Autoblog is thankful forEvery year, the Autoblog staff pauses to reflect on what we're thankful for. Family, friends, 707-horsepower Hellcats – you know, stuff that really matters. Sure, we treasure our relationships, but this is Autoblog, and you want to read about cars. With that in mind, here are the things we're most thankful for in the car world. Pass the stuffing.
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I love satellite radio. I'm straight up addicted to it. I listen to a college football show religiously during my morning commute, E-Street Radio in the evening, and Classic Vinyl or Symphony Hall when I want to chill out. Sometimes I relive the '90s with Lithium, or, uh, the '90s channel. The Wallflowers were better than you remember! Whether I'm out for an energetic drive at sunset or a grueling commute at dawn, satellite radio is almost always spinning in my dashboard.
— Greg Migliore | Senior Editor
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Automatic Climate Control
Turns out automatic climate control is a divisive issue in our office. As the owner of an old air-cooled VW van, I don't understand why. The ability to set it and forget it is a godsend when you're stuck in traffic on a blustery day. Throw in some heated (and cooled) seats, and you've got an interior custom tailored to anyone's wants, needs, or desires. So, while I don't really take part in any particular holiday festivities, I can at least be thankful that driving in the winter months doesn't have to be a chilling experience.
— Jeremy Korzeniewski | Consumer Editor
Cars and Coffee Events
They start arriving for Cars and Coffee around 6 o'clock in the morning, and by 9 it’s over. At that point everyone’s caffeinated by both the available coffee and the beyond-wonderful tire kicking. What started for me in Irvine, CA, in 2007 as a Saturday morning destination has evolved into a must-see nine years later. I’ve tapped into the collective enthusiasm in Irvine, where the once-a-week, get in/get out concept began, and Dallas and Great Falls, VA. All three – as well as most of the shows across the country – boast the most democratic of gatherings; somebody’s $10K relic competes for attention with someone else’s $1 million fantasy, and in at least a few instances, the $10,000 car wins. I’ve seen a lot, but as every weekly gathering demonstrates, I haven’t seen it all. And I’m thankful.
— Dave Boldt | In-Market Content Contributor
This isn't an anti-materialist statement, but cars are just things. I've realized lately that as much as I love what I drive, and all the new cars I get to review, what matters the most to me are the shared experiences that come out of it. I get to do that through writing for this site, which is deeply satisfying, but also talking about what I've driven with my friends. Or turning wrenches with them – I love a good project, and it's more fun with a buddy. And don't forget about road trips, both a test of friendship and a way to strengthen it. Being a car person also gives you this common language that all car people speak and makes it easy to meet new folks. This would be a lonely passion without friends to share it with, so I'm thankful that I can share it with all the people I know, and with you, the readers.
— Alex Kierstein | Senior Editor
We poke fun at some of the thinly sliced niches that pop up in this industry, but the truth is the selection of shapes, sizes, and purposes of vehicles has never been greater. Maybe that means there are more cars you don't want, but it likely means there's one that suits your needs and wants pretty darn well. It also means the truly weird stuff – like coupe-styled crossovers with crazy amounts of power – will keep us entertained once they become classics. And I'll be thankful for that, too.
— David Gluckman | Executive Editor
Empowered Designers and Engineers
What I'm excited and thankful for is that we're seeing cars that are clearly being created by passionate engineers and designers with few constraints. Lexus unveiled the LC 500 sports coupe, and it looks just like the concept. Chevrolet just showed a Colorado pickup with supercar shocks and an available diesel engine. Infiniti has a crazy new engine coming that can change compression ratios on the fly. And this is all on top of the other cool things we've seen in lately, including a Mustang with a flat-plane crankshaft and a Focus with drift mode. And certainly there were companies in the past that valued the work of engineers and designers over bean counters, but that philosophy was typically restricted to the automotive elite. Now that idea seems to have percolated through car companies of all types. I can't wait to see what else is coming.
— Joel Stocksdale | Associate Editor
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To help cope with a Michigan winter, I knew that my first car purchase had to have heated seats. Driving my Fiesta off the lot in January 2014, the snow was falling almost as fast as the temps. Thankfully, I was warmer than ever with my heated seats. I am truly thankful for heated seats during the coldest parts of the year.
— Alex Malburg | Associate Video Producer
The Grand Tour
Let's make this clear – I in no way support punching colleagues. Jeremy Clarkson deserved the sack. But I'm so glad he, Richard Hammond, and James May are back, because I wouldn't be where I am if it not for these three buffoons, Andy Wilman, and Top Gear.
I stumbled on Top Gear for the first time as a teenager. Clarkson was trying to evade an AH-64 Apache helicopter gunship in a Lotus Exige, and I was hooked. The show awakened in me a latent love of cars that living my entire life surrounded by metro Detroit's car culture couldn't. But more than that, it demonstrated in a way that car magazines couldn't just how fun this industry is.
Say what you will about Top Gear, Clarkson, Hammond, May, and Wilman – I recognize that there's plenty to criticize about their tenure as the world's foremost gearheads – they're responsible for creating an entire generation of automotive enthusiasts at a time when we're bombarded by reports of Millennials that are disinterested or apathetic to cars and car culture. Despite the controversies, their services to car enthusiasm are immeasurable.
— Brandon Turkus | Contributing Writer