We've known for two months this day was coming, yet it's still something of a shock. Robert Farago, the one man wrecking crew of an editor-in-chief over at The Truth About Cars, has hung up his gloves. Why a shock? Love him or loathe him, Farago has been a mega-influence in the autoblogosphere (and, in auto journalism as a whole, it must be said) for nearly a decade. In many ways he's been the devil (or angel) on all of our shoulders reminding us not to enjoy that perfectly cooked, medium rare New York strip and spareribs paired with a very fine French wine too much while on press trips. In the end, it's all about the truth of the car.
As we've mentioned, Farago was an early Autoblog writer, albeit very briefly. He also wrote for Jalopnik.com back in the day. In fact, Farago invented the three-part car review format they employed up until yesterday. Moreover, through relentless browbeating, haranguing and sheer chutzpah, Farago finally got Edmunds Inside Line to tack a "This was a manufacturer sponsored press event" disclaimer onto the end of their reviews (though Edmunds disputes this). Then of course, there's this. And while over the years there has been some friendly (and totally unfriendly) friction between TTAC and Autoblog, Farago gave at least one of us our start in this crazy, dirty and frankly weird biz. And when the going gets weird, you know what the weird do. Make the jump to read this author's personal, Not-Safe-For-Work Farago recollections (WARNING: Explicit language).

[Source: The Truth About Cars]

When I turned thirty, I decided it was finally time to combine two of my biggest passions – cars and writing – into one not-especially-lucrative career path. Having been a fan of Farago's work (and since unlike ex-Jalopnik editor-in-chief Mike Spinelli, Robert was actually naive enough to stick his email address right there on his site where any schmohawk could drop him a line), I inquired as to the feasibility of me writing car reviews for TTAC. The email was titled, "How do I write for you?" To my great surprise, Robert wrote back:
"I have reason to suspect that you have talent. That is, of course, the only necessary qualification for this job. A knowledge of cars is welcome, but if PJ O'Rourke is a car reviewer so is my Uncle Saul, and, by seven degrees of extension, you.

So write me a car review. The longest journey starts with a single step. Off you go then."
As fast as I could, I wrote him a positively terrible review of my old (though then newish) 2002 Subaru WRX. Luckily (for my sake) that review has been buried at the bottom of the sea (seriously, it sucked). As it happened, Farago thought as much and figuratively tore me a new one with his rightfully heavy handed edits. I was heartbroken, dejected, smashed. I (stupidly) believed that my first review was perfect (ha ha!) and when I got Robert's notes back, I was so hurt that I never so much as wrote him back. Just... nothing.

Six months later, probably while contemplating suicide at my old job, I rewrote the review (following his edits to the letter) and resubmitted. To my near total surprise, Robert wrote me back, a little more positive this time:

This is BRILLIANT stuff, full of what my father used to call "piss, shit and corruption." I want you to write for TTAC."
And that, as they say, is that. Before my glasses get too rose colored, I should share my now-favorite ever message from Robert after I disagreed (perhaps too strongly) with one of his edits: "DON'T FUCK WITH ME LIEBERMAN!"
In fact, the last time we exchanged words, he told me to piss off and I told him to go fuck himself. However, Robert Farago did give me my start and every time my rent check clears I have him to thank. So, three cheers for you, Robert. Here's hoping you don't stay away from the game too long.

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