What A Year It's Been...What!? It's Been A Year?
By Doug Kaufman
As I sit here pondering the many topics I could choose to write about for my last column of 2004, I'm suddenly struck by the unbelievable fact that it is December already! Of 2004! Where did 2003 go? What happened to April, for crying out loud?
Of course, the holiday shopping days always seem to sneak up on us, but lately time itself seems to be speeding up. With more and more things to do, more and more issues to worry about, succeeding in business has gotten to be much more of a challenge.
That's why it's such a privilege to continue to interact with you, the professional engine building community. Some of you may remember back to October of 1964 when this magazine was first published. Then called Automotive Rebuilder, it was created solely to help you to be more successful business people. Of course, for the past 40 years, much of our success has been the direct result of the interest you have taken in our coverage of your market. You have been faithful readers, advertisers and participants in the evolution of this magazine.
Despite your increasingly busy schedules, your ever more challenging competition, your more exacting manufacturing standards, you continue to be my eyes and ears to this industry - and I thank you for it. Your phone calls, e-mail messages and long conversations at trade shows are not only enjoyable but educational.
In addition to helping me tell your story, I'd like to have YOU tell your story. In a column I wrote for one of Engine Builder's sister publications about 12 years ago, I said I was looking for Tolstoy with a torque wrench. Happily, I found him in the undercar industry.
The engine building world is inhabited by craftsmen and, although artists are often pictured as reclusive loners, the information exchange I have witnessed at PERA gatherings, AERA shows and other industry events proves that you can communicate as well as you can create horsepower.
I know many of you have always had in interest in writing the Great American Novel. I can't help you there, but if you also wish to help this great American industry, I'd love to talk with you. High on performance? Heavy into heavy-duty engines? Impassioned about imports? Busy with the bottom line? Let's talk.
What have you done to weather the business storms and prepare for the future? Whether you've recently made the decision to start your business or done what it takes to stay in business, we'd like to know about it.
Our mission each month is to provide you with the best marketing, financial and technical information possible to support your business. We hope each issue is valuable and that you find time in your hectic schedule to give us your feedback.
Keeping in touch with you is the best way for us to know what's really happening out there. Keeping in touch with each other is a great way for you to help this industry remain active.