by Peter Dushenski
When did she grow to be a beauty? When did he grow to be so tall?
It happened so fast.
Firstly, I want to thank you, dear reader, for continuing to share in this experiment we call “CarEnvy.ca”. I take great pleasure in sharing the written word with you, and I consider it a privilege to have this platform upon which to do so.
CarEnvy.ca has matured and evolved throughout its existence, constantly morphing to reflect my personal development. It started in October 2008 as a for-profit (or rather, for-loss) partnership between myself and a techy friend who came up with the idea of a car blog after he started up several successful websites. We soon launched and hired a few other writers, together publishing several, largely newsy articles per day. That first iteration didn’t last forever, but it did help to launch the career of at least one auto journalist.
The next chapter saw us moving away from news and towards editorials and reviews as we finagled relationships with auto manufacturers for the first time. This was a very exciting and gratifying time. Lots of buzz, a few all-expenses-paid trips, and a smidge of status for this little project. But this chapter didn’t last forever either.
The subsequent chapter was a particularly interesting one that saw the dissolution of most of the manufacturer relationships after a few controversial articles. This left me with my integrity and sense of fun intact at the expense of some perks. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Today, 5 full years into this experiment, we reflect on this journey and appreciate how far we’ve come. From a car salesman that could only muster a C+ in English 101 to an editor of 6 writers to a government-employed “auto journalist” with ten manufacturers lined up to a storyteller/bitcoiner/philosopher who sometimes mentions cars – it’s been a spectacular evolution. It’s been trying at times, particularly when the site was hacked and content was lost for good, but the thrills and opportunities have more than made up for it.
Five years ago, I could’ve never imagined that I’d be so comfortable putting my thoughts to paper, much less that I’d also have taken up a hand-written journal, nor spent so much goddam time tweeting. This blog has opened doors for me and changed my life for the better. And I want to thank you all for sharing in this experience.
Now, I’d like to look back at a few of my favourite articles from the past 60 months. These 5 stories are a glimpse at the journey thus far, but as I’m sure you can guess, they show little about where CarEnvy.ca is going in the future.
5.Review: 2007ish Mercury Grand Marquis (1987 Ford Crown Victoria): My first road trip review, but far from my last. Based on a rental car experience during a golf trip to Florida, this was the first article to ever grace these pages. Can you tell I wrote it?
4. The Only Car You’ll Ever Need, On Mars: The Porsche 911 GT3: This article was not only a high watermark in terms of storytelling, it was also republished on Jalopnik by one of my biggest inspirations at the time, Mr. Peter Orosz. Talk about a dream come true!
3. We Believe in Cars. So Do You. That’s Why We’re Here: A manifesto of sorts, summed up perfectly by “We believe that cars offer us what nothing else can: Emancipation From Fixed Location.” It just rings.
2. BMW and Toyota Are Boring. Or How I Got Banned From Their Press Fleets: A post-mortem analysis of my BMW-Toyota days. This is my badge of honour and a tribute to the power of crayon. This drawing is also now on the wall of my home office.
1. 2012 VW Beetle 2.5L Premiere: Mortality, Progress and Impermanence [Review]: Perhaps my most deeply philosophical post, this article reflects the diverse schools of thought that I’ve come to respect and draw from in recent years. Who knew I had a philosopher sleeping inside of me?
And there were so many more memorable posts that I wanted to include. I hope you all get lost in CarEnvy.ca’s archives sometime, as I did while writing this.
After more than 1000 posts, CarEnvy.ca is still as fun and tangential as ever. This has always been and will always be my favourite platform for expression, creativity, and crayola drawings. Long may we continue on this journey together.
Thank you for reading.
[Photo credit: universal76/Flickr]