It might be considered a little unusual to write a blog post about other blog posts, but if you have ever met me in person you would probably say “unusual? yeah, makes sense”. If I were to list my favorite hobbies, reading and writing would finish right after racing and wrenching (alright, which one of you noticed the “r” and “w” pattern?). So, in the interest of driving web traffic to their sites without any return benefit, here is my list of Top 10 Auto Blogs I read each week.
#10 Streetfire.net (tie)
Streetfire.net is the only blog on my list that is 100% user generated content. Part of the Car Domain Network that also includes honorable mention Autoholics, Streetfire is a place for people to upload videos about things that are car, truck and motorcycle related. The advantage is in the crowd-sourcing aspect – the idea that the many are smarter (or somehow better) than the individual. And it may be so as user-submitted gems include 25 Burnouts from the Summernats (one person commented burnouts just don’t look right when the driver is sitting on the wrong side – I personally like seeing unusual foreign cars do what American cars have been doing for years) and eating McDonald’s in an Ariel Atom. Think of it as car-porn for the masses.
I have to admit some full disclosure here – I know the author of this one. And I have a bit of bias as well as Ted Theodore is the keeper of the Chimney Rock Hillclimb archives (look closely and you will find a familiar name in there a time or two – even if it is misspelled once). The blog is wonderfully written, the stories are at various time helpful and other times entertaining (and on rare occasion – both), and I love the fact that Theodore concentrates on the people of racing. As the site claims “The people I met through cars and motorsports are the greatest people in the world.” I wholly concur.
What happens when three guys who love and live cars get together to upload their thoughts, musings and videos online? The Smoking Tire. You may know Matt Farah from his time on The Car Show with Adam Carolla, but don’t let that spoil your opinion of him. Along with friends Tom Morningstar, JF Musial and Daniel Volz they have taken the previous Garage 419 to new heights. How high? How about Formula One drivers doing imitations of Formula One cars? Or what about the least useful TV stand ever? Read their site at your own risk.
Among the list of tongue in cheek, and cheeky writers, some seriousness is necessary. And I get my serious news on technology from Autopia from Wired magazine. I like it because it covers technology on all things mobile, not just cars but aircraft and steam powered vehicles as well. Where else would you read about a solar electric Toyota 2000GT but here?. Or the LL Bean Bootmobile (can’t make this stuff up folks). I especially liked their review of the automobile at the CES show (look for their pictures of the Camaro “with a rear end like Kim Kardashian”)
Car and Driver is one of the great American car magazines (like Road and Track, Autoweek and Automobile) but their blog is top notch. One thing I have been preaching for years in the automotive supplier side of the business is that design of components matters. I go here because they seem to understand the importance of car design too. Proof is in their excellent 10 Best Design Details of 2012 article here. I agree with pretty much every one of them.
In my business it is important that I am up to date with all the latest models and releases from the car companies. I get some of my information as an “insider” (and always maintain confidentiality) but with so many companies I cannot be everywhere at once. So I use a couple of resources to keep up to date. Autoblog is one. And every now and then they throw a fun one in like this stretched Audi. Sacrilege!
Number two in my important blogs to read to get daily news about the auto industry is The Truth about Cars. It carries much the same news as Autoblog with a slightly different take. Like this post about women being distracting to men driving. Duh!
Jalopnik is my favorite daily industry news source, probably because I enjoy their twisted sense of humor. And here is an example so you can get a feel for what I am talking about. “Trying to get excited about brand specific models of modern NASCAR stock cars is a lot like trying to get an erection from a female Lego minifig.” Yep, me and Jalopnik – two peas in a pod.
Not all of my reading is reading. Like Satchel Page once said “Sometimes i sits and thinks and sometimes i just sits”. Sometimes I just like to look at pretty pictures and this is where I go. Full disclosure here too, I know the author (and some of you do too but I am not sure he wants his name known so i will leave it blank for now).
I may read other blogs for the latest news, but when I want to know what is really going on I read Autoextremist. OK, author Peter Delorenzo may not always know what is going on in the industry but he always offers a solution (or two). And I usually agree with him. Here is his opinion of the government’s involvement in the auto industry – and it ain’t pretty. Oh yeah – full disclosure – I kind of idolized his brother the racer when I was younger.
Finally, my favorite website. The only that makes me open a browser window every time I try to do work on my computer. BringaTrailer. What is it? Nothing but the best of the best of rare, unique and fun cars and projects that are for sale around the country. How could I not put the site in the number one position considering this post last year. Yes, I used to race against this car at Waterford (and hello to Cal and Keith – the former owners).
PS a big congrats to my friends at Ford who penned the latest Ford Fusion BASCAR racer – it is gorgeous!