I have friends who are doctors and friends who are lawyers. For years, they'd asked me how I got a job like mine. As publisher of several brand enthusiast sites and editor-in-chief of one of the leading Audi sites, I got to drive some of the coolest cars going, built project cars out of my daily drivers and attended Le Mans 10 times with the winningest team in modern LMP1 racing. All that changed last year though, when we sold our sites to a large publishing company. Unfortunately, it was time to move on.
That's me, photographer #811. I wasn't exactly Allan McNish, but I did get to know him... and I was also having a blast.
As you might expect, it's hard to get off that train. Following the FIA WEC around the world, going to Europe several times a year to drive the latest (and sometimes pre-production) from Audi, or heading out to attend some incredible car show. It's hard to bring that to an end. It's like walking away from a true love.
My Audi A4 allroad. Alas, it's the closest I could get to an RS 6 in the USA. It was a project car for our sites, and it's my daily.
While our enthusiast sites are gone, the car enthusiasm remains. The garage is still occupied by unique performance cars, my mind still occupied by ways to turn my passion into a job... even if it's not what it was before.
So, here's the next chapter. "Tartan Six" is the name of this new exercise... or rather umbrella under which to cram as many automotive-themed projects as I can... intending to make the whole thing lucrative as we go.
Why "Tartan Six"? The idea is this. In addition to being used as seating material in some of the most iconic cars, "tartans" stem from the realm of the Scottish clans and in a way tell their back story. Well, that's the romantic view, as they mainly came about from basic dyes found in their clan's locality. So then, they're a tale with a creative twist. That seems fitting, though I wasn't looking to start an apparel company. So, we added the "six" as in the six o'clock position at your back and in a supportive role. The two combined create more of a pilot's call sign feel. That's decidedly more high-tech and fitting with subtly and thematically explaining the role we intend to play.
This includes consulting for organizations in the enthusiast space, organizations such as the Audi Club North America where we're helping their team shore up their communications practices and events planning. It includes freelance writing, like my new-to-me Porsche 964 Carrera 2 launching this month as a project series in European Car Magazine. It also includes new online publishing efforts, such as our first website project Choice Gear ( www.ChoiceGear.org).
This tribe is more a space for me to share the back story of my journey into the next chapter. Yes, it's all a bit narcissistic, but this is the realm of social media after all.