Category: Site News and Announcements

Updates on policies or other administrative stuff.

Ate Up With Motor Highlights: The De Luxe Edition

Two more past Ate Up With Motor articles of which I’m particularly proud:

  • High-Tech High Roller: 1981–2001 Toyota Soarer Z10, Z20, and Z30: I get the feeling that sometimes the things that fascinate me may leave some of you rather cold, which I fear is the case with the Toyota Soarer. Not sold in the U.S. until its third generation, the Soarer was a darling of Japanese yuppies of the ’80s, a sporty coupe related to the Toyota Supra, but with a personal luxury flavor, festooned with advanced technology (much of it laughably primitive today, but very flashy back then) that made it the kind of car you’d see in a cyberpunk anime OVA set in some distant future age like, say, 2013. I only wish I’d had more pictures to illustrate its retro-future ambiance.
  • The Perilous Success of the 1976 Cadillac Seville: Still a controversial piece, although I stand by my conclusion: that the 1976–1979 Seville worked out well for what it actually was (an easier-to-park Cadillac with a stylish new approach to the traditional Cadillac look), but was not successful as what it set out to be (a Mercedes-fighter that would lure in younger import luxury buyers). I’m currently trying to put together a tangentially related article, which I’ll hold off on revealing until it’s a little further along.

Ate Up With Motor Highlights: The End of the Fiesta

Another Ate Up With Motor article of which I’m especially proud:

  • Party Downsize: The Ford Fiesta Mk1 and Mk2: When I chronicled the early history of Ford’s B-segment hatchback back in 2013, I wouldn’t have guessed that the party would be over within a decade — Ford ceased production in July 2023 to allot more factory capacity for the SUVs and crossovers the auto industry has decided we must all drive now. The Fiesta was never the phenomenon in the U.S. that it was in Europe, but it was a landmark product for Ford, one of the defining models of its segment and consistently one of the most entertaining to drive. It will be missed.

Ate Up With Motor Highlights: Continental Edition

It occurs to me that it might be worthwhile to highlight some of the existing Ate Up With Motor articles of which I’m especially proud, of which there’ve been quite a few over the years. Here are two:

  1. Before the Continental: Edsel Ford’s Speedster: Back in 2011, I had the opportunity to attend an event at the Petersen Automotive Museum commemorating the restoration of one of the custom cars designed for Edsel Ford by E.T. (Bob) Gregorie, the 1934 Ford Model 40 Special Speedster. These one-offs were the predecessors of the better-known Lincoln Continental, a capital-C Classic which also originated as a customized car for Edsel, and examining their history also provided a pretext for discussing Edsel Ford — a very interesting fellow, light years apart from his more famous father — and his relationship with Bob Gregorie.
  2. Like the Wind: The Lincoln Zephyr and Continental: I had always intended the Edsel Speedster article to be a prelude to a history of the Lincoln-Zephyr and the first Continental. In 2013, I got the opportunity to see and ride in a gorgeous (and astonishingly original) 1939 Zephyr, which helped to provide additional perspective on these attractive and historically important cars.

Status Update

Since my previous post, a number of people have made financial contributions to the site, which I very much appreciate, and which I have used to:

  1. Renew the ateupwithmotor.com domain registration
  2. Pre-pay the renewal of the site’s SSL certificate (the current one is valid through the end of March)
  3. Pay the web hosting charges through the beginning of April. [ETA: As of February 1, I’ve pre-paid the web hosting through June.]

So, thank you all for that!

Status Report

As you may have noticed, there haven’t been any additional Ate Up With Motor articles since the end of April. Ate Up With Motor has never been a particularly lucrative venture (although it’s helped me get some other work), and over the course of the year, most of my other income has dried up as well, such that my survival, much less that of the site, is now very much in doubt. I don’t see any really viable ways of further monetizing the site: I can’t use Google Ads products, and there’s no longer enough traffic to interest other ad platforms, beyond which the use of intrusive online advertising has become both legally and ethically very dicey; the prospect of creating print or e-books has been sort of a chimera that presents a variety of practical problems I don’t know how to solve, and my efforts to obtain professional guidance on some of those things came to naught. The upkeep of the site is not particularly costly in monetary terms, but the work involved in creating new content is substantial, and since it doesn’t really translate into any significant financial return, it’s harder to find or justify the energy involved. I wish I could talk about exciting future plans, but the future of Ate Up With Motor is looking quite bleak.

Jetfire?

I have now written about the 1961–1963 Pontiac Tempest, the 1961–1963 Buick Special/Skylark, and the 1961–1963 Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass, but the one facet of the GM Y-body “senior compacts” I still haven’t delved into of that first flush in any great detail is the 1962–1963 Olds F-85 Jetfire. The Jetfire was (with the concurrent Corvair Monza Spyder) the world’s first production car with a turbocharged gasoline engine — an honor many sources still erroneously attribute to BMW or Saab. I think I have a fair bit to say about it, although it’s a familiar topic and perhaps played out. Does anyone care anymore? Not sure.

(ETA: The finished Jetfire article was finally published on April 29, 2023.)

New Content

If you were wondering, yes, that is a new article. Those of you who don’t share my fascination with the original Hydra-Matic transmission will not be cheered, but I thought the saga of the Rolls-Royce license-built versions (yes, versions, something I didn’t know until recently) deserved a more in-depth discussion than a side note in the original Hydra-Matic article.

ETA 10 September 2022: This also is a new article.

Hiding the Box

I’ve had to change the mechanism for hiding the “Support Ate Up With Motor” box and its embedded PayPal payment button, as the old option was no longer working correctly. The new option is available by clicking “Privacy Preferences” on the bottom banner when you first arrive, or clicking “Access Your Privacy and Cookie Preferences” button on the Privacy Tools page afterward. The “Consent Management” tab now includes a toggle switch for “Allow PayPal Button”; turning that off should prevent the “Support Ate Up With Motor” box from loading. No box, no embedded PayPal content.

If you turned the box off previously, your old setting will no longer work. (I apologize for that, but it was the only way I could get the option to work as intended, and the new approach should make it easier to find and adjust that setting.) As before, this setting is stored in a cookie — it’s now stored in the same cookie as the Privacy Policy consent — so if you clear your cookies or access the site from a different device or browser, you’ll need to set it again.

To Content or Not to Content

I have recently been working on some articles as possible new Ate Up With Motor content:

  1. 1955–1958 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier (which would be the first time I’ve dealt with anything truck-like since the Ranchero and El Camino)
  2. 1961–1963 Pontiac Tempest (the “rope-drive” senior compact).

I’m not yet sure what I’m going to do with these. The incentive for publishing new content here is limited at this point, and there are many compelling reasons not to, beginning with the fact that I don’t have ANY photos of either these vehicles and would have to find some (which might be enough to talk me out of it, frankly). However, I do have an actual draft of the Cameo Carrier article, and have started on the Tempest one. The latter has intrigued me for a while, since the rope-drive cars are such an odd interlude when it comes to American cars.

Twilight of the Analytics, Part 2

I have now discontinued my use of Google Analytics tracking on the Ate Up With Motor website, and I have initiated the process of deleting the existing analytics data. If you already have ateupwithmotor.com analytics cookies (and/or analytics consent cookies) on your device, they will remain until they expire (which may take some time) or until you delete them, but they will no longer function.

At this point, my intention is to retain only whatever bits of analytics data I may have included in past email messages. For example, if at some point I sent someone an email along the lines of “According to my Google Analytics data, the site had X unique visitors in June, up from Y in May,” or “Right now, the analytics data shows that these specific articles are the most frequently viewed,” I will likely retain such email unless I have some other outstanding reason to delete it. (Most or all the data of that kind is aggregate statistics, not individual visitor data.) I’ll also likely retain Google notification emails related to the analytics service.

The complete deletion of the rest of the analytics data could take a while. According to this help page, it takes 35 days for an analytics “property” to be permanently deleted. Other Google documentation indicates that the actual deletion of data from this and other Google services is performed via scheduled “deletion processes” that take place about every two months. As best I can determine, this means that while the deleted analytics data will no longer be recoverable by me after 35 days, it may take up to about 90 days (give or take) before it’s completely gone. (ETA: I confirmed on May 11 that the property was gone from the Trash, so I can no longer recover it.)

I’ve updated the “Online Tracking” section of the Privacy Policy to reflect all this, retaining the links to the various relevant Google documents. If you have questions, please let me know.