I've been flattered and charmed by the response I received over the years to my April Fools gags. It has been fun writing them and seeing who, each year, falls for the www.looflirpa.it link. However, I need to call an end to the fun tradition due to a new professional commitment. Some of you may have read the announcement posted yesterday to Jalopnik that Ray Wert has left the site following its acquisition by the Huffington Post. Well, I'm proud to say that starting next week I'm going to be stepping in as Editor-in-Chief of Jalopnik. I've been freelancing under a pseudonym for a few years and am excited to step out from behind the mask of anonymity.
Currently posted to Jalopnik is a snarky post with a mashup of Huffington Post's AutoBlog logo melded with the Jalopnik logo. The post implies Jalopnik is going away. This is not the case at all, Jalopnik will continue and is going to get even better. Not to worry, AutoBlog will continue informing the world about the exciting new shades of silver and beige available on the new Camry and Accord. Jalopnik will not. Huffington Post is freeing Jalopnik to be strictly an enthusiast site.
Jalopnik is rolling up its sleeves and baring it knuckles. We won't post any reviews of new crossover SUVs or the next Chrysler Sebring. You can probably tell I'm not heartbroken by this. Jalopnik will be where enthusiasts find reviews of new Porsches, Ferraris, and enthusiast cars like the Fiat 500 Abarth or Focus ST. We're going to differentiate Jalopnik reviews from the rest of the pack by actually reviewing the performance of the press fleet cars by throwing sets of Hoosiers on them and entering them in SCCA Divisionals, National Tours, ProSolos, or even track days.
We are not likely be invited to the luxurious PR flack controlled product intros where the manufacturers shower high end experiences on auto writers in exchange for favorable reviews. My integrity is worth more than a trip to a French chateau with a group of folks who say positive things about crap cars. We will call BS on the car companies that deserve it (plastic cladding and oversize wheels do not a sport package make) and laud the few companies that deserve it.
Jalopnik will be participating in events, not just watching and reporting. An example is an adventure we're taking this summer. I'm going to enter a 24 Hours of LeMons car in the Targa Newfoundland. That's right, Pujo!, the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys' Peugeot 505 turbo is going to run an international tarmac rally. The right seat is currently open... (I'm driving). If you can read pace notes, or can learn by September, and want to join us in Newfoundland, drop me a line.
We're also going to feature, in Huffington Post tradition, user submitted content. Are you not seeing content on the web you want? Here's your chance, send me your ideas or even your articles. If it's good, we'll publish it.
I'm not allowed to post anything to Jalopnik until Monday, when the transfer from Gawker to Huffington Post is finalized. I want to hit the ground running. Please send me any ideas you have, even if it's the location of Abe's milk producing goat.
-Bret "a LeMons Monkey in Arianna's Court" Dodson