We’ve dropped a lot of great car blogs in 2021 here at Car Autance. This was the site’s first year of operation under the current management (me) and our dedicated team of editorial contributors (Kevin Williams, Peter Nelson, Chris Rosales, and featuring Tony Markovich) and I hope you’ve enjoyed some of what you’ve seen on our site so far. It’s been a pleasure coming up with a diverse range of car stories to entertain you with; here are the writing team’s faves for you to enjoy.
I didn’t get to write as much as I wanted to this year myself — turns out running a site takes a lot of time — but I did enjoy sharing my new-to-me eighth-gen Honda Civic Si project which you can read about here.
Otherwise, here’s what the crew wanted to highlight of theirs.
I thrive on controversy, and at the heart of it all, I kind of enjoy when people in power are mad at me. The Mary Kay story is textbook “I’m pissing you all off”; it garnered a metric crapton of attention of car folks, and non car folks alike. From what I gather, Mary Kay added an entire section about the Career Car program after my correspondence with them. My comments and emails were full of MLM hunbots trying to split hairs, insisting I was wrong. Fun to write, fun to research, and I hope informed a lot of people.
Tearing apart my $1,500 Abarth to make it livable was fun, and yes, I did try most of the suggested remedies in the comments. Seats-out car details are so satisfying to do, and from what I’ve been told by you, the reader, satisfying to read, too. Unfortunately, I’m probably going to have to craft a follow up for 2022, because, spoiler alert: the smell came back.
I like talking to people (if you can’t tell). I mean, I love talking about my own stories, but really, I tire of talking about my own exploits all the time. What else are folks doing? What else is out there to do, and see, and read about? Mr. Brosten’s collection is special; it’s as if Weird Car Twitter existed in 1988. His warehouses full of weird stuff awaiting restoration, is more interesting to me than some rich guy in SoCal with a garage full of slant-nose Porsches.
Sim racing, and video games in general, have been my strongest vector into becoming the car person I am today. To get deep for a moment, I’ve spent a good chunk of my life watching the gaming hobby get treated like a strange fringe activity done by weirdos and geeks. That includes sim racing. To finally see and write about a major milestone in the Mercedes-AMG F1 team partnering with iRacing on an exclusive F1 car felt like a moment to remember. I always wanted these subjects to be treated with respect and I got to do it myself.
I don’t think many car journalists would admit this but I haven’t driven everything on earth. Nor am I the greatest driver to grace this planet since Walther T. Obbles, Senior Editor at Driving Fast magazine. Nor do I want to be a “Car Man” and endlessly wax lyrical about how great I am at driving fast things. The chance I got to drive my friend Misha’s GT3 Touring challenged everything I knew about cars, and it felt like I finally turned a corner in my knowledge about cars.
I’m on the same journey you are, reader. Driving this car was one of the highlights of my year.
I am sharing this one with my colleague, Peter, because I am so proud of how this one came together. Though the planning was minimal and the time we had even less so, Mark Arnold (our steely-eyed editor and shooter) put a remarkably decent video together. It is the start to many more and I can guarantee you that we have more things planned for 2022. We are coming out swinging.
This was one of the most fun weeks I had all year. Land Rover flew me out to the beautiful Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina to participate in the Land Rover Trophy competition in a journalistic capacity. Not only was the competition lots of fun, but it was also brilliant hangin’ with the other journalists in the mix, especially my teammate Jeff Aronson. As well as the instructors, some of whom were fellow Discovery 1 owners. It was also nice to have a fairly relaxed schedule -normally, press events are short and stressful, but because of how the flights worked, I was flown out a bit early. This meant I didn’t have to survive on little sleep and lots of activity, and was able to get some other Car Autance blogs in from the road. I’m also immensely proud of how the story and video turned out, both of which my editor Andrew Collins and I worked our asses off on.
This blog was a lot of fun to type out as the research part was genuinely interesting and people seemed to really dig it overall. I’m always stoked to shed a light, wistful tear for early 2000s tuner culture, and it’s neat that many other people are, too. I blabber all the time about picking up some kind of sport compact from this era, especially of the Mazda or Honda variety. I really need to put my money where my mouth is and do it. To briefly channel another blog, I’d absolutely love a Mazdaspeed Protege or Protege MP3.
We’re sharing this one again so the video can be embedded! This was a grand time. I’m still in awe that we were able to come up with such a fun video with so little planning, which is a testament to our team’s hard work, including our shooter/editor Mark Arnold. We just jumped into it with a lot of determination, creativity, and enthusiasm, and spent a day filming two very fun cars. Rest assured, though, the next video like this we do will be even better, probably solely based on the fact that we’ll have a lot more planning done ahead of time, haha.
In today’s climate crisis, everybody needs to be thinking about how everything can be reused or recycled. DIYers have been doing this for years by using random containers to store nuts, bolts, and car parts. Coffee cans are the perfect garage storage item.
The only person your car needs to impress is you. If you’re happy, then all is good. That’s exactly why super-cheap DIY fixes are perfectly fine, and we encourage everybody to save a buck when they can. Instead of buying real touch-up paint to fix some scratches on my RSX, I used a metallic Sharpie. Within a few seconds, the job was done.
Here’s to even more automotive adventures in 2022!