Unless you're a regular reader or are buried deep in the Euro scene, you have no idea about the great sense of community we enjoy. Apparent strangers go out of their way to help you, people met at shows become lifelong friends, etc... Maybe other scenes have something similar - I don't know because I've only owned European cars - but I'll just assume our community is better!
Having worked on various magazines since I was at college, there are people I've grown up - and will grow old - with. I've learned stuff from them and showed them a few tricks of my own.
One of the greatest privileges is to welcome somebody new to the community and watch them grow into it. We speak to thousands of readers who are starting out. They email us for advice about a first car, first mods, first shows. I try to steer them toward the tuneable cars, avoid unrealistic mods and recommend fave shows.
A few years ago we were approached by a young photographer who knew a young Audi owner. Both wanted to get into the mag, and while the car and pics were rough round the edges, we published the story. So it was a delight to again feature the same owner's latest project on the cover of this issue.
Four years older, he's not the awkward teenager we encountered back then, and his car exudes the confidence of a seasoned Euro tuning campaigner.
So if you're taking your first hesitant steps in the Euro scene, don't be afraid to reach out on the forums and at shows. You might get a few knock-backs, but there are some good people only too happy to help.
On a different subject, you'll know I'm a two-wheeled regular. We invited you to send photos of your own bikes, so I know I'm not alone. Anyway, I've always wanted to ride off-road but never had the opportunity until recently. The open deserts near Los Angeles provide a gigantic playground if the bikes are green-stickered, but avoid the miserable 105°F heat we encountered!
Apart from serious dehydration, the Honda CRF250 and 450 models we tried were ridiculously easy to ride. Traction was amazing, despite deep sand and jagged rocks. Nothing seemed to faze them, although the same can't be said of the rider...
At least I kept it upright, but I took the precaution of getting all the safety gear from www.shiftracing.com. They have boots, helmets, armor, jerseys, pants and gloves - everything to avoid hospital treatment on your first outing!
We had a blast, so expect more adventures in the future. You can read the full story in the blogs at eurotuner.com along with many other recent exploits. Greg Emmerson, Editor email@example.com