Volume II, Issue 2, Page 1

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Max Chevy covers all automotive things Chevy. A new issue of MaxChevy.com is published on the 15th of each month and is updated throughout the month.

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Jeff Burk

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Jim McFarland
John Carollo
Matt Strong
Geoff Stunkard

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Can We Have It All?

Wow, it’s February already.  And this is the seventh issue of MaxChevy!  My how time flies when we’re having fun.  And while the last four months have held a lifetime of experiences for me -- some good, some not so -- none speaks louder than the response the aftermarket has given to this online magazine.  The need for this new avenue of learning about and viewing what’s going on in the world of Chevrolet is definitely here.  The ink and paper magazines just can’t serve up -- or keep up -- with the onslaught of information and activities that are going on every second of every day.  The newsstand biz is suffering with higher costs, lower sales and lesser quality, and I aim to benefit by their unstable landscape, one way or another.

We’re learning for sure, about how to navigate through the virtual world, and we haven’t even scratched the surface yet.  But we need your help.  We want you to tell us what we can do to fill your Chevy cup with all the information and entertainment you want.  You see, we have unlimited space, but limited time and staff, so we have to gel with what the mainstream wants within the parameters we have.  We want to know if off-road truck racing is your bag, or if seeing twin blown big-blocks power an offshore ocean racer past the century mark floats your boat.

As a car guy, I like to see useful tech.  I mean installation stories and how-tos that not only feature the coolest stuff from our aftermarket friends, but also those parts that make sense for you to buy and install.  I also like the new tech way of increasing performance (less grease) and the features that allow all of us to venture inside places we’d more than likely never get permission to see.  Sure, we all want faster, more responsive cars, but with today’s state of the economy and higher fuel and insurance costs, burning more gas is not always the answer to enjoying our rides.  I see attendance at the local tracks and car shows going up.  I’m not talking about spectators only, I referring to those who take so much pride in what they build that they are gravitating to the pits to test -- and enjoy -- the results.  But drag strips, fairgrounds and road courses aren’t exactly multiplying like rabbits these days.  Remember, real estate is expensive no matter where you go.  So with the increased activity will come a logjam of sorts in the staging lanes.  This could be a quagmire moving forward.

But oxymorons exist elsewhere in our industry, as well.  Take for example a new law in California that would have you being charged with a felony if you are caught racing the guy alongside you to the next stoplight.  First, and most importantly, I do not endorse street racing.  Repeat, DO NOT!  However, we live in an era where there are more performance-oriented machines produced today than ever before -- by leaps and bounds.  Furthermore, the aftermarket parts industry is cranking out new hardware -- and software -- at a rate never imagined when the last big-block Chevelle rolled off the new car dealer’s showroom floor.  All this points to more performance, more people involved in enjoying their rides and MORE MONEY!  And that includes the state coffers in the way of higher registration, taxes and fuel surcharges.  Bottom line: Take away performance machines and we’ll see a drop in the economy like no other.

What really caught my attention to this situation was two-fold.  First, coming away from the SEMA Show -- the gargantuan tradeshow for the performance aftermarket -- showed me the money!  The halls were filled with the latest and greatest go-fast and stop-faster equipment.  Translation:  Lots of money there.  People want to modify their cars, and the industry is happy to oblige.  Those same companies pay lots of money in taxes.  Enough said.

The second -- and most startling -- revelation hit me when I read a half-page editorial in a recent issue of the Los Angeles Times’ auto section that talked about the all-new Mustang GT 500.  While I’m not a Blue Oval guy in the slightest, the idea of a 500-horse Mustang is intriguing to say the least.  The writer went on to point out the awesome capabilities of the car and how it was certain to sell big.  Then the contradiction in terms came right at me when right below the stellar feature was a news item outlining the specifics of the new law our once-performance-car-guy-governor signed into the books stating that if you get caught exercising those 500 ponies you could go to prison.  Strike one!  Oxymoron for sure!

Once again, I must point out that I don’t endorse reckless driving by any means.  But I do know that for the better part of a century, enthusiasts and regular folks alike have been hammering the throttle of their horseless carriages to see how well they perform -- or to simply get a rush from the acceleration.  Is it a crime?  If so, how do lawmakers rationalize making it one while at the same time eagerly accepting Vic Edelbrock’s quarterly tax payment?  Wonder what would happen if Detroit stopped building performance and Mr. Vic had no money to pay the taxman. If ever a quagmire existed…