It seems like only yesterday I was taking the reigns from my mentor, Rick Jensen, and now I am handing them over to another Rick—Rick Seitz—who also happens to be quite the turbo Buick aficionado. I will let Mr. Seitz introduce himself in due time, but for now take comfort that he’s been a long-time reader of GM High-Tech Performance and clearly an enthusiast with a car collection that includes an ’87 Grand National, ’02 WS6, and an ’06 CTS-V. I’m hopeful that he will take the magazine to another level, and I am happy to help in any way possible.
My primary duty at Source Interlink Media is now to bring fresh editorial content to GM High-Tech’s website, as well as nine other publications, as we fight to stay relevant in the ultra-competitive digital space. I’ll be working with Rick and the other editors to entice you to visit our sites with web exclusive stories, photos, videos, news, and more. With the ability to be plugged into the internet via your computer, smartphone, tablet, and even your TV cable box—it seems like there are so many things fighting for your attention. Only the skilled can make music among this cacophony.
While at times I couldn’t imagine doing anything else, I do feel that after nine-plus years it is time for me to move on. From day one, working at GM High-Tech has been full of challenges, and that is what excited me most about working here. There were always so many things to learn, and each article was another chance to gain even more knowledge. And when I became editor, there was a whole new set of challenges. I would stay late at the office and take work home, feverishly devising new story ideas and issue themes. Though my passion for this hobby and writing has never waivered, after a while I began to miss the excitement that I had when I first started—that new job smell if you will. Unlike a car, though, you can’t throw a new coat of paint or a turbo kit on a job and make it feel new again.
So upon starting my new adventure, there are many memories that I recall with fondness. I can remember driving up to Golen Engine Service (in New Hampshire) in the early years, once in the winter when the heater went out in the LT1 Formula. But on my very first trip, I went off-roading in a beater 4x4 in the summer time behind the shop. I remember giggling as my head bounced off the roof. The same trip, the crew tried to blow up some junkyard motor on the dyno for kicks. But of course when you want something to blow up, it never does. From then on, I knew exactly what valve float sounded like. I also became quite familiar with the California state highway system, particularly in LA and Orange County. Despite the traffic, I really grew to love SoCal—I have dreams about a certain shrimp burrito from a taco stand in Newport Beach as well as In-N-Out burger (“Those are good burgers, Walter”). Living out of our former company van for a week was yet another fond memory, driving from New Jersey to Louisville and back—shooting the fastest Syclone in the world (off the boat from Sweden), a twin supercharged CTS-V, and Mike Brown’s single-turbo CETA.
I’ve had some amazing opportunities to meet incredible people from Ron Fellows, Andy Pilgrim, Johnny O’Connell, and Bob Bondurant to the creators of some of our favorite GM cars. It was a dream come true getting behind the wheel at Skip Barber Racing School at Laguna Seca as well as the Panoz school at Road Atlanta, the Milford Proving Grounds, and (of course) the Bondurant school in Arizona. This job definitely afforded some serious perks that only a car guy could get geeked up about. But these momentary joys paled in comparison to serving the loyal readers of GMHTP, and in working with the many talented men and women in this industry. I was certainly reminded of that in Atlanta last month, when I sat at what felt like the last supper with my comrades at Chevy High Performance, Camaro Performers, contributing editors and photographers, and a few members of our sales team that were nice enough to lend a hand in running the event. Though it is nice to have a little more stability where you are not living out of your suitcase, making personal connections with people like that all share this love for the hobby make it fun. I hope that the next generation will feel so fortunate, live in the moment, and relish this time.