It’s Been A Wild Ride…
“Unfortunately, we’re eliminating your position here.” Those were the last words I heard when I was systematically removed from my previous career. Instantly, I produced a smug grin, threw my hands up on top of my dome and kicked my feet up as a defense mechanism for the potential world of hurt ahead of me.
What else was I supposed to do? I just sat there, motionless in the office for the Human Resources Department. It was the Director of H.R., my editor, myself and the world. Words became fuzzy and worthless at that moment. The conversation had turned numb. It was just like a scene out of the Charlie Brown gang, “Whomp whomp whomp whomp.”
I'm known for being a little outlandish, weird and quirky. During an event trip through Ohio, I couldn't help but get a shot with the corn stalks. Professional photographer, Robert McGaffin took the honor of grabbing this shot on our trip.
No matter what anyone had said, nothing was going to change the sad truth; I was officially jobless (sigh). Everything I had worked so passionately for in four years had instantly dissolved. My four years at the company had quickly filled two large boxes, a laptop bag and the front bench seat of my ’79 GMC pickup.
I bled and sweat for that position. I felt worthless. I had poured my heart and soul into something and it was gone. The sad truth, I was just a number. I was just another unfortunate case of corporate America.
With new challenges become new opportunities though, right? Fast forward a mere six weeks into my job search and an unexpected email appeared in my inbox. It simply stated, “Would you like to continue writing?” My initial thought, this was some kind of sick joke. However, it wasn’t.
In a matter of weeks and three heavily-detailed interviews later, I was beginning my new position as the Associate Editor for two of powerTV’s premier digital magazine titles in the ever-growing online empire; StreetlegalTV and RodAuthority.
Was it exactly what I had in mind when I was hired? No, probably not. I was left writing about Mopar’s and Fords, off brands and street rods. Don’t get me wrong. I can always appreciate a great-build. No doubt, I’m a Chevy guy, through and through. After all, I was doing what I loved; writing for the aftermarket and automotive industry albeit online instead of print. Fast-forwarding again, I’m now 27 and the Editor for ChevyHardcore.com. With my background as the Associate Editor for Chevy High Performance Magazine, it was a natural fit.
During events, I find a lot of downtime, which leads me to take weird photos or pickup my camera tripod for some air guitar action.
For Chevy Hardcore, I’m not only glad but excited to be aboard and I’ll do everything I can to assure our online content is filled with the latest and up to date all-Chevy tech, news and car features. The previous editor, John Gibson is now heading up our dirt track racing magazine, OneDrit.com full time. I’ll do what I can to fill Gibson’s shoes here at ChevyHardcore.
What are you in for? If you aren’t already familiar, our focus consists of a heavy dosage of Tri-fives (’55-57), ’60-70s muscle cars with some play in the mid-’80s, and the late-model (LT, LS, LSX) field. Of course, we can’t forget the automotive market/industry in general, which we all have an affinity for. Keep in mind we’ll be covering the gamut of all things Chevy-related.
Our readers are into full-tilt, heads up drag racing (drag radial, Outlaw 10.5, etc.), pro-touring, autocross, superchargers, turbo’s, small- and big-blocks, resto-mods, unique Chevy-powered builds, and complete frame-off restorations. We’ll also be sprinkling in some specific truck items as well to round out the package. Who doesn’t like trucks?
While I spend a lot of time behind the keyboard, I mostly enjoy getting out and wrenching on cars. It's impossible to be an editor of an automotive title without having first-hand knowledge of how things work. Unfortunately, some traditional print editors have gotten into the habit of never getting their hands dirty or even thinking about getting on their backs to get the perfect shot. It's certainly sad to see and a shame they don't pick up a wrench and start swinging more often. Building and working on cars should be fun. Get up and don't be afraid to get your hands dirty.
So, where did this wild ride begin? To make a long story short while making my way through college, I worked part-time at Quarter Mile Performance Engines (QMP), located in Southern California. It’s where I jokingly honed my skills on running the parts truck and cleaning blocks by hand.
It was hard work but a dream job to me and I quickly fell in love with the racing industry and its eclectic group of people. To put it lightly, and I’m sure you’ll agree, the racing community is full of a unique and diverse subculture of people with differing personalities and tastes. Whether its on salt, water, asphalt or dirt, there’s a commonality among all enthusiasts.
Soon, I began handling high-priority parts, customers, 4- and 5-axis CNC equipment, the dyno room and joined the QMP race team. I wrenched on custom-built powerplants and I’m certainly not afraid to get my hands dirty. In addition, I even helped crew an NHRA Division 7 Monte Carlo that runs well into the 7s on motor. I’ve even got some experience open-tracking and autocrossing.
For nearly four years, I spent six days a week in the shop working until the late hours of the night making sure that our customers were ready for their next race or car show. It was awesome and I was hooked on the job.
I was doing exactly what I wanted to do. Joining our drag race team was especially exciting. Spending time traveling to different events across California in the race hauler gave me a lot of time to reflect on my life and where I eventually wanted to land. After graduating college, I was after more though and I began to outgrow the shop.
By chance, I was introduced to the Editor of Chevy High Performance Magazine and the rest was history…or so I thought. At 23, I became the Associate Editor for one of the most highly regarded Chevrolet print magazines.
I was stoked and couldn’t believe it. I pulled up my big-boy pants, cut my Mohawk and entered into the business world of adults, whoa! I had a desk, a computer and stories to write. It was a full-time gig and I couldn’t of been more proud.
Four years later and still on staff, our company had been through what seemed like a dozen lay-offs, cutbacks and shrinking page counts. The offices were looking more like ghost towns than actual places of business. We were giving less and less to our readers. By that time, our staff had shrunk to just two; myself and my editor. We made things happen, worked like dogs and did what we could to create the best Chevy performance magazine in the market. All things considering, we did well.
On the dyno at the Westech Performance Group with a supercharged ZZ4 350 crate engine.
Through my time at Chevy High Performance Magazine, I was blessed with the opportunity to be a part of some awesome builds with both my father Greg Haggai and brother, Scott Haggai. Case in point, my brother's '72 Nova, which the three of us built. It started off as the typical Grandma Nova. It sported a 6-banger and 2-speed transmission. Now, it's a heavy-hauling pro-touring machine with a supercharged small-block, big-brakes, performance suspension and overdrive transmission. My affinity for trucks hasn't stopped either. Up until recently, we were all elbow-deep in a C10 pickup build with a 383ci small-block and overdrive.
All things must come to an end and they did. My number was called and I was out of a job. Good news is, just as quickly as I was trashed, there are always other opportunities. Case in point, powerTV. As the online and digital media markets swell and reliance on print media shrinks, it seemed like the perfect job. Now, if you haven’t already noticed, ChevyHardcore added me, Sean Haggai, as its new Editor.
I've been building my '66 El Camino for the last couple of years. It began as a 6-banger with a clapped-out body.
Since January 2012, I’ve been in the captains chair for ChevyHardcore as its resident editor and I’m proud to be on board. I’ve made it home here and I couldn’t be happier. I’m still doing what I love and I’m blessed to be part of a fantastic and passionate industry. Where else can you find this kind of passion? Chances are you can’t. We’re gearheads. If it’s got an engine and a set of wheels, chances are we’re probably interested.
Consider this my first editorial as the new head for ChevyHardcore.com. I’ll have more to come as well as some additional stories about myself, the industry, the people I meet along the way and our beloved Chevys, too. You can find me under a car, working on the El Camino or behind the lens at an event. In the meantime, we’ll be churning out edit for you as fast as we can. Sit back and enjoy the ride.
Sean Haggai // Editor – ChevyHardCore.com
Today, my personal '66 El Camino project sits with a traditional big-block and TH400 transmission.