Mike began writing general technical articles for the late great Sport Compact car in the early 90's. From the word go it was apparent that he had a talent for explaining very technical subjects in a simplistic manner and you can rest assured that he is a large part of why SCC took the technical approach to selling magazines. Mike's first official project car for SCC was his 200SX SE-R and a long list of Nissans and other cars followed. While with SCC Mike wrote some very influential technical series such as “Suck, Squish, Bang, Blow” along with “Making it stick”. Quite possibly two of the most referenced series by newbs and industry professionals alike. In addition to writing for SCC Mike also filled a void at Turbo magazine as the engineering editor. There Mike built up a B13 Nissan Sentra SE-R named Project Phoenix along with other features and articles of interest. Mike wrote for both of these publications until their demise and he has written for “every other (Sport Compact) magazine except Super Street”.
|Mike made Project Phoenix rise from the ashes in Turbo Magazine.|
As the turn of the century approached Mike's head was going in more directions than ever and it was then that he realized the power of the internet. Mike and a few other people took a previously slow internet based magazine (Sentra On Line Magazine, SOLM) and turned it in to Nissan Performance Magazine. My involvement with SOLM and NPM is how I came to know him. The first time I ever had the occasion to meet Mike face to face was in the year 2000, the same year he and Sharon gave birth to their Daughter Christa. As NPM began to come in to its own element, Mike continued his daily duties with Nissan while juggling his freelance writing. In 2002 Mike Published the book “Honda/Acura Engine Performance” with HP Books and not long after “Sport Compact Car – Engine and Driveline” was published by Motorbooks International in 2004.
|My how time flies. Here Mike and Christa begin their motor sports lives together through carting.|
This was a pivotal time in the Sport Compact world and we were certainly near what would be the height of the market. Nissan and other manufacturers were embracing Sport Compact enthusiasts by launching performance oriented models. Around this time Mike was working as an engineering liaison with Nissan to bring NISMO to the states. Yes, that's right, if you appreciate anything NISMO here in the U.S. Mike played a pivotal role in their coming stateside. He served as the engineer that was responsible for setting NISMO's quality targets as well as providing the final approval of products.
|The now famous disco potato. Yes this is the car that spawned the GT2860RS turbo and yes Mike was one of the brains behind it.|
In approximately 2006 a friend of Mike's by the name of Jeff Naeyaert approached him regarding a joint project. If you ask Mike the conversation was something like “you're a smart dude and I'm a smart dude so let's do something to get away from corporate America”. Jeff and Mike were ahead of the curve in their thinking that print media was on its way out and a new way of doing things was required. This very dialog was the first mention of what would eventually become MotoIQ. Other dorky names were tossed around (which Mike fails to remember or I would have shared) until they wound up with MotoIQ; a take on increasing your automotive and performance intelligence quotient by featuring technical in depth shit! When Nissan decided to do a corporate relocation Mike chose not to follow and he and Jeff devoted their entire beings to MotoIQ. This is where I really got to know Mike Kojima…. He is the self proclaimed “Charles Manson” of the sport compact world. The likeness is limited only to his ability to get quality people behind him whose devotion borders on the cult like. I will freely admit that I wrote alongside Mike at NPM and under him with MotoIQ FOR FREE for the better part of 10 years. I cannot really explain why, all I can muster is that I believed in the long term vision of where he was taking us.
|It's fair to say that if it is automotive related that Mike has his hands in it…|