Follow Friday: Best of 2013 Automotive Twitter Accounts
With the year coming to an end, we have compiled the ultimate Follow Friday list for all your automotive needs and desires. We have done all the work, so you can sit back, relax, and ring in the new year with the Top 50 Automotive Twitter Accounts of 2013.
- The Edelbrock story reads like a Jeff Bridges movie. Their founder was so cool we ran a biography on him a while back. If, for instance, old Vic had maintained a twitter account when he was 14, it would have read “The @Ford #ModelT I was delivering broke down. I fixed it. NBD.” Or, “Heading to Wichita tonight to deliver another T. Running a case of…medicine. Let me know if you want in.” Edelbrock’s current twitter account doesn’t involve running moonshine, but since they’re the top name in carbureted fuel management, it is packed full of good info about Bernoulli and such. If you need carburetion info, this is who to follow on Twitter.
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Gary Grant/The Garage Blog
- Ontario-based blogger Gary Grant is an autophile of the deepest nature. Growing up in the clutch and brake fumes of Canadian road racing, Gary needs cars like they need fuel. He writes a daily column for Wheels.ca and maintains The Garage Blog, which covers everything from slammed hot rods to new consumer reviews. Best of all, he’s Canadian, so he has access to all the good stuff we don’t get. Also, he probably doesn’t have Tourette’s.
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- Honda still owns the market on reliability. I know this from experience, as my old 1990 Accord seemed impossible to kill. After Million Mile Joe conquered his landmark odometer roll in his own ’90 Accord earlier this year, I can see why. Whether you’re tuning your Civic or packing your family into your Odyssey, you know what I’m talking about. Follow Honda to keep up with the latest releases (and most importantly, when the new NSX is coming out.)
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- We couldn’t do our first Follow Friday post without mentioning a racing driver, and we couldn’t mention a racing driver without first mentioning the legendary Jeff Gordon. He’s just 42, but he’s scored 92 career NASCAR wins, 462 top tens, and 86 poles. He has six championships under his belt, and he’s won Daytona three times and the Brickyard four times. Now, there’s a chance that you don’t like this guy too much, even fostering opinions about other racing drivers. In that case, follow Jeff and know thy enemy.
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- Without a doubt, SEMA is one of the coolest automotive twitter accounts to follow, mostly because their annual show in Vegas attracts some of the most postal customizers in America- along with all their gorgeous artwork. Yes, you’ll want to click on all the image links.
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- Magnaflow has been forging their unique, high performance mufflers for over 30 years. They pride themselves on boosting both power and sound, but not noise. Each muffler is specifically tuned to play just the right notes. Your neighbors might not appreciate it, but that may be a good thing.
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- Autoblog is likely the most comprehensive automotive news source online. Unlike many automotive blogs, they don’t just post enthusiast news, because every car has its enthusiasts. Except for the Chevy Captiva. Yeah, you forgot that one existed, didn’t you?
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- When it comes to car manufacturers, nobody trades spots for the biggest one with Toyota like good ol’ GM. Yes, they brought us the Chevy Captiva (you’d already forgotten again, hadn’t you?), but they also build the Camaro, the Silverado, and one of the most successful sports cars ever engineered, the Corvette. Now if we can only get them to turn that cool new Caprice into an El Camino…
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- What has two thumbs and just won Talladega? This guy. Er…that guy. Yeah, it’s kindof tough to point at NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray with both of my thumbs. But it apparently isn’t so tough for him to win races. Nice work, Jamie!
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- This is the best television show in the history of the universe. If you’re not watching Top Gear, you’d better have a pretty good excuse. Put the most disinterested, bored, public transit-addicted, environmentalist, millennial college bro in a room with a full season of Top Gear, and he’ll come out spitting horsepower figures and jonesing for a v12 Ferrari. As a film enthusiast, I was first drawn to Top Gear because it was so beautifully shot and edited. It looked like a Ridley Scott film. Then I realized that the trio of middle-aged British presenters, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, were the perfectly volatile combination of personalities to create a chain reaction and a comedy mushroom cloud. Follow Top Gear, folks. You won’t regret it.
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- Every industry has its virtuosos, the standard setters. Warn holds this title in the realm of winches. They’ve been around since 1603 AD and a Warn winch was actually used to make the tower of Piza lean. That last bit may or may not be accurate, but Warn is genuinely the top of the braided steel line when it comes to pulling off-roaders back onto their roads. And they produce awesome new stuff all the time, like the Zeon, which we dubbed the Stealth Winch. So follow them to keep up with the cool kids.
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- Okay, guys. Remember last week when I digitally swooned over Top Gear, about how it was the best TV show since Soupy Sales? Jalopnik is the Top Gear of car blogs. Think back to the first X-Men movie, in which Magneto was going to use Anna Paquin to turn all the world leaders into mutants, and just as the wave of mutant frosting was about to hit the island, it dissipated and everybody was saved from being immediately more awesome. Well, the writers of Jalopnik were piloting a plastic barrel in the bay that day, trolling for three-eyed fish, and they got a full dose. They now use their mutant powers of irreverent wit, clever imagination, and locating the obscurest corners of the autoverse to entertain, inform and enrich. Follow them on Twitter. Drive free or die.
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- I have a bit of a soft spot for Fuji Heavy Industries’ unique and specialized car brand: I own one, and it’s my favorite car in the world. These days, every Subaru is equipped with a boxer engine, providing a low center of gravity; and all-wheel-drive, providing for excellent handling and balanced power delivery. Except the new BRZ, which is a rear-wheel-drive sports car in every sense of the term. I reviewed one recently and wanted to steal it. Keep up with Subaru on Twitter for news on all their cool cars, including the new WRX, which we should see sometime soon.
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- It’s not because it’s right in the back yard of the Streetside HQ here in Kansas City, or that it hosts NASCAR events on its oval and endurance sports car events on its road course. We love the Kansas Speedway because it always seems to be up to something good, some devious new plan to keep us cheering. Follow them on Twitter to find out about the latest races, events, and NASCAR Experience packages they offer.
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- The Edmunds Empire stretches from sea to shining sea, offering a vast array of blogs, guides, and informational pages about just about every production car on the roads. Need to know what engines were offered in the 1997 Ford Taurus? Edmunds. Want to know the fuel economy of an EF Civic? Edmunds. Need to know how many films Boris Karloff starred in? IMDB…er…yeah. But back to Edmunds: they’re obsessed with everything automotive, and when they get the news, you will, too. If you follow them on Twitter.
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- K&N is like a professor of a large class in a small university. They teach Modding 101, and nobody gets their diploma without at some point having completed their course. Their unique, groundbreaking air filters use oil-soaked cotton rather than plain-ol’ paper, which makes them more efficient, more effective, and eternally reusable. K&N guarantees them for a million miles. Literally. But what they’re really known for these days are their cold air intakes. They dyno test them all and refuse to sell one unless it offers a horsepower improvement over stock. Follow them for the latest news on product releases and their extensive racing program.
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- You should follow Speedhunters anyway, but their blog is absolutely perfect right around the end of a Tuesday, when you’re tired of all things related to effort and you just want to sink into a giant, frothy hot tub of awesome. Focusing mostly on Japanese beauties, and exclusively on unique and interesting customs, Speedhunters’ posts are jam-packed with high-resolution photos and detailed descriptions. Their posts just sortof stitch you back together. Keep up with all their incredible stuff on Twitter.
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Ford Motor Company
- Even if you’re a GM or Mopar fan, you can’t deny that Ford has been killing it lately. The Fusion is stunning, the Focus and Fiesta ST are beating everything under the sun (on a budget), and the Mustang is about to emerge into the 21st century. And as always, the F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in America. They must be doing something right. Now if we could only get them to build a RWD Lincoln. Keep up with Dearborn on Twitter.
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- Love her or hate her, Danica Patrick has been the face of the female racing driver in America, rocking one of the most successful and recognizable female careers in motorsports. Follow her on Twitter for all the latest.
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- The 1960s saw the era of car customizers as household names. Guys like George Barris and Dean Jeffries were known from sea to shining sea. Thanks to his unique eye, his cool show on Velocity, and his all around brilliant work, Chip Foose has become the preeminent American car designer, fabricator, illustrator, and customizer of our time. Perhaps we’re entering a new golden era of customs. All that said, follow Chip on Twitter.
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- Bushwacker has one of the most honest names in the automotive aftermarket. More often than not, their rugged line of fender flares end up actually wacking bushes. With their solid construction, edgy look, and wide selection of other all-terrain accessories, such as bed rail caps and body armor, Bushwacker has become the go-to brand for off-road modders. Keep up with them on Twitter for all the latest.
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- No brand is more closely associated with American off-roading than Jeep. When American soldiers returned from WWII, they remembered the unbustable, 60 hp mules that hauled them all over Europe, Africa, and the Pacific, and they bought up the surplus copies in droves. Off-roading, they found, was even more fun when people weren’t chucking grenades at them. The rest is history. Jeep became a brand of its own, and today boasts a trail rating for each and every one of its vehicles. Follow them on Twitter for the latest in model news and special editions.
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Car and Driver
- Car and Driver started as Sports Car Illustrated way back in 1955. SCI didn’t have a Twitter account, but they didn’t have a vast and awesome online empire, either. C&D isn’t just a magazine anymore. Check out their blogs, reviews, and buyers guides for just about every car on the road. They also have an extensive and well-cut Youtube channel for cool comparisons and exotic reviews. Plus, they’re as irreverent as always. Follow them on Twitter for the latest.
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Jay Leno’s Garage
- In case you’re new to the automotive subculture or learned all you ever wanted to know about cars from 2001’s Driven starring and directed by Sylvester Stallone, you probably know that human bobble-head and noted denim enthusiast Jay Leno is a gearhead. He owns what is likely the most valuable car collection in America, ranging from classic Detroit Muscle to vintage, seven-figure Bugattis. Thankfully, he’s also a great guy and loves to show them off. Each episode of Jay Leno’s Garage features a different timeless machine. Jay details some of its history and key features, goes through the starting process (which, for many of his pieces, involves much more than turning a key), and reviews it while driving around the streets of LA. Jay Leno’s Garage ends up being a fantastic resource for gearheads whose prior access to such rare and valuable cars was limited to staring at them, stationary, behind a velvet rope. Get behind the wheel with Jay and follow JLG on Twitter.
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- Historically, electric car companies have spring up like mushrooms- sprouting in moments and withering just as quickly. Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors is something else entirely. Eschewing the idea of the electric as a cheap, stripped-down city car with the range of a fire ant, Tesla went straight for the market they knew could afford their cars: luxury. As a result, both their initial effort, the Roadster; and their newest car, the Model S, are stunning. Musk has big plans for the future of the company, whose sales are skyrocketing. Hear about all of them on Twitter.
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- Once I asked my uncle, a master mechanic, what battery I should buy. He recommended the one with the best warranty, because all lead acid batteries are about the same. Optima batteries don’t fall into this category. They use a clever AGM compound instead of liquid acid so they last longer and work in extremely cold temperatures. These are unequivocally the best car and marine batteries on the market. And since they’re always doing cool new stuff, you should follow them on Twitter.
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Hemmings Motor News
- Every town has one: that old guy at the machine shop who knows everything about every car made up to 1980, and most things about most cars made after. If the internet was a town, Hemmings would be that guy. Hemmings is an outstanding resource for information about antique and classic cars, even the obscure stuff you’ve never heard of. Best of all, unlike that old guy, you don’t have to deal with the smell. Follow them on Twitter.
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- The producers of The Love Bug didn’t pick a Beetle just for the heck of it. Herbie was just a lovable little car, despite his 70 hp. (No, the speeds in the film are not representative of actual performance.) Thankfully, VW has boosted the performance without ruining Herbie’s lovably good looks with the new Beetle, or as I like to call it, the New New Beetle. They often release special editions like the GSR, which you would have known about if you’d been following them on Twitter.
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- NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson has become a household name. With 6 career cup championships, 67 wins, 296 top tens, and 34 poles under his belt, he’s one of the best the sport has to offer. Plus, he runs the super-cool Jimmie Johnson foundation, which sponsors Habitat for Humanity, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and The American Red Cross, among other charities. Follow up.
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- We’re still mourning the loss of SPEED, our once mighty motorsports-only network, which Fox killed for an all-sports channel earlier this year. But thankfully, you can’t keep a good crew down, and SPEED carries on in blog form, still refreshingly inclusive of all motorsports. These are the guys you want to follow if you’re a race fan.
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- As we learned earlier this week, Flowmaster’s mufflers are good enough for custom build legends the Ring brothers, Troy Trepanier, and the world-famous Roadster Shop. Troy even built his land speed record-setting Blowfish Barracuda around a Flowmaster Outlaw. But despite all the high-end endorsement, Flowmasters are affordable and accessible to you and John Q. Public. Follow these guys on Twitter for their latest maniacal creations and coolest builds.
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- Not to be confused with AARP, who also airs commercials during daytime TV, AAA isn’t just for old people. The American Automobile Association was founded 111 years ago, when nine motoring clubs got together and decided to publish some maps. This may sound minor in our day of GPS and asphalt, but in 1902, barely any of the roads in America were paved and the country had yet to be traversed by car (that feat being first accomplished by Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson in 1903). A series of road maps were essential to the American motorist. In many ways, the AAA’s formation became the genesis of American driving culture. Today they offer great insurance, roadside assistance, and fantastic maps. And their twitter feed is packed with useful travel tips and info. Check it out.
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- The automotive world is still recovering from the LA and Tokyo motor shows, both recently held on the same weekend, and Nissan kindof owned both. They unveiled no fewer than five new cars, including the IDx Nismo Concept, inspired by the venerated Datsun 510; the awesome-named BladeGlider Concept, an extension of their DeltaWing race car they say is destined for production; and Nismo versions of the Sentra, Juke, and GT-R, King of the 1320. And you can hear about all of that awesome stuff if you follow them on Twitter.
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Daytona International Speedway
- Daytona is one of the most recognizable names in American motorsport and one of the biggest events in NASCAR. You might know it as the famous “oblong oval,” but Daytona also contains two different road courses, hosting events for endurance sports car racing, SCCA, Motocross, AMA Superbikes, and ARCA. An entire class of endurance sports cars is even named after this circuit (Daytona Prototypes). This means they host events all year along, and to keep up with the latest of them, you should follow Daytona on Twitter.
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Kelley Blue Book
- Craigslist is amazing. Given enough time, you can find just about anything you want by browsing through that simple blue text. But the downside is that Joe Tater can charge whatever he wants for his ’98 Civic and as long as he takes his pictures from the right angle and writes about all the mods he’s put into it, you might not know whether or not it’s a good deal. Thankfully, there’s the famous Kelley Blue Book, a comprehensive guide to how much used cars are worth based on their condition and miles. This used to be available exclusively in a physical book they published, (yeah it was blue) but now they’ve gone digital, and it’s a marvelous resource. They’re even on twitter, tirelessly posting news about the best used cars on the market. Take a look.
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- Everyone needs versatility, but there’s something to be said for a specific focus. Mustang Evolution is a blog with a forum or a forum with a blog that covers everything Mustang all the time. If there is something to know about the Stang, these folks know it. Check it out and follow them on Twitter for all the latest.
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- Pictures and details can leak all over the internet, but the only way to sift the truth from there hearsay is to get the official word from Ford themselves. This is the Blue Oval’s official Mustang account, the very last word about the Silver Stang. Follow them on Twitter and check out Ford’s Google Plus page for an incredible gallery of the new Mustang.
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- No, there are not two families in drag racing called “Force.” Courtney is the youngest daughter of NHRA legend John Force and has been professionally racing funny cars since she was 17. But as with any form of racing, a family name only gets you so far. Thankfully, Courtney has loads of talent and her career has proven it. Courtney races the Traxxas Ford Mustang, which is a little different than most (and also a little different than most Traxxas cars), but you’d better believe she’ll weigh in on the latest pony.
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- The Mustang Club of America is a dedicated bunch. They have been since 1976, during the dark times of the Fuel Crisis and the Mustang II. The MCA started with four guys who wanted to preserve the history of the Mustang from 1965-1973, and it has since grown to over 40,000 members in 170 regional clubs. Follow them.
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- Okay, this one’s a bit of a cheat, because we’re currently running some incredible deals on CTEK, but if you have a classic Mustang, there’s no better battery charger to use than a CTEK. There’s a very specific science behind charging a battery, and I don’t know much about it. Thankfully, CTEK does. Follow them on Twitter to keep up with their latest innovations and all the awesome race cars they sponsor.
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PRI Trade Show
- The show itself started way back in the ‘80s when demand sprung up for a show dedicated entirely to professional racing teams. SEMA was going strong, but was open to all types of customization. The racers needed their own gig, and they got it. PRI has been central to the racing off-season ever since.
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- Prized for their accuracy and reliability, MSD Ignition Systems end up in what is likely the vast majority of drag racers and restomods. But MSD has expanded with a full line of alternators and starters, and their newest generation of their Atomic EFI won best new product at SEMA this year.
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Auto Meter Products
- You guys should see the Auto Meter booth here at PRI. It’s boss. Auto Meter has been around for-next-to-ever, but they’ve kept up with the times, offering gauges both digital and analog, but all freakishly accurate. And they’re just nice to look at. Many of them glow several different colors, and Auto Meter is showing them off in their booth like it’s Christmas.
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- Wander around PRI for ten minutes and you’ll notice a certain bent toward the more…American forms of racing, many involving dirt and/or ovals. But road course cars have shown up, too, and in refreshingly large numbers. And international suspension star Bilstien has shown up, too. You’ll be hard pressed to find any pro or semi-pro road race in the world absent of Bilstien. That kind of popularity never comes without a reason, and it’s hard to ignore.
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- I hate wiring. Unlike many areas of automotive work, wiring is all or nothing. One loose wire could ruin everything, and it’s impossible to keep everything straight without a doctorate. Thankfully, Painless sympathizes, and even named their company after an effort to simplify car wiring. Their wiring harness comes pre-labeled for easy installation.
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- It must be some kind of citizenship requirement that all Australians know how to handle their vehicles off-road. Australia is home to some of the most rugged terrain and some of the most insanely adventurous people on the planet. Put them together on an island and you’ll be sure to come up with brilliant companies like ARB. Builders of truly excellent off-road modding gear like bumpers, snorkels, suspension elements, and even in-car refrigerators, ARB and their sub-brand Old Man Emu forge their weapons in the fires of the Outback sun, and it shows. Follow them for news on their latest releases.
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The Smoking Tire
- The Smoking Tire, or TST, as it’s known in the comments section, is auto-journo-blogger Matt Farah’s phenomenally honest look at the car world. If you read any car news, you’ve probably seen Farah popping up here and there, hooning tuned monsters on the /Drive network or playing off Adam Carolla on The Car Show. Follow TST on Twitter for their unique and refreshingly cynical look at the latest car news.
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- No, that doesn’t stand for killed in action. Not by a long stretch. We’re not sure how they did it, but in just a few years Kia has taken their cars from a series of rust-holding-hands crapboxes to some of the most desirable cars in their segment. Great warranties, improved reliability, and killer styling haven’t hurt. Keep up with them on Twitter for news on all their latest, like the new sports car they keep mentioning.
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Richard Petty Motorsports
- There’s a king of rock and roll, a king of beers, and a king of burgers. But none of them can drive a car, or rock a feather-emblazoned cowboy hat, with quite the poise of Richard The King Petty. Petty’s now retired from the drivers’ seat, but his career was legendary, spanning 200 wins over 35 years. Now he runs a championship racing organization and is basically a professional Cool Guy, showing up to unveil Mustangs and the like, just because he can. Track The King on Twitter.
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- These guys run the quickest cars on the planet. Five digits of horsepower, four runs out of an engine before it’s shot. The National Hot Rod Association is America’s largest sanctioning body for quarter mile drag racing. The initials generally call up images of top fuel or funny cars, injured ear drums, and nitro fumes, but the NHRA covers all different classes of drag racing, from street cars to super modified classics. Do yourself a favor and follow them.
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Want to be featured in 2014?
We are always looking for new people to follow on Twitter and new features for these blog posts. Contact Shannon with a little bit about yourself and why you want to be featured (don’t forget to include your Twitter handle) and she will get back to you!
Andy Sheehan is a blogger, aspiring novelist, and relentless hoon. He plans to will his 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon to his firstborn, plans his daily commute around the swoop of its roads, and doesn’t plan to ever buy an automatic. A cool-car omnipath, he loves the common Mustang or Chevelle, but hunts for the weird and wonderful Velorexes and Cosmos of the autoverse. And when he can afford a garage, he’s going to turn an MX-5 into a race car.