On Being An Enthusiast


We recently read Fails piece on how the enthusiast is a dying breed.  If you need a pick-me-up, check out my article from last February about how being an enthusiast is free or one from 2014 where I predict that Gen Z will still be car enthusiasts.  But, If also figured that misery loves company so as we slowly cling to our door in the frigid waters waiting for rescue or death, we can compare notes on being an enthusiast.  Yes, that was a Titanic reference, what of it?  Us enthusiast types, either real or self-proclaimed likely experience similar things in life.  Some good, some bad.  Here are mine, leave yours in the comments.

The author, doing enthusiast shit.
The author, doing enthusiast shit.

Car Shopping For All!

“Oh you’re into cars, well then you can help me pick one” says everyone you ever meet.  Some people may not enjoy that element of enthusiast living, but I absolutely love it.  I get a contact high from helping other people car shop. It’s a very real buzz from the experience of talking someone through their requirements; their needs, their wants, their limitations. If, within every dozen, I can steer one person away from an appliance to something interesting, the world will be a better place.  I’ve gone so far as to visit dealerships with friends or family, go on test drives, maybe even sit nearby during the negotiation phase.  I had a buddy who once bought an enthusiast model 350Z, first year of production who offered it to me to buy when he was ready for something different.  I had been so invested in his buying process, I bought the damn thing from him.

Assumption That You’re A Mechanic

This one probably is valid for many of you, but I’m not especially mechanically inclined. I’ve mended some things, I’ve “done it yourself” or “myself” or whatever, but overall I’m not always the person to come to help fix your issue.  I’m getting better, learning as I go, but at age 40 I’m not exactly Pat Goss at this point, which everyone just assumes to be the case.

I have no clue what’s going on here.

So You Like NASCAR

No. Absolutely not.  I’ve even struggled to follow motorsports in general.

That Moment When…

You start to sniff out another enthusiast. It’s a beautiful, yet dangerous dance.  You size each other up, not wanting to go too fast.  You’ve been burned one too many times.  You hope beyond hope that your new coworker is legit and isn’t pretending, because you have invested way too much time and emotion in a conversation only to find out that they really aren’t that into cars.  It’s not even a knowledge issue, although that’s an element of it.  Knowing many horsepower and torque figures or makes and models is part of it, but just the general level of enthusiasm on the topic is how you can tell a real enthusiast from a pretender.  As I tell my writers, it’s about emotion; it’s sort of like dating, if you aren’t on the same level it’s just not going to work out.  But oh man, when it does.  Bliss.

Furious 7
Let’s go for a little ride.

So, You Like Those Fast & Furious Movies

You’re God damn right I do.  Ride or die, tuna no crust, too soon junior, street’s closed pizza boy, etc.  Take a look at our virtual tour of F&F filming locations, road trip!

Hybrids and Autonomy Suck, Amirite?

No, but most people assume that I at least have an opinion on the topic.  Which, of course, I do, and it’s not all negative.  While most hybrids are soul sucking anti-fun machines, it’s not all doom and gloom.  Look at any Tesla and you’ll see a future worth living.  Instant torque for all!  And those hypercar hybrids sure look fun.  Heck, a hybrid Mustang actually sound pretty fun to me, assuming I wasn’t a “V84LIFE” guy.  Which I am.  And autonomy isn’t all bad.  I actually hate to drive in a commuting situation, thanks Obama Washington DC and your nation’s worst traffic.

So if I can hop into a car and tell it to take me somewhere, I’m all for it.  I just want to be able to remove it from manual mode when the traffic clears and the roads get twisty.  Like when Will Smith was chasing that robot in his Audi, sort of.  Point being, the future is likely some sort of electric autonomous world, and we might as well make the most of it.  Invest in your local track, they’re going to have a fucking line of people once it’s more difficult to drive your petrol powered dinosaur fast.

What Else?

I know I’m missing some, leave your anecdotes, stories, and such in the comments.



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