“You modified a Toyota Yaris? Why bother?”
Yep. Heard that one before.
“You drove from Oregon to Colorado in that?” [points at our Suzuki Sidekick and trailer]
Uh huh. Got that multiple times.
When talking cars, some peoples’ eyes glaze over when I’m telling them we have a customized Toyota Yaris as our “go kart,” and a lifted Suzuki Sidekick that we take off road. You can just see it. Do I get the defibrillator out now, or wait until they totally pass out? They think you’re some kind of weirdo whack job who regularly makes poor life choices (and no, the Yaris was not a bad life choice!). I’ll continue on to say, “… and a Subaru WRX, and a Jeep Cherokee,” and that generally brings them back to earth. Whew—almost lost another one.
I mean, gearheads aren’t into the little Yaris or Suzukis with four wheels, right? They’re into hairy-chested Mustangs, and lifted Chevy trucks, tuned Porches, and turbocharged Nissan drift cars, not front wheel drive subcompact hatchbacks and 4x4s with under 100 horsepower right?
A friend of mine recently got some snarky-ass comment about an Isuzu. Some people either A: can’t believe someone would still pay money for an Isuzu or B: have no idea people still find them interesting. But—believe it or not—there are people passionate about all sorts of cars. Sometimes it’s the oddball, unloved models. Isuzu Impulse. VW Fox. Mitsubishi Expo LRV. Ford Festiva. Other times people love cars that others find generally unremarkable. Ford Bronco II. Plymouth Scamp. Nissan Altima. Honda CR-V. What makes these kind of gearheads interesting to me is the fact they love these makes/models that seem to have faded from many peoples’ memory, yet they obsess over them like many people would obsess over a Lamborghini or a classic muscle car. And most of the time, there’s a great story behind why they have this obsession.
That’s automotive passion.
That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with being totally in love with your Camaro or F-150; your Lambo or your Nissan GT-R; quite the contrary. However, just because someone might be really into a car you don’t find appealing doesn’t mean they’re any less passionate about their ride than you are.
There should be a certain amount of respect among gearheads. Do you love your Jeep Patriot? That’s awesome. Are you gaga over your BMW 325? Rad. Do you live and breathe Camaros? I dig it. I’d never in a million years berate someone for their choice in vehicle, and you shouldn’t either. Sure, the Chevy Cavalier isn’t my favorite car, but if you’re passionate about it, love it, work on it, and enjoy it—kudos my fellow gearhead. We are one in the same.