Thursday, February 28, 2013

Motor City Break Up

Dear Metro-Detroit,

I know this is tough for both of us, but I need some time apart. How long has it been, nearly thirty years? That's a really long time and we've both changed. When we first met I was blown away by how ingrained the car culture is to your very nature. Every third garage in this town conceals some project, classic, or race car with a story and a club. A week doesn't go by without seeing a camouflaged prototype on the street and if you don't work in the industry, your neighbor does.

I was intoxicated by the technology, glamour, and speed this town manufactures so I became a part of it. I got an engineering degree and job. I wanted to be the guy that makes cars awesome to drive and in my small way, I've done it. Along the way I've raced three cars, explored incredible junk yards, attended some great car shows and met the most die-hard car guys in the world. Please understand that you'll always have a special place in my heart but I need to explore. You see Mo-Town, it's not you, it's me.

You should know this is hard for me too. I'm walking away from my family, friends, a fleet of project cars, and a successful ChumpCar/LeMons race team. Don't get me wrong, I've really enjoyed our time together. We've had a great run but I've always wondered what else is out there. Other than a few years at college, you're the only town I've ever really known. If I don't explore now I'll settle down having never experienced the rest of the big wide world out there. You see, we've had some great times but there were some bad times too.

The winters are really long and you dispense enough salt on the streets to rust through anything pre-1987 in a matter of hours. I needed an extra car just to drive between November and March. Your roads are straight, flat, and boring—except for the massive pot holes. Seriously, I've driven smoother roads in Mexico. Don't get me started on the unions or politics.

So I'm off to explore the world, or at least southern Germany. Honestly, I miss you already. I went into a cell phone store when I arrived and told them where I was from. The young German guy asked "is it dangerous there?". See Detroit, I'm defending your reputation already. For the first time in my life, I don't have access to a car of my own. Hopefully that'll change soon but the rules here are Orwellian. I can't even wash my own car and unapproved modifications are strictly verboten. We can discuss the details later, but let's just say I'd be locked up for a long time if I tried to drive my topless Miata here.

So the old BeaterBlog Detroit office is on temporary (two year) hiatus. Once I get settled and something in the garage I'll officially open BeaterBlog Europe. In the meantime Detroit, stay true to yourself and keep making the fastest cars to turn a lap on the Nord-Schliefe. These sophisticated Europeans don't quite know what to make of it.


  1. Get a 1990 or earlier BMW e30 wagon, then bring it back to the US when you move back, sell it, then $$$

  2. Separation makes the love even stronger :-)

  3. An E30 wagon would be cool but owning an old car is tough where I live. If it's not Euro3 emission level I can't even enter the city. At the moment I'm thinking Italian but I'll keep you posted.

  4. Leaving Detroit is tough, tougher even for you I imagine, but exploring and getting to know new places is something worth doing. In the end, it will make you appreciate the things you love about Detroit even more.