Kit Car Builder Review of Actual Mileage
A Compilation of Columns from the Past Eight Years, Plus Some Bonus Material
Magazines typically provide much more than just information, sources, pretty pictures and what’s new. At least the great ones do. The great ones will give you something to think about in the form of entertaining articles that are simply just a good read.
I’ve even been known to subscribe to some automotive rags just for the well-written rantings of certain contributors – the late Brock Yates in Car and Driver, the former Jean Lindamood writing for Automobile, and Peter Egan’s insightful prose in Road & Track to name just a few. These guys are all passionate about cars, but they also provided (and in Egan’s case still do) a different perspective to the subject matter.
As special-interest magazine editors we always seem to be searching for writers that can provide a skewed insight into the subject matter we’re covering. And it may just be a need to satisfy an unfulfilled literary bent that’s typically missing in the hard core information we’re delivering.
Dating back to about 1996, as an editor of a couple of kit magazines, I’d been reading some fanciful reporting in the newsletter from the New Jersey Replicar Club (NJRC) that usually caused plenty of laughter and some head scratching. Long story short, in 2006 we hired NJRC recording secretary Max Zimmer to write a column for every issue of Kit Car Builder. After all, he had the best combination of experience: he’s an excellent writer, he had built a very cool Porsche Speedster replica, he had ample automotive knowledge, and he hit the Carlisle show every year in company with his replica buddies. And above all, he worked cheaply.
As I recall I initially gave him a rather loose set of guidelines for his “Actual Mileage” column, that of trying to keep some sort of car angle and limit it to 1,000 words. Otherwise, let your imagination run free.
The result was some of the more entertaining articles I’ve ever read, which puts him easily in company with some of the folks mentioned earlier.
Well, Max has compiled all the “Actual Mileage” columns we published from 2006 to 2014 into a soft-cover book, plus some bonus material. Not just because he dedicated the book to my wife “Queen Bee” Carolyn and myself, the book is a great read, particularly if you weren’t reading the print version of Kit Car Builder magazine.
In his words, “You’re about to head down a twisted road called Actual Mileage and Max Zimmer is your driver. Take the passenger seat, buckle up, hang on tight, and get set to experience fits of gut-busting laughter, some heart-wrenching tearjerkers along the way, and brief encounters with real-life characters you’ll relate to and find hard to forget. Enjoy the ride!” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
– Jim Youngs, founder and former editor of Kit Car Builder magazine