One of the duties of being the editor for Chevy High Performance magazine is to decide which cars are just the right fit to be featured in the magazine and on chevyhiperformance.com. As you might imagine, we get quite a few potential feature cars sent to us on a regular basis from some of the top builders and shops in the country, as well as car owners who are very proud of their ride. One of the difficult aspects of this gig is telling someone who has poured their heart and soul (or opened their wallet) into the build of their dreams that their ride isn’t magazine material. And the reasons for this vary from “questionable” taste, the car isn’t quite nice enough, the build style is outdated (we get a lot of those), or the fact that it just isn’t a good fit for the magazine.
But it gets really weird when I have to tell someone his or her car is too nice for CHP. This usually doesn’t go over very well with the builder or owner of the car because they can’t understand how a magazine could turn down their car for being too high end. And it’s understandable because their car really is magazine-worthy—just not for this one.
My goal at Chevy High Performance is to try to run car features that resonate the best with our readership, which is difficult enough as it is due to the fact that not everyone has the same taste in car builds. If everyone liked LS-powered 1969 Camaros or big-block Chevelles it would be easy, but that’s just not the case. If I’ve learned anything by being the editor of CHP over the past few years it’s that the readers prefer a variety of build styles. Most like big horsepower (who here doesn’t) and gravitate toward cars that are driven on the street and get beat on pretty hard. It’s important for you readers to see those aftermarket performance parts getting put to task.
With that said, badass muscle cars (classic or late-model) ain’t cheap. It costs money to go fast—either in a straight line or wiggling through the cones like a $500K European sports car.
While going through emails consisting of potential feature cars sent to me, I generally ask myself if this is the type of car our audience would like to look at and read about? Would it be something they would want to have in their garage?
I realize there are times when we feature cars that might be over the top as far as fabrication, bodywork, and paintjobs go, but that can be overlooked if the car offers inspiration and a bunch of attitude that we can all relate to. Just because a car costs over $100K doesn’t mean we can’t draw some ideas from it and apply them to our own cars.
It’s difficult to feature a car that looks mean on the outside, has a huge amount of horsepower, but is all dolled up with a cushy brown leather interior and fancy cup holders made of billet aluminum. That just tells us it’s likely that the engine hasn’t been taken over 4,500 rpm at any stage in its existence. I personally appreciate the work that goes into cars of that build caliber, but it’s just not Chevy High Performance material.
So what kind of cars are we after? Let’s just say looks and performance are the top two aspects. The best combination is a car that is built based on performance (engine and suspension), which includes a presentable interior and engine bay that will photograph well. It’s important the car stands out and grabs special attention at a cruise-in because of its unique style, rather than based on its $60K worth of bodywork and paint.
So, if you got a car you think is worthy of being featured in Chevy High Performance, send photos and a brief description to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep in mind a nitrous switch or line lock button trumps cup holders every time.
Photo by Robert McGaffin