Matt Strong Joins the Team

Hello there, I’m the new editor for Max Chevy and I have a big job to do. For your edification I will give you an outline of my “Chevy” background just to make sure you don’t think I’m some kind of Ford, Mopar, or import freak.

After I returned from the military in Southeast Asia, while I worked to get a degree, I started at a Chevy dealership as a night-time Line Mechanic doing mostly differentials, manual transmissions, clutches and warranty work. That was during my first two years. Then when I started my Junior year I worked for GM Engineering   at the St. Louis assembly plant before the Corvette was sent down south to get an accent and attitude change in Bowling Green, Ky.

I worked during the implementation of the myriad rules of the MVSS and it was a great time to be at the St. Louis Chevrolet plant as every night brought something new to the table. I worked on the swing shift (there were two shifts per day) and quality control was a lot more fun than if I worked on the day shift, when all the big wheels were roaming around. I helped implement an Automatic Torque Control program for critical fasteners that could cause bodily harm in they came loose. Bolts like the ones that hold the steering column in place or lug nuts, etc.

This training was important because the degree I was working on was Industrial Administration and Engineering. Knowing how cars are built made me a good mechanic and a technical editor doing tons of DYI articles throughout my career.

Then I want to work for some car business and high performance magazines, mostly with Petersen Publishing when they were the powerhouse in the business. I also wrote for one of the largest advertising agencies in the world, Ogilvy & Mather. They hired me sight unseen as soon as they read my resume because finding technical people that can write technical copy seemed to befuddle them.

They sent me to work in Mexico City handling tire, oil and one automotive account. I loved it. I learned to speak decent Spanish in 90 days and good Spanish in a bit more than a year. I returned to the great USA after seven fun years in Latin America, working five years in Mexico, one in Venezuela and one in Colombia. I also found my bride in Cali, Colombia. (A city known for beautiful women. Take my word on it -- it’s true.)

Once home, I worked for Sumitomo Tires in San Francisco as director of marketing and introduced their line of HP tires in plus-sizes. I then started my own advertising agency with mostly automotive and high performance manufacturers. It was almost as much fun as driving racecars for a living (I did that in the ‘70s for seven years). My clients were all great and I never lost a client while I was there.

But then I got greedy as Hino Diesel Trucks hired me as Director of Marketing and paid me a big salary, bringing me to New York where I worked until Toyota bought them. Toyota has good marketing people so they didn’t need me. Tough to happen after just two years with the company, but those are the facts in the business world.

I went back to my roots joining a medium size-advertising agency (GP Clarke Advertising) and kept doing freelance writing for magazines. I’ve known Jeff Burk for years and he was happy to have me writing for him at his stable of Racing Net Source LLC Internet publications.

This takes us back to the beginning of this introduction and the end of my first editorial page in Max Chevy. I’ll leave with a couple of thoughts for you – our readers.

Please let me know what you like and don’t like in Max Chevy. I will listen and make appropriate changes. Write to editor@maxchevy.com.

Please send me photos of your cars and note that you will find a tech-sheet form online here.

Fill this in the best you can and I’ll do my best to get your car into this magazine.

That’s all for this month. As soon as I can, I’ll get this magazine into the “monthly” class. It deserves it, as you do also.

(Yes this is my real name so you can only begin to guess how many fights I had as an altitude-challenged young kid in inner-city St. Louis.)