I DON’T LIKE IT
Oh, I don’t actually like the magazine,” a guy dropped into the middle of a conversation with me recently. Bit of an odd thing to say to someone who’s been the editor for more than 10 years, I thought. However, unlike those who were nearby at the time and overheard the statement and soon scrambled, unsure of what would happen next, I actually liked hearing that. It’s not that I enjoy people saying they don’t like the magazine, as I and everyone else involved pour our hearts and souls into every issue, but I like the statement, because it gives me a chance to ask them why. If they’re bold enough to make the statement in the first place, then, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a no-holds-barred conversation henceforth, and one that I’m not going to walk away from without finding out as much as I can, all in the aim of improving the magazine. In this instance, when I asked the guy to explain his statement, he said that his dislike was due to the magazine featuring “all big-dollar cars”, and that there was a lack of cars from his region. Regarding the second part — the lack of cars from his region — while not totally accurate, I can see where he’s coming from, and it is something I’ve been aware of. There are two parts to the answer, the first part being that, for us to feature them, first they must exist. The more feature cars that exist in an area, the more we can feature. Secondly, while we’ve not traditionally had a solid feature-car writer in that region, that’s an issue that’s recently been resolved. However, the reality is that that is a by-product of the first part — for us to feature them, first they must exist. I generally avoid talk of money, and, when I mentioned it a few issues ago in my editorial, it opened up a can of worms, but I still believe that building a feature-worthy car doesn’t need to cost the earth, and I pointed that out. Of course, that brought on the argument that the cars were too nicely built — yes, that the cars featured in NZV8 are too nice, too perfect … Yep, they are well presented — they’re meant to be; that’s part of why they get the recognition of being in a magazine. I’ve always held the theory that the vehicles that get featured in a car magazine — not just this one — should be aspirational, the ones worthy of recognition, the ones that inspire people to get out in the shed and build their own. At the end of the conversation, I thanked him for his comments and left him to his day. I was left thinking that I’d never rock up to someone and tell them I didn’t like their car, but everyone’s different, and that’s why we’ve got such a wide range of readers, and such a wide range of feature-worthy cars that we get to pick from.
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