Dan Masters (Volume XI, Issue 3 - September 2003)

From the Editor:  Dan Masters   (Volume XI, Issue 3 - September 2003)

It seems to be quite fashionable amongst old timers like myself to put down the younger generation, saying the kids today aren't like we were when we were young. As a matter of fact, kids today are exactly like we were when we were their age. They do, however, live in a dramatically different world than we did, which means that their lifestyle is dramatically different than ours was. If we have a problem with that, then we have no one to blame but ourselves, because today's youth live in a world created by us, as they haven't yet had a chance to create their own world.

In very few places is this lifestyle difference more apparent than in the automobiles today's kids drive. We like to put down the "rice boys" and the "rice burners" they drive, but think about it for a minute - what would we be driving if we were young today?

When I was sixteen, I bought a rust free 1931 Ford coupe, in good enough condition for a daily driver, for only $35.00 (about a weeks pay at the time). I could get a V8 engine from the junkyard for peanuts (flat-head Ford, of course), and nobody was telling me what I could and couldn't do to it - no EPA and no safety inspections.

Today's kids don't have that option. They can't modify any performance aspect of their car unless the parts are EPA certified. For the most part, that only leaves graphics, sound systems, and neon lights as a means of personalizing their rides. Sorta like the fake duals and lowering blocks many of us put on our cars in our youth because we couldn't afford better.

So what does all this have to do with the Newsletter? A lot, actually! One big difference between the kids of today and us in our youth is money - we didn't have any, they do. Because they have the money to spend, the market caters to them (according to the Special Equipment Manufacturers Association, SEMA, they spent $2.3 billion last year alone - that's billion with a "B") - which means that there are a lot of go-fast goodies being developed for their cars. Even though most of the cars they drive are FWD, many of the engines in them are also used in RWD cars as well, or adaptors are available to convert them to RWD. For example, the Honda VTEC engine is used in a RWD form in the Honda 2000, and it spins in the correct direction as well.

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Although the title of this publication is British V8, we will not limit coverage to only V8 engine swaps. In the next issue of the newsletter, you will find a fairly thorough discussion of the various V6 engine options available (I had planned to have that article in this issue, but my old nemesis "lack-of-time" reared its ugly head), and in a future edition we will cover some of the little 4-cylinders engines, Japanese or otherwise, that might be suitable as well. For many, the potential ease of installation of these engines might be a real draw, especially when 200 or more HP are available. The idea of a modern, high-tech, reliable 4-cylinder engine, requiring little if any irreversible modifications to the car, has a definite appeal to many. For some mouth-watering information on the obscene amounts of power available from these tiny engines, see the column on page 3. Not to worry, though, our primary interest will continue to beV8 conversions

Now for some potentially bad news: Unless someone steps forth to help out with the publication of this newsletter, and to help maintain the British V8 website, this will be the penultimate (next-to-last) issue of the newsletter, as the next issue will be the last under my publishing/editorial services. It is just simply taking up too much of my time to allow me to continue. I have allowed myself to take on so many projects in the service of the British car hobby that I have precious little time left for my own projects. I've been in denial for several years, but I'm coming to grips with the fact that my energy level is a lot less than it used to be. I like to joke that it takes me all night to do what I used to do all night, but there's a lot of truth to that - everything takes a lot longer to do now than it did when I was a lad. When I retired a few years ago, I had planned on living a somewhat leisurely life, but as each year goes by, I find myself more and more involved, with less and less leisure. Now that I am approaching actual retirement age, I think a real retirement might be in order, so I'm trying to lesson my obligations a bit.

Any one interested in taking over the newsletter and web site? It's a lot of work, but it is also very rewarding. I'll be more than happy to work with you to get you started, and I'll supply all the software you need, along with the newsletter templates I've developed. Kurt Schley has promised - and delivered - at least one article per issue, and I will try to do the same, making it a little bit easier to fill 16 pages per issue.

The website is paid up through the end of 2004, as is the domain name "BritishV8.org" I have all the website files on a CD, as well as all the templates you'll need to keep it updated. As mush time and energy as Kurt and I have put into The Newsletter, and as well received as it seems to be, I would sure hate to see it die. Someone please step up and take it over. It doesn't have to be done by only one individual, two or three might split the work between the Newsletter, the "How to Stuff a Small Block V8 into a Small British Sports Car" site, and the "BritishV8 Newsletter" site.

Please - someone step forward and keep the Newsletter alive!

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