You’ll be glad to know we won't make a habit of using our monthly leading article to remind you how brilliant we are, first because it is you and not us who should be the judge of that, and second because we are frightfully British and repressed, much to the eternal frustration of our behind-the-scenes business brain who thinks we should be blowing our own trumpets far louder and more frequently than we already do.
But this week marks the end of the first month of The Intercooler app and as to be reading this you must have been kind enough to download it, we thought the least we could do was provide you with some kind of progress report.
It is no exaggeration at all to say we have been amazed by the response, not just the many thousands who have already downloaded the app, but also the comments it has received. As I write this there have so far been nearly 500 ratings and reviews on the Apple and Google app stores, resulting in a 5.0 star score on both, and you can’t do better than that. Nor do you have to take my words for it: they’re all there for anyone to see whether you download it or not.
From what people have said the reason seems clear enough: the idea of the best writing in the most convenient form works. Put like that it sounds so simple, even obvious, but there is always uncertainty when trying something that’s not been done before, and the fear that even the right idea will gain no traction if launched at the wrong time remained with us right through the development of the app.
So first our thanks to you all for the faith you have placed in us so far, second to our writers for their outstanding contributions to date. With Andrew English, Colin Goodwin, Henry Catchpole, Karun Chandhok, Mel Nichols, Peter Robinson and our engineers David Twohig and Jo Fidalgo, we truly believe we there is not an automotive publication of any kind with a stronger line up and, yes, we’re incredibly proud to have got them together under one roof.
And this week their number will grow by one as Ben Oliver joins us with a monthly column called ‘Tell Tale’ and a brief to bring you stories you have never heard before. His first begins: ‘Espionage, riots, corruption, beatings and murder…’ If you don’t know Ben, he is a multi-award winning writer who tends to write for Car magazine when he’s not penning speeches for car company CEOs. He is actually the first person we asked to write for us, back in 2018 in the days of DriveNation. He turned us down then because we couldn’t afford to pay him and, mindful of Samuel Johnson’s view that ‘no man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money’, we could hardly blame him. We’re delighted to have him on board.
As for the future, we’re working hard to make The Intercooler app even easier to use. You will soon be able to become a registered user and comment on our stories as such, and we’re working away to bring the Ti app to desktop and laptop computers too. We will keep you posted.
There's plenty to look forward to over the next couple of weeks. Mel Nichols writes about Car magazine and how it changed the face of motoring media in the 60s and 70s, Dan Prosser revisits the thuggish BMW 1 Series M Coupe as it turns 10 years old, Henry Catchpole reveals all about his Ford Escort Mk2 rally car and Peter Robinson tells the tale of the Le Mans-winning racing driver whose vocation was kept a secret even from his family.
In the meantime if there is anything you can do for us, it is simply to keep posting your always interesting, thoughtful, constructive, well written and entertaining comments. We never wanted DN or Ti to be anything other than a two way street where all of you can engage with all of us and vice versa, and the fact we’ve launched the app changes none of that.
And I guess if you could also tell anyone you think might be interested about us too, that would be great. There’s all sorts of additional stuff we want to do – proper videos, more podcasts with interesting people and so on – and the sooner we can spread the word, the sooner we’ll be able to bring more and more varied content to the app. And you can really help with that.
In the meantime thank you again from Dan and me, for joining us. Thanks to you, The Intercooler has had a great launch but you can take it from us, we’ve only just got going.