Every so often, our editorial staff selects one aftermarket industry professional to get to know a little better. Participants are asked to respond to a series of questions that can be answered in about the same amount of time you might spend chatting at the office coffee pot or waiting for an elevator. In today’s installment of “Five Minutes With,” we want to introduce you to one of Babcox Media’s newest “car guys” – Eric Garbe, managing editor of Tech Shop and MPN.
What was your first job in the industry?
My first automotive job was for a pair of small family owned businesses called Corvette Corner and Cars 2NV. Both were in the same location and owned by the same people. Everyone there was incredibly passionate about Corvettes and muscle cars and every day I got to work on, drive, clean and look at all the hottest to come out of Detroit. I began in the parts department and eventually moved into service, learning from some of the best counter people and technicians I have ever met.
What do you like best about your current position?
The list is long. I love to write articles for the magazines and I have the best coworkers one could ask for, so I’d say both of those items are at the top of the list.
Did you initially intend to pursue a career in the aftermarket? If not, what drew you to the industry and what keeps you here?
I’ve been obsessed with cars from my earliest memories, and I never gave a single thought to my career until my high school counselor asked what I was going to do for college. I simply answered, “I’m going to school to be an auto mechanic.” That’s exactly what I did. My original focus was solely to be the best technician I could be, I simply wanted to learn everything about cars. Once I entered the industry, I became drawn into multiple different aspects of it and branched out to get as much experience as I could. This industry is just me.
What do you do when not at work?
Restoring old cars is still one of my favorite hobbies, but I split the time with camping and outdoor activities, writing a book and most importantly, spending time with my family and friends.
What one word best sums up your personality?
Cordial, and oddly enough I love those chocolate covered cherries of the same name that always come out around the holidays.
What kind of car do you drive?
A 2003 VW Jetta TDI Wagon. I love it and it still gets at least 47 MPG. I’m shooting to get another 10 years out of it.
What was your first car?
“A 1969 Chevelle 4-Door Sedan with a 250ci 6-cyl and a Powerglide. I bought it for $50 from two houses down the street. I tuned it up, threw on a set of Gold Nuggets and RWL tires, and I was cruising.’ Hey, it was the eighties!”
What are you currently reading?
“The River of Doubt,” about Theodore Roosevelt’s journey through the Amazonian Jungle.
Want to talk cars with Eric? Drop him a line at [email protected].
Know someone who would love to be featured in Five Minutes With? Email editor Amy Antenora at [email protected].