It's 2:30 a.m. on a chilly Thursday morning and, as usual, I can't seem to fall asleep. There's not much activity on www.NWP4life.com and nothing's on TV so I sift through the DVR and find a "Pride FC" match to watch while I get a head start on my column. Hold on a second. My column? That's right, my own little balloon to fill with hot air until uncontrollably expanding, eventually popping and scattering hot bits of slightly discernable chunks of shrapnel. Is that too dramatic?
The column's purpose is pretty simple: To touch on current events within the Honda community-however major or minor they may be. Much of it will be based on trends and information gathered online since forums have proven to be the best up-to-the-minute resource in terms of progression and, for that matter, regression.
So which one of the many editors we've had over the past two years made the crazy decision to give me ink? Aaron Bonk that's who. That's right folks, after a changing of the guard numerous times since I came onboard back in 2005, an actual full-time, permanent (not to mention very knowledgeable) editor has stepped in to run the show for good. Aaron will give you a rundown on who he is and what he's about in his own column. I think you'll be pleased because he's truly a down-to-earth car guy with an extensive knowledge of Hondas both inside and out.
As for me, photographing for various magazines isn't something I'd planned. In fact, I really had no interest in photography growing up and never experimented with cameras. I borrowed a point-and-shoot Canon from a friend in late 2003 when I attended a drift event. Neither of us had a clue how it worked so I taught myself camera basics by reading the instruction manual at least a dozen times (nerd alert, nerd alert). The rest I learned through trial and error when I became addicted. Two years later I was fortunate enough to do some freelance work for a local magazine. A few months after that I was contacted by Honda Tuning and here I am.
Wondering what's in store for 2008? We made a few threads on a couple of popular Honda forums to find out what people wanted to see in the magazine. We received a ton of feedback-some positive, some negative-but all of it was used to help formulate a game plan. I thought this would be a good opportunity to address some of the concerns.
More East Coast Cars
Listen, everyone wants to represent his or her region. They're proud of where they came from, but people have to understand a few things. First, we're in California, so when it comes to cars in California we're able to set up photo shoots within a moment's notice-it's purely a matter of convenience. Also, the number of car shows, track events and meets here is overwhelming, mostly due to our cooperative weather. There's a string of months around the rest of the country that simply don't allow enthusiasts a chance to be seen due to that cold, white, fluffy stuff I've seen in movies. We do feature cars from everywhere. We're not biased; we're simply trying to run a magazine efficiently that features well-balanced cars that are up-to-date regardless of where they're built. Everyone wants recognition but, just like anything in life, sometimes you've got to work a little harder than the next guy to get noticed.
No More Trailer Queens
Of all the cars I've ever shot for Honda Tuning only one was trailered due to expired tags and a failed smog. It's true, many of the cars we've featured were found at shows or meets but there are also a large portion that we've come across at the track. Most people assume that clean engine bays mean the cars aren't driven but that's just not the case. Again, if the car is well-balanced and put together nicely we'll consider featuring it, regardless of the owner's intentions. We won't choose between show cars or race cars, instead we think our readers deserve a little bit of everything.
JDM Is Played
The same guys who complain about this are the same guys who were complaining when big body kits and enormous wings were in. Simply put, for any magazine to survive, covering what's hot is a must. Let's face it, those three letters have been used way too much over the past few years but the influence they've laid upon our group has pushed function and exclusivity, compared to mass-produced, ill-fitting attire and sub-par performance. Compare any late '90s cover car to the minty green hatchback on HT's Oct. '07 cover. Look at the drastic differences in build quality, attention to detail and the emphasis on overall perfection. That's where this community is today, who knows where it will be in a year.
That's it for now. Let's meet again next month.