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Twenty Years Of Fun

Joey Leh
Jan 3, 2008
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You hold in your hands the very first issue of the new calendar year, and with 2008 comes a milestone for Sport Compact Car. This year marks our 20th anniversary in the performance enthusiast market, a very rare feat for any aftermarket magazine. Right from the beginning, SCC was designed to be the bible for any gearhead looking to make a few changes in speed to a compact car. Over the years, our tagline has transitioned from 'the small car performance enthusiast magazine' to 'the premier performance magazine'. To that end, more tech articles, feature stories and project cars have come and gone than anyone can even remember.

New cars have changed as well, from CRXs and 323s to STIs and 350Zs, but I like to think that history has only benefited us. With two decades' worth of experiments behind us, we can all go deep into a Lancer Evolution IX build-up, or reach back and figure out how to refine a bone stock EF Civic chassis. We can look back and see what parts we've tried before, judge why they worked or why they didn't, and then apply new advances and products to older platforms.

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Sure, there have been growing pains along the way, including a Saleen Ford Mustang camber/caster plate install tech article in the February 1993 issue, but I rest well at night knowing we've refined our mojo and learned to not only speak and write, but race our tech as well. And the formula works, with aftermarket buyers more educated and plugged-in than ever. Based on our reader feedback, more of you are hungry for track results, comparison numbers and the hard truth. It's a completely performance-driven world now. How many of our current readers even know that Sport Compact Car used to have girls on the front cover in the early years?

Looking through past articles can sometimes be a real eye-opener. When I glance back at some older issues, especially those from the late 80s or early 90s, I feel all tingly inside about the progress made, both from SCC and from the aftermarket industry as a whole. We've all left the chrome hubcaps and chunky spoilers behind, and have begun to hit the racetrack, dyno and drag strip, out to prove quantitatively what works and what doesn't. Companies such as HKS, AEM, Stillen, Skunk2/Group-A Autosports and Racing Beat have been joined by the arrival of new Japanese manufacturers such as Buddy Club, GReddy and Tanabe. Demo cars have slowly inched away from being 'tuner' show cars and are now appearing at Bonneville, Pikes Peak and Laguna Seca, with many cues taken from the professional racing world.

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Many editors have also come and gone, including Alan Paradise, Larry Saavedra, Scott Oldham, Josh Jacquot and Edward Loh. Each brought a different vision and a different feel to the magazine, but each also had a hand in developing SCC's progression towards 2008. Stories, adventures and projects have to be conceived and carried out, and it was the editorial staff of SCC who lived and breathed every minute of it.

Through it all, SCC has updated, refined and improved itself. Staples have given way to proper spines, black-and-white pages have morphed into full color, and the layout design has improved dramatically. We're international, with articles reprinted in South America, Asia and Australia, along with USCC DVD appearances in Japan. You can find us on the internet, at the newsstand and in your buddy's bathroom magazine rack. Two decades ago, it may have been difficult to imagine how large we would grow and how much we would cover, but I don't think anyone who had a hand in building SCC would complain for a second about the blood, sweat and tears that went into our history. Here's to another 20 years.

-Joey Leh
Editor-In-Chief

By Joey Leh
44 Articles

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