for some, they are an interest or a hobby, for others they are a way of life; for me, they are an obsession. They say men think about sex every 7 seconds; I think about cars every 5.
There wasn’t a moment where I decided that I liked cars, I was born into the madness. My parents tell me that I started getting Hot Wheels cars when I was two and would go to the grocery store with my mom every week just to get another little car. That continued until I was probably about ten years old when there were probably 1000 of the damn things in my room. I would play with them for hours at a time, seeing which ones were the fastest, could roll the farthest, or just lining them up like at a car show.
One of my earliest memories was from when I was maybe two or three years old and my dad came home with a fox body Mustang. I just remember running up to it being infatuated with how fast it could be and how cool it was. Growing up we had various Mustangs, Camaros, Corvettes, and Challengers in the driveway, which is probably why I enjoy the smell of old cars. An odor that is dominated by gas, with hints of leather, grease, and whatever the hell else has built up over the years.
We would go to car shows almost every week, some with 20 cars and others would have hundreds. We still go to car shows together to this day, though not as much as we used to. After I got my license we went to a show together in my Camaro that I spent what had to have been five hours cleaning the day before. I got my first award at that show for being the youngest participant, which was actually given to someone else originally by accident and my dad almost got into an argument over it, something I hated him for doing at the time. That plaque is still hanging in my room to this day.
When I was a freshman in high school I took a photography class, and I’m not sure if it was a natural attraction or Mr. Zoller’s passion for photography, but I was hooked the moment I picked up a camera. I took photography with Mr. Zoller three of the four years and continued to improve my technique and take pictures at every car show. One day he met with me outside of class and showed me that I could take pictures of not just the whole car, but small parts of it. It was then that I started to appreciate the nuances of cars, and is something that I take outside of the car world. From the way I dress to my work ethic, I realized that it’s the little things that take you from being great to being the best.
Today, I meet with a group of about ten guys with this same obsession every Thursday night where we drive over to Virginia Tech to meet with another twenty to thirty like-minded people. We spend a couple hours on top of a parking garage, sometimes in 40° weather, just to talk about cars. The thing that many people don’t realize is that cars are just as much of a social experience as any party. Sharing our passion and experiences with others who are just as passionate as we are is the best part of this obsession.
“We have an unshakable belief that cars are living entities. You can develop a relationship with a car. And that’s just what non-car people don’t get.” – Jeremy Clarkson