The mountainous highway drive from Boulder City to downtown Las Vegas takes about 45 minutes unless there’s inclement weather. A flash flood had hit the area the day before, the skies looked ominous and we were late for an interview with Alex Honnold.
Traffic moved slowly. As the passenger in a review vehicle, I texted and called the mountain climber. We’d met a year before for an early breakfast at a trade show in Salt Lake City. Knowing Honnold’s zen demeanor, I was confident our tardiness wouldn’t matter.
“No problem,” Honnold replied when I apologized. “I’m just getting up.”
It was about noon on a January weekday. When Bruce Aldrich and I arrived for the taping of Episode #22 of The Weekly Driver Podcast. Honnold greeted us barefoot and wide-eyed. His signature disheveled haircut was perfectly unkempt.
We sat inside his house for a while and then took an extended tour his RAM ProMaster cargo van. It’s a vagabond’s apartment, customized. In this case, for the only climber to free solo El Capitan in Yosemite. It’s still often Honnold’s preferred choice of accommodations even when it’s parked in the driveway.
Honnold’s interview is among the highlights of the podcast project Aldrich and I began in September 2017. We will post our 100th episode later this month. I moderate the show and write about the guests; Aldrich co-hosts and produces the 30-minute episodes.
Automotive podcasts seem logical. You’re driving, so why not listen to The Best of Car Talk, the long-time NPR show hosted by Tom and Ray Magliozzi? How about The Muscle Car Podcast Guy? Gears and Beers? The Smoking Tire?
The Weekly Driver Podcast is in the automotive podcast congestion, but we think we’re driving straight and with a purpose.
We’re independent, two guys in our 60s. I passed four decades as a reporter a few years ago. I began writing about the automotive industry in 2004 as the publisher of the website theweeklydriver.com. I test drive new cars and contribute reviews to four publications and automotive content to a few additional outlets.
My co-host is a former Bay Area police officer who retired several years ago as a supervising special fraud investigator for the State of California retirement system. He knows a lot about cars and owns a restored 1959 Volkswagen Bug. He knows motorsports, likes NASCAR and helps me understand the intricacies of automobiles. He has savant-like knowledge of navigation systems and does well with a camera.
During our podcast tenure, we’ve talked with a diverse collection of individuals, all connected by the automotive industry. We interviewed Larry Dominique, President and CEO of Peugeot, on the company’s pending return to the United States. We twice interviewed Ray Elliott of Los Gatos, a long-time tow truck driver who posts commentaries and videos on his website, Idiots on the Interstate (idiotsontheinterstate.com).
We reported twice from The Los Angeles Auto Show, discussed the industry with regulatory experts and talked with authors. Several memorable episodes featured vintage car owners and their overt passions for their vehicles.
In recent weeks, we interviewed a husband-wife team whose dump truck company in West Sacramento has a contract to help clean up the aftermath of last fall’s fires in Paradise. We also interviewed a man in Ohio who converted a vintage fire truck into a mobile brewpub.
Every episode of The Weekly Driver Podcast, many in both audio and video formats, is posted on theweeklydriver.com. The podcasts are also available on all major platforms, including iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher and iHeartRadio.
Mostly, we have fun meeting museum owners, auction curators and strangers who come across our path with stories to share. We think we offer something unique every week. And don’t forget. Episode 100 is just around the bend. We hope you’ll join us.