The Autopian’s Writers Would Love To Chat With You. Right Now.


David and I realized it’s been a big, wet minute since we all just took a moment to check in and, you know, chat, see how you’re feeling, what you’re liking, what you’re frustrated by, all that. So let’s take care of that right now, why not, with a little Autopian Reader Chat! We have a little window of time here before we have to record our podcast – did I mention we’re starting one of those? Well, we are. But we’ll announce it more formally soon, but you know I can’t keep secrets from you, baby.

Just to let you know we are listening to some stuff, I can say that we are working with our tech team to try and improve the experience here; we’re looking into speeding up loading times, getting a way to edit comments, add pictures, and more. I don’t have a clear timeline just yet for those, but things are happening, and I want to thank everyone for being patient with our tech issues as we try to win an auction for that 16K RAM expansion module that should really speed everything up, finally.

More importantly, we just want to know how you’re feeling about the stories, the pace of content, what you’d like to see more of, future dreams and aspirations, keto-friendly microwave recipes, hot stock tips, erotic dreams, your current project car achievements, tools you can’t find, and whatever else you want to tell us.

So, have at it! We’ll all try and chime in!

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279 Responses

  1. Holy crap, a functioning comments section interface! Already off to an excellent start. See you never, Kinja.

    I’m so happy to see you guys get to start your own thing. Look forward to watching the site grow. This looks like all the best of Jalop, with the drama trimmed out, and ya’ll’s own spin on it!

  2. So far i’m happy. It’s the best of Jalopnik (various car content) but without the drama, biased political stories, millenial hipsters throwing tantrums or trying ro save the planet, etc.. All good stuff.

    1. I am glad some of my favorite writers started a new site, but miss Raph and others, of course. What I don’t miss is all the ad pop-ups that eventually made the site unreadable. But I liked the attempts at a big tent of that other site, of including other car perspectives, some politics, of taillights and stuff other than supercars, mods, muscle cars, and dude bros, and I think you’re bringing that too.

  3. I’m enjoying the site. It is my go to site for entertainment. I can understand adding advertisements to pay the staff or adding more merchandise. I would enjoy more articles including cars or trucks and travel. Have Jason drive through rural VA or rural NC and tell of the adventures.

  4. Love the site guys, but when I use Safari I have a hell of a time getting the images to show up. I have to refresh multiple times. Seems to work ok in Chrome. Could be an issue with my browser (I’ve cleared the cache/history), or could be a site optimization issue. Just wanted to let you know. Keep up the good work! Count me as another one who doesn’t bother with the old site anymore. It’s all here!

    1. Web guy here, I manage about 35 sites. The site is really slow, yes, and a big reason is that many of the photos and images are PNGs, which are usually WAY bigger, in terms of file size, than the equivalent JPG. Or better still, WebP. The images that are in JPG format are also way too big in terms of file size.

      The image at the top of this story is a PNG and is 840 KB. It could be made JPG/WebP and look exactly the same, and be about 120 KB.

      This one is JPG and is about 1 MB and would look the same at about 150 KB:

  5. Is this site running on some leftover geocities server? Clicking on a link takes so long to have the article come up that DT has bought a new rust heap jeep by the time the article actually comes up.

  6. You guys have nailed it with this site. I find your posts interesting and have found myself enjoying articles on topics that I didn’t expect. I especially enjoy your insights into non US models. When in doubt I come here and am entertained while learning new things.

  7. I have become addicted to this site. Check the weather, check the bank account, log into Jalopnik. Drink 2 cups of coffee. Golly, it’s 11 AM already.

    The only thing I would mention is to 2nd or 3rd what others have said. Give me a way to give you money! I already buy Optimus so that angle is covered.

    I really am looking to how California works out for David. I spent some very formative years in CA, courtesy of the USMC, and grew to love the place. Sadly, economics keep me tied to Southeast Kansas.

    Oh and one other thing. Thank god for the lack of snarkiness in the reader’s replies.

  8. Just wanted to offer words of support. You guys are smashing it, great selection of talented writers and a surprisingly consistent style (both editing and visual) across the site out of the gate. There are a handful of areas for change/improvement but the rest of the comments here have mentioned them already, and to be honest if you addressed none of them, I’d still turn up every day for a read and a smile. Amazing work, and it has inspired me to push forward with some of my personal goals too. Keep it up, and look after yourselves too.

  9. Really enjoying the offbeat nature of so many of the stories here.

    One question – why can’t I leave a comment on various articles as the Leave a Reply box doesn’t appear all the time. Is it only available for a limited time when a story is posted?

  10. Love the site so far.

    I had expected that I’d find a few diversions here but mainly stick around at the *ahem* other site, where more was going on.

    Then I saw how much great stuff was being pumped out here daily and thought I’d just visit The Before Place for one particular long-standing series (the last remnant of what that place used to be IMO).

    And now, when I fire up Safari to get lost in entertaining car stuff, this is the place I always end up. And for the last couple of weeks at least, The Before Place doesn’t figure into things at all. So I reckon you have a shot at that goal David mentioned in his reply to someone else earlier…

    To some degree I would like to see the comments sections grow into more of the full-on madness they can be at TBP, but if they stay smaller and well-informed (I speak as a total mechanical philistine but can appreciate those who are in the know) without the mudslinging that happens elsewhere, that’s a good way for things to go.

    As someone else said above I only worry that this is a lot of in-depth content to support with one sponsorship and no other ads to speak of yet. Would be good to have a reader-supported option (maybe tied to the podcast) especially for those of us for whom US market products and services are not relevant.

    1. I’m replying to samfinnz because for some reason I can’t do a direct reply to the article. (Hi samfinnz!)

      Except for this posting snafu, I’ve loved the site and the content… so far it’s been a good balance of weird, technical, experience, and reporting. I honestly don’t want to come here for all the latest industry news… there are plenty of places to do that. But I love the off-skew take on auto culture and all things automotive that you guys offer. You’ve become my first visit when the compu-station-machine fires up!

  11. Hi guys!

    The journey so far has been surprisingly smooth. This site is my second most visited after The Guardian (and only on account of the impeding Armageddon). I can only barely keep up with all the content, and while I ‘m not into every subject the site covers, I still read a bit of everything because I genuinely enjoy the writing of everyone here (and the comments as well).

    As for suggestions, maybe add a Patreon for those of us who want to toss a coin to our writers? I can’t think of anything else that isn’t already on the pipeline – edit button, formatting, notifications for replies, prizes for the most upvoted comment, prison terms for the most downvoted, gladiatorial combat to decide the winner of shitbox showdown – you know, the basics!

    Also, I’m happy to see that you rescued Mercedes from the old place. Of course, I harbour no ill will towards the orange site itself, we know the decay is sorely on the shoulders of management. Maybe once they run it to the ground you can snag it for cheap and add all the past content to the Autopian 🙂

    Love you guys, wish I was in the same country so I could show up to one of the gatherings, and take care.

  12. I love the content, it’s getting better and more irreverent each week. Great.

    Put it this way, I’ve been on pistonheads for about 20 years and I rarely read the articles. You’ve been around for a fraction of a fraction of that and I’ve probably read more of your articles than my entire time on PH. I’ve not been on Jalopnik since Autopian started either. Keep it up!

  13. It would be a massive help if users would be notified of replies to their comments, assuming it hasn’t been mentioned already. Someone might reply to a comment many days after the article the comment was on has been removed from the front page, and unless the user searched for their own comments and clicked on them, they’d never find the reply.

  14. The Autopian came out of the gates with more pace than any car in Torch’s stable (even if we pretend they all ran right now) and has absolutely consumed any time that I used to spend over at, um, what’s that sites name again? Doesn’t matter.

    The approach to covering automotive culture, history and core technical information that you have all taken is absolutely wonderful. There’s too much nerdy car shit here for me to keep up with, I constantly find myself with a second tab open just for Googling more and more about the things being written about, and that’s not to say you don’t include enough information in the articles, they just make me hungry for more.

    On the side of the actual performance of the site, I’ve seen it all covered in other comments and I’m sure you guys have a wall full of grease and oil covered post-its with all those points on them that you’re planning to work through and the transparency of this and the staff and your willingness to just be humans who like cars is what really makes this place great.

    I’m going to throw one odd suggestion out into the wind though and that is that I’d love if the site could incorporate local time for articles/comments. I cannot for the life of me remember the timezone this site functions on and therefore when I wake up at 6am with all intention of getting into a conversation in the comments, I never know if everyone is sleeping or working or how long ago I missed the more active time frame for a comment thread.

  15. I’ve enjoyed how much of this thread has spun off into people just bullshitting and talking about their cars. Suggest opening something like this every Friday, where we can just have a free-for-all and talk about whatever automotive-related stuff is on our minds. It’s fun, there are a lot of cool gearheads here with good stories and/or info, and it would give us all something to do while the staff takes the weekend off! Might even be fertile ground for future articles.

  16. There, I did it. I read all 247 comments.
    Shout out to all the readers keeping it classy!
    I look forward to reading the comments after the articles as much as I look forward to new articles here.
    I’m pretty sure the only reason I own a smart phone now is for music, books, and the Autopian. It’s the only website in my browser history these days so..
    Good job.

  17. About the new-old TopGear (Jezza, Cap. Slow & Hamster) that they were my 3 favorite idiots. Now this was said in jest/with love b/c those 3 + Andy are what made the show….

    Likewise Since I’d been hearing / seen results from good & likable content creators fleeing JP (Will, Steph, Fancy Kristen, a certain Sweed, Mercedes and several others), FOR literally years, easily the past 5 years, when I’d read JP, BY FAR the best articles were you two lovable idiots (Torch + Tracey) And easily 1x per week I’d think to myself, “Why don’t these two idiots leave and start their own thing?

    I’m so happy that you Have broken out and started your own thing And bringing in a stable financial partner in Beau is a huge (business sustainable perspective) addition too!

    Suggestions (each is in a spirit of “if you haven’t already…”)?
    1. Stay agile and if you haven’t already leverage an Agile framework to help (like Scrum), to stay close to your team (or teams) and bring clarity to your vision and product(s) we get to enjoy. This includes opportunity for frequent and honest feedback like this.
    2. Figure out how to remain financially solvent, come up with some hypothesis’, run lean A / B experiments and see what works (and as importantly what doesn’t)
    3. Balance feedback for what idiots like me want with what You (Torch, Tracey, Beau + your team want)
    4. Have fun! 🙂

  18. I love the new site, despite 30-second page loads, and 5-day password recoveries(you’re supposed to write them down?). I like the fact you guys are paying more attention to content, then secondary stuff. Hey, remember porn started out with rope-start web pages(with a manual choke), and look where they are now.
    Mr. Tracy is going to end up in Psychotherapy when he finds out how expensive L.A. is, and that they out-lawed Iron Oxide there, long ago. He’ll be back to Michigan, but in the mean time you need a man in Detroit.

  19. A few recent comments on other articles are good candidates for a “flag as offensive/spam/something else” function. This site is big enough now, and has enough engagement to attract the spammers, scammers, and trolls… Growth is a mixed blessing, it seems.

    You all are doing an amazing job, and 99.8% of the comments section is value-adding, which still amazes me! When you are able to implement some kind of moderating or flagging system, it’ll just be icing on the cake.


  20. I’d like to see bigger, more useful reply-indent indicators. It sometime hard to figure out which level I’m at.

    Reply text should be bigger too.

    Could the replies be make more compact by putting the like button to the side?

  21. The appreciation for the content and suggested sure upgrades have been covered pretty well. How about reader supplied content? Plus side more free content, minus side, you would have to review and act as gatekeeper. I don’t know that I could commit to a full time gig, but like writing about this stuff, experiences, knowledge, car related funny stories. Guessing there are others out there as well. User engagement, Yay!

  22. I’ve loved the articles so far, like the poaching of writers from other sites, like the content, the engagement/community. I wish there was more articles so I could check the site periodically throughout the day and see new stuff, but I recognize that that’s certainly not feasible so soon in the site’s life and I’d certainly not want you guys to start doing outrage editorials out of fabricated reasoning like the other site devolved into over the last couple of years.

  23. I love what you guys and gals are doing and I’m very happy with the quality vs. quantity of content. I realize that a handful of really good articles per day is probably not the best way to make ad dollars, so I would be totally onboard with a Patreon to support the site.

    Otherwise it’s pretty much what everyone else said – edit button, notifications, yadda yadda. Keep up the good work!

  24. Only one small request… A few less poops jokes. From the morning dump to the shitbox showdown along with all the one-offs poop jokes… surely you editors can help punch up the comedy without a trip to the toilette each time.

  25. First, thank you for the site. As you can tell from these responses, your work is valued and appreciated. Yes, I’d cough-up a few bucks a month to support your efforts if you asked. Second, thank you to your readers for being smart, polite and (frequently) humorous. The responses/comments from your readers are frequently as insightful and intelligent as the work by the Autopian team. And finally: more taillights, please.

  26. I’m late to this party. Just got home from the mid west. I’m going out to acquire a mongoose, because I think that’s the next thing after snake. If this story has a title it is “In My Next Life I Shall Build Squirrel Toilets” it’s a real old house let your imagination wander. Not sure what comes after mongoose.

  27. I find the morning dump too small.
    Not enough reviews.
    I’m ok with the comment possibility now and the slow loading speed.
    The website only updates basically during the European night, so it feels like you don’t care about us too much.
    You’re not talking about F1 (Elizabeth is doing an interesting job on your previous website, you should hire her) or sports in general.

  28. Had a really fun (actually the opposite) adventure getting my Niro back from the shop.

    I get word it is ready to go a couple days after the expected date, which is fine. Delays happen, and a 2-3 business day delay is nothing. I go to pick it up, and the paint is good, all the pieces seem to be there, and everything seems fine. My ride leaves.
    I pay the deductible, take the key, and go to the car. It doesn’t unlock on approach or when I click the fob button. I take it back in, suspecting they need to program the fobs again or something. Turns out, they’ve managed to kill the battery. This is the PHEV and had 13 miles of electric range showing once they charged the battery a bit, which made me wonder why the aux battery saver (charges that battery off of the main traction battery) didn’t kick in, since it will kick in whenever I leave the car parked for more than two days.
    Guy has it running and walks away. I hop in and the dash has error messages for AEB and smart cruise. I go back in and tell him. He tells me the guy who needs to recalibrate those is gone for the day. Asks if I can leave the car. I tell him I can bring it back, but my ride is gone. I’ll bring it in after work the next day. That’ll only give the tech a half hour before his quitting time, but it should be pretty easy.
    The next day, I realize the remote start app can’t find my car. So I bring the car in and tell them that is another problem it has. They say they probably can’t fix that, but they can set up an appointment with a Kia dealership and ensure it is charged to my insurance. They take the car back to calibrate.
    After about 45 minutes, the tech asks if it’s alright for him to drive it a couple miles, because the easy calibration is not working and they need to do a different one. I tell him I want it to work, so please do. Eventually, he pulls the car up and I am told the problem: they just didn’t reconnect the sensors. I guess that is the same fuse as the modem, because my app can find my car again. I take another quick peek at the car. The front passenger fender looks a little funny. I take a closer look and things do not seem properly connected. Sure enough, they did not reattach that fender correctly. So that has me there another 10 minutes while they fix that.

    I feel like all of this could have been avoided with a pretty quick check of the vehicle. Someone moved it out of the repair bay with warning messages and ignored them. I think that disconnected or poorly connected wire drained the battery. The fender was a little less obvious, but I am not sure that it was wrong before the sensors were reconnected.

  29. The burning question on my mind isn’t why David dyed his clothes with oil. Its why he didn’t dye his driveway with old motor oil. Same principle, can’t see a drop when the entire thing is coated in it.

  30. Site is great and it’s one of my go to automotive sources.
    Would be cool if consider the following to make it even more great:

    – I know you guys (and probably a majority of your readership) are from the US, but I would appreciate more news and topics that are also relevant for people from Europe and other parts of the world (also, I noticed some of your contributors use metric as well as imperial units in the articles – much appreciated as it just makes it easier to read for SI followers)
    – pictures in comments
    – notifications in comments (replies)
    – faster/more optimized site engine – it’s pretty slow now
    – MEH CAR MONDAY NEEDS TO COME BACK. Seriously, that were the funniest write-ups ever.

  31. Absolutely love this place. I think the pace of content is getting pretty good, and you’ve built a solid team of contributors with varied interests and viewpoints. It’s exactly what I was hoping for.

    If you ever do a meet and greet in NC, let me know!

  32. Very happy. Proud of you all.
    I did see something I’d like explained- I was in rural New Mexico yesterday and I saw groups of three cars; One car, towing a car, towing a car. A car centipede. All the cars were wrecked. I saw it once, then another group, then another and another. It’s a thing! David could not have driven all of the various tow centipedes. So what gives?

    1. This is what we need. Good old fashioned back and forth over silly cars. Keeps engagement up.

      That aside, I think my only suggestion would be some form of motorsports coverage as time goes on.

      Also, keep bringing on the Lane Museum articles! Love to hear about all the weird stuff they have, I really loved the article about the Renault they “couldn’t drive”.

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