What’s It All About?

MCLAREN 275

Well, hello there.

My name is Jack Baruth. This is my website. You’ve probably figured that out.

I’ve been writing for publication since before Bill Clinton was president. Mostly about bikes and cars, but sometimes about general-interest topics as well. I’m a Scorpio. Just like you, I’m on a journey to learn and understand as much as I can about this world. Thanks for visiting.

478

And my name is Bark M. Well, no, not really, but it’s close enough. I’m a musician, a traveler, a driver, and a father. What else do you need to know?

57 Replies to “What’s It All About?”

  1. beltedradial

    I like the learning but the word journey? I’ve read occasional posts on TTAC but I couldn’t tell you if any of them were yours (except therecent Malibu Eco review). Nonetheless I read your goodbye article and although I don’t know the internal politics of the evolution of Fleetwood Mac, your conceptual description was such that here I am. Good luck finding the important stuff. I’m watching…

    Reply
  2. John

    If your available in early November, please reach out about a speaking idea. can’t find any way to call or send an email offline.
    John

    Reply
  3. AoLetsGo

    So I stumbled across this short movie about fat biking in the UP and I sent it to some of my riding buddies. Thought you might like it, there are no wild and crazy stunts but the music and cinematography are very good.
    Winter is coming, I got myself a new fatty and I am pumped!

    Reply
  4. Kyle

    Came across this article you wrote:
    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/can-ocean-city-enforce-maryland-vehicle-laws-state-cars-well-theyre-gonna-try/
    I found it quite humorous and enjoyed your writing style, so I Googled your name and ended up here. In spite of the fact that I am Canadian, I couldn’t agree more with your evaluation of the abuse of inter-state laws and although the issue itself is small, I couldn’t help but think about it on a grander scale and shake my head at America once again. I mean really, your country is spending tax dollars on machines to measure camber, on top of that booking out of state cars where the laws do not even apply, what a waste of tax payer money. Even though; ignorance of the law is not a defense, with stuff like this it makes me wonder if an American can even travel state to state without first reading the next states legal stature because if you don’t it may be your only defense. Mind boggling.

    On a side note, the relations you use to talk about “twenties somethings”, although funny, truly highlight your distain for that generation and their hobbies. Were not all that bad and some of us even have a sour taste in our own mouths for our peers tasteless characteristic traits. It also makes you sound like an old man, haha so ease up on that!

    Cheers, keep up the good work!

    Reply
  5. Rock36

    Jack, I just your article on TTAC siting your appreciation of Chris Bangle’s contribution to BMW and automotive design long before it was cool to do so. Anyway, in said article, you briefly mentioned releasing a book compilation of your old “Avoidable Contact” series from S:S:L and TTAC. Was that a true statement or merely tongue-in-cheek? I will tell you right now that if you do release it, I will absolutely buy it without hesitation.

    Reply
  6. Eric Cowles

    Mr. Baruth, I just discovered the nice article about my Dad’s passing. Thank you for the kind words.

    Eric Cowles

    Reply
    • JackJack Post author

      Thank you for stopping by. Your father was a brilliant and talented man. I’ve turned down more than a couple of offers for the guitars he rebuilt for me.

      Reply
  7. Craig Ruskey

    Jack, you might know a lot about racing, but you don’t possess a turd’s worth of knowledge about the Allman Brothers Band. I was partially amazed, but mostly saddened and angered by, your paragraph-after-paragraph drivel and blather regarding the naked photo that graced the inside of their debut album. Quick question… were you even born when Duane Allman was alive? The photograph in question was not the idea of Stephen Paley (the man with the camera), but that of the late Phil Walden, who owned and operated Capricorn Records. The album was the band’s debut project in 1969 – and probably before your time – hippies were plentiful and they were excited about being able to express their new freedoms. If this over your head, I apologize. Long story short? Write about things that display your knowledge – not your inane stupidity and complete lack of grade-school research skills. With everything on the Internet these days, I’d think you could have done better than a third-grader offering political views on the shortcomings of Barack Obama. That’s what I get for thinking.

    Reply
    • JackJack Post author

      Hi Craig,

      Were you personally acquainted with the individuals responsible for the photo? I’m always willing to retract mistakes. What did I get wrong, and what was your perspective?

      Reply
      • Craig Ruskey

        Jack… to put it mildly, the whole thing was a mistake on your part. If you like the music of the Allman Brothers Band, that’s one thing, but to attempt to dissect what went down the day that photo was taken was poor judgment on your part. If you weren’t around in the late 1960s into the early 1970s, you completely missed the hippie movement. And, yes, it was a movement… free love, free music, young kids finally being able to express their beliefs and views. Older Americans didn’t understand it, but it didn’t matter. Young people finally had a voice, and a band that was from the South, lived in the South and were based in the South was totally new.

        The debut album in 1969 also spoke volumes about the people in the band. In 1969, and especially in the South, Caucasians and African-Americans hanging out together was practically unheard of. Yet, here was a band that didn’t care about the backward and backwoods Uncle Tom beliefs America held onto. This was a racially mixed unit, indeed, a brotherhood. The naked photo shocked older Americans, but it raised a flag for young kids, and thankfully, it wasn’t the rebel flag of the South.

        The photo was shot not far from Macon, Georgia, the home base for the Brothers back then. The creek ran between the property of the late Otis Redding and Alan Walden, Phil’s brother and partner in the Capricorn venture. Phil had actually managed Otis Redding’s career. Stephen Paley was hired by Atlantic Records, who had financially backed Walden’s new Capricorn label. Stephen told me that Phil Walden had come up with the idea to do the naked photos. There was actually an entire shoot done that day. And in 1969, young kids and hippies were ‘letting it all hang out’ so to speak. Stephen has also told me that drugs weren’t involved the day the photos were taken. So, in short, the idea for the picture that graced the inside gatefold of the debut record by the Allman Brothers Band was all about what was happening at the time. Young America was rising up with a voice and firmly expressing their views and beliefs, regardless of what older Americans thought or believed. If you weren’t around then, you missed a lot.

        Thanks for requesting some further information, Jack.

        Reply
        • AntiBoomerAnger

          Fucking boomers – it will never be enough for you will it? Whining then, whining now… shut the fuck up and die already so we can get rid of your ahistorical, acultural, and sorely dated, baggage already. By the way, and I am surprised at your advanced age you still don’t get it… NOTHING IS FREE – and because you manipulated fools didn’t get it then either, now the younger generations are left to float the bill for your anything-fucking-goes-as-long-as-it-isn’t-tradition narcissistic hedonism and activist “reform” movements that “changed the world”… Dylan was right to divorce himself from you incorrigible idjits. Too bad more of you didn’t follow… Thanks for making us foot your health bill too, so we can pay for your 70s cocaine-scarred internals before you shuffle along… fucking intellectual bums and betrayers of your progeny. Stand your own ground and stop hiding behind this phony myth of “we”, the 60s kids… you “let it all hang out”? That’s your “freedom”? Fuck your cock! Grow up – LOL!

          Maybe you should go fix some of the mess you left your grandchildren instead of getting all curmudgeon over album covers that no one cares about – no one who matters anyway…

          Yours,

          Mercurial Reaper

          Reply
          • exfordtech

            Holy fuck who pissed in your cereal. A great deal of change occurred in the time in question. Not all good I’ll admit but if you can’t acknowledge it the shame is on you. For example, the fact alone that you are permitted to rant in such a manner is a testament to that type of change. Ever heard the phrase children should be seen but not heard?

  8. JP Miller

    Jack,

    On a lighter note…

    I was nostalgically reading about the demise of the V Star 1100 and came across your 2012 article on that cruiser. Why do people buy or ride cruisers? I thought I would prefer one of the zippier street bikes but my desire to travel pushed me to the 1100. I have always ridden alone and reveled in the comfort of this bike. Stock mufflers are fine with me. Yes, many corners have aluminum skid marks from the floor boards. Those boards also deflected many a trucker’s loose loads.

    This classing bike carried me across deserts of Texas, NM, Az. and California in blistering June and July heat. It purred along endless west Texas highways at 90 mph. It delighted me through hills and twists in southern California. It powered me over lofty highways across Arizona and New Mexico. It supported me on several 600 and 700 mile trips through high winds and rain in Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas. It danced me daily to and from work in Houston year round. It was trouble free for 8 years and 40,000 miles.

    It failed me only once, or I failed it when I couldn’t maneuver to avoid a car turning left in front of me. Insurance paid for the bike and my wounds but I had to heal.

    Now it is time to consider a replacement. Ah there is none!

    Looking for your contact information I found your claim to a few lines in middle English that intrigued me. They are some of the few classic lines I memorized in 1966 and can still recite today. I didn’t think you were that old… 6 centuries old.

    A couple things in common impelled me to relate my story. I hope you enjoyed it.

    Reply
  9. Scotten

    Hey Jack… since Bark “came out” as to his career, what is yours? I’ve been reading you for years and you’ve alluded to “driving to work” but I’m pretty sure you never identified your day job.

    Or is working in the auto blog/magazine world your full time thing?

    Reply
  10. Trent Punnett

    Jack – just read your treatise in R&T on why Tesla should be worshipped. You must be on their payroll, or brain dead. You don’t release beta versions of functionality that can kill people. Beta means it’s not cooked. It does not matter that they have every disclaimer on the planet before you turn it on – that does not absolve you of responsibility. Putting out a beta version, with inferior hardware to feed the software, is reckless and cavalier with respect to human life. You should consider stepping on to a higher plane and write instead about the standards on what would make all this acceptable, and safe.
    What Tesla is doing right now is arrogant, and that kills people.
    Trent

    Reply
  11. Tom Fronk

    Hey Jack, I read your article in R&T about the C5 Z06 being the best HPDE car for the money. I enjoyed it and it’s been something I’ve been saying since starting HPDE. I drive a 2005 GTO that I’ve put money into making it a great track car. One thing you wrote about that I have problems with too (and it makes since since those cars have the same brake calipers whereas my car weighs about 800lbs more) is heat cracks in the rotors. I notice a lot of people with this problem and my father and I have just started a business to prolong not having a problem. When I worked as a tooling design engineer I came across a harmonics process that extends the life of machined tools. We’ve done some testing on rotors and have seen life extended by 800%, I know it’s a stupid high number but we tested at CMP the other month and the treated rotors have no cracking in them at all while the non-treated ones have the start. Also our treated ones run with temps cooler by about 70 degrees and this was on a 100 degree day in SC. If you would be interested in it let me know of if you’d like to write about its potential in the motorsports world I’d love to tell you more about it!

    Reply
    • Wayne Fuckin' Gerdes

      Hello, I’m Wayne Fuckin’ Gerdes, and I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to use my position as a supposedly-impartial reviewer of cars and automotive products to promote your business! Look forward to working together,

      Wayne Fuckin’ Gerdes #SPON

      PS. Sorry for the jokes, sounds like a great product. Maybe submit a press release to R&T, Hot Rod or other industry magazine and pray?

      Reply
  12. A09

    Jack, Bark:

    First time post here, but longtime follower from TTAC. Glad to see this outlet for your writing. I became hooked on your writing from two specific stories: “How Lamborghini Lost its Man Card” and “99 Red Balloons”.

    Reply
  13. KEVIN BELLIOTTI

    Just wondering how comfy u were in the new Mazda. Just finished the R&T article and I’m DYING to know if my 6’2″ 215 lb frame might be able to fit. . .

    Thx,

    KB

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Kevin — I think you’ll be in good shape. Don’t expect to be able to wear a helmet with the top up unless you slouch and/or recline!

      Reply
  14. Rudy Sender

    Hi Jack,
    Just came across your story about the worn out white 911 you plan to keep inside a safebox until its skyrocketing value reaches an eight figure number.
    I really enjoyed it, and though I read R&T on a regular basis, this time your sense of humour and certain petereganesque writing style, pushed me to sit and start writing this praising lines.
    Let me apologize for any orthographic or syntactic mistake, as english is not my mother language . . . and neither my father!

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Man, I really dig that car. Wish I had the know-how to keep it running.

      Typical Boxster, though: you buy the car for $60k, put $100k into it, list it for $50k.

      Reply
  15. Mike Briskie

    Hey Jack, I’m travelling between Wooster, OH and Youngstown, OH today for some dealer training. I’ve got a ’17 Charger R/T rental in arrest-me-red. I want to make my friend’s birthday by sending them a sweet Birthday Burnout video. I feel like I’m in the middle of nowhere but I have bad luck with public road shenanigans. Where can I do this without being locked up?

    Reply
  16. David Rohr

    Hi Jack,

    I found your blog because I saw you were an Electra collector. I’ve fallen in love with my friend’s 1982 Electra X 155 anniversary, but he won’t budge on ever selling me it. I was wondering if you had one you might be willing to sell?

    Thanks so much,
    David

    Reply
  17. rick Ferry

    Hello Jack–Your article on the 228i, 235i or M2 left me wondering. Here in the wonderful state of CA we are restricted to the SULEV 228i/230i version. Was your test vehicle the SULEV ?(Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle) and if yes (or no) any thoughts on this version of the engine. Does it change your conclusion that the 228i/230i is the best enthusiast BMW one can buy today? Thanks, Rick

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Rick,

      We had New Jersey manufacturer-plate cars. It’s my understanding that BMW sells SULEV cars in California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. So I’m thinking we had a SULEV car, but I can’t say for sure.

      Reply
  18. The Artist Formerly Known As Dr. Gunn

    I’ve read Steve Sailer’s blog (pretty much) every day for the past twelve years. Over the weekend, I stumbled across a very interesting article about the Camry that he ended thusly, “Anyway, this is just an excuse to bring up the name of Jack Baruth who is a really good car writer.”
    http://www.unz.com/isteve/the-truth-about-cars/

    “Many years ago, Bark and I were dedicated members of a semi-secret music messageboard. The shenanigans that went on would fill a book.” Yup, that’s the same Jack Baruth. lolololoz!

    Great to see you and “Bark” living long and prospering.

    Reply
  19. Sean

    Dang!
    I’m new here and am familiar with Mr. Baruth from a long time ago. (A Schwinn Predator was my first bike) Jack looks exactly like I expected. “Bark M” looks exactly like I pictured the Devil in human form. This place is awesome!

    Reply
  20. Kevin McCarthy

    Hey there Jack / Bark…

    So for some reason at 39 I’ve encountered the urge to write. Would love to meet up or at least cross paths at a local cars and coffee sometime just to pick your brain on the subject. Plenty of potential for crap, but as I understand it the only way to get better is to keep writing.

    http://truthinspeed.com (if you’re bored someday) – feel free to drop me an email if you’re heading to C&C at Cup ‘O Joe sometime.

    Love your work BTW – Sam Smith suggested I search out more of it and I’m glad I did.

    Reply
  21. Mark

    I enjoy many of your columns, and “How To Mentally Manipulate Your Fellow Drivers” is a masterpiece. It intelligently articulates a lot of the free driver training I have unsuccesfully tried to give on the roads since I actually learned how to drive…about 15 years after I became a “licensed” driver.

    I can’t wait to use the blind spot blinker instead of my gas and pass, or brake stab and duck in maneuvers!

    Reply
      • Mark

        Will do and have to!

        You keep up the great work. I have only ever contacted two automotive journalists. Peter Egan is the other.

        Between trips to Pocono NASA HPDE events and Maple Grove Raceway to abuse my C5 Z06, I log 25,000 + business miles/yr in a fleet car among the “herd” of Philly metro traffic.

        My wife is from Queens so for a decade I wasted hours commuting among your tribes, yielding many less miles, to all 5 Boros from Nassau County.

        That’s when I knew I needed the Corvette and the track. Too bad you’re a Porsche guy.

        Reply
  22. Mark

    No! I am not sure if that is intended to emasculate or comfort me? Pre-smog equipment removal I was at a mere 411 rwhp (mustang Dyno). I could be getting nearly as powerful as your wife.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Let me know when you get close. We are still on a stock cam… we could push a little harder. It’s Matt Farah’s old car. She just bought it in Feb.

      Reply
      • Rock36

        I’m fairly sure I’m late to the game, but I just saw that Matt Farah wrote a farewell to his, now Danger Girl’s vette.

        Reply
        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          I think he wrote it pretty shortly after DG took delivery. He was a little sad to see it go!

          Reply
  23. Mark

    I’m catching up too! Took a look at Farah’s article. This web-site provided more breadth and depth into J. Baruth et al. than my print R&T angle previously provided. Danger Girl’s car is sweet. I grew up in Pittsburgh and have some car buddies there and in Columbus, but moved east. As Costanza said, “worlds could collide”, maybe at Pittsburgh international or Mid-Ohio. I also have screws in my leg and own a vintage Gary Fisher but am nowhere near as young as those old millennials. Would also be flattered to be included in their criticism. Glad I found this site as an eternal kid in his 40s! Either way, will probably not get the seats, coolers or harnesses needed to show the inherent difference between a Z and regular C5.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      If you’ll be near Mid-Ohio, let us know for sure! Pitt Race is unlikely for us this year unless my son goes there to race his kart.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *