Volume III, Issue 3, Page 50
By Ro McGonegal - 03/15/08

This month we’ve got Dr. Jamie Meyer by his big toe and we’ll not turn him loose until he tells us everything. And no, we don’t care if he what kind of underwear he has or if he even wears any at all. What we care about is the GM Performance Parts (GMPP), now a very mature entity within an ancient empire.

Take it from an old hand; GMPP was once the very deep, very clear well of hard parts that was extended to the hot rodding press for whatever seemed to make sense. Mostly, it was make one or two phone calls and your stuff was on the next wagon train out. No big deal.

Then it became a big deal. About ten years ago, at a SEMA show, we sensed stress in the armor like a shark smells blood. It was hideous. It was awful. It was called a budget. We got the word straight out: No more advertising in the magazine, but we’ll about give you anything we have. Giving stuff up for editorial promotion is like “free” advertising, right? While the ad sales mugwumps had a conniption because they’d been screwed out of a commission, the grunts on the editorial side (us) cheered about GMPP’s bold (as in up yours) way of doing business. That is no more. Since the General has been in dire financial straits for many long months now, departments that once were autonomous must now pitch parts for projects to supreme headquarters directly.

Obviously, this has nothing to do with the retail side of the business, only a historical perspective of the people who write the stories deal with. But, there is a very shiny side to all this. Never before has there been such a proliferation of product available from the speed parts boys in Grand Blanc. The ’08 catalog is a choice piece, 450-pages of it, slick enough to be flat on the coffee table, cover-to-cover with Architectural Digest and Natural History if you were so inclined. Dr. Jamie Meyer had a lot to do with all of this. Who is he and how did he get here? What is he going to do next? What will it mean to us?

Jamie, what kind of doctor are you?

Jamie Meyer:  I have a PHD in anatomy and cell biology. I was awarded my PHD with distinction, the highest academic you can get from the State of New York from the medical school in Syracuse. My research was on cardio-vascular disease, specifically atherosclerosis and treatments towards the cure for this. I went through college at St. Lawrence University. I spent four years there and had two majors. One was in biology and the one other in chemistry. Then I went on to Syracuse and got my PHD. That took five years. Then I did an 8-year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Cincinnati.

So why didn’t you become a doctor?

Jamie Meyer:  Well, I was at a point in my life where I had gotten really disenchanted in science. It’s an extremely challenging business, and I still love it. I still read lot about different biologies, but I’ve always had a passion for cars and performance parts. I was given an opportunity and, you know, decided to make a 180-degree turn in careers and chase fast cars for a while.

That brings us to the time just prior to signing on with GM Performance Parts. What were you doing then?

Jamie Meyer: I was in Cincinnati writing freelance stories at night and announcing for the NMRA on many weekends. That’s how I met Lisa Reffett [Manager, GMPP] and a lot of the folks in the industry. Lisa asked me to be the freelance writer for the 2006 catalog. After I did that, she asked if I could come on full time.

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