. They’ve quit their jobs to build this community and they’ve done good things already. It will get better.

Truecoat Extracharge
Truecoat Extracharge
1 year ago

AND, you’re not wrong: Edit functionality would be very nice to have — I’m sure it’ll be here before long.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the community and the fun.

Otter
Otter
1 year ago
Reply to  Captain Avatar

You’re not wrong, but I can help you find your comments. Go to Google and enter:
site:theautopian.com “captain avatar”

Captain Avatar
Captain Avatar
1 year ago
Reply to  Otter

Cool. But a search function here in the site is what I want. But that’s a start, so thanks.

Chris Savino
Chris Savino
1 year ago

I didn’t see anything new here.

Douglas
Douglas
1 year ago

I’ll consider this after I allocate funds for my heated seat and glove box access subscriptions.

Dave Horchak
Dave Horchak
1 year ago

Hey any chance the autopian swag gets up to 3x long? I never understood how with American propensity towards obesity mens clothes size continues to be offered in small size only

toplessFC3Sman
toplessFC3Sman
1 year ago

I hate to keep saying this, but the members-only content like yesterday’s “Wrenching Wednesday” chat never worked for me despite being logged in.

John Boyd
John Boyd
1 year ago

A digital only membership for like 5$ a month would be great. I don’t necessarily need more swag, but wouldn’t mind supporting you guys.

Stephen Reed
Stephen Reed
1 year ago
Reply to  John Boyd

Honestly. Something in that range would be great. I love this site and want to help it grow but am also a poor college student.

Mantis Toboggan, MD
Mantis Toboggan, MD
1 year ago
Reply to  John Boyd

The Rubber Truck Floor

Dave Horchak
Dave Horchak
1 year ago

Rubber floor mat? Mud flap? Donut spare?

Mike VanDyke
Mike VanDyke
1 year ago

“A chance to be treated like a king by a bunch of car-loving dirtbags.” may be my favorite phrase on the internet today. Are old postal jeeps an accepted form of payment on this site?

Jblues
Jblues
1 year ago

Guys, you need to get the commenting upgrades in place immediately. Not a good look to “reward” people for signing up for paid memberships by downgrading the user experience. We currently have no way to view replies to our comments. Maybe give us a pinned article about when we can expect to be able to engage again?

No Kids, Just Bikes
No Kids, Just Bikes
1 year ago
Reply to  Jblues

I am noticing that as a non-member I can’t track my comments any more. That’s a real bummer.

Turbeaux
Turbeaux
1 year ago

If you come back and check your comment, just know members don’t have that ability either

Richard C
Richard C
1 year ago

I’m debating tiers and am a sucker for a grille badge. Any pictures of it to help me decide?

Alec Weinstein
Alec Weinstein
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard C

Also, the sticker! Watermark the hell out of it though.

Gotta see if my weirdish car won’t make the sticker look as tacky as the orange plaid Mustang II interior we all love here. This place has to pretend it has standards at LEAST through March, then we can get funkier with it.

Rykros the Disdainful
Rykros the Disdainful
1 year ago

Like a good pair of bikini-style underwear, I’ll support you (car) nuts

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