Three of the biggest brains in the automotive space join forces for a weekly podcast that will jumpstart the mind.
Autopian Beau Boeckmann brings his incredible insight into the automotive industry and one of the craziest collections of cars around. Autopian "Torch" or Jason Torchinsky, as his byline likes to refer to him, has an encyclopedic brain when it comes to cars and car culture, and a scandalous appreciation for rear illumination. And David Tracy is the resident engineer, designer and wrench monkey, able to get any car running within 24 hours (that's kind of a stretch). He'll also tell you about his free Nash Metropolitan if you let him.
Together they bring totally different POVs when it comes to one singular discussion: car culture... and you get to be along for the proverbial ride, every Wednesday morning at 10AM EST.
My boss said, okay, here are all the programs that we're working on. We've got the minivan, we got the new Grand Cherokee, we got the Wrangler, we got the Viper. And this is a small team of five. And he's like, Just what do you what do you guys want?
I looked around, I'm like, We're all going to fight over Viper and and Wrangler, right? And all the other people in my team were like, I don't care. Just take whatever you want. I was like, What's that mean?
This is the Motor City. This is the auto company. Not care, like between a viper and a minivan and then the critical Cherokee. I'm just like, and then there was the dart. I was just like, How is this possible?
Welcome to the Autopen podcast. I said, okay, let's get started. I actually made an agenda. That's right, David. Of course. Yeah, cause it. So we. Should we start ignoring it now or. Wait? Do you get into it? No, just.
Just I'm. We're sticking to this agenda. Jason, I know you don't do it very close. Anyway, welcome to the job title number one. Do we have a name for this yet? Not really. We're going to call it the I Hope podcast for now.
I like that. It's good. The Adobe named after what it is, is what it says. Yeah, exactly. It's right, right on the label podcast named after the Topia and the greatest car website in the world. We can say mankind.
This dog's breath is so bad. It's like if you could do the ludicrous process, the dog shit, it's so bad. Jason We were just getting to know it. No, she doesn't normally, but she indulge in a cat turd occasionally.
But she's scared. No, because it's. There's a storm. All right, sorry. Go ahead. Debug my agenda. Okay. Welcome to the AI topping podcast. We're going to talk about we're going to talk about all sorts of things, car related until we just can't do it anymore.
So what is that just going to be easy graphics like? Well, yeah, we'll have something. Yeah, we'll swap in some crap and throw cars up and explosions. Okay, great. Today's agenda, which we're going to exclude somewhat, we can be strict on not really going to talk about what this podcast is, what we're trying to do, what the
whole point is, what each of us brings to the table here, including the dog. Abby, we're going to talk about. Does anybody in news you kind of see is only three legged, so. Oh, she is a little bit Abby Normal.
Yeah. Anyway, we're talking about news. So exciting news recently. Hyundai has been really killing it. And then we're to talk about what we've recently driven or purchased. Then we're going to have a little segment called Hot Takes. We got a couple of hot takes we got to talk about.
And then and then we'll talk about what's next. A lot of exciting things are happening at the open. So it's going to it's going to get real. Yeah, that's exciting. All right. So what are we starting with, David?
We start with the intro. Tension intro. Right, right. Yeah. What exactly what is this podcast? This is a podcast devoted toward car culture. It's we are we are pro car. We love cars. We are very interested in their complex, but we love them.
We love the auto industry. And it is just do it. We really have to point out that we like cars and that we want our cars. We're pro cars. And weirdly, I think we kind of do. We kind of do now.
It's kind of weird. Yeah. A place we used to work for recently ran another band Cars based article, and I don't think we're ever going to say that. I know cars are perfect, but we're not going to. We don't want to ban them, ever.
Then we kind of go against what we're doing here, right? Yeah, that would be. Yeah, well, I don't know why we'd do that. It'd be like, yeah, right. So a pro car, we got that. Yep. And here are a couple of things we're going to talk about in this podcast.
We're going to talk about a lot of history stuff. So Bo and Jason, when they get to talking about car history, it never stops. I'm going to try to like, you know, referee it to make sure it doesn't go off the rails.
But you're going to see a lot of that. It's good. There's going to be plenty of car engineering here. I'm going we're going to try to bring in some automotive engineers, suspension engineers, electric vehicle engineers to just get nerdy.
I can't wait for that. We got a list of experts so long. I don't know if the people fully understand how deep our list of hardcore engine nerds is. It's deep in red. It is very ridiculously deep. You still keep it like I can somewhat understand what you guys are talking about.
I can't make any promises, bro, but it's going to be awesome. I can't wait. We're also going to talk about a lot of industry stuff. And you know what? Those three areas like, okay, history probably going to hear a lot from Jason Engineering a lot for me, industry and sales that end you're going to hear from Bo
. And the reason is let's just talk about our backgrounds. Bo, do you want to start just dump it on me like that. I don't know how to say a word I said. Okay. All right, you come. You're going last, then, Jason.
So you're going to talk a lot about history and just weird design stuff, right? Why? Like, what's what's your. What's your deal? Jason My deal. It's a good question. Well, like, I, I came into this kind of late.
I was a artist and designer. Graphic designer was my job for years. I did interface design, I did illustrations like my degree is in art history, which is almost useless. But as we're going to talk in the hot takes part today not 100% useless.
You can use it to use it and I didn't ruin it. Anybody with an art history degree who is not an art history professor or docent or a museum who could say they're. Agree is not 100% useless is that's a colossal triumph, I think.
So I'm super excited about that. I have a background in comedy. I used to do sketch comedy and standup. I was open for George Carlin a long, long time ago. Wait, wait. I did one for George Carlin. I opened for him like there was no college.
I did. I met him backstage. Super nice for George Carlin. That's like it's like opening for the Beatles. And, you know, it was it was amazing. It was when I was at. It was a contest they had when I was in college.
And all these comics could audition. And then three slots were open, if you would, you could open for George Carlin. So I got to open for George Carlin. And it was amazing. He was he was so nice to backstage.
I thought I'd be funny. And I was like, Oh, Slappy White, I'm a huge fan of yours. You know, Slappy what it was like this old school comic. And he was like, super funny about it. And he's just a class act, 100% great guy.
Got nothing but good things to say about him. And it, it like a huge crowd was a lot of fun. So, yeah. So I did stuff that had nothing to do with cars. My dad could barely stapled. My family was not in the cards, but my dad had a beetle and I loved that thing.
And that's what kind of got me hooked. And I used to go to libraries and look at travel books to try to find pictures of weird cars. And that was like the gateway drug to weird cars. And then it just, you know, never stopped since.
And I've always owned weird cars, Edward. Cars. Here I am. Yes. And weird cars. That's what that was your better that was the beetle was the gateway because it did everything differently than all the other. Like, you know, when I was growing up, it was like Delta 80 eights everywhere.
And that was punctuated with these beetles or square backs or whatever is there. And they did everything backwards, cooled by air instead of water. And then that made me start looking for other stuff. In pre-Internet, it was hard, like you'd see like a tiny picture in a like you'd have a picture of Prague in a, in a
, in a encyclopedia, and there'd be like a little tiny thing at the bottom. And then months later, you'd finally figure out that's a Tatra or that's a Renault Dauphine or whatever. And yeah, yeah. The world before the internet.
Right. How did people find information? That's such an ass pain. But that's also why I'm so excited about, like, your bathtub car, the bathtub hot rod. The reason that's exciting to me is because of like the five car books at my little local library.
One was a book of hot rods and a bathtub. One was like, page one may have been on the cover, actually. So that's like peering into my head. It's like meeting, I don't know. It's like so it's like a meeting like Lorax or something like that.
Like something that you've known going to see the kid or the Fonz. Either way, same guy. It's true. So Torch and I, we wrote for Jalopnik. That was our previous job. We did that for a combined 16 years, something like that.
Yep. Wrote for a lot of folks and had a great time. And Jason focused on art and comedy. He really blended those two into just hilarious work and incredibly artistic and creative stuff. I generally focus on engineering and tech, how cars work best deep dives in the business.
Mr. Tracy Deep dives. Two for the price of one of the Adobe Incom. Just no. So that's yeah. I used to work for, for Chrysler for a couple of years on the jail Wrangler program, powertrain cooling. So if you have a wrangler that overheats, it was probably I could have done better as a child at the time
. I really was. I think that's the amazing part of this story. 21 years old, but there's no excuse because children, children in the armed forces, like 17 year olds are, you know, you know, there's no excuse you going to get it done.
It's a weird analogy because I feel like we're we're getting 18 year olds to kill people. So a 21 year old should be able to design a joint is responsibility. 18 year olds got to handle explosives anyway so that's that's tortured me that's the way how you look engineering background and all that you could have gotten intoo industry, like right around: that. Yep, yep. Right around:
I don't know what's going on, but, you know, I was like, ten years old, 11 years old in our Chevy Astro van with my five brothers with a little disposable camera taking pictures of cars as we road trip usually to battlefields because my dad's really into that we just do road trips around Europe and I would weures and during this era like:
The one car for me the Audi T just an absolutely it's just beautiful especially that the convertible with the roll. Whoops I just like a car. Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. And the Audi, the Audi A2, which I thought was hideous at the time, but is now cool.
There are two cars coming out that the Ferrari 360 Spyder was coming out, the Z3, the Z4 was there was just oh, it was there was so many sports cars coming out just around the millennium that it was impossible not to get hooked.
Then we moved to the States and my dad bought a jeep and and it was this was in Kansas. A jeep. Hi. I'm so proud of you. You and your brothers used to off-road the crap out of that thing, right?
That was. Well, the first that side. My first off road experience was here in Germany in a military base called Horn Fails. There's a there's this training area called the Box and it's just a sloppy mud fest. And my dad took my brothers and me to take your kids to work day, you know, and in his Humvee
. So there's like six of us in the back of a Humvee. We're passing around the heat or two, shoving it under our shirts and. Wait, wait, wait, wait. Back up, back up. So the heater isn't coming out of vents.
It's out of a flexible tube. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah, a little coordinated. No. Yeah, we just got, like, a freaking bong. It's like, take a hit, shove it over there to the next God. Is that standard? Is that how the heat is always done in those things as a plug in suit?
Wow. I think there is. Yeah, there is a suit plug in. Well, wow. Well, I actually don't know if there's a plug in, but anyway, that does matter. When we got to the States, he bought it. Just, man, I want to know.
I think that's a fascinating way to distribute even a car. I think it's kind of amazing. More cars. You have it like you should. I'm going to write this down, which for like, I think that would be fantastic.
We went, I might have to write an article on this. Yeah, I think you absolutely do. There's a suit that hooks into your your heater of your car and think about it got a navy which wastes a lot of energy with heat.
If you could restrict the area to a suit, if you had a jacket with a port, think how much less energy you could use. Yes, that's so true. Why? Why heat up the whole volume? Exactly. You don't need it.
I mean, yes, he would have to put on a special suit before. Well, you just make it a jacket. You just make it a jacket that looks decent and it's got a little color. And then you get matches your car, you get like a Tesla branded or whatever, and you can just plug in your heater and it
only has to heat. We're on to something, fellas. You know, we just extended range by, like, always hot. Mom's always cold, you know that? Oh, yeah, that's true. It's even better than the the separate controls because it's completely directed.
This is good. That's good. Yeah. Anyway, yeah. So the Humvee then we were in the States, my dad bought a jeep. This was in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Not a whole lot going on in Kansas. So you got six boys in a jeep.
We just went mudding all the time in the Missouri River flood plains. And that's when I decided I got to work for Jeep at some point. And yeah, so that's what I did and I always that happen. How many other people do as a kid, let's say something like that, like I got to work for Jeep and
then you were working literally on your forum posts from a flashlight forum I was on when I was a kid. Don't worry about it. I sleep where I where I literally I wrote it down in the forum. I went to work for Daimler-Chrysler some someday, which I think is a quote that only I have ever used.
Yes. All of you have uttered that statement anyway. And so that's my background. I was there at Christ for a couple of years and then and then started writing, reading about cars. I still think your story about starting at Chrysler is just beyond amazing.
Just real quick. You got it. Okay. Okay, okay. Okay. So here's the thing. When I was when I got to Chrysler, I was 21 years old and I was tasked. So it was a very weird time. So Fiat Chrysler, it just yeah, a few years ago and Fiat had bought Chrysler and it had become Fiat.
Chrysler and the merger of equals. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I was put in charge of designing the architecture for the cooling system, for the, for the jail wrangling. I remember getting there. I'm like, Yeah, okay, cool, cool. Well, actually, the first thing was my boss said, okay, here are all the programs that we're working on.
We got the minivan, we got the new Grand Cherokee, we got the Wrangler, we got the Viper. And this is a small team of five, and he's like, Just what do you what do you guys want? I looked around, I'm like, We're all going to fight over Viper and and Wrangler, right?
And the other people in my team were like, I don't care. Just take whatever you want. I was like, What's that mean? This is the Motor City, this is the auto company. Do not care like your between a viper and a minivan.
Let me do it. And then the critical Cherokee, I'm just like and then there was the dart. I was just like, How is this possible? I'm working for a car company. How are you guys? Not just amped. Like I remember I used to walk through the doors at Chrysler and I.
And I just read like. A Motortrend article or something. And I'd be like, Yo, did you see that latest road and track or whatever? It's like, I have no idea what you're talking about. I don't understand. This is my master.
I'm like I. The whole point of being here is to be surrounded by people who get me, you know? That's the whole point. And even in Detroit, like, well, suburban Detroit and like in an automaker like headquarters for an automaker, I still was a black sheep.
It was the weirdest thing. That's so strange. Just the idea that someone could be assigned the dart when the viper and wrangler on the table and be like, Oh, okay, that's great. Instead of just leaping out a window immediately is baffling.
Well, we are just weirdos. Let's be honest. Like the layperson, if they were to watch this podcast layperson not the car carpet, but the layperson, they'd be like, I don't care. It doesn't matter. But so there's that. But I figured in the car industry anyway, so I put on the Wrangler and I remember getting there was like
, okay, cool. I got to make sure the Wrangler doesn't overheat. So the engine, the transmissions, the batteries, everything. And and so I asked my team, I'm like, okay, cool. I'm new here. How do you design cooling systems for a car?
Like, what's the training that you're going to give me? A good, good. First question, by the way. Yes, it seems like a start anyway. It does. They're like their response was, we're going to need you to figure that out and write it down for us.
How was yours? Yeah, well, it was there was a strange thing happening. So Chrysler at Chrysler had gone through so many bankruptcies and buyouts that a lot of the the old timers had just said, yo, I'm going to take this buyout, I can get another job.
And so they took the buyout. They took their files with them. And during this bankruptcy, so much information was lost that we were like the first round of like folks writing down how to design cooling systems. Like how do you design, for example, how how do you decide how big of a transmission cooler to put on the
Wrangler? That seems like a pretty important thing. You can't have transmissions overheating off road. How were there no records of this? How come they weren't file cabinets with drawings and do there was nothing. You know what? There was our computers, which typically retain information.
Yeah, well, I don't know what happened. I can tell you what there was is there were people. And also part of the problem, not just the file retention problem at Chrysler. There's this thing, there's this like sort of initiative after a couple of years and one department employees are really pushed to move on to the next stepeen designing radiators since:
What about you? What about you? How did you do this? And it was just me. Of course I did. Okay. We found a couple of old guys. Yeah. Really smart. Yeah, but, you know, it was a team of us, like, writing down, like, here's how you do this stuff.
So, like, future engineers, like, don't redo this. Like, don't you know? Yeah, reinvent the wheel. So, yeah, that was nuts. That was crazy. And you're 21 doing that. This is a you know, people have these impressions, right, that auto manufacturing, big companies are just filled with geniuses knowing exactly what to do.
You know, what's that supposed to mean? What's that supposed to mean? Both. What's that supposed to mean? They think mean people who maybe have done it before. Before. Okay, putting a mass market. How do we have all these quality problems that you actually go to like manufacture?
You go, oh, geez. Oh, there's so few. You know, I feel like I've got to be honest, I have to be honest. This is not a feeling that only I have. This is a feeling that many, many, many engineers in the auto industry have.
I genuinely, genuinely, for over a year, probably most of the time I was there. I couldn't believe that a vehicle was actually going to roll off the assembly line like it's not even a joke. I literally like the whole time I was like, there's I don't understand.
We're launching in two and a half years. I don't know how this is going to happen. And it's not just me. It's a feeling that so many engineers have. And the reality is there is the launch date and that is the date and it's going to happen.
And you just hope that you guys could somehow build enough safety factors in place and figure out, you know, I hope you don't make too many late changes because those are expensive and just somehow get something off the line.
Is there a mad scramble at the end or does it just kind of happen? I wasn't there at the end, but I've got sort of glad I know all those product launches. It's like, oh, shit, it's due tomorrow, you know?
Yeah. I mean, all of this really ties into it ties into, like, this bigger feeling I've had ever, you know, ever since I've become an adult, which is the realization that adulthood is really kind of a myth. It's kind of just this bill of goods we sell kids like I always expected.
There be some moments where you're going to be an adult and everything clicks and like, Okay, now I'm not stupid anymore, and I do rational things and I could pay attention to boring stuff and it never didn't happen.
I'm 51 and it never happened. I don't get it, and I feel like we're doing children a disservice by pretending like it's a real thing. But no, everybody's. We're all kind of idiots, and we're still running the world.
And that's just what's going on. Same brain, just everything hurts. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Oh, man. It's hard because you're. David is what, 24 now is 21 still? I'm an old man. I'm 30. Almost 31. Yeah. So I assume, though.
Oh, you, you see the industry from a vantage point that even I didn't, you know, I, you know, in the engineering team you're kind of like cordoned off into the dark basement. I see a Chrysler. It literally was the engineers were in this gray cubicle farm.
And then you go you go to the designers to, you know, try to argue for more grill opening. And I'm telling you, there were windows and like paint and like people were wearing like colors and like scarves. And I was just like, oh, and there were women.
And it was just like, what is this place is like the PTA, the product design office. It was like it was like heaven. It really was. Every time I went in there, I was just like, Oh my gosh, what is this place?
But that's so true because I've been down like in the bowels of like Ford's, you know, product development, and you go down the stairs and down the stairs and I couldn't believe it. All of the man offices with no windows and little tiny things like people working away in there, I'm like, this is like horrifying.
And you're right. Google stairs, the designers that around the courtyard, they got the big windows, all the beautiful pictures up. Yeah, we like hanging out with those guys. Yeah, well, I mean, I will say many of the engineers, if you said, hey, do you guys do you want some windows and paintings?
I said, What would I need that for? Yeah, no, they get in the way trying to optimize roofs, but I just go to the food truck for the feed. Windows are going to stray. I'd rather have an IV drip.
Half of them would just have to be free so they don't have to deal with it. Terrible. So when you went to argue to designers for things like We need more grill opening or whatever, how often did that work?
How often were you able to convince them of that kind of thing? Look, design rules all I was going to really engineers always one or the designers are just blaming the engineers for their crappy design once it's done you know, no, you get these concept cars, every line is beautiful and perfect.
And then all the compromises happened because of the engineers. Not for that. Well, there there there is going to be some compromise has to be. But I have to say, more often than not, design wins. And actually, I have to say, even as an engineer, I think that's how it should be.
It should be is just design is so important. You got to get engineers to just figure it out, make this car look like I want it to look because that's what's going to sell it. Yeah. Now I'll save time form false function testing.
I guess you're going to find out the parts that are just don't make sense as you test it. Well, I mean, I got to be clear. Like if something is physically impossible, you can make the case like, you know, we need to have some grill opening because, you know, just things like some things are just a requirement
, but, you know, pushing engineers is that that's a big part of what designers do. It's like this is the goal, try to make it happen. And many are going to see a lot of engineers kind of like that.
Like, like that challenge. Yeah, I could see it. Well, you even even under the Wrangler that you worked on, David, if I remember, you were telling me you have a mesh inside the seven slot grill, and then when they did the Gladiator, they actually had to get rid of it for extra cooling for the ones it tow
or no. So back when we were working on it, there was no mesh whatsoever. And we were we were asking designers, please do not put any grill texture in here we want. Wide open slots like on the Wrangler because we're so marginal on cooling anyway.
Now that the actual vehicle comes out with mesh and I'm like, okay, somewhere, there must have been some, you know, during testing, they must have found out, okay, actually we've got a little more capacity than we thought we can.
We can put some mesh in there or so. I don't know how it went ultimately, but yeah, no, it's sounds like a major like nationwide recall and your work like they call it like the Treacy cooling system. I will say there's a lot of the Tracey recall, you know, the 400,000 recall because David oh David would be
beside himself that you would not be sleep even though he doesn't work there anymore. Well, there was there is a lot there are a lot of complaints about the the fan, the the noise. The fan noise. And that's that's happened because the fact demand AC demands like it's not.
So the weird thing occurred the way Chrysler was really set up when I was there was really confusing. The fact team was separate from the cooling team, but what made sense was that the cooling team and the aero team had been brought under one because they're so intermingled.
Each vac was its own thing. Yeah, it was an interesting team and the Powertrain team was completely different from the vehicle team, which had an end, and their timeline was different. They had a different timeline. So the Powertrain team, they're working on this two liter that's going to go into the Wrangler.
They're on a separate timeline, the vehicle itself. I'm just like, how does this make everybody in the whole company was like, none of this makes any I don't understand understand why this is the case. But they just rolled with it.
But that that that's why Chrysler's so charming now, isn't it? Had great. They just that whole kind of cowboy. I don't know. I don't know that kind of just figure. I mean on the run how to make it work of the Powertrain team being on a different source is okay if the schedule is earlier.
Like if you get the engine done first, that's fine. But if the engine becomes something the dealers have to put in, then everybody screwed up. Or they think about that bad. You think about this. I'm trying to figure out like what size of grill opening is.
Be on a vehicle. I don't even know how much heat the engine puts out. Yeah, because it's not even developed yet. It's like. It's like. But here's the thing. Chrysler was an incredible place to start my career because there was so much responsibility as a young person.
Yeah. Which is something that, like, I was just designing widgets and doorknobs. Like, it was, it was awesome. And there's so much engineering talent there to using experience a big yeah, yeah. Just to have that like thrown in your lap and having to figure it out that's from and this also we should also if we do a
part where we ask people's opinions. David, you should ask the question, should you own a car that you designed a major part of? Like, I feel like you should at some point in your life own that wrangler because you designed the cooling system.
You should have one, I think. Okay. It doesn't have to be new, though. Yeah. I mean, because I played a role in designing the vehicle and just. I want to be clear on that. Yeah. We owe you all yours.
Yeah. Just now. At some point. At some point I'll buy JL. No doubt. No doubt. All right. Bo. Bo. So, Bo, you see the auto industry from a vintage point that I've never seen it from and Jason has never seen it from., my dad started at Galpin in:
So I grew up on a showroom floor. But what's really amazing and a blessing for me is that it was a galpin and it wasn't just your typical dealership. So first of all, my parents and dad from day one was always in the serving customers and doing the right things.
And that's how you built the business. Yeah, yeah. But also they they had fun with things, so we were, you know, galvanizing cars. We were into performance back before I was born. We were in the NASCAR racing. We won the West Coast NASCAR championship for four years.stomizing cars actually since: to look like? And that was in:
So we did the galvanizing and customizing, you know, for, gosh, 70 years now. And that's what I grew up on. So on the showroom floor, we always had these, you know, wild paint jobs and trucks that were lifted and, you know, all kinds of performance things.
And to me, like a style. Our car, like, never looked finished. You know what I mean? Cause we were always into customizing, galvanizing, everything that we got. So that's kind of how I grew up. You know, I was still in high school, I think when I, you know, I worked at the dealership and every different department.
I sold cars for years. I, you know, worked worked my way up all the way through the different jobs here. So then got on different committees over at Ford. So almost 20 years ago, I got on Ford's product committee.
So we look at everything from sometimes starting off as a sketch all the way through production, but it's really fun because I get to watch the whole, you know, product development and and work with everything from the designers, from exterior to color and trim to the engineering and basically everything in between.y had a a green Mercedes as a:
And she used to drive it from Arkansas out here. And I always like I remember that car like driving up in the driveway and I loved it so much. And she had a little Chihuahua, Fifi, that would come up and and bark.
And that was the first car I got. So I inherited that after she passed away. And then that became the first car I got to galvanize. So I did it. I blacked it all out. It's actually got a leopard skin interior, you know, audio, video stuff.
No, it no engine work. Thank God I was only 16. But anyway, that's my brief background and I've just been fortunate to be in this business. And then pretty soon I started loving all kinds of weird and wonderful cars because I was always kind of exposed to that and got into like Big Daddy Roth and George Barris
, a lot of the classic custom misers. And now the rest is kind of history. And, you know, here we are now. Never forget reading about a Jason for the first time because it was about the Beetle and you losing, you know that beetle.
And I remember reading about it. Oh, yeah, I did back. I was like, Oh, I got so excited. And then you came to Gallup. And the first time when we had we built the Skyliner, which was the conversion van, built like a, you know, like a jet kind of thing.
It was very hard on their features because torturous up and we had von Dutch as towed there and it goes Zelda and doing all these areas and talking to all these people about this, you know, Van and all this goofy stuff they were talking about, you know, and he comes up with this is that it is that
I said the engine in that thing and I'm like, That's the first interesting question I got. Okay, so this is like, how do you know that? And you know, and then I'm like, Oh, dude, you're the guy with the beetle.
That's so cool. You've got it. Back when we started our test. Yeah, that was. Yeah, that's how I do it. Yep. And that's how I knew Beau was was the right kind of guy. And I always knew that, like, if Beau and I had, you know, then we started working together on other, like, car history projects, interesting
things, but of course does a lot of TV and I would do some research for him and we'd always talk about interesting cars and we'd always wanted to do kind of more projects together. I mean, we had a TV show on Discovery.
It was awesome. It is. It was great timing didn't work out so great. I'm going to blame timing and not ratings. But yeah, the first person I thought of when we're writing things was Torch because, you know, some of this stuff, you know, can be a little dry of, you know.
Yeah. And when you add Ed torch to it, it definitely brings it to life. So, you know, we have a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun. And Beau always had interest. His taste in cars is something I always respected.
A lot of people who collect cars, they I feel like their waste, their time, they just get like fancy stuff. Beau's collection is interesting and eclectic and it ranges. He's got, you know, he's got like he's got Messerschmitt and he's got like Microcars and he has these amazing, like one of the amazing shooting brakes that asked him
to like the variety of stuff he's got in there is astounding. And it's so good. And the bully, like, so you can love and you can all expect to see more of it as time goes on. And we tell the stories behind these cars.
We're all really pumped for that. Hannah, does your handbag, the comb is brought. Does that run, by the way? Bo, we did get it running. Kind of barely. Yeah, kind of. And then we towed it a little bit.
Just looked like it ran, but we got to get that thing going, man. We do. Because that's that's an important car I feel like not enough people know about. And there's so much good stuff. I was lucky to.
I was at Wolfsburg at the museum there. Have you been there? Yes, they have. They have a beautiful comas. Bo and I just complete, you know, all these, like, gorgeous cars, and I completely freaked out over the market.
I know that is the other. Please think of it. Oh, no. The handbag is a big deal. And that one they have I know the one at Wolfsburg. And it is stunning. It is a beautiful one. Why is it why is the big deal the handsome echo arguably handle mag was maybe the year one of the Europe
one of Europe's first people's car. You could trace beetle origins I think all the way back to the handle mag if you really wanted to. It was in like the twenties. It was an incredibly minimal car. One of the first to have an envelope body.
Not, not yet. It's almost unibody Lancia. Lancia Lambda I think was the first, but it had like a envelope body where the set fenders weren't separate and it was. So they call it a bra because as a German you must know that means like a bread loaf, like a soldier's bread loaf.
So brought it abroad. Yeah. Like the name comes because it looks like a loaf of bread. They would serve soldiers because it's all like one unified piece, which wasn't common, and it was very crude and dirt cheap. And a lot of important people in the car who went on to do all kinds of important cars, kind of
broke their teeth and cut their teeth on the comb is brought initially. It's just fascinating. The German broad, they probably broke their teeth. I mean, it probably did it. It's got one beautiful Cyclops headlight. Yes. Oh, and there's a racing one, like a famous race.
When you see where the body is all wicker, it's like the crazy body. It's a wicker bodied car because the engine makes, like, eight horsepower or whatever. Oh, also, David, speaking of brake system screen. And so you know what's crazy about this car?
Yeah, we should bring all these up. So the cooling fan runs on a shaft that goes through the radiator, the radiator has a hole in it, the shaft goes through it, and then it's spinning. It's bonkers. I don't know why that was a good solution, but apparently it was.
I drove the one lane has a nice and they let me draw once I find it really I don't know that's a there's a lot of interesting character to that car and it's it's important I feel like Americans don't really get it but we'll change that.
Well, but it is it's incredibly important. And like I said, one of the first people's cars of Europe. If not the first. Yeah, I mean, you could argue Aston seven also and some other ones, but there's something about this one that's even more minimal.
And what's interesting about it, it was in no way a scaled down, bigger car. It was very much a clean sheet. Like we have a really limited set of resources to work with. Let's not look at how cars are usually built.
What can we do here? And that's why everything is a little bit different. And what else was handmade? Making it because they had bigger tanks and all kinds of stuff and they made a lot of big passenger cars too.
They made like, you know, I think even some kind of higher end passenger cars, handbag was a big they were big company back in the day. Companies brought was, I think, a departure for them though. And I think that was it was like an a tow.
So I think things were kind of lean times in Germany like post-Depression, you know, like global depression kind of era. So people needed it kind of also, you know, prefigured microcars that would come after World War Two. It's a very interesting car, by the way.
David, where are you in Germany? I don't mean with a room. Is are you in like a the Taco Bell bathroom over there or something? And this is not a top. That is a bathroom, but it's not in the bathroom.
I know it. No, no, that's about it. I'm not in about I mean I mean, like a little, little like in a room above my parents garage. Right? Like the phones again, we're talking about yet again, German phones.
Yep, I'm I'm near Nurnberg. I'm rolling in my diesel manual, Chrysler Voyager, which is a vehicle that I'm just obsessed with because it's it's nobody understands this. I no matter how, I just want to tell people about this vehicle's just incredible just skill at just being a vehicle.
No one cares. I respect that. All of them are just like it's a minivan and being a vehicle, right? It does the job. Does that mean. I think I see where you're going. No, no, no. Hear me out here, people and stuff from one place to another.
And it does. And that's what it does. It so it gets 32 miles per gallon. It seats seven. Yeah, it's got a stick shift. So this is kind of interesting. A turbocharger it's turbo charged turbo diesel. It's it's it's such a great bit to both the European road trip car.
I drove this thing from Germany to Istanbul 7 hours east of it. Almost, almost in Syria, actually. You're from Germany, don't you, there. And all the way back. And not only not only did it make it there and back, it actually got in better shape while I was, because in in where was I in Serbia, I got
some Serbian refrigerant pumped into that AC system and the vehicle is the best in the world serving refrigerant. Ask for it, by the way, next time you go to your auto parts. So it was some back alley refrigerant.
You just, you know, it just popped his car and he just shoved the refrigerant in no one. Look, I get it. Quick. Quickly. Gave him a couple of euro and. Off I went and the other vehicles. Great. I just love it.Luckily, mine was replaced in:
I just love the separate cylinder heads. Just something you hardly ever see on car engines. Planes, I hear, use it. Piston planes. But we've got to start with the van. We're going to lose go here. We're going to lose both.
I was thinking about your self-loathing and torturing yourself, driving this through. Where the hell did you take it again? I it was absolute garbage, so I drove it on Google Maps. It was like, okay, well, there's Istanbul, here's Germany.
And in the US you get this idea like, okay, this things that, you know, California, Utah is, you know, a couple thousand miles, it says. That's right. You know, 20 hours, whatever is 20 hours, you just bomb it.
You know, you you do it in three days. Write a, you know, seven, eight hour days, no problem. But things change when you're especially when you're leaving the Schengen area, when you've got border checkpoints like the distance and the time, there's like not a whole lot of correlation there anymore.
Like each checkpoint I went through was 3 hours of literally sitting completely still. I've never seen a bigger line of cars in traffic in my whole life than between Serbia and Bulgaria. These checkpoints that were 3 hours in 105 degree weather, no AC on the way there.
And it took me forever. Loneliness guards that are are you are you turning the cars off? Like, do people turn their cars off or they just let them idle for 3 hours on 105 degree heat? I bet they left them on if they had AC Oh, well, you know what, a lot of people I don't remember what
I did. I left my phone on for a lot of it, but a lot of people just honestly, a lot of people just got out of their cars and like had like picnics in the in the line. It was like, yeah, why not?
It was strange. Yeah. I have to say, I have extremely high threshold for her for just pain discomfort. But this doesn't even register in like top ten of David discomfort drives like the minivan is a plush it's like it's like a five star hotel compared to some of the crap he's he's slept in like that.
You saw that. You saw the postal jeep. But that thing was right. And he slept in that for like a week straight. Yes. Cops stopped him because he passed out at a gas station. I love this story. Tell the story, David, because this is one of my favorites.
Okay. I'll try to make it brief. Okay. I was coming back from Utah in this postal jeep that I had been driving, which is just a rusty box, by the way. There's no door panels, there's no carpet. It's a rusty box masked as this rusty box go.
I was doing about 55 in the flattest parts of Kansas. I was doing 60, no problem. Okay. Anyway, it wasn't too bad. I was on the highway, just the back roads, and I just made it with my brothers to Utah from Michigan and I was on my way back.
It was all by myself. And I was doing that classic, you know, wake up in the morning and just bomb as late as you can, as many miles as you possibly can. The thing that was EV's is going to be a little tricky, but the thing that we Americans are used to like, Oh, that's only 12 hours
we'll get there tonight. Like that idea anyway. So that's what I was doing. I was in this post jeep on the right side of the vehicle and to save time, I basically just wear my pajamas. And what would happen is I would just stuff I would just drive until I got tired and then I would just turn
the car off and then just fall asleep. And then I would wake up in the car jammies and then I would just fire it up and then just drive another day. And anyway, so I was actually in Michigan already.
I pulled up to a gas station, was running out of fuel, and I got to a pump, turn the car off and just immediately fell off. So tired energy, no cracks and the jeep was filled with all my stuff anyway.
So 5 minutes later from my power nap, I wake up and I see a person on the other side of the pump and I'm like, Hey, how you doing? And he's like, I just call the police on you.
So we're breathing and and then he just leaves. He just bounces. I'm like, I guess the police is coming. I don't know. So whatever. I just go go to fill up the jeep. And the jeep has this horizontal spout in the back.
For some reason, I don't know. I was debating if if the police is actually coming, should I wait to fill it up anyway? So I go to fill this thing up. And just as we get to fall and all the gas spews out of the horizontal spout, the police shows up and they see me in my pajamas
. Clearly haggard. I've been sleeping this freaking rusty ship box for the last like four days. And they're just so confused. They don't understand. They don't know what to do. Like, Have you been living in this thing? I'm like, I'm not living in it.
Like, where are you coming from? Do you live around here? I'm just kind of. We're living in it for a few days. It was a couple of days. I mean, you are not living in it. Yeah. When I told him I was coming from Utah, they were just like, I don't know what to do here.
Like, what they did is they just said, okay, just go to the parking lot over there and just like sleep for some amount of time. I would think the couple would be like, I feel like I should be tasing you just on principle, so please.
Yeah, right. Yeah, yeah. For this story to make sense, you have to see the vehicle in question because it is truly it is a cartoon of a vehicle. It's yeah, it's absurd. It's a rusty cube full of like a sleeping litter that David had inside of, like, old newspapers and rags and.
Yeah, it was terrible. Why? You just you just. Why did that guy not knock on the window, though? That's the real question. Who just calls the cops on somebody? You know, if there was a lot of debate in the comments section on Jalopnik about this and a lot of people said, well, it's too dangerous to knock on
a window, you know what, I think that's bullshit. That is if you think I'm if you think I'm ill or something like your fellow person, you know, did he think you just died there? Like what was he think?
Like you weren't embraced by the cops, right? I mean, so unless you were moving in next door to him, you're not a threat. Here's a guy who goes from fully capable of driving a totally, like, unstable, narrow shit box to clearly unconscious.
It's not like there's got to be some amount of, like, interim time where there's, like, loss of control. Like, I pull up perfectly to a gas pump and shut the come on and just off the couch. I would have called the cops, too.
Yeah, you know, that's here anyway. I would have knocked in a window at least just to see if you were dead. Thanks so much for sitting through and enduring the Autopen podcast. We are delighted to have you and we'll see you next week.