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The Autopian Is Live! And We Want Your Feedback

Autopian Introanim Optima
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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:

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  • 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.

 

 

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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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Tom Jennings
Tom Jennings
2 years ago

Yeah this is great, and I’m glad to know what day the 32nd is.

I’m gonna write you a story on a tie rod end application from 60, 70 years ago, and it’s gonna be really long! And good! Those are the same thing right?

J Edgar
J Edgar
2 years ago

After reading all of the launch articles and hundreds of great comments, I’m thrilled with the site. I’ve read Jalopnik since the first year, and this feels like the long-past heyday of that site and community. I’m especially happy about the civility, enthusiasm, and quality of the comments. I hope it stays that way and that we all do our part to actively fight against the negativity and tribalism that I saw grow in the comments there over the years. Here’s to new beginnings and learning from the past!

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
2 years ago

Sooo happy to have you guys back! And it looks like you’ve found a solid bunch of contributors to help you out. Kudos on a great first day for the website and I look forward to getting caught up on all my Autopian reading this weekend! The Autopian Forever!

Brass_Nova
Brass_Nova
2 years ago

Yeah I just checked, and Google is showing results for “The Utopian” when I search for “The Autopian”, which will kind of undo your name strategy. Might want to talk to them.

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
2 years ago
Reply to  Brass_Nova

Although the Other Site referenced these two in their April Fool’s piece “Jalopnik extended warranty” saying that “outside experts” will be consulted regarding older Jeep repair issues and/or crash damage due to faulty turn signal design, which led to every other comment being an Autopian plug. 🙂

Brass_Nova
Brass_Nova
2 years ago

Hey, I noticed that The Autopian is no longer on the first page when I Google search. Might want to check if you got buried, look at hits and look for a sudden drop.

Long time reader, Jason, love your stuff!

Brass_Nova
Brass_Nova
2 years ago

Hey, I noticed that The Autopian is no longer on the first page when I Google search. Might want to check if you got buried, look at hits and look for a sudden drop.

Long time read, Jason, love your stuff!

provo_spain
provo_spain
2 years ago

So far just enjoying the general FUNCTIONALITY of the site on iOS compared to Jalopnik. I tap on Comments, it takes me to comments; I click on the YouTube link, the link works and plays in the frame; I want to zoom in on a picture, I do the pinchy-zoomy thing on the screen and it works instead of opening in a buggy picture frame viewer, etc. No autoplay videos or endless pop ups or cyclical page crashes that make the articles basically unreadable. Good first outing!

Space
Space
2 years ago

If there was some sort of sitemap for past articles that would be really helpful. Some way to sort articles by date.
That was my favorite way to find articles on the old site I could easily find links to articles for any day I missed without having to scroll through pictures or ads.

e30man
e30man
2 years ago

I love how you can like comments without being logged in!

e30man
e30man
2 years ago

All of this is amazing. I see this site as part of a sort of push towards better car content, led mainly by Hagerty and now this. So much better than the site-that-must-not-be-named. Sadly, The Drive doesn’t seem to be as much of a step up from Jalopnik as one would think given the talent on their roster. Too many sponsored “gear guides”.

The Ultracrepidarian
The Ultracrepidarian
2 years ago

Hi All! Now this looks great so far. It’s what I remember Jalopnik used to be before it got all corporate. Hope I can stay out of the Greys in here, then I’ll stay! Good luck and all that stuff!

Low Elco
Low Elco
2 years ago

Love the new place! The login keeps bugging me to add to my profile, then won’t let me open it. This is great, an automotive website staffed by people who actually like cars! A completely new concept! Great start, keep it up, guys.

Peter in the Bleachers
Peter in the Bleachers
2 years ago

First day and already my number one automotive site. Great work and good luck.

LamboLarz13
LamboLarz13
2 years ago

How about an EV inspired by 1930s art deco cars? I figure that since most of the key components of EVs can be packaged into a skateboard-style platform perhaps a new era of coachbuilt cars with individually styled bodies could be upon us.

AKBrian
AKBrian
2 years ago
Reply to  LamboLarz13

I’m absolutely here for an electrified Cord.

A Power Cord, if you will.

Perhaps a version with extra rear passenger legroom.

An… Extension Cord.

I APOLOGIZE FOR NOTHING

Whale-Tail
Whale-Tail
2 years ago

Glad you guys are back, and it’s good to see you have a sponsor, I imagine that’ll help keep the lights on and lord knows I (and everyone else) want the lights to stay on here

Rafael
Rafael
2 years ago

Welcome back to the Internet, gentleman. The place wasn’t the same without you.
I almost forgot that today was March 32, and I’m genuinely impressed that you guys made it on time (I know that was a daunting task!). It is almost March 33 where I live (hi from the future!), but I hope I’ll have time to properly peruse the site tomorrow.

AlienProbe
AlienProbe
2 years ago

I feel like I have been lost for years since the old Jalopnik days and now I am home again <3
I trust you have sent a love letter to Murilee Marting begging him to come write some amazing stuff? 😛

Bobby Read
Bobby Read
2 years ago

I’m a fan of the content and look! Why does it say my profile is looking a little empty with a sad emoji? How do I level up to “Wow, you’re profile is effing awesome!” with a smiling face emoji?

AlienProbe
AlienProbe
2 years ago
Reply to  Bobby Read

I noticed that too and clicked on “add” in the sentence. it allowed me to add some info and a website… didnt make the frown go away though… so maybe you need to add alot? Guess we’ll have to fiddle with it.

Chris with bad opinions
Chris with bad opinions
2 years ago

I haven’t read all the comments because I’m lazy. However, will there be notifications for when someone replies to one of your comments? Thanks.

JTG64
JTG64
2 years ago

So far am loving it, much more content than I was anticipating, but all the right tenor and tone.

I’m having a little trouble with the readability of the serif-y font being used, especially at its native size when wide paragraphs are presented to read.

Did you guys consider multiple fonts? Y’all do any heuristic testing? I bet we’d all happily be guinea pigs on some simple A B testing efforts…

Regardless of that Nit, I am glad you are back!

Eric Buckle
Eric Buckle
2 years ago

You are off to a fine start. Good selection of stories that are solidly written. I’m looking forward to more of the same!

Chris with bad opinions
Chris with bad opinions
2 years ago

Just wanted to say I’m thrilled to see the site live. Good luck moving forward!!

ReggieDunlop
ReggieDunlop
2 years ago

Just want to echo a few things others are saying; the content, thus far, has been exceptional at “feeling” the voice of the authors and site and am happy to have a new and improved corner of the internet to visit/let out automotive freak flags fly. I would also like to raise a hand as another that would be happy to a pay a subscription fee to keep things “reader friendly”, am looking forward to updates to comments and content portals for readers to share, interact, and grow the community (such as image posting in comments, a reader submission page/portal, dark mode).

I hope David is feeling better, and isn’t passing on his ‘Rona to the ducks in his yard.

70DodgeDart
70DodgeDart
2 years ago

Love the new site! Articles have been amazing and love the diversity of contributors.

D-Dog
D-Dog
2 years ago

This is super exciting. Great content and a great team of writers! Looking forward to seeing how weird Torch really is when he doesn’t need to run his stories past the suits (now he IS the suit – heaven help us!)

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