The term “Car Guy” does not fit me. Until two months ago, I couldn’t care less about cars. I am not a fan of driving, and love being able to take Metro to work (the DC subway system for you non-locals). That was until Marco Arment and Dan Benjamin started talking about cars on Marco’s now concluded podcast, Build and Analyze. The episodes, in particular, are:
- Build and Analyze #66: Car Haters and Idea Guys
- Build and Analyze #71: The Lottery Mindset
- After Dark #155: After Build and Analyze #77
After Marco started talking about cars, and BMW vehicles in particular, John Siracusa followed up Marco’s shows on his also now-ended show Hypercritical:
- Hypercritical #61: I Ran Out of Bombs Long Ago
- Hypercritical #63: Talking to the Bear
A lot of what both Marco and John talked about really clicked with me. Despite not being a ‘Car Guy’ I was very interested in what they had to say and it clicked with the geek in me. When my wife and I decided late last November that we were going to buy a new car, we started looking at BMW. For one reason we live less than a two minute drive from the local BMW dealership. For another, Marco & John’s episodes heavily influenced me to look to BMW first – and then to Honda, Lexus, and Audi – only to come back to BMW in the end). A lot of what Marco said about Camrys and Accords being ‘boring’ cars not being fun to drive (I owned a Honda Accord) clicked with me, and when I began test driving these nicer BMWs and Audis I found that having a car I was excited to drive really made the difference for me. Two months later, my wife and I own a new 2013 BMW X3 (as of about 10 days ago).
I tell you all of this because I was very excited to be surprised a few days ago when John, Marco and Casey Liss announced their new (possibly) short-run podcast, Neutral. Marco hinted as something like this last year at the close of Build and Analyze, saying he might want to start some sort of new podcast in 2013 where he could talk about his other passions, such as coffee or cars. At the time it hadn’t even crossed my mind that John might be a host on the show as well.
The first episode of Neutral was delightful – Marco and John are always entertaining to listen to. I didn’t know of Casey prior to this show, but am pleased to say that the trio of hosts have a great dynamic, each with their own sets of differing and agreeing opinions. A range of topics from car aesthetics to dealership service are covered, including a few topics I had no interest in but nevertheless enjoyed hearing about. Having grown up with parents who only buy white or black cars, I found myself in agreement with Marco on his outspoken opinions on car color (our new X3 is ‘Deep Sea Blue’) and found his argument regarding his old Nissan Maxima familiar (my first car was a Mazda 929 that my mother gave me at the age of 16).
Overall, a solid first episode by three great hosts that was a pleasure to listen to. I am pleased that I have new episodes to look forward to each week with John & Marco on my iPhone and to be able to listen a new host as well. None of these guys profess to be car experts, just geeks who happen to like cars talking about cars. If this sounds like something that interests you, I recommend you give Neutral a shot. If you think you aren’t a ‘car guy’ or ‘car gal’, give them a shot anyway. They’ll surprise you.