to the AutoZine farewell party ! After 3 years of facelift, my latest
is finally shown here ! however, heart and bones are still the original
Mk1 ("Wan" pronounces "One" in Chinese).
Now have a drink first. Beer or Martini ? (don’t drink before drive, by the way) Cheers ! wish me a good future and (finally) a good sleep tonight ! wish you find a substitution to AutoZine soon ! wish mergers stop and Citroen revives ! wish fuel price low and redline high ! wish Gordon Murray team up with Peter Steven again ! (to create another McLaren F1)
He used to be extremely self-confident. But for a fresh graduate already secured a boring job, what he needed was an opportunity to demonstrate his ability to the world. In other words, to get people’s recognition. That’s very important for one’s psychological development.
7 months later, after countless of sleepless nights and sacrificed leisure on Saturdays & Sundays, the AutoZine site was born. Though nobody visited in the first day (because no one knew its existence), he knew the site would become famous ....
Hundreds of appreciation emails received. The first half-year was deemed to be successful. However, the quality and length of new car reports were not all that good - actually by far less professional than today’s. A revolution started since the writing of "The Complete Story of 911", which he spent extra effort to study the topic from many books, wrote more words than he had ever tried. A trio was completed by the following "Countach - the Supercar Legend" and "The True Story of 959". He started believing he could write about individual cars better than anyone else on the net whenever he try.
The packaging of AutoZine used to be quite poor, although many contemporary famous sites were actually poorer. The format settled down in early 99, but a big facelift from Jan to May 2000 changed the New Car pages completely and rewrote most of the articles.
Many of the new car articles were actually quite brief until the last major update in early 2000. That was due to the method of data collection. The earliest 97 articles were written based on my memory of the magazines read, because I used to read in library without dropping notes. Since 98, I always went to library with a pocket note book so that the length and quality of reports are improved. At the same time, the creation of Technical School enriched my technical knowledge and benefited my new car reports as well - my reports started involving a lot of technical analysis, and I started explaining a car’s character (such as understeer and ride quality) out of detailed technical specifications - these become the trademark of my writing. (I think I was somewhat influenced by Paul Frere when I read his famous book about 911)
The last wave of improvement came in April 99, when I started being serious to write every new article as long and as detailed as professional journalists. My benchmark rivals were no longer auto websites but the best hardcopy magazines. The Ferrari 360M and Honda S2000 reports were the earliest ones out of this period.
An undisclosed SecretAutoZine would have never been created if I decided to join Supercars Past & Present site. Back to December 96, just tasted internet for a few days, I visited Richard Owen’s Supercars site. He was finding a partner to run the site, so I emailed him that I’d like to try that and was accepted. However, I found he was not only younger than me, but also being a computer guy rather than car enthusiasts, as he really knew too little about cars compared with us. Instead of helping such a boss to create a world-beating site, I’d rather do under my name. That’s why the partnership was never realized.
AutoZine Word Count410,000 words in total
(excluding all the expired news and reports)
Distribution of words
|New Car Reports||Old Car Reports|
|1. Ferrari 360 Modena||1. The Complete Story of 911|
|2. Honda S2000||2. Lamborghini Countach - The Supercar Legend|
|3. Porsche 911 Turbo||3. The True Story of 959|
|4. Honda NSX||4. Dauer 962 LM|
|Others distinctive:||5. Toyota MR2|
|Audi TT||Special Reports|
|Lamborghini Diablo||1. The rise and fall of rotary engine|
|Lotus 340R||2. Tech. development during the past 100 years|
|Mazda RX-7||3. Brunei Sultan's automotive empire|
|Mercedes CLK-GTR||Technical School|
|Porsche 911GT3||1. Handling|
|Toyota Celica||2. Volkswagen VR6 and W-engines|
|TVR Tuscan||3. 4-Wheel Drive|
|4. Variable-valve timing|
|1. No more SUV, please|
|2. Stop Stylists from ruling our car design|
|3. F1 and road car|
|1.||Read a weekly car magazine regularly, plus 3 or 4 other monthly magazines.|
|2.||Start comparing comments about the same car from different magazines. This help you judging which one is more credible.|
|3.||Notice which auto journalists' writings are more sensible, which of them are really keen drivers.|
|4.||Start writing notes when reading magazines|
|5.||Spend hours weekly to surf auto websites - magazines, car makers, others.|
|6.||Try reading Japanese official car maker websites which you don't understand, otherwise you can hardly keep updated with Japanese domestic cars.|
|7.||Start thinking why this car understeer or ride harsh in technical view point. Try using the technical specifications to explain road test findings.|
|8.||Have your own opinion.|
|9.||Learn HTML editor, a bit Java, a bit imaging software.|
|10.||Start making your site in your PC.|
|11.||Too time consuming ? cut all other hobbies.|
|12.||Still not enough ? split from your girl friend|
|13.||Get a good doctor to cure problems due to insufficient sleeping|
|14.||Finally completed the site; upload by FTP; trouble-shoot the broken links|
|15.||Repeat all the above steps for every issue !|
I´ve been a loyal visitor of your site since I first saw it (about two years now). It´s the best car site on the net, period. I understand your reasons to stop updating it, and I just wanted to tell you that I (and many of my friends) will miss it very much, this news came almost as a shock... anyway, i hope you do well in any other project you may have, and thanks for everything you gave us... car fans will miss your site.
I just want to tell you that your work is one of the best in the Web. I enjoy reading it for the past few years. In fact, I have put your web site as my default homepage. Your articles are very very comprehensive, informative, updated and unbiased. Sometimes I wonder how you would ever get
so such information. You must have read a lot. If I have to rate, yours is much better than most from the market. I know things would eventually come to an end, especially when you cannot make profit from your work. So I am now writing to you because complement from reader is the best comfort you'll
get. Once again, excellent work. You will be missed.
Sorry to hear about your plans for AutoZine, though I understand how motivation is essential to do these things, especially if it is not a commercial venture and yet takes the same levels of time and energy. You can be proud of your achievements - I for one enjoyed the material you've collected and regular refer to it to check a point, or an opinion. All the best for AutoZine and for yourself, I'd look forward to your re-appearance in the future.
Absolutely fantastic site! This is by far the most comprehensive site on cars I have seen on the net. Sorry that you have decided to call it quits. Almost everyday I would peruse your site for info and updates. Please, I beg you to reconsider. I know it must take a very large amount of your time to update and maintain your site but I think it is worth the effort!
Thank you for an absoultely fantastic job with Autozine. I will miss it and your comments very much. I know of no-other web site which provides such complete coverage of what's going on in Europe, Asia and the US.
Best of luck!
I only found the autozine last year but it´s the best auto web site i know. Much better than british, american, spanish and portuguese web sites that belong to magazines like whatcar, coches.net, autoexpress, etc.
I understand the end.
Hi, I'm just one of the Autozine readers, from Dominican Republic. And I just wanted to know why don't you get an sponsor or sell part of your magazine to any editorial interested, to make some
money from your site???
I tell you your site is one of the best I ever seen, so do not shut it down........ please
The news saddens me, but I must admit I
selfish. I use your website all day monday to friday
Please remember you have a friend in San Diego, California.
Many thanks Mark for job you've done to your site. I read your site for the last year. I pose myself as car enthusiast and love to get known something new and fresh about it. Your articles are very professional and also its are full of love to the subject you are writing about. My strong opinion is that you may make your "hobby" a subject to make money easily.
I think it is definitely a loss for all the car-lover for closing the autozine. I read the autozine only in the recent one year and it is the best auto magazine that I have ever read. The quality of the reports is superb and I enjoy very much in reading them. It is marvellous.
So what other auto magazine you can recommend me to read?? I don't think you or anybody can recommend one that can of similar quality of yours. So why close it??
I would suggest you not to stop writing the reports altogether but to write report more selectively so that we can still enjoy reading your words of wisdom.
DR CM Lam
I only want to say. The best car site on is going to end. I am crying........ I will maybe come over it, but remember I have read all your number and your site is the one and only to explain interesting mechanical constuction of modern cars. I will miss your car news. me: Boy 37 of age and an a car entusiast like you.
Keep on ................ whatever you are going to do now.
Just another satisfied customer, who
let you know what a great job you do at your web site. Your opinions
right on the money, you are right Autocar Magazine is the best. You
have great taste and know how to tell the difference between hype and
design and quality. It saddened me to
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