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Max Chevy covers all automotive things Chevy. A new issue of MaxChevy.com is published on the 15th of each month and is updated throughout the month.

EDITORIAL

Publisher, CEO
Jeff Burk

Editorial Director
Ro McGonegal

Managing Editor, COO
Kay Burk

Contributing Writers
Bob McClurg
Jim McFarland
John Carollo
Matt Strong
Geoff Stunkard

PHOTOGRAPHY

Donna Bistran
James Drew
Darren Jacobs
Ron Lewis
Tim Marshall
Bob McClurg
Dennis Mothershed
Matt Strong

PRODUCTION

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Matt Schramel

Production Assistant
Clifford Tunnell

ADVERTISING

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Darr Hawthorne
818-424-6656

FINANCIAL

Chief Financial Officer
Richard Burk

Accounts Manager
Casey Araiza


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2006: A CUT ABOVE!

As a society laced with nostalgia, it’s hard not to look back on the good ‘ol times and not let them go.  Of course life keeps moving, and with it comes new experiences that will lead to those memories we’ll hold fondly for years to come.  It’s an everlasting circle.  We do it every year, and every year we profess that it was the best ever.  And 2006 was no different for those of us who love to be around cool street machines.  Whether it was a New Car Event or a Sunday afternoon gathering at the local Dairy Queen, we gobble it up and use the memories to keep us warm through the winter until we’re able to do it all again.

This last year the enthusiast hobby reached new heights around the globe.  For me, it meant moving on from an established publishing company and heading up what is arguably the most important single title on the newsstand to jumping head first into cyberspace so I can bring you unlimited news, photos and how-to information without the corporate BS.

2006 also had more than its share of revelations, starting right from the beginning with the announcement that the Bow-Tie brigade would once again fly the Camaro namesake in its product lineup.  Of course, that won’t happen until we near the close of the decade (presumably 2009, no earlier).  But we did get a glimpse of what the car should be, and although many still don’t see the continuation of the lineage with the concept car, it’s there and you can bet it will be come production time.

Weather was inspiring across the country as millions of enthusiasts got to go out and enjoy their sport.  By my educated guess, more custom and classic cars were being driven to and from events and trailer queens appeared to be less visible (not that having a car in a trailer is a bad thing, mind you).  Despite gas prices hitting new highs from coast to coast, the performance enthusiast public raised it’s middle finger to the gas companies and the lack of government control of apparent gouging, and drove their Rat-motored rides on more long-distance treks than at any time in history (again, only my opinion, but probably a fair bet at being accurate).

The industry keeps getting stronger despite the war overseas and the sagging economy and rising costs.  People still need to feel good and going to a car show is the perfect outlet.  I won’t soon forget my visit to Pismo Beach, along California’s Central Coast during the Father’s Day weekend.  Every one of the more than 125,000 fans on hand had a smile on their face as they walked the streets of the beach city paying tribute to their dads and the cars they love.

The feeling of increased popularity was cemented, if indeed it needed to be, at the industry’s annual trade show; SEMA, held in November in Las Vegas.  WOW!  Just check out last month’s cover story in MaxChevy to see how cool the event was, and just how awesome machines are being built.

Television has also played an instrumental role in helping our hobby expand.  Although the so-called “Reality Shows” don’t really show it the way it is, you can’t help but thank the producers for raising the general public’s awareness of what we’re all about.  Hopefully the trend will lean more to feature and human-interest entertainment, which will lead to more mainstream folks joining the fold.  The more the merrier, I believe.

The bar has also been raised with regard to quality products being produced across the board.  From new cars to the latest supercharger, quality is the prime focus of manufacturers.  And when you trace it down to the little shop on the corner of Main Street, USA, you can definitely see there, too.

From the wave of “new” ‘60s body shells and replacement panels (Camaro, Mustang), to the reintroduction of popular powerplants (ZL1, Hemi) and drive train components (Muncie, Dana, etc.) we as a hobby are on target to keep alive all the models from the auto industry’s heydays.

For me, I can only see a positive future.  I’ve built many strong friendships over the more than three decades that I’ve been a member of the grease-under-the-fingernail gang and an automotive journalist.  Many friends, who I owe a giant “thank you” to, have risen to the occasion and helped get this new magazine out and growing, which it has wonderfully.  It’s been a very good feeling to be able to take on a new venture that is destined to be a success and to help grow this awesome industry at the same time.

And while I look forward to taking the final couple weeks of the year, as I hope all of you will, to look back, and enjoy the holidays with family and friends, I must take a moment to reflect on one big personal loss that I had this year.

I’ve had many “good friends” during my life.  People who come and go, and despite holding a savored spot in my memory, move on to enlighten others.  I’ve had a few extra special “best friends,” with whom I’ve shared many personal experiences, unconditionally.  But I’ve only ever had one father, Graham Cole, who despite never really being my best friend, has  always been a supporter, mentor, boss and, without question, (albeit never admitted aloud) unquestionably my biggest fan.  I lost my dad at the age of 79 years young.  He passed away quietly while I was at the SEMA Show this past November.   And while he never really seemed to grasp the whole hot rod scene, he did enjoy mechanical wonders, as he was an engineer by profession.  He appreciated a job well done, and although he probably never forgave me for overtaking his two-car garage as a teenager and all the oil spots and grease marks I left on the walls while building cars, he knew what I was destined to do and always made a point of saying how good a job he thought I did.

And while it will be hard to spend the holidays without shedding a tear or two, I’m confident that my dad is in a better place looking down on his family.  He’s for certain thinking about all those burnouts I did in front of his house, and all the flat tires I changed in the driveway.  And, perhaps his biggest joy will be the day I take my trailer to his house and bring his cherished MGB to its new home.  I imagine he’ll be chuckling for sure as he wonders just what the heck I’m going to do with that British sports car sitting amidst all those Chevy Bow-Ties.

It’ll be just like you dad, a cut above.  A cut above! 


editor@maxchevy.com