Let’s state right at the
outset that there are innovative tuners and builders, and then there are the
likes of men like Austin Coil and Alan Johnson.
They are, by any measuring stick you can come up with, ahead of the
curve. We mean no disrespect towards
anyone when we say that, because we know a couple of dozen guys out there who
are, whether anyone likes to admit it or not, infinitely sharper than the tech
inspectors charged with keeping them honest.
The championships that
Johnson and Coil have won are proof positive of their respective talents. We said it in our coverage of the ’07 Finals
and again after the Winternationals:
Alan Johnson is a genius.
But – and this is
important – Johnson is also a smart businessman. Alan Johnson Performance Engineering, located
in the hinterlands of California,
produces a substantial line of must-have hardware, including cylinder
heads. Johnson realized long ago that no
matter how brilliant his innovations, if he failed to share those goodies with
his clientele there would be no clientele.
No clientele, no business.
True, Johnson must be at
or very near the top of the highest paid tuners list, as well he should
be. The record he’s amassed is proof
positive of his skills, and while there seems no end in sight for his brilliant
trackside career, there’s probably going to come a day when he’d prefer a less
hectic lifestyle, and that’s when he’ll be most appreciative of the way he’s