AutoMatters
Cars, Motorsports, Consumer Electronics, Travel & More!

Editor: Jan Wagner
Home Photography News & Views Most Recent Column Other Publications COLUMN ARCHIVES Contact Jan







 

Welcome to AutoMatters online.

NEW PUBLICATION!

AutoMatters is published on the first and second Thursdays of every month in the ARMED FORCES DISPATCH newspaper and online at www.armedforcesdispatch.com. Primarily serving active duty and retired military personnel, veterans and civil service employees, the ARMED FORCES DISPATCH newspaper is distributed on and off military bases in San Diego County.

 

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About AutoMatters:

AutoMatters is about automobiles and automotive lifestyles. What keeps AutoMatters fresh and interesting is its ever-changing variety.

Automobiles give us the freedom to get around where, when and how we want. They deliver our goods. They entertain us. They can be fun to drive. They can be an extension of our personality, like the clothes we wear and the music that we enjoy listening to.

Automobiles can be practical and AutoMatters speaks to that, through its real world reviews, but automobiles can be so much more: sporty and fun to drive; and entertaining, thanks to ever more capable, on-board consumer electronics that include high-end audio and video systems, hands-free cell phones and portals to the internet.

Automobiles are making our driving experience much safer, thanks to airbags almost everywhere, collision avoidance electronics, rear-view cameras, object sensors front and rear, better tires and vehicle structures, and more. Some undergoing extensive testing actually drive themselves! Just imagine having the option of being driven to work in the comfort and convenience of your own car, on your own schedule, while you (safely) surf the web, catch up on emails, prepare for a meeting, have a video conversation, shop or even snooze. That day may be closer than we think.

Collector cars enjoy popularity too. One of the great things about living in Southern California is having so many car shows to choose from.

Motorsports are thrilling for participants and spectators alike. NASCAR stock car racing, IndyCar and Formula One open wheel racing, NHRA drag racing, SCCA and other sportscar racing, off-road racing and more are covered in AutoMatters.

Major shows are used to unveil the latest in automotive technology, so each year AutoMatters travels on your behalf to cover the SEMA Show and the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and the Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego auto shows.

AutoMatters has also covered events in New Orleans, New York City, Washington (DC), Vancouver, Calgary, the Caribbean and beyond. Look here for coverage of the Austin, Texas Formula 1 race.

Be sure to check out the AutoMatters columns in the archives section of this website.

 

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HISTORY

 

The first of these columns was published (under another name) in June of 2002 in the Del Mar Times newspaper. Since then AutoMatters has appeared regularly in other newspapers, in magazines, online and even (indirectly) on the radio, when I co-hosted a weekly automotive radio program for several years.

 

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STYLE

AutoMatters is written in a friendly, relaxed, conversational style, just like people talk to people. Reading AutoMatters is like reading a letter from a friend, but with photos, too.

 

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TOPICS

AutoMatters topics have included:

  • "Real World Road Tests" of new vehicles:
    • Focusing on features and driving impressions, not the sometimes dry, technical stuff that goes on behind the scenes.
       
  • Professional and amateur races, including NASCAR, IndyCar Series, Champ Car World Series, Trans-Am Series, Championship Off Road Series (CORR), SPEED World Challenge, American Le Mans Series, drifting, sports car racing, historic cars racing, autocrossing, RallyCross, Formula 1 and more. You will never find long, boring race reports on these pages.
     
  • Automotive art
     
  • Road trips to and in places near and far
     
  • Automotive events
    • "Ride & Drives" hosted by individual automobile manufacturers and affiliated companies can be great opportunities to put new vehicles through their paces.
       
  • Interviews with automotive personalities and enthusiasts.
     
  • Special treats, like a tour hosted by Jay Leno of his incredible automobile collection.
     
  • Auto shows:
    • LA Auto Show, SEMA Show (Las Vegas), New York International Auto Show, Hot Import Nights, World of Wheels (New Orleans), local car club shows, Art Center College of Design show, San Diego International Auto Show, GOODGUYS Del Mar Rod & Custom Nationals, California International Auto Show.
       
  • Unusual or especially significant vehicles
     
  • Car club 'runs' or tours
  • Car care products
     
  • Consumer Electronics:
    • GPS navigation, car audio and video, communication devices and software.
       
  • Discussions about significant transportation issues:
    • traffic safety, alternative fuel vehicles and leading edge technology
       
  • Auto-themed movie reviews:
    • including a real, honest-to-goodness Hollywood premiere with a red carpet, limousine ride and the works.
       

What especially differentiates this, the online edition of AutoMatters, from the various paper versions is the color photography and typically a larger variety of photos in the Column Archives (past columns).

Getting around this online edition is as easy as clicking on the blue buttons above. For example, the current column can be found by clicking on the Most Recent Column button. You can also find it at the top of this year's Column Archives.

In case you need to hire someone to do writing, photography or both, please send an email to my attention at: AutoMatters@gmail.com While you're here, check out the Freelance Work section.

 

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ABOUT YOUR EDITOR

My name is Jan Wagner. My credentials include full journalist membership in the Motor Press Guild, American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) and Nikon Professional Services (NPS).

Earlier in my working life I wrote and produced TV commercials, industrial videos, interactive multimedia content, computer-based training, news and more. Several of the major auto manufacturers were my clients.

For about as long as I could hold a camera (my first was a Kodak Instamatic 100 -- remember those?) I have been an avid photographer. My professional digital cameras are exclusively Nikon.

Aside from these skills and credentials, perhaps the one of my most important credentials is my absolute enthusiasm for things automotive, including motorsports. Since before I was old enough to drive I've especially loved cars, which is what led me to start producing an automotive column on a weekly basis several years ago.

 

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GETTING AROUND THIS WEBSITE

You will see a new blue button (at the top of these pages) labeled "Other Publications." Click on that blue button. You will be taken to see some of my work as published in other publications, including ARIZONADRIVER/ARIZONAFLYER magazine and a special, AutoMatters online only COLOR version of GRID LINES -- the official publication of the San Diego Region of the Sports Car Club of America, which I used to edit.

In the AutoMatters COLUMN ARCHIVES you will discover an incredible variety of original automotive and motorsports content, and more. Told through words and award-winning automotive photography, topics have already included: auto shows, professional and amateur racing, new vehicle introductions, road trips, auto-themed movie reviews, manufacturers' "Ride & Drives," accessories and aftermarket enhancements, discussions of issues, interviews of enthusiasts and famous personalities, new technology, car club events and more.

 

 

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AutoMatters Advertising

If you would like to reach the visitors to this Web site with prominently displayed advertising, choice locations are available. Please send an email to AutoMatters@gmail.com.

 

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AutoMatters Syndication

If you would like to add AutoMatters to your Web site or publication, or have a special publication tailored to your own unique needs, send an email to AutoMatters@gmail.com.

 

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Technical Notes

This Web site works best when viewed with a Windows computer using Internet Explorer via a high-speed connection to the Internet.

IMPORTANT TECHNICAL NOTE: Be sure to delete your "Browsing History" in Internet Tools to see the most recent changes to this website. Otherwise you will see earlier versions of any pages that have been subsequently changed. The easiest way to do this is in your browser's "Tools" drop-down menu under "Internet Options." Then, under "Temporary Internet Files," select the option to "Check for newer versions of stored pages" "Every time I visit the webpage."

If a couple of photos in any long document fail to open on your Windows computer, you can probably get them to appear as follows. Do NOT just hit refresh, because all that will do is make it reload from what your computer automatically saved offline. If you are using Windows Explorer as your browser, first you need to click on "Tools." From there select "Internet Options." Click the "Delete Files" button in the "Temporary Internet Files" section of the "General" folder. Finally, check the box beside "Delete all offline content" and click "OK." Now you are ready to hit the "Refresh" button in your browser (Windows Explorer) or select "Refresh" from the "View" menu. This process is quick and easy, and you'll probably find that it comes in handy elsewhere, too.

Send email with your comments and suggestions about AutoMatters and this Web site.
Copyright 2012 Jan R. Wagner AutoMatters