We go to Year One's super fling every year. During the month or two leading up to it, we're pretending hardship in our publisher's office, begging for airfare back East. The conversation usually goes something like this: "We're dangerously low on car features, plus we can talk to a bunch of our advertisers at the same time." (Publishers love to hear this stuff from editors.) Keep in mind, we fly all over and see a ton of car shows and races all year long, so it takes a pretty cool event to get us jazzed. Next to SEMA, the Year One Experience is the shizzle.

This hardcore three-day car-gasm is held
simultaneously at the Road Atlanta road course and Atlanta Dragway (they're just miles apart), and it has everything. Drag racers, road racers, autocrossers and cruisers can all get their jones on in one place. To top it off, no fewer than six TV shows and their attendant celebrities were thick in the joint. Besides PHR, we saw guys from Mustang & Fords, Mopar Muscle, Chevy High Performance, Super Chevy, Car Craft, and scribes from unspeakable non-Primedia rags. Even Hot Rod Editor Rob Kinnan snuck out of his hotel to face the paparazzi. Trust us when we say this event is one Indian casino away from giving Brian France an Excedrin headache.

It's Sensory Overload
One minute, we're talking to a vendor about bolt-on late-model Mustang parts, the next we're shooting the breeze with a reader about project g/28. Then we're off chasing hotties in our golf cart, 'cause we know you want to see them too. When that gets old, we head over to the autocross and watch guys cut up tarmac. We see Lou Santiago from Spike TV's "Musclecar" show laying waste to his golf cart and stop to hang with him for a while (he's just as cool in person). It's all we can do to keep him from putting a plasma cutter to the thing. The car show is packed, and there we run into Chuck Hansen, formerly of "Horsepower TV." Dennis Gage of "My Classic Car" is doing an interview a few cars over when Joe Elmore whizzes by on his cart (which is in better shape than Santiago's), with camera crew in tow. TV stars and producers are everywhere, and editors are scooping each other in cold blood, just like a 1940s "B" movie. Dude, if you can't get your car on TV or in a mag at this place, your ride might actually suck.

And Then There Are The Nut Jobs...
There is a ton of better ways to make money than getting into the speed parts business, but then who wants to write divorce papers or prescribe penicillin for snotty-nosed kids all day long? Guys in the speed biz, however, aren't afraid to live life. Take Mike Jonas of Stainless Steel Brake Corporation. He brought his brand new LS2-powered Pontiac Solstice just so he could pound it on the road course. Another of our favorite crazies is Brett Voelkel of Air Ride Technologies. You gotta love a guy who takes a mint '70 Buick GSX, stuffs it full of road race parts (including his own air suspension) and beats the crap out of it on America's fastest road courses. But these guys pale in comparison with Bob Johnson, owner of the g-Force 'Cuda, which graced our April cover. Driving up in the g-Force fashionably late, Bob started the predictable riot. It's the kind of car that'll make a dog vomit two blocks away when you light the motor. On a saner note, we got enlightened when we spoke with Kyle and Stacy Tucker of Detroit Speed & Engineering. Did you know before DSE, they both worked at GM as engineers on some of our favorite cars, like the Fourth Generation Camaro and Firebird? We shot their '69 Camaro parts development mule--look for it in an upcoming issue.

Other Stuff
Let's be clear, this is a family event. Got kids? Bring them along next year--there's even an hourly shuttle to the mall in case your wife doesn't share your sickness. I even brought my dad along, by his own admission the world's least horsepower-loving person (talk about over-compensation). He loved it. Lots more cool stuff happened, but there isn't room. Check out the pix and chicks, then go to yearone.com to get the 411 on next year. We've also got more online at popularhotrodding.com.