Matt Farah is a seasoned automotive journalist who is best known for his “every man’s” approach to car reviews and commentary. Having driven thousands of different stock and modified vehicles, Matt is uniquely positioned to rate and review the performance of pretty much anything with wheels. After studying photography at the University of Pennsylvania, his draw to the automotive industry and car culture was too strong to resist and soon led him to work at Gotham Dream Cars delivering exotic vehicles to their new owners. That experience inspired him to start a motoring club in New York for luxury vehicle owners who paid $1,000 a year to attend driving events where they could safely experience their high-end machines at their limits.
After selling the driving club, he produced opinionated car culture videos under the title Garage419 in which he reviewed performance cars and interviewed key members of the automotive world, such as Craig Lieberman who served as the technical advisor for the films Fast and Furious 1 and 2. This eventually launched his idea for a fully self-produced production company, The Smoking Tire. Here, instead of reviewing brand new production cars like much of the automotive press, the series would take a different approach. Dropping somewhere between two and four videos each week, Matt films himself driving modified cars owned by regular people who, as car enthusiasts, have put significant time and energy into creating custom built rides that express their personality and meet their individual performance goals. The owners ride along in the passenger seat and answer questions and provide explanations as Matt inquires about modification choices and points out handling characteristics that he likes or sometimes doesn’t care for. Having now filmed over 400 of these “One Take” videos, so named because of their raw style with little to no editing, these videos are must-watch staples in the automotive community whose popularity has driven The Smoking Tire YouTube channel to currently have over 178 million views and more than 700,000 subscribers.
Matt has also proved his love of being a wheel man isn’t just limited to land based vehicles as he recently produced a unique One Take video detailing coastal sailing techniques as he and his TST teammates sailed a Leopard 48 Catamaran in Thailand.
The Smoking Tire team is made up of several other diehard gearheads including videographer Tom Morningstar, Director of Photography Thaddeus Brown, producer Chris Hayes and logistical master Zack Klapman. The team also produces a weekly 90-minute podcast recorded in their own Culver City, CA studio covering the car industry, interviewing key guests from the engineering, tuning and automotive entertainment industry. The Smoking Tire podcast is available on the iTunes store and ShoutEngine.
Matt has written for numerous online publications including The Drive, and appears regularly in videos produced by his automotive journalist peers, such as the hair raising video produced by the YouTube channel SuperspeedersRob, where to prove the bulletproof capabilities of a Mercedes S600, Matt sat in the driver's seat while a 9mm pistol was fired directly at the window and door of the vehicle. Thankfully the bullet proofing was successful.
Matt has personally owned a wide variety of unique vehicles and project cars. He fulfilled a lifelong childhood dream when he took ownership of a 1983 DeLorean DMC-12. He currently has a 1996 Lexus LS 400 dubbed “the million mile Lexus” that has over 900,000 miles on the odometer and is frequently loaned out to friends for long road trips in an attempt to break through the key seven digit milestone. Matt’s most intense project car to-date is another childhood favorite of his, a 1988 Ford Mustang that he’s meticulously rebuilt from the ground up, including new body work and an independent rear suspension conversion. Another Ford included a 2010 Raptor 6.2 and for a size contrast, a 2006 John Cooper Works MINI. For a short time he suffered through a 2001 H1 Hummer Wagon that he stated was “an awful mistake”. While in college he sported a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer which he installed a full home theater including 5 TVs. He recently sold his mildly modified 1998 Chevrolet Corvette much to Internet controversy as he was filmed saying he’d never sell the car, later explaining that “life is short and there are so many cars to own”. On the luxury side Matt has a 2003 Aston Martin V12 Vanquish with only 12,000 miles. The most recent additions to his stable are a 2016 Ford Focus RS, a hot hatch tuner’s dream and an early 2000’s Mercedes-Benz SL.
Matt announced recently that he may limit the fan-favorite One Take serious to 500 videos, meaning they could be coming to an end sometime this year, leaving fans to wonder what this automotive icon’s next endeavor will be.