Where did Alex go?

While there are many back stories and rumors flying around about my departure from TTAC, I’m not going to answer any of them today. Why? Maybe because I want to let bygones be bygones. Maybe I get off on watching the comment-sphere conspiracy theorists speculate. Maybe I’m just a click whore that keeps promising “I’ll tell you later.” All I can say is: someday all will be known. Until then let’s talk about Alex on Autos.

Back in May 2011 Chrysler lent me a Charger R/T right around the time I bought a new Canon DSLR. My inner hoon brought me to the top of a parking garage where I filmed my first on-screen burnout. (I’m no stranger to burnouts, but this is the first one with photographic evidence.) After realizing that video could be used for something other than shenanigans that would get me in hot water with the fuzz, I started dabbling with car reviews. (Imagine that?)

Like many, my style is a reaction to what I didn’t like on the other reviews out there. Autoblog’s bits are too short, TFL Car is fun to watch but it always seems more like a bromance than information transfer. It seemed that nobody but a dental student from back east was doing in-depth car reviews (except he never drove the cars.) My videos started at 15 minutes and over time have stretched to 25-30 minutes per review plus an additional 5-10 minute video on the navigation and infotainment system and a 5-10 minute video on how well child seats and people interact with the car of the week. Long? You betcha. Boring? They drive me to tears. Oddly however some 35,000 people have subscribed and since January first I’ve had more than 4.5 million views and those viewers have watched more than 55 years worth of video (That’s 29 million minutes.) If you’re ready to explore every little detail of the cars on your shopping list, join my subscribers at www.youtube.com/alexonautos

11 Replies to “Where did Alex go?”

  1. Boone

    Dude, YouTube link is broke. At least from my S5. I see where it’s trying to send me, but too lazy to type. Fix that shit, yo.

  2. jz78817

    I like your reviews. I believe video should be a supplement/supporting material to a written review, and the reviews you published on TTAC seemed to be just like that. What you wrote covered the most important stuff, and the videos you made highlighted the things which needed to be shown instead of said.

  3. Andy

    Hey, don’t diss that “dental student from back east” – occasionally he got to drive a car around the block!

    • Alex Dykes Post author

      I’m not one to diss, I just found it funny that my style evolved and then after I had been uploading for about a year a friend of mine said “you remind me of Saabkyle04.” I’d like to say I took his idea and improved on it, but honestly I was just living in a vacuum where I thought I was being totally original… And I wasn’t. Oh well.

  4. Lee_K

    Alex! It’s great to see that at least you and Jack have agreed to patch things up, whatever may have occurred in the past couple of months as a number of us kept wondering what happened. I was a huge fan of your work as it evolved on TTAC and now religiously follow you on Alex On Autos. In my opinion, your video reviews are now the best in the business and continue to get better with each episode.

    Since I juggle over 80 IDs and passwords because of my job in IT support, I’m reluctant to get new ones if there is any way I can help it. So I’m not a YouTube subscriber, but rest assured that I follow every review.

    Can I offer a suggestion for your consideration? Since it is apparent that you like music, can you consider an X out of 10 point scale for the car audio systems in the vehicles that you review? I understand that audio systems have upgrades that may or may not be present in the trim level of the car you are reviewing, but I think you can note that when giving the review. Even base units can provide relatively decent sound. We know Jack used the audio system quality to help in the decision process that led to his Accord, so there are many of us out there that would be interested in your assessment.

    Respectfully submitted, of course…

    • Alex Dykes Post author

      For the record I want to be 100% perfectly clear on this one: there was never anything for Jack and I to patch up. The disagreement is not/was not between Jack and me.

      Thanks for the kind words! I’ll try to start working in more commentary on the audio system quality.

      • Lee_K

        Thanks for clearing that up, Alex, and thanks for taking that suggestion — I look forward to the upcoming reviews.

        One of the reasons I am interested in audio system quality is that today’s cars have become so integrated with other functions that it is becoming increasingly difficult for DIYers to replace the system with aftermarket items. I’ve upgraded the systems in about ten different cars over the years, but gone are the days when you can put a Craig head unit in the dash with Jensen 6x9s in the back shelf and call it good. At this point in life, I don’t really want to figure out balanced amplifier outputs to tap into, add digital sound processers to counteract the factory head unit frequency curves, add extra units to allow the steering wheel controls to work properly, and deal with the software headaches that come from aftermarket stuff doesn’t communicate well with the rest of the car’s electronics. So a few words on how the system sounds as delivered would be greatly appreciated.

  5. Dave

    That “dental student” is actually a pharma student. (Actually, he’s a pharmacist by now.) And his reviews B-I-T-E. They are NOT reviews. They are nothing but complimentary drivel. It’s bad enough he doesn’t drive the cars, but his reviews are a laundry list of their features. He hardly ever gives an impression of the features, and when he does, it’s always positive. I watched a few of his reviews, caught onto the format, and wondered how he has so many subscribers. I can only imagine it’s because people HATE to go to car stealerships — not because his reviews are any good.

  6. jeffzekas

    Alex, love your reviews. You and Jack are the two best writers at TTAC, so it’s too bad you both are leaving! Oh well, I’ve subscribed to both of your sites!


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