I've been overseeing a lot of car builds lately, and if there's one thing I've learned throughout the process, whoever said patience is a virtue has obviously never built a street machine or a dedicated race car.
A good build takes a lot more than that, such as a dedicated work ethic and a whole lot of motivation. Of course I'm talking about the do-it-yourselfers who spend restless nights and long hours of the weekends to complete their rides.
Unless you can afford to farm out your build to a qualified shop, some of the best work I've ever seen has come from guys handling the majority of the build, with only select items turned over to the pros. These days, the tools are available and the aftermarket offers nearly everything you need for any type of build.
People often say that only high-profile cars find their way into the pages of national-level magazines. I beg to differ. In my eyes, all cars have a story behind them, and while I do reserve the pages for high-quality cars, it's not to say a homebuilt ride can't get in. On the contrary, we've showcased everything from one-man, one-garage builds to over-the-top, big show prizewinners.
Think about this for a minute: There is something to be learned from every vehicle we feature. Many of the top-tier builds we've shown have offered a number of readers, including ourselves, ideas on how to improve our projects. As a reader, you process the information, understand how something was built, and then transform those ideas to help create your own masterpieces.
Take your time on your builds. The attention to detail goes a long way, and you'll find that most gearheads will notice and appreciate the tireless effort you put into it. I know, I'm not saying anything new; however, it's still a solid piece of information to keep in mind.
So what catches my eye for a feature car? Obviously, the car as a whole will always grab my attention, but as I noted earlier, it's the little things that will seal the deal. More importantly, build the car to reflect your passion, and I promise either myself or one of our intrepid photographers will take notice.
Also, be at major car-guy events, because you never know who will be there. Most of our shooters don't walk around with CHP logo'd shirts for obvious reasons, but I will say that I get text messages routinely from photographers all over the country to see if we're interested in a particular car at the event. And while I'm at it, you still have a few weeks to make our Chevy High Performance Nationals at Atlanta Raceway in Commerce, Georgia. Save the dates, May 30–June 1, because if there's ever a good opportunity to show off your stuff to the entire staff, that's the show we'll all be at. I know, shameless plug for our deal, but the fact is we're going to be there looking for feature cars … so the only other question is will you be there?