An Intro To The Thumbprint – EngineLabs Has A New Editor!

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Who I Am

At the beginning of September, we here at EngineLabs had a passing of the torch ceremony. Mike Magda, the Editor who has handled the reins of EngineLabs since the inception of the magazine, has stepped out of the Editor’s chair and into our Senior Tech Editor role.

In the process, he’s given up his cushy office space in the corner Power Automedia suite to go back to writing articles in his pajamas from his home office, and put me squarely into the hot seat of bringing the latest and greatest in engine technology to each and every one of you faithful readers on a daily basis.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve been in the publishing business since 2002, where I started off as the Editor of Since then, I’ve progressed through a number of positions within the industry.


Image Courtesy Tara Bowker, Black Rock Photography

From my position at, I transitioned into a freelancer for ProMedia’s Race Pages and Fastest Street Car magazines. Race Pages brought me on full time not long after that to become the Associate Editor of the magazine, and from there I subsequently ran Race Pages for approximately three years. I left Race Pages in 2011 to branch off into the retail side of the performance business for a year.

I realized how much I missed writing, and contacted Power Automedia (EngineLabs’ parent company) in August of 2012 about an opening they had to work as a freelance contractor.

After serving as freelancer for about a year, I signed a full-time gig as the Technical Editor for a number of our titles (EngineLabs being one of them), where I covered topics from torque converters to electronic fuel injection systems, news, and race coverage for our StangTV, Dragzine, and LSXMAG sister sites, along with my EngineLabs projects.

10300279_10152419540110519_6140035345169259348_nI’m proud to have this opportunity to serve as the EngineLabs Editor-In-Chief. That’s the quick and dirty rundown of who I am and where I’ve been – not like you care, but thanks for indulging me.

I’ve always had a fascination for all things mechanical, and have spent the majority of my life taking things apart and putting them back together again just to learn how they operate. I’ve always learned best by doing, and in my new position here I hope to be able to bring that fascination to you in the way of in-depth articles on the hows and whys of engine theory and practice. I’ve had the opportunity over the years to be involved in many different facets of the industry, up to and including a stint working as a crew member on a top-level “All Motor” car a few years back.

What’s Coming Up

I’ve had the opportunity over the last twelve years to make many invaluable contacts within the performance industry, and I’ve already begun reaching out to them to discuss the potential for articles on projects that are upcoming in their individual shops.

In fact, I have an appointment next week to go take a shop tour at Ray Barton Racing Engines here in Pennsylvania near my home office. RBRE is well-known within the Mopar industry as one of the kings of performance, and their Chrysler engines are legendary in NHRA competition – David Barton currently races a Challenger in the NHRA’s Factory Stock and Stock Eliminator classes and is a resource that we’re very lucky to have here. That’s just one of the local shops I’ll be working with, along with many others that build engines from mild to earth-shattering wild.

One of the engines built by Ray Barton Racing Engines, and an example of what yo'll see coming up, Photo Courtesy Don Carrick of [link=}Studio413{/link}.

One of the engines built by Ray Barton Racing Engines, and an example of what you’ll see coming up, Photo Courtesy Don Carrick of Studio413.

When I had the initial discussion with our Editorial Director about taking over EngineLabs, we talked about the direction we’d like to go for the future and what would be in store for the magazine in the upcoming months and years.

Basically, we’ve been doing a lot of coverage of V8 engines so far, but our coverage of the smaller four and six-cylinder engines, along with less-popular platforms, has not been as thorough. We’re planning to fix that in upcoming articles, along with continuing to cover the V8 engines that America (and the world) loves so much. With the resources we have at our disposal, and the inside access we have to many of the brightest minds in the performance industry, the opportunities are endless moving forward.

Not only will we continue to thoroughly cover engine buildups of all types, we’ll also dig deep into some of the concepts that have become commonplace like electronic fuel injection, turbocharging, supercharging, and even nitrous oxide for you giggle-gas lovers. We strive to provide the most impressive photography in the process of covering our engine builds, showing off the details you won’t see anywhere else.

Homegrown Horsepower

IMG_0079We’d also like to enlist the help of you, our readers, in providing content for our hit segment entitled Homegrown Horsepower. For those that haven’t been following along, Homegrown Horsepower is an ongoing series where we highlight the projects you have going on in your very own garage. We realize that many of you prefer to build your own engines, so we’d like to offer you the opportunity to be featured right here on EngineLabs!

If you’re building an engine — whether it’s your first one or one in a long line of garage-built projects — send us the details! Here’s what works best: List all the components, especially the major ones. This includes block, cranks, rods, pistons, rings, bearings, camshaft, lubrication system, cylinder heads, valves, springs, rockers, induction system, fuel system, ignition system and engine-management controls.

Feel free to highlight custom touches, appearance items, and anything else you feel makes your engine special. Remember that we’re not necessarily looking for high-buck builds – anything that’s unique and different whets our whistle too!

Send a few quality digital photos, background information and complete list of the engine’s components to If you post a YouTube video of the engine on the dyno or test stand, feel free to share it – who doesn’t love dyno videos? We do for sure.

Once we have the details of your build, if it’s something that we feel has a home here at EngineLabs, one of our editors will be in touch and we’ll give you your fifteen minutes of internet fame. So get to snappin’!

This Is The End

Hopefully that gives you a bit of background on who I am, where I’m from, how I think, and where we’re going with EngineLabs. I look forward to being your Editor; one you can interact with (I maintain our Facebook page) and one that “gets it” since I’ll be getting dirty with the local engine builders as we strive to bring you the hardcore engine porn you so desire. This porn won’t need to be consumed behind closed doors, though. Thanks for reading!

About the author

Jason Reiss

Jason draws upon nearly 15 years of experience in the automotive publishing industry. Collaborating with many of the industry's movers and shakers assists him in the creation of compelling technical articles and high-quality race coverage.
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