Well, hello all you gearheads and horsepower freaks! My name is Brian Wagner and I’m your new editor of Street Muscle Magazine. I’m very honored and grateful to have the opportunity to jump into the driver’s seat of this magazine. How about I tell you a little about myself and where I plan on taking Street Muscle Magazine?
A Background In Muscle Cars And Racing
Like so many of you, I was introduced to cars and racing through my family. My dad grew up during the muscle car era and practically lived the movie American Graffiti. The exposure to fast cars and racing through his brothers stayed with him his entire life, and led him to purchase a 1967 Nova that he still owns and drives today.
Well, after college my parents started a family (that’s where I came into the picture), and continued to race the Nova. Some of the earliest pictures you can find of me are at the track in my dad’s helmet as a baby. We spent our summers as a family racing at Thompson Motorsports Park and Quaker City. I was the quintessential track kid, running around, rooting for my dad, and checking out all the cars at the track. We even took vacations to big events like the Spring Nationals at National Trail Raceway, and the Gator Nationals down at Gainesville.
It was more than just trips to the track for us: we would go to cruise-ins at the local A&W and check out indoor car shows when the weather turned cold in Ohio. I loved looking at all the different cars and being immersed in the car culture at a young age really had a big impact on me. Funny story, I would tell the teachers at school that we had a race car and went racing, they thought I was lying and even brought it up to my parents…
When I was in college, I gravitated toward people who shared an interest in cars. We didn’t have a ton of money to pour into our rides, but we had a lot of fun with what we had. Back then, if you had a 10-second street car you were pretty darn fast. I was rocking a 1994 Z28 Camaro that got every bolt on I could afford and I thought I was something special.
After college, I had to do the “real job” thing and the Camaro went to the back burner, and was eventually taken off the stove entirely due to mechanical issues. When I moved to Columbus, Ohio I started hanging out with the local car crowd and the cycle started all over for me. I ended up buying my 2000 Pontiac Trans Am that turned into Project Red Dragon and started modifying the car as much as I could.
Things got really interesting for me when I started traveling as a crew person for my good friend Ray Litz’s small tire race car. We traveled all over having a blast and I learned even more about drag racing. That time on the road helped me create relationships with so many people within the industry, and built the foundation that led me to where I am today.
After a few years doing some freelance work for Power Automedia as a writer and photographer, I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse to work for the company full-time. I got to help run Dragzine and Speedvideo, which meant I spent as much time as I could at the race track.
When the opportunity came about to take over Street Muscle Magazine I couldn’t say no, because I’ve grown to love telling the stories of those who love cars. Now, I can travel to new events, meet even more people, and show the cool stuff people have built to the world.
Where Street Muscle Magazine Is headed
Jumping behind the controls of a magazine like Street Muscle is a pretty big task. Fear not! I’m ready to take on this challenge and really make Street Muscle an exceptional publication. The fact that I’ve been given a clean slate to do what I want is making this task even easier.
So, what can you, the reader, expect to see on Street Muscle Magazine in the future? Well, I want to build a magazine that every diehard car person can enjoy. That means you’re going to see lots of articles that focus on what you, the reader, are building. While it’s neat to see the big-dollar builds, I want to show off what people are building in their own garages on the weekends.
You can expect to see a larger variety of vehicles on Street Muscle in the coming months. We’re going to hunt for vehicles to showcase that are different, and might not get the attention they deserve. I’m also going to make a big effort to find more cool street rods to bring to the readers. There are so many rad vehicles out there both old and new that we can bring to our readers and that has me excited.
On the tech side of things, we’re going to try and expand what we cover and look at topics that can help our readers with what they’re building. We’re going to work on covering as many different platforms and subjects as we can. You can also expect to see everything from basic tech, to some cool high-level theory pieces as well.
Now, my plan is to deliver all of this content to you the reader in a truly authentic manner. I get excited to do car stuff and I hope that bleeds through what I write and record on video. I’ll be the first one to tell you I’m not an expert on much, but I love to learn, and you’ll get to take the journey of hot rod education with me.
I’m looking forward to talking with people about what they have built so I can tell their stories. It’s my job to share with the world all the cool stuff our readers do, and I take that job seriously.