The Drive Joins Forces With DRIVE

A meeting of the minds gets a running start.

The Drive Merger
GP Library/UIG via Getty Images

The launch of The Drive back in September was a Le Mans style free-for-all, a dozen writers and editors and car nuts sprinting from a borrowed conference room in Rockefeller Center to a dusty temp space on the Brooklyn waterfront. Grab the printer cables! Head for the hills! Plastic plants from Ikea? Why not! For two months we had a skylight, an electric scooter, and little else, but it was enough. You don’t ask questions when someone gives you the chance of a lifetime, you just go.

Fast forward six months and the beast we built, staffed, and launched on the fly is finally at full throttle. We’re now ensconced in our brand new permanent digs at Industry City, with an espresso machine, a 12-car lot, and a rack for our surfboards (and bikes). If you’re one of the tens of millions of readers who’ve come along for the ride, you’re likely to sense that lust for great car stories that keep Editor Mike Guy awake for days at a time. We don’t cut corners, and we’re not here to repeat ourselves (or regurgitate the rest of the Web).

Our veterans are hungry, in a feral kind of way, and our younger crew are polished—eerily so. (I think Ben Keeshin might be George Plimpton in skinny jeans). We’ve set world records, traversed the globe, and were born into the biggest breaking news storyin recent automotive memory. We even hid a car in the desert, for chrissakes. And while the tarmac hasn’t always been smooth, there’s a real feeling that the turbo is about to kick in around these parts, as I told my own personal spirit guide Chris Cantle the other day.

And yet, something has been missing. Perhaps you noticed our logo was suspiciously similar that of another crew of automotive hedonists, whose oeuvre plays out largely on YouTube. If so, you’re a keen observer of nuance, sir or madam, and I’m happy to confirm your intuition: On behalf of Time Inc., and my business partner Edouard Portelette—whose blood, sweat, and gallic élan we have to thank for tying all of this together—I am thrilled to announce Time Inc.’s acquisition of DRIVE and Fast Lane Daily.

I’ve worked as a journalist for 20 years and I’ve yet to witness the sort of unfettered entrepreneurialism at play within this company now, where the freedom to propose new initiatives is finally matched by the funding to pursue them. This merging of The Drive and DRIVE/FLD is the rarest of circumstances. We didn’t have to choose between building or buying. We did both.

If you’re a fan of DRIVE—as you ought to be—you might be wondering: Okay, so what’s going to change? The simple answer is very little. From the beginning, our main interest has been giving each team the funding it needs to go forth and break the Internet, and our space out at Industry City was custom-built to house teams like The Drive.

Going forward, Mike Spinelli will run video operations as Executive Producer for The Drive, including the programming on the YouTube channel DRIVE and FLD. Mike Guy will continue to run the editorial operations. Cross-pollination—a single team taking a Le Mans start together—will be where the rubber meets the road: Our storytelling will become even more ambitious, far-flung, and mind-blowing, and contributors to span platforms as well. Will Lawrence Ulrich be hurtling down the highway with Matt Farah in a 100-mph school bus? Maybe. Anything is fair game.

Trust us, we’re in this for all the right reasons. And foremost, we’re in this for you. What is it you want to see on The Drive? Hit me up. It’s going to be a helluva year.