Are Those The Reflections Of The Tagus?

After a long stint hammering out first-rate articles and second-rate headlines I am in need of a pause, dear readers.

1991 Opel Astra: source

As you may have noticed I have been rather quiet of late, concerned mostly with fridge magnets, vacation and vermouth. It has been gratifying to see continued signs of life and active discussion carrying on in my absence. It is time to offer a few words about my future contributions to DTW.

I’ve been working at this for five years and in the recent months have realised I find less and less of a drive to produce regular articles. Some of the material since January 2019 has not lived up to my standards (such as they are) and rather than just carry on bashing out 500 words plus a few pictures, I would like to begin an indeterminate hiatus.

That lets you all know that I won’t be writing for the foreseeable future but allows me the luxury of occasionally penning something that needs to be penned if I feel so moved.

In the meantime, I hope Eóin, Simon. A Kearne and DTW’s pool of contributors can see fit to carry on the good work of fighting banality and bad shutlines.


Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

29 thoughts on “Are Those The Reflections Of The Tagus?”

  1. Oh, Richard, that’s a real shame and you will be much missed! However, I appreciate the scale of your commitment to DTW and you fully deserve your leave of absence. We’ll have to console ourselves with the rich archive of interesting and insightful pieces you leave behind. I hope you’ll continue to post comments and the occasional piece, so we will still be able to enjoy your wit and wisdom. Bonne chance!

  2. Best wishes Richard and enjoy your downtime. It would have been hard to sustain that level of prolific output. You’ll be missed.

  3. I’m shocked but respectful of your decision, Mr Herriott.
    Right chaps, we can’t leave Mr Doyle to steer this vehicle alone. Sleeves up and get stuck in. There’s a wealth of knowledge out there and whilst I personally don’t have the eye for design or Richard’s flair, a lot of you do. And if I can write something, so can you.

    1. That’s not a bad idea, Andrew. I might give it a go, if I can organise my thoughts sufficiently well to produce something coherent, i.e., not my usual “mind-dump”!

    2. I would like to second these comments. Mind you now I won’t have to Google the meaning of the titles anymore. Thanks for all the thought provoking writing Richard. Looking forward to the occasional post.

  4. Some reading time will do you the world of good. Which reminds me I have a pile of old Car mags still waiting to be shipped to Denmark. I’ll drop you a line about that shortly.
    Meanwhile, care to tell us more about your latest findings on vermouth and other flavoured wines?

  5. Richard, thank you and look forward to reading your musings in future.

    In the meantime, good luck in your quest for the Holy Grail, the answer to that most profound question of all… just why did they chop off the top of that wheel arch?!

  6. To paraphrase Mr. Oscar Wilde, to lose one DTW co-founder might be seen as misfortune, to lose two however, seems more like carelessness – or perhaps, to employ another analogy, Spinal Tap percussionists…

    Obviously, from an editorial, not to mention personal perspective, we are very sorry to see Richard take a step back, but knowing the manifold demands upon his time, it’s perfectly understandable. Although he joined us in the aftermath of the site’s foundation over the dark months of 2013, he quickly became its major driving force and a large measure of DTW’s success has been down to the Stakhanovite work ethic he has put into writing over the past five years.

    The good news is that he is not departing entirely. Less so is the task of breaking the news to Senior Editor-at-large, Simon Kearne, who still hasn’t sobered up from his Summer sojourn – (it’s been said that he hasn’t actually been fully sober since 1958). Just how he’s going to take it really is anybody’s guess.

    In the immediate term, the summer schedule (such as it is) will remain in place and I hope you will bear with us as we adjust to altered realities.

    1. Forgive my ignorance, but who is the other co-founder that was lost?

  7. Dear Richard, I’d like to thank you for all the wotk you have put into this blog, for all the things I have learned about automotive design and beyond. From the few texts I’ve written on this site, I can only guess what an amount of work it is to provide content in an almost daily rhythm. So I can fully understand that you want to shift your attention to other things after five years.
    Meanwhile, I hope there will still be a DTW in the future, possibly with more contributions from some of the newer authors we had the pleasure to read here recently. And I’d like to take this message as an incentive to work on some of my own ideas for articles that have been with me for some time, but never reached a publishable state.

  8. While I’m sorry that Richard’s going to be writing less, at least he’s not leaving altogether.

    It was an incredible feat to keep up that level of creativity, especially since DTW isn’t a news-driven site.

    I’d like to thank Richard and many others for hours of education, entertainment and companionship.

    If I recall correctly, it was Richard who wrote two of my favourite articles. One was about the general poor state of car design. His analysis was genuinely enlightening; few / no other sites seemed willing to approach the subject in any depth. It was also reassuring to come across someone else who thought everything in the automotive garden was far from rosy.

    The other, shorter article was about what we find ‘genuine’ in life – really fascinating. If I can find links to these articles, I’ll post them.

    In the meantime, enjoy having more time, Richard, and here’s to DTW.

  9. I knew it was serious the moment I saw an Astra F.

    Five years is a long time – you have entertained us and prompted both thinking and debate. Long may you continue to be around, even if you’re not writing the main stuff for a while. You need to promise updates on Christmas tipples though….

  10. This site is a breath of fresh air. I find all articles worth reading. In contrast with regular car sites where “everything is awesome” (like the Lego movie). I know that producing this kind of content is way more difficult than paraphrasing press releases. A good rest is thus well deserved. I hope the vermouth in question originates from Piedmont! The rest of the staff may have to take a look at the Human Horizons Hiphi.

  11. I know it’s a lot of hard work, and a labour of love. But all the work is not in vain, it is in fact extremely valuable. Please don’t let this site slide, it is my only watershed in the automotive world. It is worth keeping up, even if it’s just a trickle.

  12. Thank you for all the kind words, I’m sure Richard will be very gratified to read them.

    To answer John’s question: DTW was originally co-founded by myself and Sean Patrick, who was a regular contributor until 2017, when he found it necessary to withdraw for personal reasons. And while Richard originally joined us in the immediate aftermath of the site going live in early 2014, we have always regarded him as part of that triumvirate, especially given the amount of work he put into writing for the site.

    To be candid, maintaining the site’s frequency is going to be a challenge. Of late my efforts have been aided enormously by the contributions of our regular authors and a number of new writers – for which I’m exceptionally grateful. DTW has been (for me at least) a labour of love and is something I remain stubbornly committed to. I will do my level best to maintain standards, however, I am not at present in a position to commit to the same level of service.

    1. I just don’t want the party to die, ok? I would be perfectly fine if you only did re-runs for the next year, if it meant we could have a topic to discuss. This site has always been about sidelines anyway, and nothing is more fun or creative than have a discussion beginning at one end and have it evolve into something completely different and unforeseen. I think y’all put too much weight into the content at the moment. If you can’t deliver that’s perfectly fine, we all love you anyway. But please keep the campfire going so it doesn’t just die out.

    2. Ingvar: I think we’ll be able to manage a little more than that. Fear not…

    3. Well, you had me worried…

      I just wanted to bring some perspective, we’re all a forgiving bunch. And I understand the situation too perfectly well, if I had more to give myself I would offer my services. Alas, I’m chronically worn out and what I have I try to bring to the table.

    4. Ingvar is right – we are a pretty forgiving bunch on the whole and I would like to think we are all grateful for whatever level of service can be achieved without sending you over the edge, Eóin. Nobody is going to criticise your efforts here; they are much appreciated and will continue to be.

      I am slightly worried that in Richard’s absence I may be in a dwindling group of 406 fans, and the sole velour upholstery champion of your readership though.

  13. Well, this is a bit of a shock to take in whilst on holiday!

    All I can say is a very hearty ‘thank you’ to Richard for his excellent works over the years. I first came across his insights on the old Car website (along with the other two of the triumvirate), and he has taught me to look at car design in a whole new way. It’s helped me to love cars all over again.

    Richard, enjoy what you do next, including the odd piece for DTW. We love your wit and turn of phrase, and especially the design dissections. Tonight, I shall be raising a small glass if something to you. Salut!

  14. … and to Eóin, my ongoing respect and support, and contributions when possible. You’ve always been very generous and supportive of my efforts. I am soon to be starting a new job, but I will do what I can to offer something up to help.

    DTW offers something unique, fun and insightful; it’s a credit to the three of you and deserves to flourish and grow.

  15. I heartily share and second the sentiments expressed above. Although I am a relative newcomer, I have spent many pleasurable hours mining the jewels in the DTW archive. At the same time, I’ve pretty given up reading the commercial motoring media, both online and in print, as it largely comprises rehashed press releases with very muted or non-existent critical comment.

    I really appreciate the insightful, intelligent and thoughtful writing in DTW, especially on matters of automotive design. Although I absolutely no training or expertise in design, automotive or otherwise, I’m fascinated by the subject and feel I have learnt quite a lot over the past year or so from DTW’s expert and erudite writers. Even if the frequency of new articles has to diminish for the time being, I’ll still be a regular visitor here.

  16. deep thanks to Richard for his generous thinking
    and wilful integrity.
    (may the conversation continue, ever onward!)

  17. This is truly sad news.
    Thank you for your contributions to this fantastic website and the lots of good reading to be found here.
    Enjoy your quieter time – get a Premier Ijs (with rum) and stay clear of Opels!

  18. That’ll teach me not to go away on a long weekend! Came back to a bit of a shock, so have to acknowledge much as many others have the new insights I gained from this website and especially Mr Herriott’s observations on design and rather canny responses to reader’s comments where necessary. Content available nowhere else, for which the original three founders are to be congratulated. Having designed and run a website for a Nashville singer back in the early web days starting in 1996, I must say after five years it became a drag to be “on” every day and still have a normal job, so please enjoy your indeterminate leave, Richard, and Thank You. So it’s over to you Eoin and continued good luck. Is Myles Gorfe still fettling his Granada?

  19. I’m sorry to hear that Richard will be cutting back. I’m glad to hear that he will still be writing occasionally, and I hope he will be still be participating in the comments.

  20. Herriott’s work is arguably a pillar of the refreshingly untoward intellectual phenomena that this sanctuary of
    a website has evolved into.

    Best of luck. We should be profoundly thankful for your insight and immense contribution to the wealth of
    automotive knowledge.

    P.S. DTW must go on.

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