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This weeks interview is with Rick Seitz, Editor and Brand Manager for GM High Tech Performance and Camaro Now magazines. I wanted to pick Rick’s brain on trends in the late model high-performance muscle world, and since his daily life consists or driving, fixing, writing, and shooting photos of modern muscle cars I thought he was just the guy to go to!
Rick grew up in the 1980’s and remembers seeing the new Buick Grand Nationals, Pontiac Firebirds and the advanced technologies being created at the time. He was raised in Ohio and started working in the GM plants around the area building Chevy Cobalts. In 2010 he had enough of the mundane production toil and decided to “change his life”. Rick made the jump into automotive media and has not looked back since.
One of the biggest reasons I asked Rick on the show was to get an answer on the question as to when the “modern muscle” car era actually started. While it’s somewhat of a difficult question to answer overall, in general Rick feels that the modern era truly started with the advent of Electronic Fuel Injection.
Thus, somewhere around the mid 1980’s is the most general definition, as many existing vehicle lines (GM F-bodies, G-Bodies, Corvettes, even Fox body Mustangs, etc.) ended their time with carbs, and switched over to fuel injection.
With all of that established we did discuss at length the availability and potential of ’80’s cars, and indeed so there are still plenty to choose from with great performance capabilities.
1990’s era cars are also a great deal, and late 90’s GM cars allow an easy entry into LS engine technology. Compared to the sky-high purchase prices of the classic muscle car era, it’s easy to understand why a lot of people are heading the modern muscle route. (As an aside, when it comes to modern motor swaps, Rick mentioned with modern cars the LS swaps are becoming almost commonplace anymore, where classic muscle cars are really only at about the 10% mark.)
I asked Rick about some of the projects going on at GM High Tech Performance. He mentioned he had a Buick Grand National that is being built pro touring style, a WS6 Trans Am that is always evolving, and a Monte Carlo that may be a budget build example in the future. You can follow along with all of these projects by reading GM High Tech both in print and online. You can also reach out to Rick personally via Rick.Seitz@sorc.com.
Thanks for the interview, Rick!
This interview sponsored by our pals at National Parts Depot – your premier source for muscle car restoration parts!