VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner
1 - 20 of 64 Posts

·
Registered
1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
Joined
·
32,229 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a little more than 3 years of writing about cars at CNET I recently went freelance, which is pretty exciting, but I'm trying not to really work until after the new year. I've got a lot of free time on my hands until then so obviously I have logged back into TCL. I've driven a large majority of the new cars on sale as well as some upcoming models, had some amazing ridealongs on track and on the road, interviewed lots of executives and designers and gotten some interesting behind-the-scenes looks at a bunch of different brands. And for everything I haven't personally experienced, I've probably got a strong opinion on it. I thought I'd make an AMA style thread for y'all to ask me whatever questions you have about cars I may have driven, where the industry is headed or anything else you're curious about.

Pics for clicks (if that's still a thing) of the wildest car I drove all year and the coolest thing I've gotten to be a passenger in.


 

·
Registered
2018 VW GSW, 2023 BRZ 6MT
Joined
·
4,676 Posts
Mercedes C111, holey macaronis. What did the wankel sound like in that?
 

·
Registered
1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
Joined
·
32,229 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If I link to my own older stories don't yell at me for being self-indulgent or promoing myself, it's not like it matters to me if they clicks or not anymore.

Favorite car you've gotten to drive, and why?
In terms of new cars and not including the G-wagen, because that's in a category of its own in my brain, without any hesitation my answer is the Hyundai Kona N. I think if what you want is a car that's fun to drive above all else, there's nothing else like it. But including older cars, too, I've gotta say this 300SL that I drove last summer. Just truly perfect. (The Pagoda was great too.)



Mercedes C111, holey macaronis. What did the wankel sound like in that?
This is the only drivable C111, and it's got an M116 V8 now. I got to ride in it for the Tour d'Elegance during Car Week this year, which is one of the coolest things I've ever done. For being an experimental prototype it's surprisingly well put together. Rides great, sounds incredible, looks spectacular. No air conditioning, tiny window openings and a racing harness did make it a little uncomfortable as the morning went on. Getting stuck in stop-and-go traffic didn't help, either.

Thoughts on The Rivian R1S?
I haven't driven an R1S yet, but I've driven my friend's R1T and have tooooons of passenger seat time in it. I think it's one of the most comprehensively excellent, well-thought-out cars to come out in the past, like, decade. It's so phenomenally good to drive and ride in, it has some extremely clever details and fantastic ergonomics, and its design is wonderful. Cool as the gear tunnel is on the R1T, the R1S would be my choice out of the two. I think it looks better, and it's obviously better for rear passengers. Plus I love any car with a split tailgate.

My only question I can think of is whether the car companies are listening about touch screens or are all future cars going to be nothing but?
I mean, they are listening, but to the actual customers. Touchscreens are hear to stay, especially for the near future, but both the hardware and software are rapidly evolving and improving. Voice recognition systems and fancy head-up displays will get better and more prominent, too. For what it's worth, the vast majority of touchscreen complaints that I see on TCL I either have never experienced or typically disagree with; I've got no issue with most controls moving to touchscreens as long as it's done well.

You should fix your own car.
Even if I didn't live in an apartment building and had a garage with space all to myself, why would I ever want to work on my own car myself?

Your take on the one-77 vs. Newer gen Aston's as a collectible.
I feel like people totally forgot about the One-77, which is too bad because I've always loved that car. I don't think Aston has really made a few-off car since that has the same level of specialness, except for the Valkyrie and the one-off Victor.
 

·
Registered
1994 E320, 2018 Golf SportWagen, 2020 Odyssey
Joined
·
1,897 Posts
Even if I didn't live in an apartment building and had a garage with space all to myself, why would I ever want to work on my own car myself?
I’m not the most mechanically inclined, but working on my 124 has been very simple, and it’s a great satisfying feeling to complete a job successfully.
 

·
Registered
The car so nice I bought it twice
Joined
·
2,104 Posts
If I link to my own older stories don't yell at me for being self-indulgent or promoing myself, it's not like it matters to me if they clicks or not anymore.



In terms of new cars and not including the G-wagen, because that's in a category of its own in my brain, without any hesitation my answer is the Hyundai Kona N. I think if what you want is a car that's fun to drive above all else, there's nothing else like it.
I do have to ask, what are you comparing it to? I haven't driven any new car other than the new BRZ, so I'm not arguing, but genuinely curious on how you landed on the Kona N vs the miata, brz, etc. I just read the review, so I have an idea, but not the whole story


Even if I didn't live in an apartment building and had a garage with space all to myself, why would I ever want to work on my own car myself?
Because it's satisfying and mentally engaging, like a puzzle you can drive
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,114 Posts
Even if I didn't live in an apartment building and had a garage with space all to myself, why would I ever want to work on my own car myself?
I feel like you just stabbed me in my heart.
 

·
Registered
Model 3P, 981 Boxster S
Joined
·
4,775 Posts
Without probing too much, how does one get paid writing about cars? Is it per article kind of thing? Enough to live well on? I'm friendly with an auto writer but he's much older than me. I just not familiar with the economics of it. Is it worth it to also add a Youtube Channel to your output?
 

·
Registered
1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
Joined
·
32,229 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A food critic who can't boil an egg?
Do movie critics need to be filmmakers?

I’m not the most mechanically inclined, but working on my 124 has been very simple, and it’s a great satisfying feeling to complete a job successfully.
Because it's satisfying and mentally engaging, like a puzzle you can drive
I did some of my own work on my old 300TD, Miata and 940 Turbo, including a full replacement of the suspension on the Volvo. Sure, it was satisfying when I was done, but only because I was finally done. When I've done my own work I'm usually just worried that I ****ed something up, and with those cars I had the benefit of C/D's heated garage with a lift and every tool you could hope for, too. It's just not something I get any enjoyment out of. I don't even enjoy hand washing my car.

Do have any noteworthy info on Macan EV or Q6 e-tron? Thanks in advance.
Nothing beyond what has been recently announced. A lot of new info just recently came out about the Macan EV: Porsche Divulges Details on 2024 Macan EV and Its PPE Platform

I do have to ask, what are you comparing it to? I haven't driven any new car other than the new BRZ, so I'm not arguing, but genuinely curious on how you landed on the Kona N vs the miata, brz, etc. I just read the review, so I have an idea, but not the whole story
I'm comparing it against everything. Driving that car brought me so much joy, I constantly miss it. It's objectively not the best car in its class or price range, but it's the most fun and lovable, to me.

What does funemployed mean?
You're having a fun time working? or a fun time not working?
Fun time not working, though I have done a bunch of cool stories recently, some of which I can't talk about yet.

Waw, those are some cars. What is the biggest penalty box car you've driven...that you actually liked driving?
I don't think there are any truly terrible cars on sale anymore, at least nothing worth being called a penalty box. Except for maybe the Ford EcoSport. I did have a Chevy Spark a few years ago that was pretty fun to whip around on ****ty Michigan roads.

Without probing too much, how does one get paid writing about cars? Is it per article kind of thing? Enough to live well on? I'm friendly with an auto writer but he's much older than me. I just not familiar with the economics of it. Is it worth it to also add a Youtube Channel to your output?
It depends on what you do and the job you have. At CNET (and at C/D before that) I was a full-time staffer, so I made a salary. As a freelancer some sites/publications pay on a per word basis, while others pay on a per article basis. A lot of the major places pay fairly well for salaried positions, but some don't -- the same goes for how they pay freelancers. I personally have absolutely no desire to do YouTube, but I know it can be really lucrative. As far as how I got into the biz, I was an art school dropout that just applied to C/D online. I got hired as an entry-level production assistant and got promoted quickly. Some people go to journalism school or have experience with some other form of writing, some people are engineers or marketing/PR professionals first. There's lots of ways to get into it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,723 Posts
Cool thread, always enjoyed your posts. Did your work require you to stop posting in forums?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
993 Posts
In terms of new cars and not including the G-wagen, because that's in a category of its own in my brain, without any hesitation my answer is the Hyundai Kona N. I think if what you want is a car that's fun to drive above all else, there's nothing else like it. But including older cars, too, I've gotta say this 300SL that I drove last summer. Just truly perfect. (The Pagoda was great too.)
Interesting...

I currently own an Elantra N w/MT. Fun car to drive in N mode.

I'm planning to sell it and get into a '22/'23 CT4V Blackwing w/MT. Don't know if you've had an opportunity to get seat time in the BW...

Worth the swap? Appreciate your thoughts.
 
1 - 20 of 64 Posts
Top