It is not enough that the Twin Cities is a place where automotive enthusiasm thrives. There is more to it.
Minnesotans love cars, trucks, and SUVs. This is an absolute fact. Our consumerism is strong thanks to a steady economy that has defied national trends at times. Yet, we have plenty of opportunities to let our best vehicles thrive from April to October, while turning our attention to other modes of winter fun during the rest of the year.
These facts and observations have been chronicled on this website. There is another layer to it that is growing. A layer that had been bubbling under the surface for years.
The Twin Cities and Minnesota are not primarily known for presenting the auto scene to the world. Joel Feder's Accelerate Mpls website put the Motor Authority video reviewer on the map, while Alex Bellus, Josh Hway's Dynamic Photowerks, and Jacob Stevenson's Golden Peaks Productions were creating art from their respective lenses.
Somewhere in the mix was this website. You know which one, right? The one named after an intersection in the middle of the San Fernando Valley…some 1,500 miles away from the Mary Tyler Moore statue and the Spoonbridge and Cherry installation at the Walker Art Center.
As the spotlight on this region grows among automotive enthusiasts, more outlets are popping up to help celebrate it. Rather, to help expand both what local audiences are looking for, as well as shining the light on the local scene at the same time.
How does one do it? There are many ways to do so. One can do a Vlog – to be the next Shmee150, Supercars of London, Vehicle Virgins or Salomondrin. Or, do a podcast, which there has been a growing number thereof. You could be Cartastrophe365, Future Motoring, or Pickup Truck Talk…those among a few.
Clewell is a raconteur among European car enthusiasts. The annual Eurowerks show is his gift to the scene, although his byline has appeared in a few places – Jalopnik, Octane, Excellence, Porsche Classic, Total 911, Performance BMW, Performance Volkswagen, Euro Tuner, European Car, Stanceworks, Panorama, Triple Zero…and, yes, so forth.
This is not just some guy taking the microphone with a guest host to talk about cars. There's a solid stream of knowledge to disseminate to Clewell's growing of listeners.
The podcast itself is a well-produced, clean, and deeply informative podcast that speaks volumes beyond its home base. If you are looking for a Eurowerks bent – it's there, but there's a lot beyond that point. The first episode touched upon current issues, such as Tesla. Expect more of that in future episodes. The next three episodes saw other guest hosts saddled next to Clewell. From the beginning, things do get better. You can hear it in the quality of the production. You can hear it in the stories, such as co-host Jake's experience of his attempt at selling his MGB on a cold day. Without spoiling the story, a lesson is gleaned from it – make sure that a non-car guy understands what the car you're selling understands what he/she is getting into.
The podcast combines enthusiast's story and content, actual news from the industry – all well delivered and produced. I go back to the production quality, which is something that I found to be on various levels when listening to other podcasts. Still, true gearheads have to ready to absorb a lot of information, history, build stories, technical data, and opinions. Whether you agree – which I mostly do – or not, there are plenty of opinions to absorb and compute while you are listening.
I had the chance to talk with Clewell to find out how he arrived at the idea of the Overcrest podcast. It's quite simple, Clewell said he wanted "[j]ust to share my passion about cars with others." The genesis of the podcast really came from discussions between Clewell and his friends inside of a shop, where, as he explains it: "Man, we could do a podcast with all the bullshitting that we do. You know, just talking about cars or something. Why don't we just put a camera in the corner and people can hang out?" The camera part will be coming soon, but, in the meantime, it's two guys – Clewell included – and two microphones, a mixer, and a high-quality recording and conversation.
And, it's not always going to be about European cars. Clewell has a well of sources – including future guest hosts – that will bring out more automotive experiences from every aspect of enthusiasm. As Clewell explains further: "…the real core topic is just going to be general car stuff. That's going to float around between Porsche, domestic, European cars, news, maybe what I did on my car last week, or maybe what Jake (the co-host for Episodes 3 and 4) did. We'll talk about some motorsports where people are going to have a guest in, stuff like that. I mean, it's going to vary across the whole breadth of car enthusiasm."
Also, don't sneeze on Clewell's own photography. Did we say that he has one of the deepest creative toolkits in the Twin Cities with multiple disciplines at ready? And the film, "Das Ziel," will be released in 2018.
If you're looking for a podcast that balances enthusiasm with a look inside of the industry – all with an enthusiast's bent – listen to Overcrest. Or, else…