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.

Got feed­back? Our in­box is al­ways open. Todd ed­i­tor@v8.co.nz

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