The first days saw Richard Bean in the editor’s chair but under the guiding eye of Tex. Bean served as editor from May 1972 until August 1973. Rick Clark took over in September 1973 through January 1974 when Jim Clark (no relation) served as editor. Not sure where Rick Clark is but Jim is living in Utah and heavily involved in hot rodding on the Internet. Jim Clark left the editor’s chair in February 1975. Jim Clark’s friendship with McMullen boarders on legendary, as the two of them were inseparable for much of their adult lives. Jim held just about every job in the company and oversaw many of McMullen’s private affairs outside the office.
Pat Ganahl became editor around April 1975 and stayed until July 1978. Ganahl is a regular fixture in SoCal rodding and currently enjoying his ’32 highboy roadster. Afterward, Ganahl served time (the good kind) as a journalist outside the auto industry. Upon his return he served as the editor of Rod & Custom as well as a stint at Hot Rod, both under the Petersen Publishing banner.
It was during Ganahl’s tenure that a very young hot rodder from the East Coast showed up named Steve Coonan. While he worked on staff for a few years, his time in the editor’s chair was relatively brief from August through December of 1978. Today Coonan is highly respected in the hot rod industry for The Rodder’s Journal, a quarterly publication dedicated to the history and look of traditional hot rodding. Coonan was known from the earliest days as a “shooter” and it is this talent, coupled with much more of the publishing business learned along the way, that has allowed him to make his mark.
To say 1979 was an interesting year for editors would be an understatement. McMullen was listed as the Editorial Director in January 1979 but there was no editor until April when Jerry Slattery sat in the editor’s chair. One month later Slattery would go back to tech editor in May 1979 while McMullen took over the coveted editor’s title in May. Go figure?
Around June 1979 Bud Lang, an old R&C staffer, became editorial director and served in that position until August 1981 but the reality was he served as editor once Slattery and McMullen tried their hand. McMullen became publisher and Slattery was listed as the senior editor. By July 1979 Slattery had moved on and now lives in the Northwest, still involved in marketing within the hot rod industry.
With the advent of the ’80s the SR editor’s chair would begin to settle down. Geoff Carter was listed as the managing editor back in January 1980 and eventually became the editor in June 1980 and served until March 1988. Although listed as managing editor the fact was he was the working editor. By now SR became a publishing force within the industry, a position it holds still today.
It was April 1988 to February 1989 that Tom Vogele served as managing editor but in reality he was the day-to-day editor. It was in March 1989 Vogele’s title was changed to editor and he served in the editor’s chair until February 1998. He served through SR’s and the industry’s tremendous growth spurt.
It was Vogele who gave me my “second coming”, as I served as associate editor in February 1998, and in March 1998 going forward I’m the lucky one who sits in the editor’s chair and keeper for those to come.