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The Autopian Is Live! And We Want Your Feedback

Autopian Introanim Optima

Welcome to The Autopian, the ultimate car-culture website run by two of your favorite former Jalopnik authors/dipshits, David Tracy and Jason Torchinsky! It’s been a long road for these two and their awesome business partner Beau Boeckmann, and there’s still a ton of work ahead. We’re all excited to see what you think of our new site, so welcome to launch day!

What you’ll see on our site (ours as in ours and YOURS) today is a lot of experimentation, with some classics mixed in. One of our main goals with The Autopian Powered by OPTIMA Batteries (That’s right, we got a launch sponsor!) is to bring true expertise directly to readers, so with this in mind, here’s a look at our rundown of Launch Day stories:

  • Why I Bought A Dilapidated Kangaroo-Hunting Ute Sight Unseen In The Middle Of Nowhere, Australia

    • One of the things I was known for at Jalopnik was my propensity to get into some really dumb automotive situations. This happened because of a blend between my inability to resist buying cool cars and my unwillingness to pay much money for said cars. In other words, I’m a cheap bastard with absolutely no self-control. Recently I’ve been spiraling down this strange path involving purchasing cars thousands of miles away from home. There was the diesel manual Chrysler minivan in Germany and there was the horribly rotted-out Willys FC-170 in Washington State. After the former led to that weird Koenigsegg bathing incident in 2020 and the latter led to trenchfoot in 2021, many wondered how I was going to one-up myself or if I’d survive. I don’t know the answer to the latter question, but to the former: Yes. I didn’t do it on purpose, but I think I may have somehow one-upped myself, because I bought a three-wheeled pile-of-trash Kangaroo hunting ute in the middle of Nowhere, Australia.

  • Saab Put Reverse Lights At The Front Of Their Cars And It’s Actually Brilliant

    • Jason Torchinsky is the uncontested king of lighting knowledge within the automotive media space. The guy has written more articles about taillights than, really anyone ever should. I’ve previously tried getting him to stop, but he won’t, and I have to say: I’m glad he’s so stubborn. Because this article here is fantastic. Who knew that Saab actually offered reverse lights at the front of the car! That’s completely absurd, and the world needed to know about it. Never stop flying your weird taillight flag, Torch!
  • How I Got My Navy Callsign By Shitting Myself In An F/A-18 Fighter Jet. Twice.

    • If you don’t have a total aversion to toilet humor, you need to set aside 10 minutes to read one of the most hilarious stories I’ve ever read. It’s about my friend Bobby, an F/A-18 Navy fighter pilot, shitting himself in his flight suit while flying a jet about the Arabian Gulf. Jason even drew a nice diagram of the aftermath:

      Image (5)

  • A Deep-Dive Into How China Started Building Bizarre Jeep Cherokee XJ Lookalikes

    • Tycho de Feijter is an amazing writer. Not only is he thorough in his copy, but he’s also a genuine expert on Chinese cars, having founded multiple Chinese car-focused websites. The Chinese car market is massive, and it’s leading the way in electromobility, so naturally The Autopian is keen to keep a close eye on what’s going on in the home of Geely, Great Wall Motors, BYD, SAIC, and — most importantly — Changli. This story about the dozens of vehicles that Chinese car manufacturers styled to look like Jeep Cherokee XJs is just amazing. There was a Cherokee van!
  • Murder By Flashing Amber Light: A Mack Hardigraw Car Mystery

    • Jason Torchinsky is a nutjob, but a brilliant one. An artist and comedian who just happened to find himself in the car journalism industry, Jason sometimes has a deep urge to write fiction. In his defense, too much car media is nonfiction, and that does get a bit boring. So, as he did at the other car website where he once worked, Torch is penning a murder-mystery series — this time it’s called Mack Hardigraw, and it involves taillight gangs. It is truly absurd.
  • Here’s Why Some Honda Navigation Systems Are Permanently Stuck in 2002

    • Thomas Hundal is an amazing kid. Well, technically he’s in his lower 20s, but since I’m now 30 YEARS OLD, I get to call him kid. Also, when I talk with him, all I can think about is this video below of him — at age 13 — talking about the Chevy Volt. This particular article is about weird car glitches — odometers that stop for weird reasons, incorrect calendars, strange check engine light issues related to vehicle mileage; it’s a fun story about bad software — and software is something that Thomas loves to geek out about. Jason and I see not just genuine passion in Thomas, but also solid writing and a good understanding of how cars work, so we’re pumped to continue working with him here at The Autopian.

 

 

Please comment on as many articles as possible; interact with the authors! We’d love your feedback on the site — not just on the Launch Day content and what you’d like to see more of going forward, but also on the user experience. (I myself plan to write more technical stories; I’ve been spending so much time building this site that I’ve been slacking. But fear not, the nerdery is coming. And luckily, I’ve got reinforcements like Huibert).

We’ve seen some bugs here and there (ex: If your login is giving you grief, try using your username instead of email to sign in) — issues with formatting and some problems with user profiles. We’re working to get those mended as quickly as possible, but as you see more, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We’re here to build the best car community on the internet, and that’s going to be an iterative process. We’re going to make changes to our site — we have plans to create a community forum, to vastly expand upon the capabilities of our commenting system (neither Jason nor I am content with where it currently sits), and to optimize the site’s usability.

Also an iterative process is hiring; we’re looking for full-time staffers. We’re especially keen on finding “dual threat” applicants — people who have a background in something other than writing. For me it was engineering, for Torch it was comedy/art. The two of us have found that our previous jobs have done more to help us become good journalists than our actual writing training has. That’s because journalism is all about perspective — seeing things in a particular way and asking the right questions. So if you or anyone you know loves cars, has an interesting background, and enjoys writing, let us know.

Please send feedback — technical and otherwise — to tips@autopian.com.

If you’d like to support us, you can buy some shirts from our store. Here’s a peek at the product:

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112 Responses

  1. I have a similar comment to one I saw on another thread. After I login, I can’t comment and returning to the article I wanted to comment on logs me out. Also, it would be better if we had the option of seeing the password we type in.

  2. So far everything’s great, except I can’t get into the account that I made back when the site was originally announced. I’ve tried the password reset link, but I’m not receiving the emails. Now I’m being told that I’ve reached my limit for reset emails and should contact support, but for the life of me I can’t find any kind of email address for a support team anywhere on the site. I’ve made this account under a different email address, but I’d prefer to have the original one back.

    Anyway, your password recovery system seems to be broken and there doesn’t appear to be a way to contact anyone about it, so that’s why I’m posting about it here.

  3. Series of articles suggestion: getting the next generations into cars and car culture. Raging at the dying of the light. We have a local 25+ year old cars show locally in a spot where kids hang out. They want to like these gorgeous, loud, smelly things but the world tells them that electric, self driving appliances are the future. Do not go gentle into that good night.

  4. I bet you’re already working on this, but I’d love to see more tools for keeping up with discussions here. A notification system would be nice, and even just making the comment counts on front page articles link straight to the comments would be a good feature.

    While I’m on the subject, I daresay that stuff like text formatting, image embedment, and an edit window would make the comment interface seem a lot more modern, though personally I’m an old fuddy-duddy who will happily do without such luxuries.

    Only other thing I’ll say is MORE CONTENT PLEASE! You’re doing great and I want to see more! Can’t wait. Keep it up!

  5. So there IS a whole weekend’s worth of reading here, but I’d still have advised that launching on a Friday and then not posting new content over the weekend (per non-racing Jalopnik practice) isn’t the best way to build momentum.

  6. Ok I thought of a suggestion… the reason there was so much buy-in at that other website was because of the comment section interaction. To see that buy-in here (or more!), we need to be able to upload pictures, gifs, etc. And track “likes” and responses and whatnot.

  7. Happy Days are here again! I just deleted a couple of old links on my favorites bar and added a new one! Looking forward to the new content provided by two of the best in the industry! Can’t wait to read the new teams other collaborators as well!

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