First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Steven Rupp and I'm the new captain of this ship. And while I might be new to the masthead of this magazine, I'm certainly not new to the automotive hobby. Without boring you to tears with my life story I'll just say my first car at 16 was a '65 Mustang. A couple of years later I bought a '67 Camaro and I've been Chevrolet ever since.
In my 40 years of driving I've owned a ton of American performance cars; everything from the previously mentioned Camaro to Vettes and most GM things in between. I miss them all, but hey, that just means they were all fun in their own way. Which brings me to my philosophy on our hobby (or lifestyle if you want to use the hipper terminology): It's about having fun and driving. This will be a common theme I'll be weaving throughout the magazine in issues to come. And while I personally love a good track day, I really don't care if you drag race it, autocross it, track it, or just flip it through your favorite curvy mountain road. In my book, if you're behind the wheel wearing a smile, then you're doing it right. When it comes to driving, no car is more deserving of seat time than the Corvette. It's a car built to run and is, by far, the best performance bang-for-the-buck-ride out there. A corvette locked away in a climate controlled garage, unless it's some historical piece, is just sad. It deserves the open road and if you're not driving it then you're just cheatin' yourself.
As to Corvettes, I've always been impressed with how it gets better when it seems to already be at its high point. I can remember when the C5 Z06 came out and we were blown away with the 385hp (and later 405 hp) LS6 engine and lightweight components. It seemed to be the pinnacle, at least until the C6 came out and we were impressed yet again. That lasted until the C6 Z06 hit the roads shortly followed by the "ultimate" Corvette, the ZR1.
There was some chatter that the ZR1 would be it and future Vettes would have their soul ripped away by increasingly stringent government regs. Well guess what? The "best" got even better with the new C7 and the bar will be pushed even higher when the new Z06 version is unleashed. So, we're left calling each generation the "golden age" of Corvettes. Will the C8 surpass the C7 someday? Personally, I'm not going to worry about it, because for now we have the C7 and six previous generations of Corvettes to drive, which is an impressive legacy when you stop and think about it.
As to the direction of the magazine, and web, some things will change while others won't. You'll still have a bevy of car features to drool over and draw inspiration from, but the events will focus a bit more on Corvettes in motion. Given I've been a technical editor for the last 9 years, you can bet there will be more stories on how to wring more performance out of your Vette. And, of course, we will continue to cover the history and heritage of America's favorite sports car, because, well, it's cool. We also want to make sure to dish out stories for all the various generations, from the restoration guy to the hard-core track guy and everyone in between. I'm always open to suggestions on what you want to see in your magazine, so feel free to drop me a note. And remember, if it's not fun, you're just not doing it right.