I had looked at one issue of Fuel Magazine before going to Australia a few weeks back. The impression was a good one. It came across as a Garage Magazine type of publication with a much larger budget – really nice paper, incredible photography, and smart layouts. It’s not a “car magazine” per se, but a “culture magazine.” And, to me, this is a tough thing to pull off – go too far one way and you’re a poser, go too far the other way and you end up modeling a whore in front of the Pierson Brothers Coupe.
Don’t get me started…
On my second day in Australia, I met Luke – the man behind Fuel Magazine. Luke, before anything else, is British. He’s buttoned up. He’s trim. He’s appropriate beyond understanding. He comes across as a very disciplined artist determined to get his art into the world regardless of whether or not it is well received… In a polite way.
I instantly liked him.
The day before the River City Coupe and Roadster Reliability Run, we were at a pre-meeting surrounded by lots of people, booze, and good food. About half-way in, I had to relieve myself in a major way. After about 15 minutes of searching, I finally located a bathroom and found myself inline behind Luke. Like a parched man in the desert that finally found water, I was relieved to see the light… and it must have shown across my face. Luke looked at me and sort of smiled knowingly.
“Man, I have got to piss,” I explained.
For all intents and purposes, I was a mess – a drunk Texan still high on the novelty of being in Australia and surrounded by a world I knew nothing about while clamoring on and on about the status of my bladder. Place me beside a sharp Brit and it must have been one hell of a contrast.
Luke, standing tall and straight while questioning the obvious, looked over smartly and replied, “Fancy seeing you here ole chap.”
I guess you had to be there, but the absurdness of the whole situation was gut wrenchingly funny. And it was in that instance that I realized that I was simply outwitted by Luke. He had me. I was his.
As soon as I got back to Texas, I ordered all of the back issues of Fuel and took it a bit more seriously. By trade, Luke designs cars. He has worked for some of the biggest brands in the business and is on the top of his game. For fun, he’s also a photographer, a graphic designer, a writer, and a straight-up pimp. He’s a renaissance man with talents spread far and wide. It’s almost… almost… disgusting that one man could be so damned good at so many things.
And that’s what makes Fuel Magazine so good. It’s a culture book that ignores fashion by focusing on it and contrasting it against dirt bags like me. Yep, I’m interviewed in the latest issue. It’s probably the worst spot of the new book, but like everything else, Luke made it work. You can pick up your copy here.