For the past few months, I have been writing this column to bring some insight into the techical world of import performance. Hopefully, the content has been interesting.
I want to use this time to give you a brief background check about myself. Many people tell me that I have a "problem" with cars. By the way, "CBA" stands for "Car Buyers Anonymous."
In the past seven years, I have owned 13 vehicles, with a personal peak of owning seven at one time. Last week, I almost purchased a blown-up 1994 RX-7 twin-turbo. My real problem? I can't pass up a good deal when I see one. The fact that my two older brothers own a used car lot and a Honda/Acura junkyard certainly doesn't help, either.
Currently, I have reined in my car buying habit and now own just four cars (two 1991 MR2 turbos, a 1990 Acura Integra turbo and a 1990 Mazda Miata (soon to be turbo). Some of the cars I've owned include: Datsun Roadsters, 510, 240ZX, Dodge Colt Turbo, Honda Civics, a first-gen Toyota MR2, a Toyota Cressida and the current collection I have now.
I have a passion for cars; that is why I sit at this desk. I can tear an entire car to the frame and build it from the ground up, installing every single bolt. OK, I lied, almost every single bolt. My garage is filled with every engine component possible, including a Snap-On tool chest filled to the brim with tools.
I have used pistons on the floor, rotary engines, transmissions, heads and blocks. You name it, I probably have it in the garage. When I was 17, I asked my mom if I could put a bed in the garage; that way I'd be closer to my car. My ideal house is a three bedroom house with a five-car garage and additional parking stalls.
I graduated from Alhambra High School and went to the University of California at Irvine, also known as the University of Civics and Integras.
There, I met some other car fanatics who introduced me to Eddie Kim of Dynamic Autosports and was hired on as a part-time installer in November 1994. I spent more time than I should have at Dynamic, including some overnight installs before a race or two; it was there I found my true calling. I was a car junkie.
Dynamic was at the forefront of import performance, being the first shop to incorporate Accel Digital Fuel Injection system (DFI) and Motec engine management system onto a four-cylinder import engine. Being at the cutting edge of import performance gave me a real taste of what it was like to be involved with new technology.
From Dynamic, I headed to JG Engine Dynamics in Alhambra, Calif., where I was in charge of sales and DFI installs. Working at JG gave me the opportunity to not only meet some of the top name racers, but also become friends with some. There wasn't one day that I was at JG that I didn't learn something new or meet someone involved with the industry. As the next two years rolled by, I became educated in engine building and blue printing, DFI installs, Dynojet and Clayton dyno testing.
In January 1998, I received a call from Edward Eng at Turbo magazine, who invited me for an interview with Evan Griffey for a job opening. As you can tell, the interview went great and I started working for Turbo the following month.
To this day, three years after my first day at Turbo, I am still learning new things within the industry. And being at the forefront of import performance, I am able to witness many of the new products that aftermarket companies have developed or will soon develop.
In truth, I see myself as more of a car junkie than a writer-not the other way around. Although I wear khakis 95 percent of the time, I am not afraid to get my hands dirty at any opportunity. I also want to thank all the people who have given me the opportunities that have lead to my current position-Eddie Kim of Dynamic Autosports, Javier Guiterrez of JG Engine Dynamics, Edward Eng and Evan Griffey of Turbo magazine and Michael Ferrara of IDRC. Thanks, guys.