Being editor of Rod & Custom puts me in an elite group of 14 men to have held the reins of this magazine, but I now belong to an even more elite group of just three, along with Bud Bryan and Tom Medley, as we've all had the displeasure of penning editorials letting readers know that their favorite magazine will be no more. Wow, that's some pretty cool company right there, but for the wrong reason!
While Bud Bryan had to tell you the news in 1971, when R&C was given its own space within Hot Rod for almost a year, it was publisher Tom Medley who revealed the magazine's demise in 1974, after R&C's brief resurrection in July 1972. And now it's my turn. While many of you will have read online and known for a while now that what was Source Interlink Media, now re-branded as TEN: The Enthusiast Network, has called time on Rod & Custom, we know some of you aren't computer-savvy and rely on good old ink 'n' paper to bring you your fix.
Becoming editor of Rod & Custom was a personal dream come true for me, albeit a too-brief tenure. Unfortunately, I won't now have the opportunity to subject you to my thoughts on subjects such as supposedly period-correct builds using radial tires, alternators and the like, the eternal "Built Not Bought" argument, my opinion on which differs greatly from my immediate predecessor, or to bring you some great stories I had planned, including revisiting Gray Baskerville and Jerry Kugel's "Duel of Deuces" from 1972, using the exact same pair of '32 roadsters, or recreating Bob Hirohata's "Kross Kountry In A Kustom" from 1953 once my '49 Chevy is finished. You will be able to read the final installment of my Bonneville race car, and later this year, the conclusion of the Purple Pig '49 Chevy project in STREET RODDER magazine, which has absorbed R&C, and where you'll find my byline from now on.
More than anything, I'll miss what has long been my favorite magazine, whether as a staff member or a reader. I'll miss working with a great team: Aaron Kahan, our art director, who's done so much for the appearance and "feel" of R&C over the past decade; and Sarah Gonzales, our patient and long-suffering managing editor, who even now is waiting for this very late editorial. I'll also miss the connection with readers, which recently has taken the form of emails answering the questions I've posed in my editorials. I'm going to miss a lot, and I know you will too. Thank you each and every one for your support over the years. Who knows, maybe R&C will rise from the ashes once again someday. Until then, I'll see you out on the road, or at an event. I'll be easy to spot; I'll be the one wearing a Rod & Custom T-shirt!