Thank you for reading The Autopian! If you’re seeing this text it means this content is for official members only. If you want to experience this automotive goodness, please consider supporting us by becoming a member. Thank you very much!
A peak behind the curtain is always appreciated.
Late on this, but yes these types of fancy events are interesting to me for some reason
Well, you lot are going to cream yourselves when you find out I just damaged a press loaner…..
…you okay? Hopefully the damage is just to the car and not too personally mortifying.
It was a heart sinking moment definitely, but nothing serious,
I love reading about this kind of stuff, keep it up please!
I like these articles and wouldn’t mind hearing more about the press junkets.
I suppose to me, the honesty/integrity scale goes: (1) Refuse all free stuff for an independent review (See also: YouTube Project Farm, but one can’t buy every car, so that means nothing to review); (2) Get free stuff, but be honest and air out all the dirty laundry; (3) accept anything/everything and try to hide it, while also loudly claiming independence (see also: Supreme Court).
I’ll be happy with level (2), and the fun stories along the way.
I love when they link to the stuff they wrote for Jalopnik. One, it shows that these guys have class and don’t fret about sending us to another site and two, it reminds us just how bad the other site is. There was literally an ad between (and sometimes in the middle of) every single paragraph. The Autopian is the superior site for sure!
Gotta cite your sources and references. It’s only fair, IMHO.
This is Good Autopian. Part of the reason why I signed up for a membership was to get a peek Behind The Curtain. I didn’t expect Adrian’s nipples and Torch’s torched finger to be behind that curtain, but that’s what I get for opening the bag labeled “DEAD DOVE DO NOT EAT”. Regardless, I’m 100% here for some members-only inside baseball.
Nobody expects my nipples, but here we are. Again.
Love this-How about a contest to take an Autopian member along on one of these?
Would a manufacturer allow it? Wouldn’t have to drive a car-prbably a liability issue, but might be fun.
Hah! Hmm… I don’t know how that would work but it’s a fun question.
Honestly, some of y’all are probably more knowledgeable and less terrifying behind the wheel than some of the more traditional invitees, haha.
It’s a great place to be but a horrible place to drive.
TBH I’m not sure it’s either of these.
Egads, how many industry types have I encouraged to make this horrific career mistake?! I guess it’s actually working out for Stephen better than it is for me, so good on him.
Sometimes it works out to be the last person to sign up and you either get your own car or get to ride with one of the PR handlers, which isn’t awful. I generally like the PR teams, too, FWIW. Sometimes I feel like I end up talking to them more than I do some of the other journos, but I know which one could (in theory) let me jump a 911 Dakar (and it’s probably none of them, let’s be real).
The strangest drive partner I had was a video journo who crawled around the car while I was driving to get a perfect shot. Kinda sketchy, but hey, I was a film major, so I get it. (Kinda.) I somehow avoid the real horror stories.
The best one was a Lemons buddy who also shares my love of fine brown liquors, so we both were QUITE STOKED that the chosen hotel had a decent whiskey selection in the lobby. Needless to say, he kindly took the first driving shift while I migrained it out of my system. That’s friendship, yo.
tl;dr—IDK, just let me jump a 911 Dakar. I don’t really care about any other cars right now. That’s all I want. 911 Dakar, sent hard.
This is fun. More please.
Agree with the rest, good article, be fun to see some more of this stuff.
I’m in the “more of these stories, please”, camp. Ever since I was a Car and Driver-reading kid, I’ve wondered about these automotive press get-togethers.
My middle name is Vicarious. Darn right I want to read about this stuff! Ooh, new screen name. James Vicarious Kirk.
Man, sometimes I miss junkets. When I was doing the tech junket circuit, sometimes the PR people would just go bonkers. Not “here, T-shirts and 256GB USB drives” bonkers (bear in mind, this was 10 years ago. So those things were not cheap.) Not “we put you up in the fancy hotel with a nightly wine tasting” bonkers. (Which they did – because Kimpton Hotels are way cheaper than you’d think.)
“Here, fly home with this $2,000 appliance, to keep, no strings attached (but we’d really appreciate an honest review)” bonkers. Remember, this was back when people actually gave a damn about honesty and integrity to some extent. Turned down a LOT of shops that wanted to just ship me a random thingy for a ‘review,’ just let them peek first.
But you guys definitely get way better food. Lunch was almost always premade cold sandwiches and breakfast was ‘you’re on your own, but we have juice.’ And nobody ever so much as gave me a rental HHR! … on second thought, that part definitely isn’t a negative.
I have been missing these types of articles. Funny, light hearted, a bit educational about a subject that doesnt require an engineering degree. Be nice to see one on a regular basis, maybe even intro to people in the industry at a cocktail party or sit next to at a bar. Maybe even intro to the staff what do they do when not working/writing about cars?
This is good. I like this. More of this, please.
Agree! More please.
Yes, agree. I especially like behind the scene stories. We can get the “final review” almost anywhere, but the kooky behind the scene stuff is gold Jerry. Gold!
What is with this site and shrimp? It’s starting to be a thing, like the number 47 recurring in Star Trek.
To answer your question, yes. I absolutely want to read about these things.
Autojournalists all joke about shrimp because, in general, it’s the one fancy thing you can find on literally any press trip.
Fun fact did you know shrimp are the only edible crustacean you can pose in the 69 position? But now with inflation you need to put them in the 96 position.
It’s fancy for people who don’t know fancy.
Like…junket lords. We’re talking about junket lords. THE big shrimpers.
See?? Where else would I get this exclusive, insider info?
What is with this site and shrimp?
No explanation. No point in looking for one either; it’s all part of the cosmic unconsciousness.
The top reason I can’t be an auto journalist is I can’t eat shrimp. Might not kill me, but will make me wish I was dead (intolerance as opposed to allergy).
I enjoy these kind of “how the sausage gets made” stories. Give us plebian readers a view into a world we might never see for ourselves. Thanks for sharing.
make this a paywalled post and name names!
I think it is paywalled. Right?
It’s a members-only post, yeah. I think Detroit-Lightning means an extra pay wall. Ya know, to keep all us reprobates here in the peanut gallery, I mean Cloth tier, from seeing the dirty laundry.
If I were a manufacturer inviting weird journalists to drive my brand new car, I wouldn’t call the event a junket. Behind the scenes stories are great, BTW.
I read this as “Between the scenes.” Kinda like it, even though I’m a oaf.
We got on just fine until I went to take a drink out of my water bottle only to find he had discarded his cigarette in there, which I then drank.
Oh, no! Having spent a lot of my life around smokers, I used to be very careful about any sort of open drink container, because this is a fear of mine. I’m sorry that happened, because that would be awful.
Shockingly, not the worst thing Torch has ingested, that we know about.
Matt is not Jason.
The quoted excerpt is from Torch’s editor’s note
The only thing worse I can think of are chewers. I couldn’t find the hand soap at a friend’s place once, but saw an open shampoo bottle. Whatever, that’d work. NOPE. That was the spit bottle, apparently. I’ve never vomited so quickly in my life.
I pretty much don’t drink anything in an opaque container around anyone who chews. The smell of their chew already makes me less likely to consume anything, so it’s not difficult to avoid drinking things I can’t see.
I inherited my office furniture at work from a guy who chewed. It didn’t take me long to figure out where he did his spitting.
early days as a groom, i inherited driving duties on a then 25 year-old topkick horse box with no AC and a mostly exposed foam bench seat. the groom for the prior five years had been a toothless, heavy-chewing, non-bathing, lazy bastard who preferred to nap in the cab than actually work. The box was heaven compared to the cab.