Lately I have been having some health issues that have delayed my writing for Chris on Cars. I expect to be back in the saddle soon, and appreciate everyone’s patience. So I thought it would be a great time to highlight some of the car sites that I am a fan of, and that I read almost every day. Sure, there are a ton of car sites out there, but these are unique. They offer the best of the web, and a thoroughly different perspective on all things automotive.
Just A Car Guy – Most auto sites offer the latest news, sprinkled with supercars that we can never afford. This site, written by Jesse, is one of my favorites. Just A Car Guy offers daily snippets from the web, as well as some great commentary. He travels more than anyone I know, looking for car shows, races, and events to give his readers a personal glimpse into all things cool. His own photos at shows are amazing, though he concedes his girlfriend’s are better. Jesse also scours the web for the most amazing photos from other sites, including everything from a Nazi turbine train, to forgotten cars like this week’s Bailey, to the coolest crazy auto stuff I’ve ever seen. He is a human web crawler and his links offer up a never ending list of great sites.
Just A Car Guy is more than a car site, it is a lesson in culture. His archives, some of which are posted here include everything…hood ornaments, car pin striping, Prius humor, hearses, motorcycles, belly tankers, tracked vehicles, hot rods, Ferrari, billboards, old photographs, schooners, and anything from aircraft to Zora Duntov. The sheer volume is amazing. This is why he is continually voted one of the top blogs on the web. If I were allowed only one site to read, this is the one.
But something else sets him apart from everyone else. When I started out, I sent out emails to every blog known to man. I asked for advice and for them to review my site. Only one person answered, and that was Jesse. He became a sort of mentor for me, and is still the only person I would ask or accept advice from. He told me my photos sucked, and that I was writing the same crap as everyone else. He said I should take my own photos, and credit the ones I found. He told me to write from the heart about stuff that interested me, and not to just regurgitate auto news. It wasn’t easy advice, but it was the best I ever got. Read this site…you won’t be able to stop.
Just A Car Gal – Not to be outdone, his girlfriend Tere has her own great blog called Just a Car Gal.blogspot.com. Again, this is a fantastic site, loaded with extraordinary photography and content. Check out her archive list…it includes everything you can think of. Right now she has the coolest video from 1945 VJ Day, that show some absolutely amazing cars, and right below it is an old T train from Boston that I remember riding on. Eclectic and cool are the best way to describe this blog.
The Breakdown Lane – This is a new blog that was started by a friend, Paul Stevens. He recently left the corporate world to start his own automobile appraisal business. He is a member of the International Vehicle Appraisers Network, and appraises everything from classic cars to motorcycles. More importantly, he has started The Breakdown Lane. The site is named after the local Massachusetts name for a road emergency shoulder . It includes a blog, which has some great articles about local events and museums, and a calendar.
The calendar is a collection of every car event in the area, and I check in every few days to see what is going on. It is a one-stop place to see all the car shows, cars and coffee events, and automotive related shows in southern Mass. Eventually, I expect him to increase the coverage to other areas, but for me, it is absolutely the best idea ever. Paul also has a flair for writing, and his blog highlights all the events he attends. It is still new, but the blog section should grow to be fantastic. He has a great love of cars, and a damn good knowledge of everything automotive…in spite of the fact that he is a Porsche fan. I recommend everyone check his site out, and then have your car appraised.
The Automotive Philosopher – Aaron Warren’s Blog . This one I am adding in because it is the best writing ever. All you have to do to become a believer is read his bio, as soon as I did, I was hooked. It describes everything I love about cars. Aaron is a connoisseur, a thinking man’s gearhead. He has the clearest, most intelligent perception of car design and automotive culture, and his writing is brilliant. Every post is amazing, every thought is perfect. Seriously, this guy should write books. Smart, witty and genuine, I love this blog.
You Are What You Drive – I received a request in my email inbox to check out a new site. Written by Bill, the site is called You Are What You Drive, and I think this one has potential. Bill didn’t seem too chatty in the emails, but he has a interesting take on all things cars. I like his idea to write about whatever interests him, and his perception on car design and styling is spot on. The site is new, so there isn’t a ton of posts, but I think it could be one of the more interesting blogs I have found this year. Surprisingly, I agree with a lot of his opinions, and hope he continues writing larger posts in the future. It is somewhat addictive, and I can’t wait to see what he writes next. You Are What You Drive is definitely a breath of fresh air in the auto blog world, and I expect it to become very popular. Read it, bookmark it, and watch this guy develop…he has a great eye for what’s interesting.
Article by Chris Raymond