Who knew I'd stir up a hornet's nest when I made a few remarks about air-ride? Well, yes, I suppose I knew it might get tongues flapping and keyboards clicking, but it's being taken out of context slightly.
Whether or not I expressed it clearly enough, I wasn't condemning air-ride in the et 1/10 editorial. In fact, I explained that we still intended to feature cars with it, and subsequent issues have proved that.
What I was trying to say was that air-ride is an interesting sub-sect of the Euro scene. Its benefits are mainly visual, although proponents of the systems assure us it has practical benefits as well.
It's a shortcut to getting the awesome stance most Euro owners strive for. However, it does bring some disadvantages, and I was simply cautioning against all of us switching to air-ride en masse. It's something I believe people should use if it serves their specific purpose, rather than because everybody else has it. I hope that clarifies the situation...
What I wasn't trying to do was turn this into a witchhunt against people who've chosen to express their individuality by fitting air-ride. Or against people who like to stretch their tires over wide wheels, or against people who leave their engines stock, etc.
As our Letter of the Month puts it, "Even if you don't like or agree with it, anybody who takes the time, effort and money to make a ride their own, deserves a nod of accomplishment at the very least."
The Euro scene is fascinating, because it encourages innovators like Mike Pitman, who chose to bedeck his Mk2 Jetta Coupe in bamboo, having fitted hotrod-style billet wheels and painted it bright orange. But then the forum bullies try to keep the scene in the dark ages, holding onto some European über standard, which is frankly outdated and not in step with the more adventurous machines being built in Europe by Europeans.
The US scene is enthusiastic, unswervingly loyal, vibrant and fun. But it needs diversity and new blood to survive. We need to attract new members to strengthen our numbers, rather than drive them off with hostility towards either outsiders or the new trends that come along.
Eventually, it all gets sifted through. The pointless trends go away and the scene becomes stronger. So embrace the unusual and let's see where it takes us. Group hug.
As an example of the softer, more caring Euro scene I'm talking about, check out the Audi-engined Porsche in this issue. We've got several of these frankenstein cars coming up, so we hope you enjoy the engineering.
Inevitably, there might be both Porsche and Audi enthusiasts who cringe at the prospect of such a combination. But seriously, is this so bad? It's breathed new life into a 25 year-old car that would otherwise have led a sheltered life. In its new guise, this is destined to be one of the most talked about front-engined Porker ever. Surely that's better than inevitable obscurity?
As I said, we've got plenty more of these machines on file, so buckle in and prepare for an exciting ride. We're defintiely going to challenge everybody's perceptions of how we define a Euro...
The GoPro winners were James Loiacono, Nick Bode and Andrew Nienhuis. Each have received their HD video camera - I know, because I've got the UPS tracking numbers in front of me.
If you visit eurotuner.com you'll find the usual news updates, features, tech stories, blogs, wallpapers, etc. However, you'll also find the winning entries in our previous GoPro photo competition, as well as the Futrell skateboard giveaway.
We see hundreds of videos every month from cruises, dyno runs, track days, etc, so this is your chance to share them with the eurotuner community. Turn the page to find out more...
More good news is that we've finally woken up to the '90s and launched our new YouTube channel (youtube.com/eurotuner). And to launch it in style, we're running a competition in this issue to win a pair of Petrol sunglasses for the best video submitted.
The Futrell Autowerks skateboard went to Mike McCrimmon, who gets this Euro-themed board to replace the one he broke during a bad fall. Hopefully, he's learned to keep it wheel-side down!
Now is a great time to get more involved in the Euro scene. The show season is just starting and we have event listings in the mag and at eurotuner.com - see you there!
Greg Emmerson, Editor