Gone Autos Podcast #1 transcript

Guest:
Aaron Severson, Writer and Creator of ateupwithmotor.com
Producer:
Todd Ruel
Release Date:
5/6/2011
Length:
27:40
Podcast link:
[Teaser]

(0:00:01) Aaron Severson: If you look at a car, then you get more of a sense of what it was like to be in that time.

[Music Open ]

(0:00:08) Todd Ruel: You’re listening to the very first Gone Autos Podcast. In this episode, what was society thinking when they made that car? No, really. What were their thoughts, fears, dreams and hopes when our favorite cars were designed, built and sold?

Our guest tells us, those are the questions he’s driven to answer when he writes car history. Aaron Severson is Ate Up With Motor. Next, on the Gone Autos Podcast.

[Music Ends]

(0:00:30) Ruel: But first, whenever you back the DeLorean out of the garage at 88 miles an hour while tuning the radio, you’re going to hear something like this.

(0:00:38) [1969 Pontiac radio commercial]

(0:00:57) Ruel: Welcome to the very first Gone Autos Podcast. I’m talking today with Aaron Severson, the writer and creator of the automotive history site, Ate Up With Motor.

Aaron, congratulations on being Guest Number One, and welcome to the Podcast.

(0:01:11) Severson: Thank you. I’m happy to be here.

(0:01:13) Ruel: OK. First, let’s start with the basics. What is Ate Up With Motor?

(0:01:18) Severson: Well, Ate Up With Motor is about, I would say, the how’s and why’s of classic cars. What I look to do with each of the cars that I talk about, is examine the context in which they were created.

What was the history and market like at the point when the car was conceived? What was the market like when it finally arrived? Who created it? You know, in so far as I can determine. And, when it appeared, was it a success or a failure and why?

And, what I’ve found is that, there are a lot of automotive history sources that fall into two categories. There’s one of the kind of generic overview, where an encyclopedia that will tell you, more or less, the 500-word version of what something is. And there are things that are very detailed with a lot of information for restorers that will tell you what instrument bezels you need for the 1964 versus 1965 model.

(0:02:10) Ruel: Right.

(0:02:11) Severson: But I found that there’s a fairly narrow range of material on, what to me, is the more interesting side, which is, what the sort of behind the scenes were, ya know. How things came to be and, uh, how they ended up.

(0:02:24) Ruel: OK. Briefly, tell me where does the name, Ate Up With Motor, come from?

(0:02:27) Severson: The, the phrase “Ate Up With” is a popular Southernism. I’m not a Southerner, but it’s an expression that always kind of amused me. I think the particular coinage of it, I first heard it as a quote often attributed to Darrell Waltrip. That, when he was racing, uh, Chevy Monte Carlos in the Late ‘70s, some sportscaster asked him to what he attributed his great success in his early season. And he just looked over at his car and said, “Well, I guess she’s just all ate up with motor.”

(0:02:56) Ruel: And so there you go, and the name stuck.

(0:02:58) Severson: Mm-hm.

(0:02:59) Ruel: OK. Now, you’ve sort of answered this, but I wonder if you can elaborate a little bit more. There, there are a lot of automotive history resources on the web and on the news stand. In your own words, what do you think makes Ate Up With Motor different?

(0:03:11) Severson: Well, I do a lot of homework, uh, in, in terms of trying to find different sources and put together pieces that sometimes are not, you know… The, the individual pieces obviously exist in other forms but not necessarily assembled into some kind of digestible fashion.

For example, in an article I did recently on the latter day Oldsmobile Toronado. It’s been mentioned in the past, in many places, that the Toronado was one of the first American cars in the ‘70s to have optional airbags. But very few of the sources wouldn’t even necessarily tell you when it was available, how much it cost and so forth.

So I did some research on that. I got GM to provide me a press illustration of the airbag system. Things like that.

First of all, trying to put the pieces together, including some things that are important factors in the history of a particular car that don’t necessarily come into play in, in a lot of histories.

(0:04:07) Ruel: OK. Well, now, you mentioned the Oldsmobile Toronado. Um, a, a great orphan. Um, how do you choose the subjects for your articles?

(0:04:15) Severson: Well, to some extent, and this becomes of… ‘Cause I get this question a lot from readers. I’ll get comments, uh, either on the Facebook page or people sending me email, asking me that. Sometimes it depends a lot on what I’ve spotted or had photos of recently. Because one of my, uh, personal bugbears in terms of this site, is finding appropriate photos.

I don’t take the casual view that I think a lot of people on the web do about image rights. And, so, I’m, I’m very particular about only using images that I’ve taken myself, that I have explicit permission to use either under, under a Creative Commons License or from getting permission from the photographer. Or that are clearly and distinctly in the public domain.

And, so, that can be kind of a limiting factor because there will be certain things that I would love to do an article about. But putting together photos on them becomes a big production.

(0:05:08) Ruel: Mm-hm. Mm-hmm.

(0:05:09) Severson: And, so, sometimes what will happen is, I sort of have a mental list at any given time of things that I’m considering doing. And then, if I run into one and am able to get some good set of pictures on it, then that gets moved to the top of the list.

(0:05:21) Ruel: OK. So, you’ve explained your priority for writing these articles. Or, at least, one of the priorities, which is a decent amount of visual support, I think. Tell me how you go through the process of creating an article for Ate Up With Motor.

In other words, you’ve internally green-lit, or green-lighted, an article. Now what?

(0:05:39) Severson: Well, the first is to put together information on… To put together a lot of background information. And I will usually start by going through the books and magazines that I have already to see what I have in that material that’s related to the subject. And then, start looking for other books or online resources that I can locate to fill in missing pieces.

What I usually do is, I’ll create a blank document and start listing notes, including making reference to where I found it. So I can sort that out later.

(0:06:09) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:06:10) Severson: As I start researching it, that will usually uncover other things that I’m not particularly clear about, or that I need to confirm. So, I’ll go and look into that. And so that document gradually grows bigger. With some of the articles I’ve done, it becomes quite ominous in size.

For the DeLorean article I did last summer on John DeLorean and the, the DeLorean Motor Company, that document ended up being something like 50 or 60 single space pages.

(0:06:35) Ruel: [laughs] Wow.

(0:06:36) Severson: And that…

(0:06:36) Ruel: That’s thick.

(0:06:37) Severson: Yeah. And that, and that wasn’t the text. That was just my notes on various things I’d gone through. In that particular one, I went through a lot of non-automotive news articles and newspaper clippings and so forth to sort out history of DeLorean’s legal problems in the ‘80s. That went well beyond just the technical parameters of the car, itself.

(0:06:56) Ruel: Hm. Once you separate the data, then, how much time is actually spent on the writing?

(0:07:00) Severson: Um, it kind of depends. Sometimes, as little as a couple of days. Usually, somewhere between 5 and 12 hours, depending on the complexity level of it.

(0:07:11) Ruel: Mm-hm. Mm-hm.

(0:07:11) Severson: ‘Cause sometimes what will happen is, I’ll start writing and then I’ll realize that there’s some point that I’m still really not clear on. That I have to go and do more digging on.

(0:07:19) [Music Bumper]

(0:07:31) Ruel: OK. So. Gone Autos focuses on orphan cars.

(0:07:34) Severson: Mm-hm.

(0:07:34) Ruel: Just like our predecessor, Torq-O, did. You’ve written a lot of orphan car articles these past several years. What can orphan car fans, who’ve never been there, find on your site?

(0:07:44) Severson: Well, what I really try and do is, I try not to presume too much knowledge of the background of the subject. I know this is something you and I have talked about before, the size and scope of some of the articles that I’ve done.

A personal criticism that I have of some automotive histories, especially if they’re very narrowly focused, is they tend to presume that you already know a lot about the history of the company and the context in which the particular model appear.

Which is fine, if you are already familiar with it. But if you’re not, leaves it feeling very amorphous and kind of mysterious.

To give an example, when I talked about the Hudson Jet last year. I went back and talked about some of Hudson’s previous efforts to do, kind of, a middle-market car. You know, to do something smaller and cheaper, which had paid off for them in a big way in the past. To try and set up a context of, OK, well here’s the car. We’ll talk about history of the actual car. But also have the larger context of, what did this mean for the company?

(0:08:42) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:08:43) Severson: … The company invested a lot of money in this, and they had very high hopes that it would get them out of a difficult situation. Why did they think that?

(0:08:50) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:08:50) Severson: … And what was the context in which that car emerged? And, so my hope is that the articles, because they’re fairly involved in terms of detail, will tell people who are interested in the subject a lot that they may not necessarily have known. Even if they are somewhat familiar with the particular car in a particular era of a company.

(0:09:10) Ruel: OK. Tell me about some of the specific orphan car articles that you’ve written. Um, a little bit of a laundry list would be helpful here so that somebody who, you know, maybe this catches their ear…

(0:09:21) Severson: Mm-hm.

(0:09:22) Ruel: …They go to your site.

(0:09:23) Severson: Let’s see. I’ve done a fair number of AMC articles at this point. I did the Gremlin and the Pacer early on. Did an article on the Matador. You know, the somewhat infamous Matador coupes in the ‘70s.

(0:09:34) Ruel: Oh yeah.

(0:09:35) Severson: Which was also occasioned by finding a lovely example of a ‘74 Matador coupe at a local auto show.

(0:09:41) Ruel: Yes.

(0:09:42) Severson: And I’ve done a whole series of articles on Packard. I did the One Twenty, which was their first move into the middle-market in Mid ‘30s. I did an article on their earlier efforts at doing a high-end V-12 cars, which is a very interesting story.

(0:09:58) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:09:58) Severson: Two broader survey articles about sort of tracing Packard’s decline and ultimate fall in the ‘40s and ‘50s. Of how they went from being, kind of, the top of the heat for American luxury brands.

(0:10:09) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:10:10) Severson: A fairly ignominious decline in the Late ’50s.
Let’s see. I did two of the best known Hudsons, the Step-Down cars…

(0:10:19) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:10:19) Severson: … Of the Late ‘40s and Early ‘50s.

(0:10:21) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:10:21) Severson: And the compact Hudson Jet.

(0:10:23) Ruel: Mm. Mm-hm.

(0:10:24) Severson: And let’s see. I did, uh, an extensive history of the DeLorean Motor Company. Which was…

(0:10:31) Ruel: Mm. Mm-hm.

(0:10:32) Severson: …Perhaps the most, uh, famous or infamous orphan car of the ‘80s, I think.

(0:10:38) Ruel: [laughs] No doubt. No doubt there. Any car that was, uh, a time machine. How could you not cover that? How could you not do an article on a time machine?

(0:10:46) Severson: And, and also if you’re of, of a particular age, John DeLorean’s name was on the front page of every newspaper and tabloid for, for a fairly extensive period in the Early ‘80s.

(0:10:56) Ruel: Yeah. So that and, uh, you know, a model wife and, you know, a rucksack of cocaine. So, yes, he was infamous for quite a while.

(0:11:04) Severson: And the, the conclusion that I ultimately came to in that story, to which some extent surprised me, was that even according to the British receiver, who orchestrated the bankruptcy of DeLorean Motors in the UK, came to the conclusion that DeLorean came remarkably close to building a company that would have been viable. At a kind of a… Not quite at the scale that he was hoping for. At least, not initially.
But if he had managed to weather another year or two into this sort of yuppie boom of the Mid ’80s…

(0:11:34) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:11:34) Severson: The company might well have lasted. Whether it would have survived the ’90s is a, is kind of open question. But he came very close. I think, I think closer than people necessarily realize.

(0:11:44) Ruel: Hm. Yeah. I… It, it, it is a heartbreaking story.

(0:11:48) Severson: Yeah. In the ’60s and Early ’70s, he went through a period where he was the automotive press’ favorite Detroit executive.

(0:11:55) Ruel: Mm-hm

(0:11:55) Severson: And I think that’s really because, if you looked at the average automotive writer or a fair percentage of the automotive readers, he had the life that they dreamed of.

(0:12:05) Ruel: Yeah. And I got to believe that a lot of people inside the automotive industry felt, for them, a wonderful sense of schadenfreude at watching him fail. Because he was envied within the automotive world and within GM. So, I don’t know, it makes it a lot more difficult to watch him fail.

So, so, DeLorean was great. I noticed a hole. Now, you tell me if I’m wrong on this. A hole in your, your coverage or your reportage. Um, DeSoto.

(0:12:33) Severson: Ah, yes.

(0:12:35) [Music Bumper]

(0:12:41) Ruel: Is DeSoto just a bland brand?

(0:12:44) Severson: Um. I don’t think so. There’s, there’s a number of areas of Chrysler brands. I actually had an Imperial fan send me an email on Friday, asking if that was really all I was going to write about the Imperial brand.

(0:12:56) Ruel: Mm. Mm-hm.

(0:12:57) Severson: And, there are a number of things like that. And actually I have some pictures of the Late ‘40s DeSoto that I got a couple of months back. It’s not on my short list of things to do but…

(0:13:08) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:13:09) Severson: …But I think there are still many aspects of Chrysler’s history, including some of Chrysler’s now defunct brands, that will be on the list at some point in the future.

(0:13:17) Ruel: Got ya. Now, when you contact car companies, which I believe you’ve done with at least Ford. When you contact them, do you find them easy to work with? Are their archives very accessible?

(0:13:28) Severson: With Ford, once I found the right people to talk to, that was very convenient. And GM’s historical archives has also been extremely helpful. The GM media archives.

It probably helps a little bit that when I get in touch with them and I’m looking for, sometimes fairly obscure things of, you know, styling models. Of cars that may or may not have made it.

(0:13:46) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:13:47) Severson: It’s helpful if I’m, to be able to say, “OK. Well do you have any pictures of the XP-825?” Which would probably be from about 1964. You know, ’cause obviously they have a vast, vast amount of material.

(0:13:59) Ruel: Mm-hm. Mm-hm. Do you find them to be experts at their own content? Or is it somebody just hired to work in the library for the summer?

(0:14:06) Severson: Um.

(0:14:07) Ruel: Um.

(0:14:08) Severson: You know, I don’t know. I, I haven’t had really a lot of personal contact with the archivist there. So I, I can’t really speak to that one way or the other.

(0:14:15) Ruel: OK.

(0:14:15) Severson: Like I said, I, I’m coming at it from the advantage that, when I go to them looking for stuff, I usually have fairly specific things that I’m looking for.

(0:14:24) Ruel: So I’m sure that’s helpful. You know, it’s, it’s like shopping at Best Buy and Home Depot.

(0:14:27) Severson: Yeah.

(0:14:28) Ruel: You know. You’re better served by those attendants when you know exactly what you’re looking for.

(0:14:32) Severson: Yeah.

(0:14:34) Ruel: OK. Let me ask you this. Now, you mentioned DeLorean. I think you’ve got a soft spot there. What are your, some of your favorite orphan brands and models?

(0:14:40) Severson: Well I think, you know, it’s sort of sad to realize that, at this point, both Oldsmobile and Pontiac have joined that list now.

(0:14:47) Ruel: Mm-hm. And Mercury and Plymouth.

(0:14:49) Severson: And Mercury and Plymouth as well. And, uh, I think Pontiac… It’s not necessarily that I have as much of a soft spot as, of Pontiac. But of all of the brands to end up an orphan, it’s in some ways, it seems the least likely.

(0:15:01) Ruel: Yeah. I agree.

(0:15:02) Severson: ‘Cause I think that the unfortunate thing about Mercury and Oldsmobile, for example, is just that over the years their identity and their position in the lineup became sort of hazy.

(0:15:12) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:15:13) Severson: And, which to a large extent, was ended up what happening to DeSoto as well. Where there was such an overlap between Dodge and DeSoto and the lower-end Chryslers.

(0:15:21) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:15:22) Severson: That’s usually a bad sign for a brand.

(0:15:24) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:15:25) Severson: If even it’s fans aren’t really, necessarily sure what it’s supposed to be.

(0:15:28) Ruel: Yes. Yes. That means you’ve done a bad job at differentiating for, in the case of our “Big Three,” decades. You know, decades of brand management or mismanagement, as far as I’m concerned.

(0:15:40) Severson: Yeah. And in some cases, the challenge with Mercury is at different times, you know, Ford had, had attempted different things with it. Which, either didn’t really work to the extent that they wanted. Or worked for awhile and then kind of lost steam.

(0:15:55) Ruel: Yeah. Agreed. OK. So back to your writing, here. What has been the single most challenging orphan car article that you’ve written so far? And why?

(0:16:04) Severson: Let’s see. At the risk of beating a dead horse, to some extent, it was kind of the DeLorean article.

(0:16:09) Ruel: OK.

(0:16:10) Severson: Partially because there’s so much going on beyond the automotive realm in terms of the back story of it.

(0:16:17) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:16:18) Severson: That article was the direct cause of me just, sort of, backing away from trying to do, like, a weekly or bi-weekly schedule.

(0:16:24) Ruel: Got ya.

(0:16:25) Severson: Because I, I just looked at the scope of it and it’s, like, I can not do this every week and still have other work, basically. So that one was really quite challenging.

It also becomes a delicate issue if you’re talking about legal matters, including, you know, DeLorean is deceased. But some of the other people involved in that case are not. And that becomes something where you have to be very careful, because I’m not looking to defame anyone. So.

(0:16:45) Ruel: Right. Right. OK. So let me ask you this. What do you love most about writing car histories? And what really stinks?

(0:16:52) Severson: What, what sticks, or what stings?

(0:16:56) Ruel: What stinks?

(0:16:56) Severson: Ah. OK. The thing that I like about it - and I think this, in a way, separates me a lot from a lot of car fans - is… The thing that most interests me about automotive history is that it becomes a lens or a window through which we can get a better perspective on different historical periods. ‘Cause I think cars are really interesting social phenomenon.

(0:17:19) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:17:20) Severson: Because they fall in this sort of fascinating, dividing line between durable goods, which have served different parameters, and still being designed and marketed like consumer products.

(0:17:32) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:17:33) Severson: They’re about the biggest and most expensive thing that can still count as a consumer product, I think.

(0:17:38) Ruel: Right.

(0:17:39) Severson: And so, because of that, looking at the cars in a particular era and looking at the history of cars of particular era, tells you an enormous amount about the priorities of that time. What its values were, what its obsessions were, what its fears and concerns were.

(0:17:55) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:17:56) Severson: And I think it’s very revealing of eras in ways that just a straight-up historical delineation of chronological lists of facts in a particular decade are not, necessarily.

(0:18:07) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:18:08) Severson: If you look at a car, you can tell a great deal about the manufacturing philosophy, the consumer psychology.

(0:18:16) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:18:17) Severson: You get more of a sense of what it was like to be in that time.

(0:18:21) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:18:22) Severson: And that, I think, is really quite interesting. And there are a number of different ways to do that. I mean, you can do the same kind of thing with looking at classic movies. But I think the cars are interesting, also, because they overlap both design trends…

(0:18:36) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:18:37) Severson: …And also technological developments. And, especially in the last four decades, increasingly, a sort of legal and social pressures, as well.

(0:18:46) Ruel: Right, right. And I think out of almost anything collectable, they inspire the most passion. I mean, after all, how many refrigerator conventions do you see? You know? I don’t see a lot of Crosley Shelvadors being celebrated and restored.

But there is a car show in every big parking lot, every summer weekend around the country. And so, cars. They’re deeply ingrained in our culture, and they’re the most passionate lust object that I can think of that’s manufactured. So…

(0:19:17) Severson: And I think the thing that’s most satisfying within that, is sometimes you find that the conventional wisdom about a particular subject. Not necessarily even about a particular car, but just about where it came from or what it was intended to be. The conventional wisdom is not necessarily so.

(0:19:36) Ruel: Mm-hm. Well that, I guess there’s a certain satisfaction in doing that detective work and discovering something new. Or something that is slightly revisionist in a way.

(0:19:46) Severson: Yeah. And I’m not a conspiracy theorist.

(0:19:48) Ruel: Right.

(0:19:49) Severson: I’m not looking to reveal the hidden lizards behind all of these things.

(0:19:52) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:19:53) Severson: But sometimes I, I want to interject… It’s also a reason why I go back to these articles, is I find new information.

(0:19:58) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:19:59) Severson: And I, I make a lot of corrections.

(0:20:01) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:20:02) Severson: And if I think it’s merited, sometimes I’ve actually gone through and redone an article, almost from scratch.

(0:20:06) Ruel: Wow.

(0:20:07) Severson: And because I try to be as explicit as I can about where my information comes from…

(0:20:13) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:20:14) Severson: If some of that information turns out to be inaccurate. Or the conclusions that I’ve drawn from it are wrong and people can demonstrate that satisfactorily…

(0:20:20) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:20:21) Severson: …Like, I’ll say so and revise it.

(0:20:23) Ruel: OK.

(0:20:24) Severson: And, so. The second part of your question is, what stinks?

(0:20:26) Ruel: Yeah.

(0:20:27) Severson: What’s the downside of it?

(0:20:28) Ruel: Yup.

(0:20:29) Severson: Well, I think this is kind of an inevitable side effect of the internet. Sometimes there’s negative feedback from people. Sometimes merited, sometimes not.

(0:20:38) Ruel: Mm. Mm-hm.

(0:20:39) Severson: Which can be very discouraging.

(0:20:41) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:20:41) Severson: ‘Cause if you put a lot of work into something. You know, usually like, when I get up in the morning, I, the first thing I’ll do is pick up my phone and check my email.

(0:20:47) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:20:48) Severson: And so, it can be very discouraging if the first thing that I read in the morning is something full of a great deal of bile about something [inaudible 0:20:55]

(0:20:55) Ruel: Right. [laughs] Ah, the trolls. They never stay just under the bridges.

(0:20:59) Severson: Yeah, the bridge has become all of the internet, I guess.

(0:21:03) [Music Bumper]

(0:21:13) Ruel: Uh, OK. So tell me, moving ahead now, what’s in store for Ate Up With Motor? For instance, do you have any plans for different styles of content, like, interviews? For example.

(0:21:23) Severson: I’ve been considering that. There’s one specifically where there’s a, a, I suppose it would qualify as an orphan car, as well. Some people have been bugging me for months about the infamous Mohs. The Mohs SafariKar and the Mohs Ostentatienne Opera Sedan.

(0:21:41) Ruel: OK.

(0:21:42) Severson: You sort of fall into that nebulous category between small manufacturing and one-off kit cars.

(0:21:48) Ruel: Mm-hm

(0:21:49) Severson: It turns out, and I don’t know if this will pan out or not. There may be an opportunity for me to actually get in touch with Bruce Mohs and see if he would be open to an interview.
If I can make that happen, and I do not know yet if that will be possible or if he’d even be open to that, I would definitely like to do that and sort of take a different spin on it.

The other thing, on the same vain, is I’d done a little piece last summer on an inventor named Oscar Banker. He was involved in transmission development. His list of patents on Google Patents ran to 19 pages to, to put that in perspective.

(0:22:21) Ruel: [laughs] Wow. Yeah.

(0:22:24) Severson: And I found very, very little information on, on him on the internet. So I wrote an article with what I’d pieced together. And his family got in touch with me a couple of weeks ago, because they had found the article.

(0:22:34) Ruel: Ah.

(0:22:35) Severson: And they sent me a copy of the memoir that he had done in the ‘80s. Which is long out of print and the public library system here does not have. And they sent me a DVD that has some family photos and stuff and some other information on him.

(0:22:47) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:22:48) Severson: So what I’m going to do at some point this summer is go through that and probably do a follow-up article to talk more about him.

(0:22:54) Ruel: Hm.

(0:22:55) Severson: He was a, a very interesting guy whose work extended well beyond the automotive field.
(0:23:00) Ruel: Excellent.

(0:23:01) Severson: I, I think my admittedly tentative article on him ended up being the top choice in a lot of search engines, ‘cause there’s just very little about him.

(0:23:08) Ruel: Right. Right. Well, there is merit in exploring unknown or foreign territory, there. [laughs] You end up at the top of the search engines. By default, ultimately.

OK. OK. I’m going to move on now. Um, I want to play a small game called “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda”.
(0:23:23) Severson: OK.

(0:23:24) Ruel: What’s the one question I should have asked that you could have answered? And what’s the answer? What should I have asked you that I didn’t?

(0:23:31) Severson: Um. That’s a tricky one. The obvious question would have been, what is your favorite article on this site?

(0:23:39) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:23:40) Severson: In which, unfortunately, I’d probably just go back to, again, the DeLorean article. Which I think, of all of the pieces that I’ve done for this site, it’s probably the one of which I’m proudest. Although, it falls a little less in your terrain.

That, and the recent history I did of the Australian Ford Falcon, which was a truly labor-of-Hercules-level endeavor.

(0:23:56) Ruel: [laughs] I remember reading several of your Facebook posts on that. The sort of ‘work-in-progress’ posts.

(0:24:04) Severson: Yeah. The source’s document for that was actually twice the size of the DeLorean article.

(0:24:08) Ruel: So a lot to edit out and get down into a digestible form.

(0:24:12) Severson: Yeah. Exactly. Um. And I suppose the other would be, what orphan car have I not yet done that I’m still most looking to do?

(0:24:21) Ruel: Oh. Very good.

(0:24:22) Severson: Well, I actually have an article. I have the text of an article on the Kaiser-Darrin.

(0:24:29) Ruel: Mm.

(0:24:30) Severson: The little, uh…

(0:24:31) Ruel: Excellent.

(0:24:32) Severson: Fiberglass-bodied sports car…

(0:24:33) Ruel: Yes.

(0:24:24) Severson: …That Dutch Darrin did for Kaiser-Frazer in the ‘50s. It’s, it’s in reasonable shape. The only reason that I haven’t run it, is I do not have enough Kaiser-Darrin photos.

(0:24:43) Ruel: Hm.

(0:24:44) Severson: And so, at such as point as I am able to get those photos, it wouldn’t take me a lot to finish that and put that up.

(0:24:51) Ruel: OK. So. We’ll call that a, a running prototype.

(0:24:54) Severson: I also delayed that one because I did the two-part history of Kaiser-Frazer.

(0:24:59) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:24:59) Severson: And I decided that also doing the Kaiser-Darrin on top of that would be, perhaps, a bit much.

(0:25:04) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:25:05) Severson: I try not to get too hung up on any specific make for an extended period of time.

(0:25:10) Ruel: Mm-hm.

(0:25:11) Severson: Just because I have readers from around the world whose interests are fairly diverse.

(0:25:15) Ruel: Yes.

(0:25:16) Severson: And so I don’t ever want to fall into the, OK, well this is the site that only does the British cars. Or this is the site that only does old GM cars.

(0:25:24) Ruel: Mm-hm. OK. Well, Aaron, we’re going to wrap it up. For those who may be listening, who haven’t been to your web site. how can people find all of the automotive material that you’ve written?

(0:25:35) Severson: Well, last year, having dealt with this problem, I added, uh… The navigation menu actually has model histories. Either by type or by manufacturer.

(0:25:45) Ruel: OK.

(0:25:46) Severson: Uh. So there are two different indices that you can use to find the cars that you’re interested in. You know, at the end of the year I, I usually do a, a wrap-up of the articles that have run during that calendar year.

(0:25:56) Ruel: OK. So all they’ve got to do is go to ateupwithmotor.com…

(0:26:00) Severson: Mm-hm.

(0:26:01) Ruel: …And search either generically or through those indices to find their make and model of interest. And I assume you’re easily accessible in case they have requests or comments.

(0:26:10) Severson: Yeah. I have a comment form that people can use if they want to contact me directly. Or I also have an Ate Up With Motor Facebook page that usually has commentary on things that I’m working on. Photos that I’ve put together for upcoming or potential upcoming articles. And, uh, general kibitzing.

(0:26:27) Ruel: Excellent. All right. Well, thank you for joining us. Aaron Severson, writer and creator of Ate Up With Motor, ateupwithmotor.com.

(0:26:35) Severson: Thanks a lot, Todd. It’s great talking to you.

(0:26: 36) Ruel: All right. Thanks.

[Music Close]

(0:26:40) Ruel: Thanks for tuning in to the first Gone Autos Podcast. There will be more. And you can find these and other tools for living the orphan car life at goneautos.com. That’s G-O-N-E-A-U-T-O-S dot com. You can also subscribe to our podcast channel on iTunes. If you do, please take a second to write us a review. We love feedback. Not distortion, just feedback.

This podcast is copyright 2011 by Ruel The World Media, Inc.