Letter Of The Month
This month's Letter of the Month will receive an exclusive eurotuner T-shirt for his effort. If you'd like the same, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to: eurotuner Magazine Letters, 6420 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048.
Following the story you ran ("Quick Draw", et 5/06) I just wanted to show you some Photoshop chops I did. The BMW is my newest work. In fact, I only finished it a couple of days ago. It's of the recently released BMW E92 (the Coupe version of the E90 3-Series). The other is of a Seat Ibiza.
I noticed in the story that you wanted more people to send in Photoshop chops and I wondered if you'd considered running a competition to encourage more people to have a go?
Aliso Viejo, CA
Thanks for taking the time to send in these examples. We love the BMW in particular. We also want to encourage other readers to do the same and will be running a competition next month. It will be online and in the mag, and we'll try to get a decent prize. In the meantime, please email any other images you might have to email@example.com
Green-eyed Monster 1
You made some good points regarding the Euro scene ("Editorial", et 4/06) and generally it does have a wealthier crowd. However, to determine if the owner worked two jobs and busted his knuckles to build the car I compare their source of income with the dollar amount in the car. If he makes $10000 per year and put $25000 into it, with no help from his parents, what does the math indicate?
I travel throughout North America giving training, interviewing suspects and attending car shows surrounding the darker side of the sport compact scene. That is the Fast & the Fraudulent side. I know the majority of the industry as it relates to SEMA parts is good, but it only takes a fraction of the $31 billion dollars to add up to a lot of fraud. Not to mention the body shop side of fraud, which is millions of dollars.
The theft and fraud aspect does play a big role in the scene as I see it, but I do have a greater exposure to the questionable side. Anyway, you made some good points in your piece.
Er, we were just suggesting people had rich parents... We weren't considering fraud. It obviously exists, although you may be jaundiced if that's what you see every day. I still maintain it's too easy to look at a young kid with an expensive car and assume the worst. Yes, he might be selling drugs to infants, but he could also be working three jobs and sacrificing everything to achieve it. I prefer to assume the latter.
Green-Eyed Monster 2
I read all the letters in each issue and reflect on them. One thing that bothers me is all the students who have these cars with ridiculous mods. While some say they may be just as dedicated as us, I'm not so sure. I mean, look at the lower income guys. Don't they spend more time building their cars? Any rich kid can piece together a car in whatever amount of time they want and say they're dedicated. To me, dedication and passion equals hard work. Managing three jobs while in school and doing whatever it takes to get your project up and running: making sacrifices to build your car. And after a bad day at work, looking back and being able to smile because you know it's all for the car. If that's not considered more passion and dedication than the rich kid, then I don't know what to tell you.
I'm 17, trying to get a second job and am still managing an A average in high school. But I can't end this without admitting that European cars are costly and so you must expect wealthier people. Yet I'd definitely like to see the guys who did a project that took three years, compared to a guy who took three months.
Green-Eyed Monster 3
Wow, it's almost as if some of my fellow readers have mistaken your magazine for the nudie mags they ogled under the bleachers with their buddies in middle school. They obviously don't read your stories and just look at the pictures. David's Mk2 Jetta (et 4/06) is the perfect example of what they want: it says very clearly that he built this car on a limited budget because he's a full time student. I've talked to him a few times and seen his car many times. He definitely isn't working with Dad's credit card. So stop whining about other people's cars and start building something you're proud of. After all, that's what every one of the featured car owners did. It was the writers who approached them because their car was well built, not the other way around. So stop scanning the photos and start reading a little. Maybe you'll actually learn something.
Green-Eyed Monster 4
I like the different cars from different sources, regardless of where they come from or who owns them. Let it go. If you don't like the car, fine. If you don't like the guy who drives it, also fine. But let's not try and develop opinions on people just because they can pay to get their cars modded for them. I'm poor as hell, but any mods I get are put on by professionals. So it's taking me forever but that doesn't make me any less of an enthusiast. It doesn't make you any more of one either. So let's all just get along, shall we?
OK, I'm done. Where's my t-shirt?
After looking further into my May issue I can see the debate over "student" cars shows no signs of letting up any time soon. So I have a solution. My suggestion is to list the occupation of every feature car owner as "crack dealer". That way everybody will be equally offended and we can move on to more important issues, like dope European hardwarel.
I saw the BMW M3 in et 3/06 with the CF hood and accessories plus the vinyl/paint job and the first thought that came to my head was "so why isn't this in Super Street with the Nissans, Mitsubishis and Toyotas?" The reason I started getting your mag was because I'd seen a Porsche in another mag and couldn't get enough of Euro cars - it's because of you guys that I strengthened my love for BMWs! That Bimmer was a fierce car, and I know I sound like a jerk when I talk about this car but it really disappointed me. I loved the show-stopper Jetta in the same issue but I want to know what you thought of what is, in my opinion, the BMW from Japan.
I don't think you're paying attention. The "BMW from Japan" was just that - a BMW from Japan. It was called Import M3 on the cover to give you a clue. In the article we highlighted the irony of a Euro coming from Japan. It was built for Time Attack, did very well in the event, and is an interesting mix of different automotive cultures. Would we take the show-stopper Jetta instead? Are you on crack? We included the VW to show the extremes of the show scene and what a Jetta owner is doing to win import shows. A race M3 or a rice Jetta? No contest.
I've been reading your magazine for two years and must say it's great. I love all the articles and marvel at what people are able to do with their cars. Personally I drive an E46 325i - a great car, but on a student's budget I find it hard to modify. I'm not here to rag on all the "students" or that there are more Veedubs and Audis gracing these pages. Actually I'm here to call out to the Bimmer owners like myself because I've recently seen a decline in how many Bimmers are featured in Readers' Rides - a place where I get much of my inspiration. In the 5/06 issue there were none. So I'm asking Bimmer owners everywhere to send photos of your ride, even if it's not highly modified. I'm sure many will agree that we need to be better represented in the Rides section if we want to be better represented in the Features section. I sent mine in, and hopefully it'll appear soon.
What the hell is up? Good times, great magazine! Well, my May issue showed up about 20 minutes ago and I couldn't wait to read about the VW GX3. Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my shirt. VWoA, please build this machine! Please, oh please.
I just got off the phone with the designer and it's still going through approval but there should be a definite answer by the time you read this. Fingers crossed...
I'd like to comment on another letter concerning drag racing (et 3/06). I agree European cars weren't designed for the quarter mile and am appalled at the poor times, considering the money spent. The part I have a problem with is that somebody mentioned "horsepower wins brags, torque wins drags". Actually, drag racing is all about horsepower; if you need more torque at the track, just lower your gear ratio!
To put it simply, torque is there to get the tires going while towing and to give you some peppy feeling on the street. Look at some diesels - 500 lb/ft and only 100hp and they certainly aren't kings of the quarter mile.
I'm writing in reference to your column "Shut Up!" in the 3/06 issue. I own two Mk2s and as much as I'd like to read about them, you can only go so far with the VR6 or 1.8T transplants and the like. And if you think about it, some of the stuff about those engines can be learned from the articles on the newer models. I have friends who drive Mk3s, Mk4s and also an M3, and in my situation it's good to read about the newer cars. That way I can relate to their ideas and learn a thing or two. It's good you guys mix it up. I mean, who wants to read about any particular model month after month? And any reader would agree that if they were in your shoes; they'd have to produce sales, regardless of the bashing letters. One thing is a given though - when you're a magazine editor, you can't please everybody. But you can try, and you guys do a great job. I just wanted you to know what I thought, and yes I'm a diehard VW fanatic (I live, breath, eat, drink and sleep them) who absolutely loves the Mk2.
So what can I say about et? I can say that even though I've never owned a VW I've always read the magazine. Not because I'm a car nut (although I am) but because I've always been a Euro guy. I've always loved the Golfs but was never able to either afford one because of college. So I had to suffer through eight years of a no A/C, five-speed S10 with manual windows and locks. So, fast forward eight years through horrible Texas summers and I finally graduate college and decide I need to buy a new car when I get my first job. I shifted back and forth between new Scions and Hondas and older Nissans. But when it came down to it, I chose a Jetta 1.8T (coincidentally the same model and color as your project car). It doesn't have a five-speed, which sucks, but I've learned to deal with it. Anyway, I just want to say that if it weren't for et these last few years, I may have made a mistake in the purchase of my first tuner car. Granted, there may not be an infinite amount I can do to this car because of the Tiptronic, but I'm not a power whore like some. It's all about style and handling, in my opinion. So a big thank you for pointing me in the right direction.
Back to Basics
I've been an avid reader for many years, although my interest in European cars started when Audi introduced the 1.8T as the tuner's engine. As your last issue (et 3/06) states, "your opinion counts", so I want to voice my opinion. I find there's very little printed for the blue collar enthusiast. The cars highlighted are generally five-figure builds. The Average Joe and 90% of the people I see at our local GTGs will never build a show car. Why not run a regular article that introduces simpler add-ons, how they work, how they're installed and the results? Go back to basics - a short shifter, stage 1 ECU upgrade, downpipes, etc. Really get into the physics of what it's doing, some typical steps on the install, and your impressions of the upgrade.
I'm responding to the letter (et 5/06) about Jamel Allen's '99 VR6T (et 2/06). I guess people don't realize how much time, effort and money go into cars like this. I'm glad Jamel stepped out of the box with his car. I've talked to him before and he told me he was involved in every part of the project, unlike others who send it off to the shop and hope to get something good. The artwork on the front was actually a message to show how Euros are better, but I guess that was too hard to comprehend. I have a Dub myself and he's inspired me to turn some heads with my own originality.
I've been a subscriber for three years and really enjoy the magazine, but there's a few things I need to get upset about. 1) There are not enough tutorials or how to's, just a lot of flashy photos and such. But Dubbin' is about performance, not looks. I think there should be more installs and stuff like that. 2) Not enough Mk2s, way too many Mk3s, not enough Porsches and too many of the same BMWs. 3) Not enough detail in the articles. I can look at the photos and see they have Audi TT shift knobs, know what I'm saying? Anyway, don't want to be bitchy. I'm just saying some stuff could be better.
Thank you very much for your show report ("Volkspeed Fest", et 2/06). All our members are so excited by your support. We ran to the store to get our magazines and although just about everybody subscribes we wanted extra copies to cut out and frame. Thanks again.
Julio, Club Volkspeed
How about featuring some TDIs occasionally? I'm sure there are plenty of diesel owners out there who'd be interested.
Funny you should mention it, we're working on that right now.
I just got the new eurotuner (et 3/06). Man, you guys are good! You turned the trash I wrote ("Project Jetta", p78) into a really sweet article. I was surprised. I hope NGP and Vogtland are happy with how it turned out. I've been showing it off to everybody at work.
Besides my article, that Japanese-built M3 was intriguing - a really sweet idea but it was like a vegetarian butcher. I don't really know what to make of it. However, I had to write and say this is the best issue for a while (et 3/06). I love all the issues but, man, this one took the cake. You guys have everything in there. It's been a while since I addressed the magazine from a reader's point of view but you wanted to know how the readers feel about the magazine's direction and, in my opinion, you're inspiring us by showing the European scene the way it is. Even disregarding the "special treatment" I've received from you, I'd say this issue has pushed the limits and explored more than I expected.
I never really knew what I was getting into when I became a regular reader and I can't say whether you realized what you were doing when you took over, but you wasted no time in addressing issues that were taboo and never publicly addressed. Hondas and Fords started it all and it took off from there. From black wheels to Lambo doors, we've read a variety of opinions from this magazine. You're just the moderator (or martyr, in some issues), but it's really cleared the air and I think it was well overdue. You've made it evident you don't play favorites, cater to any side, company, scene or group, and have never fostered a "holier than thou" attitude. I always like that et calls it how it is. I can say I've learned a lot over the last year from reading the mag and watching the scene change. If I were going to relay any message to you and the et staff, please know you've changed things on a national level. You speak for a large portion of the Euro tuners nationwide. Just keep Dubbin'.
eurotuner Combat Car Correspondent