We get lots of weird digitized mail here at the Autopian. Most of it is random press releases from companies that aren’t even in spaces tangentially related to cars. Seriously, we recently received a press release about how the napkin market is set to grow by billions of dollars in the next few years.
Look, we aren’t here to inform you about the economics of paper towels. We aren’t here to tell you how to take selfies, either. Oh yeah, that was indeed a real press release sent to my specific inbox. Is this really news?
Anyway, some people feel the strong desire to send us error-laden rants and even threats. Every week, right after the publishing of a Holy Grails, one of you sends me an email about how I do not belong in this industry. I’m sort of impressed with that reader’s determination.
I used to get tons of threats, too, especially after I published an article about how a YouTuber was somehow surprised that the authorities care when you leap a truck over protected waterways and film it for all to see. The YouTuber sent his fans after me, and for more than a week my Instagram was flooded with hate mail.
Somehow, none of these have been as baffling as the guy who seemingly threatened to kill David for saying that the AMC V8 sucks.
Some of you questioned if this surprisingly well-written letter was real, or if Jason or myself were pulling David’s leg. Today’s COTD winner is Factoryhack, who said:
Damn, you’re absolutely right. This unhinged weirdo defied the unhinged weirdo stereotype and actually wrote with clarity of purpose, coherent sentence structure, and mostly on point grammar.
I have a couple likely theories on this John guy’s background:
My first is he’s a curmudgeonly former AMC employee, likely an engineer, who spent some time working in product development and didn’t make the cut when Chrysler bought AMC in ’87. He was summarily told: “John, you’re an unhinged weirdo and Chrysler doesn’t need you as they already have a good supply of unhinged weirdos.” John’s never gotten over it some 35 years later. He’s probably working at the post office and collecting firearms.
My second theory is John is vice president of some local AMC owners club who proudly drives a pristine, museum quality, 1969 Ambassador wagon with the 360. It’s never given him a lick of trouble because he changes his oil monthly and uses a dental pick to detail the back his window cranks as part of his normal routine. He shamelessly wears a railroad engineer cap to car shows and his Ambassador is his only real friend, (who you’ve grievously insulted).
My third and final theory is Torch and Mercedes wrote it and are just effing with you and giggling about it right now.
Hopefully the real John is a harmless old fart who uses a a mobility chair to get out to the mailbox and mostly spends his days watching a lot of Andy Griffith episodes on the CW.
I assure you, Jason and I did not send that email. Jason would have sent something more bizarre, and I would never even joke about killing my boss. Besides, can I trust one of my Volkswagens to make it to California without conking out? My mother was surprised I even made it to David’s party under my own power. Ouch.
Thus, the identity of the AMC V8-loving man shall remain unknown. But it’s probably safe to guess that this guy has a room with a bunch of pictures of dead AMC V8s, some red string connecting them together, and David’s face right in the middle.
Have a great day, everyone!
[Editor’s Note: I’d like to give honorable mention to reader Canopysaurus , who wrote this gem:
You probably needn’t worry too much. If the writer is such a fan of the AMC 360, he likely drives a vehicle so equipped, in which case, he’ll never make it to California, much less Michigan.
I want to laugh at this whole thing but cant.It’s way too serious
This whole thing is just so weird!
If there’s something you don’t like or agree with, just stay away from it. Like Brussel sprouts 🙂
Don’t you DARE talk about Brussels sprouts that way! Also it is Brussels with an s!
Whaherjehadlkfdkasisnejfg!!!!!!! I love them so much that my entire identity is based around them. My wife left me because of my passion for the sprouts. If we ever meet, I am going to pelt you with raw sprouts until tears of regret stream down your face!
Just kidding, of course! 🙂
or am i???
don’t you dare love brussel sprouts!!! my entire family was killed by a brussel sprout!!!
just kidding, or am i??
Or like, more for you!
Hear that, Miata people? I still don’t like convertibles and you may have my share.
“I still don’t like convertibles”
I’ve come to the conclusion that, although exceptions obviously exist, love of convertibles is roughly inversely proportional to hair length.
Or number of weird spots that have had to be lasered off your face. That part of my rant was a self-fulfilling prophecy, apparently. Ouch.
HE’S GONNA WRITE AN ANGRY EMAIL AND HE DOESN’T CARE IF YOU DON’T READ IT.
a.k.a. Big Marina Energy
I don’t know if this is worse than a death threat but the first time I saw you on YouTube with the gang I thought you were head designer for Stelantis.
I’ll let you decide which is worse.
I suppose the presence of unhinged weirdos is a sign that Autopian has “made it”, and will be around for a while. Silver lining?
Yep. If there was no hate mail that means no one is paying attention.
He’s probably so upset because he’s currently stranded in his AMC-V8-powered vehicle and has been for some time, and refuses to accept his current situation, lashing out at someone who chooses to speak the truth.
Disagreeing with you on this one… the real COTD on that thread is from Nsane In The MembraNe who observed, “Joke’s on this guy, no one is a bigger threat to David Tracy than David Tracy”
Ha! Honestly, this could have been a multi-COTD with all of the great responses in that article.
We love you David… please wear PPE.
Regarding death threats and what not, let me just try and tip the scales in the right direction:
You people are doing the lord’s work, may you thrive longer than the internal combustion engine.
I believe in constructive criticism, but also in praise when it’s deserved!
I’m just waiting for a follow-up article on April 1st from David entitled: “The Ford 300 inline 6 is an unreliable boat anchor” we’ll see how many hateful comments and strongly worded emails he gets before people realize it’s a goof. Of course that might not be prudent seeing the crazy responses to technical criticism of a legitimately lackluster motor was.
Mercedes, I’m sorry to hear you get regular emails about your place in and value to the automotive enthusiast community. You’re great, keep doing what you’re doing. Maybe sell a few cars (or a bus!) one of these days, but keep on being yourself and route that reader’s emails straight to Junk Mail.
PS: Really, everyone focuses on all of David’s rustbuckets, but you have SO MANY VEHICLES! Once DT is living rust free SoCal life, we should talk about your collection…
Really, everyone focuses on all of David’s rustbuckets, but you have SO MANY VEHICLES! Once DT is living rust free SoCal life, we should talk about your collection…
Oh no, an intervention!!! Does it help to know that all of them run and drive and most of them have covered, climate-controlled parking? Ok, save for that little Yamaha with a tank of solid varnish that I haven’t quite figured out how to fix.
Yes, then you can make the argument that you’re a collector, perhaps even a connoisseur of a certain type of intelligent, miniscule German vehicles. Definitely NOT a rust covered hoarder.
If only the author of said email had been named Rusty. Then we’d have our answers
Canopysaurus was my vote
I recently got my Tetanus vaccine refreshed. I had read so many DT Rustbucket stories, I was worried I’d get Sympathetic Tetanus.
Thanks for the reminder, I’m about due for one!
As others have mentioned, the whole comment string was absolutely chock full of gems, mine being just one of many, amongst a bunch of truly funny and compelling stuff.
The encouraging thing for me is the comment sections are starting to take on some critical mass that will keep us all coming back for more. This right here is the secret sauce that ensures Autopian’s success (and ironically, about the only thing left that kept the “former site” somewhat compelling, long after it completely turned to shit.)
I should also mention the COTD was partially inspired by having received my personal share of death threats and bodily harm when I worked in “customer relations” at good old Chrysler.
I quickly learned there are seemingly intelligent, mostly normal appearing, people out there who absolutely lose their shit when something goes wrong in that involves their car.
I have stories that rival DT’s that I still think of today. They’re all kinds funny in hindsight, but definitely weren’t at the time.
Only thing I get heated about is the absolute cock snuggling love some people have over EVs … But I don’t lose my shit about it…. I just chuckle that they suck and I don’t and keep cruising in my cool Ice car.
What really drove John over the edge to ultimately send that letter is he found out the hard way that he cannot actually make $13,000 a day as per the comments.
If John Lasseter is to be believed, AMCs were among several brands to form an underground organised crime ring comprised solely of “lemons”. That’s the first place I would look for this radicalised V8 sympathiser.
Great picks for the comment(s) of the day! Thank you for what you all do. It’s a shame that any of you have to put up with harassing or threatening behavior, but it sadly seems to be par for the course with the internet. I’m glad to see you all seem to be approaching this with your characteristic sense of humor which this site is known for.