The Automotive Philosopher

Aaron Warren

Aaron Warren
Chicago, Illinois, USA
June 07
My fascination with automobiles and just about everything mechanical started, I think, when a small cluster of cells developed somewhere in the first trimester of my existence. I have always been a fanatic. I am, however, not what one would call a gearhead – but a connoisseur, an automotive philosopher. I look at automobiles the way an art critic looks at the creation of a new talent, the way a vinter critiques a new wine, or the way an antiquarian sums up a piece or fine rare furniture. An automobile, to me, is more than the sum of its mechanical parts. It is an exercise in rolling art. Art so complex that it captivates every sense. So, here I find myself in my first “pleasure” writing format looking to share my insight, opinions, emotions, and knowledge on the subject. I am a, person who revels in being able to work on my own vehicle as well. To me a grease monkey is one which messes about with cars, usually doing more harm than good. I think of myself as more of a surgeon or technician in this regard. Precision requires, well, precision. I have spent the better part of my professional career in the automotive industry in a sales, training, and development capacity. I have an intimate understanding of this industry; its triumphs and shortcomings along with the products that are the result. On a personal level, I am obsessive about the car culture. Every venture I take out into the world is a hunt for a rare glimpse of obscure chrome, or an unidentified engine note. To me, driving is a sort of Zen like experience melding man and machine. The feel of an automobile as it moves and responds to your inputs can make or break one’s experience with a vehicle. Some of the most beautiful cars in the world are absolutely atrocious to actually drive. Harsh, fragile, monstrous beasts that are near impossible to control and civil. The thorns of the rose, if you will. Oh, how I love them so! I read auto industry statistics the way some read the sports page. I visit local dealers to examine new cars the way one examines a vintage comic book. I am the guy in his garage, in a lab-coat, nonetheless, cleaning his engine, and listening to the valvetrain with a stethoscope. I can diagnose most engine issues purely by sound, and can identify most cars by the sounds of their engines. I look at the valve cover of the Jaguar XK engine with the reverence of a religious icon and the intake of a Chevrolet 350 as though it were Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. I am a student of all things automotive… So, come along with me on my adventure through this world of automobiles, automobile culture, business, enthusiasm, and philosophy!


Aaron Warren's Links


Oakbrook mall is a bit of a magical place. A sort of shopping mecca within a garden. On any given summer day, the views are absolutely stunning. On every Father’s day, more so. At least to The Automotive Philosopher!


It’s been a tradition for as long as I can… Read full post »
JUNE 21, 2010 3:08AM

A New Chapter



I’m sitting here at 1:00 AM on a Monday morning in my (home) office thinking when I should be asleep. You see, I was chatting with my Girlfriend’s cousin – giving her a life’s pep-talk, if you will. I went back and re read everything that I wrote and… Read full post »

JUNE 16, 2010 1:32AM

Mercury 1939-2010

mercury 1949 



So, Mercury is dead and gone the way of the dodo. Why?


Well, this Automotive Philosopher thinks is a matter of poor marketing and corporate greed. You see, for years, Mercury was relegated to the land of mildly rebadged Fords, offering up nothing in the way of brand… Read full post »

MAY 25, 2010 7:52PM

Weird Cars - Gordon Keeble

Gordon Keeble Prototype   


Ok, this was a tough one! The Great Skunkle introduced me to the Gordon Keeble back in 1991. The reason I know and remember this is because that was the year he finished the restoration of the 1967 MGB GT, and we were out for a ride, when there… Read full post »



Well, I suppose some explanation is in order. After all, I’ve been gone for nearly 6 months! CAUTION: I’m going to talk about work. Yes, it’s about cars too, but mostly some abstract observations and venting. Read at your own risk! 

Anyway… Tho… Read full post »

MARCH 29, 2010 3:55PM

Back in the game!

 Mystery Car

Well, boys and girls! After a long hiatus, I'm back! After a 6 month project that had me working more hours than any human should, I'm greatly looking forward to getting back in the swing, and sharing some stories and info...

 So, what'll it be? Any ideas for any topics… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 24, 2009 2:18AM

Material Things

Barn finds  

Well, as some of you may have noticed, I’ve been absent for a bit. After several deaths in the family, a few out of state trips, and well, life, I found myself neglecting my blogging duties. Not cool! So during the sad times, and days of reflection on family, friends,… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 2, 2009 12:33AM

The End of an Era

 Pearly Gate

My first very first blog posting, ever, was a dedication to my Great Uncle, Gregory “Skunkle” Cenzer, the single largest influence in my life and the spark which ignited my passion for automobiles. Entitled the Great Skunkle, my post introduced you to this legendary characte… Read full post »

AUGUST 18, 2009 4:32AM

Weird Cars - The Citroen DS

 Citroen parked 

When we think about great cars, we tend to focus around the products of the US, UK, Germany, and Italy. Some go as far as to include Sweden in that mix as well. However, rarely, in this country, do you ever hear of France as a maker of sublime machinery…… Read full post »

AUGUST 18, 2009 2:52AM

The Little Saturn that Could've


Have you seen the new Saturn Astra? Did you know there was a new Saturn Astra? Did you know Saturn built great little car (again)?

 If you answered no to any of these, you’re not alone!  Due to a complete lack of marketing, the US auto driving public missed out…

Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 5, 2009 3:48AM

Cash for Clunkers or Requiem for a Car


I’ve been writing vehemently on this topic ever since it’s proposal on many forums, and have been speaking a great deal about it in my professional life. Generally speaking, I must (usually) stick to the facts and only the facts, offering up an un-biased objective take… Read full post »

JULY 29, 2009 2:27AM

Going to the Dogs

 Honda Dog

A good friend of mine, Noreen Natale of fame just stepped all over my automotive writing toes the other day! How dare she!?!

Noreen Natale is more better known for her writing on pets, and Chicago pet culture. Quite an expert on the topic, if I do say so.… Read full post »

JULY 29, 2009 1:33AM

Real Efficiency

little car  

Ok, I’m back after a nearly 2 week hiatus wherein I finished unpacking the rest of the house after our move. I’m to a state where I almost have my entire garage back! During my “time off” I’ve been keeping on top of all of my automotive reading a… Read full post »

JULY 17, 2009 11:28PM

...and that's the way it is...


Walter Cronkite, 92, famed news man – THE news man passed today. The first anchor man – having the term coined for him due to his “anchoring” of both the democratic and republican conventions for the 1952 election, was also an avid Volvo enthusiast. In addi… Read full post »

JULY 16, 2009 11:49PM

The People Have Spoken

The People Have Spoken


Near my home in the Chicago Suburbs, Illinois Route 59 is the major North/South artery for the region. For years, at the intersection of Gulf Keys Road, and RT 59, there has been what I would describe as a curb running perpendicular, across both of the southb… Read full post »

JULY 8, 2009 11:47PM

Rolling Art

To me, automobiles are more than utilitarian transport appliances that get us from one place to another. I have an inkling that deep down most people feel the same way, or else we’d all be driving in characterless cubes. To me, automobiles are the culmination of man’s mechanical and artis… Read full post »

JULY 2, 2009 2:44AM

What a Waste!!!

 uh oh

Living in the Northwest 'burbs of Chicago, I am surrounded by some very wealthy towns. Rows upon rows of McMansions and Cooky Cutter Homes stretch across the landscape. For the sake of a massive display of wealth, one such tycoon bought up a bit of land at the corner ofRead full post »

JULY 2, 2009 1:23AM

Weird Cars

In keeping with mainstream automotive media, I think it appropriate to have a weekly feature that highlights a certain topic. Just about every automotive publication that I read has some sort of weekly or regularly scheduled feature. Something for folks to look forward to! Usually, said feature is ce… Read full post »

JULY 1, 2009 2:25AM

Betrayals from Emden

So, as car guys go, I’m pretty darn particular and or peculiar when it comes to my personal-car choices. I’m not what one would call brand loyal, but rather engineering loyal. I’m not a completely mad, one car obsessive gear-head. I have certain very specific requirements for my car… Read full post »

JUNE 30, 2009 2:52AM

The State of Things

Yeah, it’s all over the news, the American, er, global auto industry is in shambles. Gone are the good ‘ole days where Cadillac is the standard of automotive excellence, and a Pontiac the car that every young boy hopes to own some day. Grandpa’s Olds is gone, and Saturn’s dent… Read full post »

JUNE 30, 2009 1:31AM

The Great Skunkle

My love – no infatuation with automobiles and all things mechanical started at a very young age. I have a very early memory of my sitting in the car seat of my Mother’s yellow Chevy Malibu screaming bloody murder because she would not stop the car so I could look at… Read full post »