For some reason I was feeling nostalgic about my automotive journalist career this morning. I started poking through some old video and photo content and came across a gem that we never published. But first, some more nostalgia.
Right Foot Down
I got into this line of work for the same reason I lot of us did, because I just love cars. I was putz’ing around with my own websites, wasting time on automotive forums over at Car & Driver and other places. I knew I wanted to write more often, luckily I had a long-time friend Josh Taylor that I used to race with who started a website called Right Foot Down (RFD). It was a small endeavor, I reached out and asked if I could submit some content. Josh said “sure dude, but I can’t pay you”. Whatever, I hopped in and 266 articles later, it’s still around, if left in a bit of disrepair. I mostly use it to give new writers a chance to contribute. So if anyone wants an RFD author account, let me know.
Anyway, my first article went up at 01/10/2014 at 12:05 pm EST, at least according to WordPress. I’m pretty sure there were a bunch of others that probably got lost in a data transfer. That article walked readers through the history of the Mazda Cosmo and how it helped kick off Mazda’s motorsports heritage. I put it on Oppositelock, a now defunct (and relocated) Jalopnik sub-site that many Hooniverse readers are likely familiar with. Patrick George bumped it to the front page and I had a great sense of purpose. I wanted to do this more.
I was out of town on a pretty epic road trip of Europe (on my own dime sadly) when Josh let me know that our request for press loaners finally came through. We had read Hardigree’s press loaner manifesto “The Truth About Press Cars” (which you can still read sans pics #thankskinja) and we said “why not us”. The first press loaner, a Mazda CX-5, went to Josh while I was still out of the country, but a 2016 Kia Sorento was waiting for me when I returned. I backed it into a freakin wall, but the photo and video content wasn’t terrible, and it was the start of more to come.
AutoTrader Dot Com Slash Oversteer
My “big break” came when I reached out to one Douglas DeMuro about contributing to a site called AutoTrader.com/Oversteer. My first request was rebuffed, they were full of writers. However, I kept in touch and in May of 2017 he reached out and asked if I would be interested in joining the Oversteer family. I wrote a ton of articles, including one on my first $100,000+ press loaner, the 2017 Cadillac CTS-V. Here’s the article, the video is below.
It’s not bad, but there was more that we didn’t publish. We tried a more “in your face” style review. Oh, and in a nice out-of-the-way space, we inflicted a little bit of tire torture on the big girl. Everything was very safe, but this being such an expensive car, we chickened out and never published it.
It’s a little NSFW (if people go to work still…) for language. I think I call Dominic Toretto a “pussy” and curse a couple of times. Here, check it out, it’s short and fun.
There’s more to this story, I’m also writing for The Drive, CarMax (no byline but they pay well) and some other places and would consider myself semi-successful at this point. But I consider my day-to-day home here at the Hooniverse, so thanks for indulging me in some nostalgia. I appreciate Jeff letting me writing whatever I want for the most part. And thanks for Kamil for being a good enough dude at that Gran Turismo Pro-Am thing that I wanted to write stuff here. More to come.
Get Out There and Hoon (and Write)!
This all came to be because I was just talking to someone on Twitter (while day drinking) about how they are subconscious on camera and it may affect their career. It’s natural, still affects me sometimes; though as an extrovert, I like being “out there”. So I post this unreleased video with a devil-may-care attitude in the hopes that others may want to do this as a profession. Also, Cadillac doesn’t give me press loaners anymore anyway…
Oh, and if you do get into this business, just don’t read your YouTube comments.
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