It Has Been a Privilege
Hot Rod|February 2022
My first byline in HOT ROD magazine appeared in the February 1992 issue. Now, 30 years later, the February 2022 issue will likely carry my last. This is my final editorial column.
David Freiburger

My life in print began in 1989 when Kevin Wilson accepted a story of mine for 4WDrive Action magazine, and soon I also wrote for Roland Osborne at Chrysler Power. That freelance work helped me get an interview at Petersen Publishing in mid-1991. Hours before the meeting, I got my hair cut figuring they wouldn’t hire a guy who looked like he sang for Warrant. My interview was simultaneously with Pat Ganahl for Rod & Custom magazine and Jeff Smith for HOT ROD. I’d also interviewed with Jeff when I was 18 and he was the editor of Car Craft, and he told me, “You seem like you have the right bones, but get some experience and come back.” I did, and after the HOT ROD interview it took about three months for Jeff to call me back, and I recall his exact words: “How’d you like to work for HOT ROD magazine?” In the years that followed I’ve thanked him many times for changing my life.

While I was on the HRM staff I began editing SIPs (singleissue publications, or special interest publications) like Hot Rod Engines, Hot Rod Camaros, and Fastest Street Cars in America. By 1995 I was the editor of Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off- Road, followed by Car Craft, Rod & Custom, and finally HOT ROD in 2001. While stilI at HOT ROD I launched the second version of Hot Rod Deluxe and also Roadkill magazine. At one point I edited HOT ROD and Car Craft simultaneously. I was also editorial director at one time or another over nearly every car mag we published except MotorTrend. Though I took a year off for a video venture circa 2007-08, I was surprised to realize that I ultimately oversaw a few more issues of HOT ROD than first-editor Wally Parks.

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