the editor's car
the editor's car

In The Driver's Seat   (Volume XIV Issue 3, December 2006)

by: Curtis Jacobson

Welcome readers! Welcome car enthusiasts, tinkerers, inventors, hot-rodders, "tuners", and even British Car "purists"! Whether you're an old-timer around here, or new to our newsletter and our branch of the "old car" hobby, I'm hopeful and confident you'll find both entertainment and useful information in this publication.

This new issue breaks more ground for us. It contains our first articles about Sunbeam automobiles (a V6-converted Alpine and two highly modified Tigers!) and our first two MGC-V8 engine conversion articles. Moreover, it contains more of just about everything else we're known for: more articles related to engine conversions and other performance modifications, more photos, more volunteer writers, more sponsors, and more of our popular "How It Was Done" articles. I think we've got something for everyone in here.
I'm especially proud of this issue for another reason. I think more than ever before it's clear in this issue that we're providing information on performance modifications that also make classic British sports cars both safer and more environmentally friendly than they ever were before. I'll bet our average highway fuel economy is already about 25mpg. (My MGB-GT V8 got 26.5mpg coming home from our meet in Tennessee - but that's nothing compared to Brent Lancaster who reports he's averaging 31mpg on all roads!) Surely our "fleet average" is improving and will continue to improve as more and more of us learn about ignition tuning, electronic ignition, and especially electronic fuel injection. When our cars were built smog controls were a hindrance, but now we can have superior performance and be more responsible too.

The British V8 newsletter and website are a volunteer effort, and they represent the work of many hands. I want to take a moment to recognize and thank all the folks who've contributed articles and photos. Just here in the newsletter you'll probably recognize some familiar contributing writers, including Martyn Harvey, Greg Myer, Jean Montford, and Larry Shimp. I also want to thank our brand new writers: Howard Fitzcharles, Jeff Schlemmer, Kelly Stevenson, and Rob Wiseman, plus all the folks who've contributed "How It Was Done" write-ups on their cars.

Enjoying this article? Our magazine is funded through the generous support of readers like you!
To contribute to our operating budget, please click here and follow the instructions.
(Suggested contribution is twenty bucks per year. Feel free to give more!)

Judging by the tracking statistics our web hosting company provides, the last issue of the newsletter was a very big hit!  As of December 31st, the PDF version of the May-August issue has been downloaded in its entirety 1688 times. Of course, the individual articles were available online too. The most popular (non HIWD) article was the one that covered Pete Mantell's tech session on installation of Ford V8 engines in MGB's, with 1534 different readers so far. No matter how you slice it, that's a LOT more readers than we ever had as a printed newsletter.

As we digitize back issues and put them online, the website continues to grow rapidly. The website already features over 300 articles and well over 2300 color photos. I want to pause here to recognize the help of Greg Fast who has been scanning articles and running them through optical character recognition software - that's been a big help, and it will continue to be as we continue forward.

Since the last issue, I've been amazed by the generosity of readers. Since August, independent financial contributors have included Tony Bates, Greg Fast, Jay Smith, Brian Yeates, Michael Willis, and my dear friend Al Wulf. You guys are wonderful!

Finally, I want to assure everyone that the next issues of The British V8 Newsletter will be even bigger and better than this one. How can I keep promising that? I know people JUST LIKE YOU have valuable ideas to contribute, and I know you're a generous bunch of people. This is rolling and picking up speed. Don't miss out on the fun. Send in your ideas, articles, and photos now!

Very best regards,
Curtis Jacobson

p.s. Although the newsletter if FREE, financial contributions are gratefully accepted. Click here to make a contribution.

Got a new calendar for 2007? Please mark August 1-4, 2007 and start making plans to attend next year's British V8 meet. Kurt Schley is planning REALLY big fun. The host hotel will be the Days Inn in Willoughby Ohio. (We have a 75-room block reserved!) Kurt has also arranged our exclusive use of Nelson Ledges race track on August 2, and Pete Mantell of Mantell Motorsport will be underwriting the track-time so we can all play for just $75-per-car! An autocross is also being planned. There will be a plethora of diverse social activities, including vineyard tours and spirited country drives. (British V8 meets are great fun for couples.) Of course there will be valuable tech-sessions too!

Please don't forget to support our advertisers - and to thank them for supporting this FREE newsletter!

We welcome sponsors that are new with this issue:
Advanced Distributors, LLC distributor rebuilding and re-curving for all vehicles.
Brit-Tek Ltd. the MGB specialists where people are more important than parts.
Brooklands Car Components custom V8 sports cars with a British heritage.
morSpeed Performance Products distinctive fiberglass body products for MGB, Midget, TR7, & TR8.
Pieces of Eight! struts to hold open the bonnet and the boot lid or GT hatch of your MGB.
Roadtronics Automotive Technologies Co.     (aka: "RATCO") Triumph frames & performance chassis upgrades.

And familiar companies that have renewed and increased their sponsorship:
Classic Conversions Engineering MGB V6 specialists, including kits, plus MGB chassis upgrades.
Mantell Motorsport Ford V8 engine conversions for MGB, plus powder coating.

( Are you in the British sports car performance trade?  If so, you should be advertising here too! )

British V8 Home:        Read the Magazine        Photo Gallery        Web Forum        Annual Meets        Contact Us        Site Map