One thing the people featured on this site have in common is that they’re all leaders. They may not actually run a community, but they lead by example. This week, we interview Scott Pinkerton, who actually runs a Mitsubishi community – MidwestEvos.com.
What’s your real name? (What’s your screen name?)
Real name is Scott Michael Pinkerton (SMP) – screen name is smp3000. I’ve had that username for just about everything since 1999- Google it!
Where do you live?
I currently live smack dab in the middle of America- Olathe, KS (just outside Kansas City). I was born near Seattle and then grew up in Phoenix, AZ. Lived here over 3 years now and LOVE it.
What do you do for a living?
I’m a web developer for a government contracting agency. In all honesty I can’t tell you any more than that… Seriously. lol. But I can tell you I’ve been developing web apps, and designing sites for almost 12 years.
What Mitsubishi(s) do you drive? How long have you had it/them?
I am currently driving a 2004 Apex Silver Lancer Evolution. I bought it right off the lot. I loved the car so much I bought it before I had sold the car I had at the time. Two $400+ car payments = no bueno.
What’s your build philosophy/goals for your Evo? How do you use it?
At first I was just buying parts left and right- no real path of modification whatsoever. Then I got married and reality set in. If I would’ve bought good parts or just stuck with certain things I’d have ALOT more done to it than I do now. For instance I went through 3 different BOV’s, 3 different intakes, and 3 exhausts. I guess I’m picky. At the begining there were a lot of bolt-ons out for the Evo, but nobody really had the car figured out yet- so there was still a lot of experimentation and R&D going on. My car was actually the “beta” test Evo for a lot of the Agency Power line of parts- which are made by Vivid Racing, back when I lived in Arizona.
I daily drive my Evo and unfortunately have been in a few accidents with it over the last 3 years- so the car isn’t where it should be. But I do have a goal, and I have a collection of parts accumulating in the garage. Basically I’ll be running an Evo 9 turbo on E85. With the addition of some cams and a bigger FMIC I should be able to hit the 400/400 mark pretty easily. I’d like to take the car to the track once or twice, but it won’t be a track rat. I’ll be happy cruising around with that power.
You started a Mitsubishi community. What’s it called? When did you start it?
I started a regional evo forum called MidwestEvos.com. I started the forum back in July of 2007.
Who are your members? How many are there? Where do they come from?
Our members are all great. I can honestly say that as I have met a good amount of them and talk to them on the phone all the time. I give out my number constantly as I want to get to know these guys. Sometimes we talk cars, work, life, everything. Right now we have close to 940 members and counting. We DELETE any spammers that register. Many forums just ban them as it makes it easier to keep them away, but I don’t want to fool anyone with the legitimacy of our memberbase.
Our members are from ALL over. From Fargo, ND to Miami, FL. We tend to stick to the midwestern states, but honestly we get members from all over the united states.
Why did you decide to start a Mitsubishi community?
After moving to the Midwest I felt like a fish out of water everytime I’d get in my car. There were NO other Evos around and no real way to network with others that may be around. Moving here from Phoenix – I was in culture shock and went from seeing a few Evos a day to none – ever. I was lucky to find a local street racing forum and found a few. I then got the idea to start a “Kansas City” Evo forum, but then decided to make it the entire Midwest – which I knew nothing about at the time. I found a few others on another Mitsu forum that were excited about starting something new – and the rest is history.
Tell us about something really exciting your members have done or regularly do.
We had our first official meet last August and it was amazing. We threw it here in KC at one of our Vendors shops (Modified by KC). I invited a lot of the local Subaru crowd out as well and we had a pretty amazing turnout. I’d say close to 30 Evos, and 50+ cars overall. We had Mellon Tuning come out from Memphis, TN and the Mellon Evo put down 703AWHP. Representatives from 7 states were there. FUN weekend!
What’s the best part about running a Mitsubishi community? The most challenging?
Oh the relationships that have come from running this forum have just been great. I’ve met some of my best friends through MidwestEvos and continue to meet new members every day. I wouldn’t trade that for the world. The most challenging part is making sure everyone is happy – members, staff, vendors, etc… I never want to rub someone the wrong way or step on any toes.
What excites you about the coming year? (Your Evo and your community)
2009 was a BIG year for us as it was really the first year I was able to give the forum and community my full attention. I was in and out of the hospital the last 2 years and had some really rough things go on in my life. 2009 has seen immense growth, site upgrades, and new staff members. 2010 will be a HUGE year. We’re really starting to make a name for ourselves in the Mitsubishi community. I anticipate more regional meets, a larger annual meet, and more volunteer/charity work done on the forum’s behalf. I’m lucky to be surrounded by people that also care about the community and are more about giving then receiving. We give to a handful of charities and are planning some Volunteer meets where we can give our time to help out others not as fortunate.
Do you organize any contests or face-to-face meets for your members?
I lost track of how many members I’ve met but it’s close to 100. We’ve only had one forum wide meet thus far, but there have been several local KS/MO/NE meets and I know a lot of the members up North have met up for MOD, Winged Warrior event, other races and shows.
We have a monthly Mitsu of the Month contest that’s always interesting. This month (December) all of our contestants drive Evo Xs.
How do you want your community to benefit Mitsubishi owners? What steps are you taking to make sure that happens?
I started this community for one reason- for Midwest based Evo/Lancer/Mitsu owners to be able to network and be a part of something. So far we’ve been very successful. Coming from the west coast where there were a lot of clubs, forums, tuner crowds, etc. – I was shocked when I arrived here in the midwest and didn’t find anything like that. I’m very grateful to have so many people to call, meet up with, chat with online.
Our forum is very grassroots. We aren’t doing anything spectacular to attract the masses and I’m perfectly content with that. I’ll take quality over quantity. I want members that WANT to be part of the community. If we aren’t attractive to lurkers – then I’m sure there is another forum out there that will fit them better. We will never sell out. I didn’t start this forum for money and I will never see it as that.
How do you feel building a Mitsubishi compares to building a Mitsubishi community?
Well it’s very similar in some respects. I had to start stock and build gradually. You don’t want too much too quick or your power (or members) will accumulate faster than your experience or knowledge and that’s never good.
How has your Evo build benefited from your involvement in the community?
Connections, Connections, Connections. Having been in the import scene since the mid 90’s I have been able to meet a lot of big names in the biz, and since starting midwestevos I have been able to keep healthy relationships with the leaders in the Evo game.
What’s next for your Evo?
I have some parts in the garage waiting to be put on, but I’m holding out until I can get some larger injectors for E85 and then a full tune.
What’s next for MWE?
I plan to add more exposure for our vendors and definitely start a campaign to get more tech related information on our site. We’re working on some pretty nice “How Tos”. I’m also working on some highly detailed traffic analysis so I can see what is working for us and what isn’t.
Who has helped you the most along the way with the car? With the community?
In all honesty I can’t name just one person – the entire community has helped me immensely with the car, my build goals, etc.. My staff has been incredible in dealing with me over the years and have helped create this community and KEEP it right. I can’t thank them enough!
Were you inspired by any other Mitsubishi community organizer? Who? Why?
I wish I could say I was, but what actually inspired or motivated me more than anything was how much I DIDN’T like other Mitsubishi sites out there. One in particular
Who do you look up to in the Mitsubishi community?
I look up to the people doing it the right way. People that are out there to push the envelope without all the BS and drama that seems to spread like wildfire. It’s been really hard to keep all of that away from MidwestEvos, but I think we’ve done a great job at minimizing it.
Is there a particular shop you’d like to recommend? Want to thank any sponsors?
Definitely! I have to give MAJOR props to my local shop out here- Modified by KC. Chad Charlton is one of the best Evo tuners in the country and is a very, very smart man. Chris at Mellon Tuning is also a great friend of mine and in my opinion is the best stock ECU tuner in the country. He’s a very humble guy but his tuning and his car mean business. I’d also like to thank Jordan at Defined for being such a positive influence on the forum and for setting the customer service bar very high.
Other than your own, do you spend time on any Mitsubishi sites? Which ones?
I am a member of so many forums I lost count, but yeah I love to go to other forums and converse. Mitsu-Media.com is a big one, Evowned.com, Highboostforums.com, and Missourimitsu.com.