A Passion For Cars: Talking With AutoWise.com Founder Chris Riley

You might find this hard to believe, but true, dyed-in-the-wool gearheads are a dying breed. This explains why older cars and vintage automobiles are growing in popularity as we speak. It might have to do with the nostalgic appeal and analog feel, but it stems from the fact that old cars are easy to fix and easier to modify, not to mention working on older vehicles is the perfect breeding ground for the next generation of gearheads.

Here at Automoblog, we welcome the opportunity to connect with like-minded car lovers who share the same passion in this crazy yet endlessly appealing world of automobiles. We got the opportunity to spend some time with Chris Riley, who is the founder of AutoWise.com.

Fact & Figures

AutoWise.com is comprised of a diverse group of enthusiasts headed by Riley himself. Their main objective is to deliver unbiased and relevant information on both new and older cars.

“It’s been something I wanted to create for quite some time,” Riley said. “I’d always spend tons of time on online auto forums and always thought it would be cool to run an auto site.”

“I ended up creating AutoWise.com which focuses on long-form list opportunities with factual information that consumers want concerning current, new, and upcoming vehicles in the market,” he continued.

The AutoWise.com team highlights even the most interesting and quirky facts about cars, with a variety of Top 10 and Top 25 lists that cover literally everything: 10 laughably cheap sports cars and the most reliable SUVs in America are two of our favorites.

If you love pure-bred American muscle (like we do), the article on every Chrysler Hemi engine ever made is filled with interesting facts about the classic motor.

“We’ve had fun with the list articles and our readers seem to enjoy them,” Riley explained. “We really just tend to write on topics that are both sought after and that we enjoy personally. We crunch the facts we feel our readers are really looking for while also giving them something unique from a driving review on that particular car.”

The 6.2-liter Hemi, found in the 2019 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, is included on the extensive list complied by AutoWise.com. Photo: FCA US LLC.

What’s Hot, What’s Not

This is a refreshing alternative to other sites that focus mainly on click-bait articles about automobiles rather than relaying facts and figures from an actual car lover’s point of view. Riley and his team work hard to also provide accurate technical information and vehicle specs.

“In our early days we received a lot of traffic from social networks. When we started doing the list articles we would get destroyed by our readers when we didn’t give more facts and specs,” he recalled. “We learned how to pack in all the info that our readers are looking for and not waste their time with the stuff they didn’t want to see.”

What really makes AutoWise.com stand out are the what’s hot and what’s not articles on every model from a particular manufacturer. Thinking about buying a new Ram truck but can’t make up your mind between the 1500 and the 2500? Their article on what’s hot and what’s not in the 2019 Ram lineup will help you make the right buying decision.

Fancy a brand new Rolls Royce but don’t want to be the butt of jokes at the members-only Yacht club de Monaco? What’s hot and what’s not in the 2019 Rolls-Royce lineup can help you avoid embarrassment.

“This is a newer thing and have been more of a test than anything else,” Riley said, referring to the article’s distinct format. “It helps keep everyone updated on what’s coming from their favorite car brands. If a potential customer is considering buying a certain model, they can see if there is a feature worth waiting for or if they are better off shopping now for the current year model.”

The Rolls-Royce Ghost did not make the cut and was filed under the “Not Hot” category by AutoWise. Photo: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

Dream Cars

What better way to talk to a car enthusiast than by asking questions about their favorite cars? So we asked Riley what he likes to drive, and there’s no doubt on what he loves the most.

“The Lexus GS was always a favorite of mine and I’ve owned a few of them. I think because I loved the 2JZ engine so much but couldn’t afford the Supra,” Riley joked. “I spend a lot of time traveling, so some of my favorites are not available in the USA market such as the Toyota Hilux and the Land Cruiser 70 series.”

“My first American car ever was a 4-door Ford Lariat. That truck changed my opinion on American cars for the better,” he continued. “It’s almost cliché these days but there is no way I could leave off the R34 Nissan Skyline. It was an instant classic and there’s no refuting that.”

1994 Toyota Supra. Photo: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Changing Landscapes

Before parting ways, we asked Riley about what he feels are the most interesting trends in the automotive industry along with his future plans for AutoWise.com.

“As much as we love internal combustion engines and the sound and feel of gasoline-powered cars at AutoWise, the most interesting shift right now would have to be the industry’s move towards the electrification of their lineups alongside the addition of driverless technology,” Riley answered.

Check out AutoWise.com to get your fill on the latest automotive news and gossip including Donald Trump’s most unusual car collection.

“The future is really just tomorrow’s today, and I’m more of a today kind of person. I don’t think much of the future and I still look forward to getting out of bed every morning to work on AutoWise,” Riley said. “I love seeing it grow and I love interacting with the site and its readers every single day.”

Alvin Reyes is the Associate Editor of Automoblog. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine. 

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